Why media companies should embrace the power of the Cloud

Stuart Almond, Head of Intelligent Media Services, Sony Europe

Transforming Technology

Technology is transforming everything – from the way we communicate to the way we watch our favourite sporting events. More and more of us are streaming our content online and this is especially true for the next generation of users. Recent research shows that, of those aged 28-36, one in four watches less television than the same age group did just five years ago. For those aged 18-27 this figure increases to an impressive 40%. From Apple and Amazon to Netflix and Spotify, there is no denying that OTT media services are becoming increasingly popular. Netflix, for example, currently has over 109 million subscribers worldwide while Spotify has about 50 million paying users, and many millions more that use the service for free. Multiple screen usage is also on the rise as more than 87% of viewers are now using a second screen device when watching televised content.

Supercharging content creation and distribution with the cloud has become essential if media companies don’t want to start lagging behind audience expectations.

Stuart Almond
Head of Intelligent Media Services, Sony Europe

Unchartered era

It’s clear that we are entering a new, unchartered era as we consume content on the go, through a multitude of media. However, in order to accommodate this type of wide scale change, media and broadcasters have a tough challenge on their hands. They need to radically transform the way they produce and distribute content. Using the cloud as a key enabler to distribute content more effectively and increase engagement rates is the obvious solution. Yet, why are media companies seemingly so slow to adopt the cloud?

A silo of systems

Broadcasters and media organisations have typically operated in a siloed and fragmented fashion. Workflow is distributed amongst various departments, with little visibility across the board. Equally, content distribution processes often vary considerably, making a wide scale roll out challenging. For media companies to embrace the cloud often means retraining people and completely redefining workflows. Aside from this, the reluctance of moving to the cloud is often another challenge media companies need to overcome. All these concerns are valid, but the key to moving to the cloud here is a phased approach, accompanied by the appropriate training and staff development initiatives.

Moving to the Cloud

The process of moving to the cloud can seem daunting as broadcasters may have pre-conceived ideas about particular pain points, such as legacy systems. But most operations that are done on legacy equipment can be migrated to the cloud, and with the right expertise can be managed relatively seamlessly.

Organisations that have successfully migrated all or part of their operations to the cloud are ultimately catering to the needs of today’s users. Whether they are a small independent organisation or a huge broadcaster, the cloud can scale to meet the needs of any business. From independent film production to global live-streaming of the world’s most watched sporting events – the cloud is key to capturing and retaining users by providing them with engaging content quickly and across a multitude of platforms.

Cloud continuity and customer retention

For media and broadcasters, one of the key benefits of cloud technologies is increased operational efficiency. Content is uploaded in real-time with visibility to all those who need it instantly. This means that the various editing processes and production of the finished content is much faster and more collaborative.

Timely access to content will also help with audience engagement. The more content becomes readily available on as many platforms as possible, the better the overall user experience. Everyone expects a frictionless experience and the cloud is the best technology to deliver this content quickly and efficiently to consumers.

Cross Roads

Additional revenue can also be achieved through transferring historic content that used to sit on tapes and discs to the cloud, and monetising it. This could become incredibly lucrative for media and broadcasters, working with a partner such as Netflix or Amazon Prime that have huge user bases.

Media companies are at a cross roads where they must now adapt to a much more competitive landscape, driven by technological advancements, which have led to huge changes in consumer consumption habits. Supercharging content creation and distribution with the cloud has become essential if media companies don’t want to start lagging behind audience expectations.

Intelligent Media Services from Sony