BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. A global content company, it was formed in April 2018 by the merger of BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios. Its work spans content financing, development, production, sales, branded services and ancillaries and employs approximately 3000 people.
To modernise a legacy global content supply chain, streamlining the three core segments:
One of BBC Studios’ key jobs is to ensure the secure and effective distribution and monetisation of content. This spans multiple areas of the business covering channels, on-demand services and licensed consumer products. In addition, it has significant media management and post-production functions.
The challenge was to modernise a legacy global content supply chain, streamlining the three core segments: Transactions (sales, billing, contracts, licensing, and financials), the Catalogue and Content (video, audio, metadata, images, promos).
Given the technology landscape is always changing; new forms of content to deliver, new requirements to meet, new ways of connecting with audiences, the only thing certain was change. With an increased amount of content, it led to increased mastering and distribution and as a compound effect, an increase in the methods of monetising and consuming content. In order to thrive and continue to scale the business, BBC Studios selected Sony as their partner to adapt to the change and avoid #TheDigitalCliff.
The success of the project relied not only on choosing and deploying the appropriate technology but also on strong investment from both sides of the relationship.
Working closely together, BBC Studios and Sony were able to break down the traditional client-vendor lines, leveraging Sony’s technical and industry expertise to lower costs while simultaneously improving productivity in the broadcast and digital distribution supply chain.
This was done through the centralised data aggregation; faster, automated fulfilment mechanisms both of which sat on a foundation of flexible and scalable systems.
Having a consolidated, accurate, and normalised inventory has reduced duplicative costs and strain on BBC Studios’ internal content operations team. Sales and licensing teams are now empowered, not impeded, by technical requirements and inventory availability.
To make the project work, BBC Studios reset existing business processes to take advantage of the efficiencies that Ven.ue created. At the same time, Sony altered application design and system capabilities to reflect BBC Studios’ future state requirements and processes.
Acknowledging that technology doesn’t work alone, and that process evolution is critical, Sony’s approach to these implementations had a strong change-management team and focus. Having key performance indicators is a standard, but learning from them and leveraging them to drive business benefits is where Sony sets itself apart.
Testament to Sony’s ethos of powering today while simplifying tomorrow, Sony were one of the first to move to a 100% cloud native solution in 2016 which has provided further scalability and allowed BBC Studios to take advantage of a service model that allows them to focus investments where they belong: on the content.
Today, Sony is responsible for the delivery of BBC Studios content to over 800 distribution points globally. In partnership, the companies have realised their goals of significantly improving time to market and streamlining the content delivery supply chain and continue to work towards setting the bar on operational and service level excellence.
The Ven.ue platform presently enables content delivery across all devices and connects to more than 1,200 distribution points worldwide. It currently stores 25 petabytes of TV and film content. This equates to more than two million hours of content with this figure growing at approximately one petabyte every quarter.