We’re just 5 days away from NAB Show, where we’ll see the latest innovation for delivering content in new ways and moving beyond traditional broadcasting. Last year’s show was amazing and I’m already excited about what we’ll be seeing this year and the hot technologies at NAB 2018.
The media and entertainment industry is undergoing monumental changes in how content is created, managed, delivered and monetized across a growing profusion of platforms. If you want to understand just how far reaching the impact of these trends are, talk with someone who sits right at the heart of it all. I reached out to Chuck Correll of Equinix to talk about key M&E trends and the technologies making it happen.
1. How are media companies leveraging hybrid and multi-cloud architectures?
M&E companies are increasingly leveraging hybrid and multi-cloud architectures. Core intellectual property (in the form of digital assets) are stored in private, secure storage, while they access multi-cloud vendors to render, run post-production workflows or take advantage of various tools and services such as AI.
A great use case example is leveraging cloud and distribution for personalized and unique channels, using on-the-fly custom streams for regions, viewing group interests or individual consumer-profiled content. We’re seeing a growing need to combine new and archived content (based on the SMPTE Interoperable Mastering Format (IMF) standard), in order to create opportunities for monetizing digital assets that have previously been considered dormant.
Object storage in a private cloud configuration is enabling these new capabilities by providing warm access to petabyte-scale repositories that were previously stored on tape or other cold storage archives. Suddenly, companies can access and retain all their assets and create new content services, monetize opportunities or run analytics across a much larger data set. Combined with the ability to use AI for audience viewing, demographic and geographic data allows companies to deliver high-value, tailored-content and services on a global scale.
2. Monetizing content is a key objective for many companies; what does it take to build digital platforms that can harness the value of data?
If you’re going to be a data-driven company, you need to create a vision — for your company, for your products and your services. Not just now, but also where you want to see them in the future. Then build the platform to support this vision.
If you want to see value from your data, your data needs to come to life. Old data, when aggregated with new data, may be the most valuable data for analytics or content projects. Your infrastructure needs to reflect that and provide readily access.
There’s now way around it, the edge is getting nearer. You need to re-architect delivery for the edge and to create digital edge offerings with new distribution models to compete in tomorrow’s market. Workflows need to be optimized for digital content with a shortened distance to your users. Make sure to integrate delivery services in control points and leverage combined network and delivery functions.
Lastly, think ecosystems. Interconnect all your digital edge control points, services and offerings on a global platform with partners, vendors, and end-users.
3. Digital edge is a new concept, what is this trend and how are companies adopting it?
M&E is now waking up to the reality that every other business has had to cope with – digital transformation is here, and it is an industry-wide concern. With revenue growth in traditional broadcast slowing and new digital-based revenue accelerating, companies need to create new models, explore content partnerships and re-architect their infrastructure to support new opportunities.
There is a fundamental change of IT delivery architecture from a siloed and centralized approach to an interconnected and distributed one. At the heart of these changes is the interconnection between applications, data lakes, partners, public clouds, service providers, and the digital edge – where end users and real-time engagement happens.
Innovative M&E enterprises are solving for the digital edge by deploying an Interconnection Oriented Architecture® (IOA®) strategy. This approach enables new workflows that allow greater collaboration and streamline production and distribution globally. By shortening the physical distance between global applications, data, clouds and people, IOA can create ecosystem-based platforms built for scale, flexibility and security. This is where the physical and virtual worlds meet.
How big is this trend? Interconnection bandwidth growth is projected to outpace public internet by 2020! You can download the The Global Interconnection Index to see the new global baseline for the digital economy
4. What are other new technologies you see impacting M&E workflows?
The first technology that comes to mind is on-demand bandwidth and interconnection from the location shoot to private storage for content creators and 5G high-bandwidth technologies. This will be game changing!
Second is SDN (Software Defined Networking). SDN will transform M&E post-production completely. By interconnecting to supply chain partners using SDN, content creators can build and take down workflows on the fly. Furthermore, they can allow secure access to their content (on private storage) for post-production work.
Now bring it all together: on-demand bandwidth, interconnection and SDN combined with personalized, unique channels, and content created and distributed using the public cloud – there you have the re-imagined future of M&E!
5. NAB Show! What’s going to be hot?
Lots to be excited about for this year’s show! With the current success of AI-enabled voice-controlled home assistants, I think we’ll be seeing AI in every device. I expect to see announcements and new partnerships about the integration of AI technologies and platforms into more media-based devices and technologies.
Blockchain is going to be huge. The first area is Digital Rights Management for images or video. Future platforms, services and service providers will be able to manage royalties, enforcement, anti-piracy and fulfillment using blockchain and cryptocurrency. We’ll also see Blockchain used for video resource management like transcoding, rendering, storage and edge distribution. There’s a whole concept of decentralizing video processing across data center servers and household computers. And of course, secure content operations from content acquisition through distribution and archiving.
You’ll hear a lot of talk about NVMeTM. NVMe, with extreme performance, low latencies and incredible throughput is opening up new possibilities for the media workflow particularly for UHD and new computed virtual field of view. It’s also a key technology for fast data applications at the edge that need near real-time insights and interact with massive of data from intelligent devices.
Chuck Correll is Sr. Manager of Field Development for Equinix. In his role, Chuck works alongside the rest of the Equinix team to bring continued excellence to the Ad-IX ecosystem.
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Erik Weaver is the Global Director of Media and Entertainment Market Development at Western Digital specializing in cloud technologies.