An interesting PWC report titled, “Game Changer: A New Kind of Value Chain for Entertainment and Media Companies,” highlights the massive changes the Internet, mobile and digital and streaming media bring to the entertainment and media (E&M) industry. The report predicts that digital content will grow to almost 40% of the E&M market between 2013 and 2015 and account for 87% of the growth in spending over that time.
The Internet’s impact on E&M is similar to its impact on most other industries: First, users want it all and they want it now. Second, anyone can do anything. So now content producers take their products directly to the consumer through iTunes, YouTube and other video-sharing services; content aggregators such as Google, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft produce their own, highly successful content; and a new studio model provides independents with equipment and support in return for distribution rights.
The result? The traditionally linear E&M value chain running from content creators to programmers, then aggregators and distribution systems, and finally to consumers has morphed into a complex “E&M web” connecting each of the players with each other in any number of different combinations. Distribution can happen anywhere, any time after pre-production.
What will E&M players have to do to play in this space?
- Be flexible and collaborate
- Manage complex workflows and data exchange among players
- Store assets at multiple locations for quick access by any player
- Harness analytics to get a clear picture of users so they can customize content distribution to different users and regions at different times
- Implement a streamlined, global, real-time workflow among creative teams
Mobile technology also means they’ll have to deliver content in multiple formats to multiple devices.
Not surprisingly, all these requirements point to solutions based on the cloud, according to the report. Why? The cloud provides:
- Lower upfront investment and risk, CAPEX to OPEX. You pay only for the technology you use when you use it.
- Rapid scalability and fast ramp-up of infrastructure, software and storage to support peak demand
- Easy collaboration
- The ability to delegate support to the provider and focus on the task at hand
- Much quicker creation of content in multiple formats and for many different devices
At Equinix, this analysis plays to our strengths. Equinix is unique in its ability to bring digital content value-chain partners of every kind together in a tight knit, high-performing interconnected ecosystem. More than 500 media and content providers host their infrastructure in one or more of our International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers.
The Equinix Cloud Exchange offers a choice of high-speed interconnections between media and entertainment companies from more than 1,000 network providers and more than 500 cloud services. Our more than 100 IBX global data centers put content in close proximity to consumers, providing high-performance and low-latency delivery.
Equinix is steadily building a vision of the Media and Entertainment ecosystem where all the players in the E&M supply chain can come together via Equinix for the benefit of the industry.
The E&M web will undoubtedly become the rule in the years to come. The cloud and high-speed interconnections will enable it.