Why Telecom and Media Content Are Converging

Over the last decade, telecom carriers and media content providers have been finding synergy between their individual markets. As increasing numbers of global consumers demand more media content, the more network bandwidth is required to increase the quality of their media consumption and interactive experiences. For the telecom industry, this convergence with media content providers is all about the carriers moving beyond “the pipes” to where the new money is – a business environment where media content creation and content delivery are intrinsically tied. Most consumers today have their chosen smartphones and wireless plans, so future growth for telecos lies in enabling them to view TV, movies and other media via all those mobile devices and channels. This convergence with media content providers allows telecom carriers to offer the full package: connectivity and premium content.

Media content needs low-latency interconnection

It’s common knowledge that video is a bandwidth (and storage) hog and extremely latency sensitive. Almost anyone who has streamed video, or downloaded a huge video file, knows excess latency can kill the entire experience with annoying delays in service.

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The digital media industry is based on complex collaboration and workflows among pre-production, production and post-production vendors and distributors. The future success of these companies lies in a streamlined digital media workflow system where efficient and cost-effective collaboration is a top priority. User expectations for an omnichannel experience also require delivery of content globally in multiple formats, across multiple channels to roaming users on any device. And digital media companies also must contend with the non-stop introduction of new media formats, channels and devices. According to Business Intelligence, global shipments of streaming media devices are expected to grow from 240 million in 2016 to 382 million in 2021.

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Enormous mega-compute power, storage and connectivity knowhow is required to make all these new digital processes, media types, channels and devices seamlessly work together, so media content developers and distributors are increasingly relying on network and cloud service providers to help them keep up with all this rapidly scaling innovation. High-bandwidth, low-latency interconnections will be vital to success for any of these ecosystem players, including cloud service providers, content delivery networks and telecom/media companies.

The Media Cloud Ecosystem

To ensure the high level of collaboration and on-demand access to networks and clouds required by the entertainment industry, a new ecosystem has formed in Equinix to deliver digital media content to an expanding, global consumer base. The Equinix Media Cloud Ecosystem for Entertainment (EMCEE) brings together all the players in the space, including media content, network and cloud providers, and moves them closer to communication hubs, ecosystem exchanges and data hubs for greater interconnection.

EMCEE was created using an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy, deployed on Platform Equinix™, which is home to more than 875 content and media providers, 1,400+ networks and 2,500+ cloud and IT service providers. An IOA strategy leverages a proven and repeatable engagement model that both enterprises and service providers can use to directly and securely connect people, locations, clouds and data. IOA shifts the fundamental IT delivery architecture from siloed and centralized to interconnected and distributed.

EMCEE Can “Shorten the Distance”

To accelerate media content creation and delivery with minimal latency, ecosystem players will need to place their IT infrastructure at the network edge, close to users, and “shorten the distance” between media content processes, clouds, content delivery networks and consumers. By housing their IT infrastructure within the EMCEE, content creators, distributors, and cloud and network service providers will gain direct and secure interconnection at speeds and latencies more typical of a LAN than a WAN, enabling them to bring products to market much faster and deliver a higher quality user experience. Players within the EMCEE are also able to slash expensive CAPEX and OPEX costs by leveraging more cost-effective, proximate cloud and network connections and choice of provider.

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To get a more comprehensive view of the media and entertainment industry’s interconnected future, check out our white paper “IOA Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Entertainment Media Cloud Ecosystem.”