“Cloud Ready” – the solution to the Media, Entertainment and Advertising sector

Russell Poole

Digital disruption and technological changes are causing shockwaves across many industry sectors, but perhaps none are feeling it as acutely as in Media, Entertainment and Advertising (MEA).

Serving viewers from a traditional network is simply no longer viable, and linear broadcasters are having to invest heavily in delivering on-demand, streaming services to ensure they remain competitive and serve their audiences appropriately.

The sheer size of data being generated from devices and content, in increasingly high-quality bandwidth-heavy formats is increasing.

When you add in unpredictable phenomenon’s like Pokémon Go, you realise the MEA industry is facing a perfect storm of exponential data growth and digital disruption that can be extremely challenging to navigate and process.

Getting cloud ready

Tackling this challenge requires a different approach to the traditional siloed IT infrastructure – to one in which media companies embrace greater collaboration with their digital supply chain and a strategic, innovative approach to the deployment of cloud services.

The Digital Production Partnership – the media industry’s business change network, has recently released its 2017 Predictions Report, enabled by Equinix – one of its members.

The report drawn up in consultation with subject matter experts from the whole media supply chain, provides a compelling real world view of what will drive media businesses in the next 12-24 months. By far the most pressing is the need to be “cloud ready”. Connected and cloud-led tools and services will soon become “the backbone of the media industry”, and while there will be a period of transition over the next two years as MEA companies get up to speed, there is no doubt that multi-cloud and interconnection will become the new normal for this sector.

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Embracing interconnection

In the past three years, there has been a huge uplift in the number of media companies embracing interconnection.

Within our globally located data centres, companies are cross-connecting directly to their digital partners, while also broadening the scope of their partnerships on a worldwide scale.

Many MEA companies are now using multiple cloud providers instead of a single vendor. This multi-cloud strategy, to pick and choose services, ensures they have the flexibility and scalability to respond to rapidly changing data demands, while also adding more security by avoiding the public internet.

Others are utilising hybrid clouds, where they set up their cloud architecture in a way that allows them to flexibly move the most often-used workloads to and from the public cloud, while storing archived data that is less frequently used in a private cloud.

The networks of MEA companies, cloud providers and other digital partners we have built up in our data centres is a true media ‘ecosystem’, in which all parts of the industry can quickly and safely transfer huge volumes of data and utilise the data centre as a central enabler of the production workflow. This flexibility and scalability will be vital for data volumes. This is especially important for broadcast IP delivery which relies on large storage and remote workflow. Video content will continue to proliferate as consumer expectations for on-demand content, delivered at low latency will become the norm.

Digital transformation

We’re seeing similar trends across other industries. The challenges of increasing data volumes, disparate customer networks and the need for low latency, high performance connections are faced by everyone from financial services and FinTech firms to manufacturing and retail businesses – but it’s the MEA sector where this transformation is gathering pace

It’s not just cloud services that will be high on the agenda for the sector. The other key trends highlighted by the DPP, in order of priority, are:

  • Appearance of new content aggregators
  • Reforming of business models
  • Automation
  • Connectivity constraints
  • Versioning – from cost to opportunity
  • Increasing content
  • Immersive moving into the mainstream

The next year or two will be a key period of change for the sector, but one thing is certain: it will be the companies that embrace interconnection and digital transformation that will navigate this challenging period successfully.

To read the full DPP report:

http://www.equinix.com/resources/whitepapers/digital-production-partnership-predictions/&rendermode=aasdasd2234/

To learn more about Interconnection Oriented Architecture: http://www.equinix.co.uk/ioa/