Omdia study: how the media and entertainment industry uses cloud marketplace solutions
In the past two years, use of media has changed considerably. Media production companies had to accelerate their adoption of cloud-based infrastructure and technologies to support the shift to home consumption and remote work. As this shift occurs, media providers are looking to diversify revenue streams to take better advantage of consumer spending for entertainment. To better understand these changes and new strategies, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace and Omdia brought together industry leaders to discuss cloud transformation. Leaders from Ant Media and Conductor joined AWS and Omdia as panelists in the webinar, How cloud technology enhances the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry. This blog post provides a summary of that webinar.
Dan Simmons, Research Director at Omdia, explains the M&E industry industry wants to do new things for customers and for itself. Today’s media providers are experimenting with new technologies and business models that will give them more operational agility and flexibility. These models will enable providers to rapidly create and deliver content and to easily scale innovations in response to ever-changing customer demands.
Movie and TV studios, broadcasters, and streaming providers are moving towards cloud-based production models. Cloud solutions provide the tools that media companies need to scale, streamline, or simplify workflows and manage direct-to-consumer (D2C) video services. Moving forward, cloud technologies will position media companies to take better advantage of online growth opportunities.
The five key findings of Omdia’s M&E industry survey
In 2022, Omdia conducted an online survey of video service providers to evaluate their use of cloud solutions. The survey offered insights on the benefits of cloud services for companies in the M&E industry. The following five key findings came to light.
- Cloud-supported solutions offer both technological and financial advantages.
For media content providers, cloud solutions support an increased level of production and a broader range of business activities. Cloud solutions help to streamline and consolidate production workflows, reduce time to deployment, and increase the ability to rapidly scale streaming content. Cloud platforms and solutions enable media companies to increase access to new technologies for both in-house and remote employees.
In addition, cloud solutions help media providers reduce upfront capital expenditures (CAPEX) for new technologies and initiate cost control in production. In particular, marketplace-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions enable media companies to reduce expenses by using operational expenditures (OPEX) for technology procurement.
- Complex workflows are triggering a gap in technical skills and knowledge.
As they move to cloud-based workflows, media companies work across a mix of appliances, software-defined hardware, and private and public clouds. While this mix gives them the content creation tools they need, the company’s employees might not be able to use those tools effectively.
According to Dave Polyard, AWS Marketplace Global Industry Customer Lead for M&E, many media companies try to improve their employees’ skills and knowledge through in-house training. They may hire additional skilled personnel to increase their technical capabilities. But there is a third option. Online cloud marketplaces have professional services available, enabling media companies to bridge the skills gap by outsourcing work to third-party service providers.
- M&E companies must experiment with and test cloud-based solutions as they integrate them into workflows.
Oguz Mermerkaya is the CEO and co-founder of Ant Media, creators of Ant Media Server, a real-time, low-latency streaming engine for content. Since this product is available on a marketplace platform, he reports, product managers and software developers have the opportunity to test it. This enables them to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Ant Media Server and see if it is a good solution for their online streaming needs.
Thomas Phariss is Vice-President of Sales at Conductor, a software service that provides automated, production-scale rendering in the cloud. Visual effects and animation studios use Conductor to render special effects shots.
Phariss explains that movie directors often like to see multiple iterations of the same visual effects shot. This enables them to pick the one that works for them. Since Conductor is available on a cloud platform, it offers near-infinite compute power and memory. This gives computer generated imagery (CGI) artists more time to produce multiple iterations of visual effects since they’re not restricted by the limits of their infrastructure.
- AI and ML will drive the next wave of cloud investment.
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology, media content providers are better able to adapt quickly to increasingly challenging market demands. AI uses the cloud to improve data-centric workflow functions such as context-aware encoding, which supports intelligent media technologies like automatic subtitling or versioning. The general orchestration layer that governs cloud-based workflow elements supports higher levels of automation. This enables providers to easily reconfigure workflows to create new content. AI/ML also improves analysis of collected customer data, which helps media companies better understand and respond to consumer wants and needs.
- Online marketplaces make it quicker and easier for M&E companies to use cloud benefits.
Using online cloud marketplaces, media providers can license industry-specific software and integrate it with on-premises or cloud-based solutions. Marketplaces reduce the technical barriers to cloud adoption and offer scalable SaaS pricing structures. Marketplaces provide a single source for advanced tools and cloud-centric professional services. Furthermore, cloud marketplaces provide a platform for experimenting with cloud solutions. Media companies can test out the quality and reliability of a cloud-based application and find out how well it fits their needs.
Media companies should think of cloud marketplaces as a toolbox for the future, offering the production and AI/ML tools they need. These tools will help them to create high-quality content, understand changing consumer needs, and respond quickly to new customer demands.
To learn what else the Omdia survey reveals about how M&E companies are transforming themselves through cloud services, view the webinar How cloud technology enhances the Media & Entertainment industry. It was hosted by Dan Simmons, Research Director – Media Delivery, Omdia, and features a panel discussion with Oguz Mermerkaya, CEO/Founder, Ant Media; Thomas Phariss, VP of Sales, Conductor; and Dave Polyard, Global Industry Customer Lead, Media & Entertainment, AWS Marketplace.
About the author
Dave Polyard is the Global Industry Customer Lead, M&E at AWS Marketplace. Dave’s expertise includes broadcast automation systems, news production systems, content storage management (CSM) systems, and workflows related to the migration of content to the cloud. Dave has led successful workshops for AWS customers on topics including content preservation and media archiving. Prior to joining AWS, Dave was a senior executive for several broadcast technology firms as well as a former broadcast journalist.