AWS for M&E Blog

Enhance and monetize media archives with AWS Data Migration Service


With streaming platforms becoming ubiquitous, media and entertainment companies are looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. They are seeking ways to preserve, rediscover, enhance, restore, and monetize their content libraries to offer them to consumers.

In order to achieve this, it is recommended that media and entertainment companies migrate their entire content library to the cloud. However, this content is often spread across different locations and formats (cloud providers, data centers, remote locations & Linear Tape Open (LTO) archives) and can require digitization before migration. In addition, media assets often lack metadata, exist in a variety of file formats, and are stored in complex legacy proprietary databases. Managing migration can be logistically challenging for content companies, taking up critical operational and engineering resources. This is where Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS Data Migration Service can help.

What is AWS Data Migration Service (ADMS)?

The AWS Data Migration Service (ADMS) provides a mechanism to restore, access, and monetize legacy, archival content. It enables Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) based solutions for automated media analysis, metadata/hyper-tagging, knowledge graph for search, keyword/category search, visualization of content (auto thumbnail creation), localization (language track creation, local conformity), closed captioning, content rediscovery, and enablement and training.

ADMS aims to remove challenges and complex logistics when migrating large content libraries to AWS.

What value does ADMS unlock?

The key benefits of ADMS are:

  • Provide enterprises a mechanism to measure the economics of content
  • Opportunity to revitalize older media and content
  • Build a shared enterprise-wide content repository to support multiple use cases
  • Establish an ongoing archival program and practice for future migrations
  • Ability to distribute across departments, geographies, languages, and mediums
  • Metadata repository to enable natural language searches and intelligent libraries
  • Standardized media technology and operations to provide creative freedom
  • Integrate assets to flow across on-premises and cloud environments
  • Integration with existing Media Asset Management (MAM) solutions
  • Exposing media libraries for B2B distribution
  • Automated media analysis
  • Automate QC of localization

How does ADMS deliver value?

ADMS delivers benefits in a three-step process:

Step 1: Discovery, assessment, and ingest

As a first step, the ADMS team engages with customers to understand where content resides and builds an inventory list with locations, sizes, and file types along with capturing the state of media assets (online digitized, offline digitized, or non-digitized content). This discovery process informs the migration plan for moving assets to AWS. Based on the state and type of content and where it resides, the ADMS team builds customized migration strategies. These strategies would include use of AWS services such as AWS Datasync, AWS Direct Connect, AWS Elemental MediaConnect, AWS Elemental MediaConvert, and the AWS Snow Family for digitized assets. For scenarios like assets in offline storage (e.g. Iron Mountain), LTO tapes, and film reel, ADMS provides a white glove service to ensure your content migrates safely and efficiently.

Step 2: Content empowerment

During the content empowerment stage, the ADMS team works with the customer to understand content use cases, operational workflows, quality control, tagging, schemas, preservation, compliance, security, and usage reporting needs. Based on this, the team builds solutions and workflows for automated media analysis using Amazon Rekognition, metadata tagging, knowledge graph for natural language keyword and category search, along with solutions for visualization of content. For customers looking to build a unified media asset management (MAM) solution, the ADMS team assesses the existing MAM landscape and works to identify the tools to enable the desired experience. This involves technology and cost analysis along with building a roadmap that customers can use to drive migration. If a customer doesn’t have an existing MAM solution, the ADMS teams can guide them in the selection process to make sure it is ready to support cloud-based workflows.

The ADMS Service consists of 6 steps, 1) Asset Creation, 2)Data Validation, 3) Metadata extraction, 4)Tagging of assets, 5) AI/ML Enhancements, and 6) Intelligent Storage

Step 3: Content enhancement, localization and re-imagination

During this step, the ADMS team focuses on enabling differentiated features for a content library. These can range from:

  • Localization using Content Localization on AWS to create subtitles for video-on-demand content as well as using human-in-the-loop (HITL) capabilities from Amazon Transcribe and Amazon Translate to generate high-quality, multilingual subtitles.
  • Using Amazon Polly, customers can create custom voices to narrate content features (e.g. using a celebrity voice to narrate a movie preview) and build advanced voice-based accessibility solutions.
  • By analyzing access patterns for content libraries, customers can anticipate demands for rediscovery of content and make data-driven content buying/funding decisions. For example, an increased viewing of an older title can inform a funding decision for a programming reboot or a televised reunion.
  • Customers can also use AI/ML services to build content metadata to provide enhanced viewing experiences including visual warnings for violent content at time of play, detailed context or information about the contents of the scenes, or natural language search using sentiments.

Why ADMS versus self-managed migration?

For organizations looking to get the most out of their content, engaging the ADMS team provides the following benefits:

  1. Provides single-threaded ownership for ingestion, empowerment and enhancement program
  2. Direct and activate all required services, solutions, partners, media logistics (tape shipping, processing, etc.), integrations, vendors, and technology components for end-to-end compatibility and overall workflow design
  3. Evaluate and position the right solutions by tapping into AWS Service teams and the AWS Partner ecosystem
  4. Access to media and entertainment subject matter experts in storage, AI/ML, content monetization, architecture, media supply chain, database, production, metadata intelligence, and content moderation.
  5. Provide consulting, advisory, and execution capabilities
  6. Securely manage engagement from ideation to delivery

How to engage with the ADMS team?

To learn more about how to preserve, rediscover, enhance, restore, and monetize content or to build enhanced solutions for your existing content library, please contact us.

Nikhil Joshi

Nikhil Joshi

Nikhil is a cloud transformation leader focused on helping large Media & Entertainment clients adopt AWS in game changing ways to increase reach, build new revenue workstreams, and reduce time to market. Prior to joining AWS, Nikhil spent 15+ years in the consulting industry advising and leading mission critical cloud transformation and adoption programs for highly regulated enterprises.

Mario Monello

Mario Monello

With over 25 years of experience Mario is a lead on the Global Media and Entertainment ProServe team for Amazon Web Services (AWS). He specializes in delivering cloud compute platforms and solutions throughout the Media and Entertainment industry. Prior to joining AWS, he garnered a reputation for pioneering innovative production solutions and was responsible for leading enterprise-wide Media and Technology Transformations across NBC Universal and HBO.