AWS Media Blog

When cloud media management is cheaper: Comparing cloud to traditional on-premises

Guest post from Peter Henebäck, Executive Director at Mediasmiths

How do the costs of media management and editing in the cloud stack up against a traditional on-premises alternative?

Mediasmiths looked at this question for a scenario with a global media operation and decided to run the numbers. We brought out the spreadsheets and sat down with our partners at Vidispine and Magenta to look at costs over a three-year period. The results surprised even us.

Over a three-year period with multiple sites the cumulative costs of a cloud setup is 25% lower than a comparable on-premises setup where content is synchronized across multiple locations. Even when the cloud option included software integration work equivalent to 1.5 developers working full-time.

To learn more about the details behind the numbers, the totals costs, and to see what the TCO would look like for you, you can reach out to

The results are applicable for any company with global content operations with teams that need to collaborate and scale across geographies. This could be a company with global product and marketing teams, or a media business with global localisation and distribution needs.

What’s included

It is of course impossible to do an exact like-for-like comparison and for that reason all estimates and scope assumptions were kept conservative.


  • One site first year, expanding to three sites in the third year
  • Half of the costs for a cloud solution is software integration and development
  • No archive costs are included for either setup as the cost profiles would be too different
  • 1 site with 10 editors during first year, 2 sites with total of 20 editors in second year, 3 sites with a total of 40 editors in the third year


About Mediasmiths

Mediasmiths create bespoke media software and media systems integration for firms in the media industry. Learn more at

Mediasmiths is a certified AWS Standard Consulting Partner.