Watching a program at a specific time on the household TV is no longer the only way to consume media. Over-the-air TV broadcasts have given way to on-demand content of every conceivable sort from an ever-growing number of sources. Consumers have come to demand all kinds of content on any device in any location.
This drastic change in viewing habits is driving an equally drastic change in how content is created. Entities like Netflix and Amazon, whose productions rival those of the biggest networks and movie studios, have rendered the historical model less relevant every day. Even viewers are getting in on the action and generating content themselves. (Think everyone from football fans who post their favorite highlights, to YouTube stars who garner hundreds of thousands of followers.)
The same holds true for content distribution. Until recently, most content was created for linear programming and handed off to a cable or satellite company for distribution, while the digital master went into a passive archive behind a firewall — cold storage that was literally the end of the line for linear content. Today, content is being distributed via OTT platforms alongside independent outlets such as HBO Go. In addition to cable headends and satellite uplink facilities, media companies now must deliver content to myriad platforms, which means they have to transcode that content for each digital endpoint (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.).
These seismic shifts are forcing media companies to embrace new architectures and workflows built around cloud-based asset management. Today’s media companies need to bring content out from behind the firewall and make it available in an active, cloud-accessible archive (“active” meaning that the content can be stored and recalled easily and repeatedly)
If the new content workflow is truly cloud-native — that is, purposely built to operate in the cloud — then it can streamline processes and improve collaboration across all phases of the content lifecycle. With everything in the cloud, media companies can produce, edit, transcode, deliver, and archive content in a single, ubiquitous location that anyone with the right credentials can access, no matter where they are in the world. All of this eliminates the need to move content from site to site as it goes through its life.
Furthermore, a cloud-native solution enables all sorts of advantages when it comes to finding, sharing, and monetizing content. For example, it can power access to transcripts and interviews and employ advanced metadata enrichment, all of which help people quickly find speciﬁc moments. It can also drive the underlying search experience, which enables online search portals with granular layers of access. Once people find what they want, a cloud-native solution can transcode and package the content as needed for a given request.
The days of creating content behind the firewall are dead. Progressive companies are looking to cloud ecosystems, which are ultimately nimbler and make it easier to collaborate and produce content meant for the vast and growing number of digital endpoints.
Andy Hurt is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at Wazee Digital.