Transformation within a business or industry requires a radical change in mindset as new operational models and technologies emerge. This is certainly true of the telecom, media and entertainment industry, which is witnessing a level of transformation and growth on an unprecedented scale.
In the first part of my blog, I explained how broadcasters and TV operators are experiencing a ‘platformization’ of their services, transitioning from channel aggregation to service aggregation, while content owners are developing platforms of their own. This level of growth calls for a renewed outlook on the tools and technologies media companies can adopt to propel themselves into the digital future.
Moving technology to the cloud
Lift the lid on any modern media workflow, and you’ll see that the transition to the cloud is already well underway. Contribution and primary distribution are progressively moving towards the public cloud, with playout and streaming following close behind. Once these workflows become fully cloud-native, we’ll also see content and live production move to the cloud. This means contribution will become much more focussed on moving content from the stadium or arena into the public cloud, and a lot more primary distribution will happen inside or from the public cloud.
Advertising insertion will also grow in line with dynamic ad-insertion. Existing broadcast channels are already adding streaming versions of their broadcast channels and new D2C channels, increasing the global channel count and requiring a greater number of aggregator services. This will accelerate the move towards the cloud for all players in the ecosystem. What’s more, we’re increasingly seeing TV operators face a crunch with growing content costs and subscriber declines, particularly in the US. Those TV operators will start to look at overall video strategies for new operational models, with big growth expected in the D2C market through subscription or ad-funded subscribers.
Preparing for a streaming-first future
One of the most valuable transitions telcos and media companies can capitalize on to grow their business is moving from one-time capital expenditure (CAPEX) deals to recurring revenue subscription-type deals (OPEX). When looking at growth trends in a company’s financial reports or analyst charts, this shift can sometimes appear to be an overall flattening of the market. However, that change in revenue type has huge potential to boost the valuation of media businesses. In other words, if you read between the lines, there can often be a lot of hidden growth.
MediaKind recognizes this need among our customers. It’s why we created our subscription-style Managed Cloud Applications (MCA) – a new operational pattern whereby software is deployed, and lifecycle managed by MediaKind but within a customer’s own cloud account. This has the benefit of using a customer’s preferred CSP (Cloud Service Provider) vendor, typically being selected as part of a wider company transformation, while taking advantage of agreements and spending commitments with that CSP for media applications. This brings the customer much closer to our developers, where they can effectively monitor the service, ensure they’re working towards the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and we can react to and fix any problems much faster.
Partners make more happen
We wouldn’t be able to offer these new services and develop our technologies without leveraging our partners and cloud providers. Arqiva, for example, has played a central role in the development of our MCAs, offering its deep experience and expertise in managing end-to-end media services alongside our broadcast and streaming technical know-how and lifecycle management. Media specialists such as Lumen and HPE also enable us to scale our products and expand into new markets that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Product partnering also helps us do things we’re not set up to do and makes a huge amount of sense from a technology and investment standpoint. For example, MediaKind partners with the real-time engagement platform Monterosa to build fan engagement capabilities within our customers’ platforms, including betting, graphics, quizzes, and live player stats. These types of partnerships significantly expand the value we can bring to our customers.
Making the most of your media service
As telcos, broadcasters, TV operators, and content owners continue to launch new channels and aggregate their services under the streaming umbrella, there are many exciting opportunities for all media companies to drive innovation. The media and entertainment world is at a pivotal moment in this regard.
COVID-19 was the first-time people realized how important an internet connection was, often being the only link to the physical world outside of our four walls. This laid the foundations for the mass adoption of technologies that have enabled the first step toward the metaverse. Many companies, including Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Roblox, and Disney, are heavily investing in this future – I discuss this topic further in my new article for Digital Innovation magazine.
The future is about delivering a higher level of interactivity and personalization into the consumer experience. Those who get it right will place themselves front-and-center of our new media universe. The actions taken by media companies in the coming months will determine how we all engage, inform, and play in the digital world of the future.