Over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) services have changed the consumer experience game for traditional TV providers. According to Nielsen’s research into VOD services, 65% of respondents in 61 countries claimed to watch some form of VOD programming. The shift to new internet era of media means traditional broadcasters and Pay-TV providers must adapt in order to deliver the best quality of experience for viewers across all platforms, while also developing faster go-to-market services to keep up in an increasingly competitive environment.
Cloud technology has emerged in recent years as a way to address the demands of today’s complex media landscape. The cloud offers broadcast and media operators to gain flexibility and to scale their operations easily and efficiently to meet consumer demands for ever-more immersive content, at any time and on any device.
How do broadcast and media operators benefit from the cloud?
As we move towards 2019, where does the relationship between cloud technology and media sector sit?
‘Cloud’ as a term can refer to different aspects of cloud technology or processes depending on who you speak to. It can mean the actual cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Rackspace), the different types of cloud (Public, Private or Hybrid) or even the technology related to how cloud operates (Openstack, SDN, NFV, Kubernetes). This has made it hard for broadcasters to navigate through the terminology and how each element impacts media delivery and experience.
When we asked our customers what they wanted to be able to incorporate in terms of functionality, responses included the need for flexibility, infrastructure dynamicity, as well as the ability to offload and scale in the public cloud for OTT and satellite. However, the single most important takeaway is agility and the ability to evolve quickly to changes in consumers’ consumption and business trends.
Where are we in the cloud journey?
Cloud has matured and progressed over the last 18 months. With cloud computing, broadcasters have been able to adopt modular solutions that can be swapped out according to changing requirements. Cloud native architecture is all about speed and these companies can now deliver new services quickly and cost-effectively, while at the same time have the capacity and flexibility to innovate.
By virtualizing the management of Linear, VOD or SVOD services to a cloud platform, traditional broadcasters can better manage their resources. These broadcasters can optimize the infrastructure usage, enable quick and seamless production application evolution or dynamically increase the quality of live channels to achieve the best experience – for example when switching between a high-quality sports game to a news program. Managing these processes via the cloud allows the operator to rapidly switch interfaces, delivering more immersive experiences and high-value content in a more effective manner.
By optimizing and scaling video head ends within the cloud it is also possible for broadcasters to unify ultra-high-definition, high-definition and standard definition video processing. This can lower latency and enable content to be delivered across multiple networks.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to migrating to cloud-enabled microservices and it can be a complex process to navigate. As the transformation in content delivery continues, the role of cloud technology has become more important to this process across the entire media chain: from upgrading the contribution and distribution parts down to a flexible delivery mode and personalized consumption experience.
It’s time to embrace the cloud
To remain competitive in the future, broadcast infrastructure needs to be built on and managed via flexible, software-defined and cloud native architectures. Operational excellence blended with best quality and innovation is the new standard, while use cases should be incorporated into building a proper journey for cloud migration in the future.
Yet, it is an organizational mind change that will be the real driving force for cloud deployment at scale. To be successful, the relationship between vendors and operators needs to become one of close collaboration and partnership.
MediaKind is leading the transformation and migration to cloud based media delivery in collaboration with our technology partners and customers by providing end-to-end solutions from the MediaKind Universe that span the entire media landscape for both live and on demand content – from contribution, distribution, head end and consumer delivery. We are enabling the industry to optimize cloud computing attributes without compromising on the core values of delivering compelling, personalized and immersive media services to end consumers regardless of the business model employed.
To find out more about our pioneering solutions – which includes our cloud-based TV platform, MediaFirst – click here.