Published on April 5th, 2017 | by gareth0
How the Media and Entertainment Industries are Turning to Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has disrupted the IT world, and it’s shaking up the media and entertainment industries, too. In 2016, businesses spent $111 billion shifting from traditional IT resources to the cloud, according to Gartner estimates. By 2020, this shift will bring the total direct and indirect cloud IT spending to more than $1 trillion. As the IT industry shifts more and more to the cloud, the media and entertainment industries will continue to follow this migration. Here’s a look at three ways the cloud is reshaping media and entertainment.
Production and Post-Production
One area where cloud computing has radically transformed the media and entertainment industries is production and post-production. Producing a film or TV show today can take a huge amount of storage space, especially when heavy editing, CGI or special effects demands become involved.
For instance, Lucasfilm’s data center requires petabytes of storage space, equivalent to millions of gigabytes. Space is required to store not only film footage from all takes and camera angles, but also all editing and backups. Moreover, the same footage may need to be accessed by personnel from multiple departments, which increases the demands on studio servers in terms of storage, queuing time and costs.
To address these issues, production studios have shifted to the cloud. Atomic Fiction, which has worked on productions such as Game of Thrones and Rogue One, has enjoyed cost savings of as much as 50 percent from using the cloud. Atomic Fiction visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie said a scene that would take 10 hours to produce using 100 traditional computers can be completed in just one hour at the same cost by leasing 1,000 cloud computers. Baillie foresees entire studios eventually moving to the cloud due to the huge financial and creative benefits. He anticipates that this will level the playing field, enabling small studios to access the same IT resources as industry giants such as Industrial Light & Magic.
However, one concern that some studios have in moving to the cloud is security. Leaked film footage can cripple a company’s marketing strategy. To deal with this issue, the Motion Picture Association of America has issued guidelines for cloud deployments, and studios that use the cloud are carefully screening cloud providers. Baillie says that well-managed cloud providers can actually be more secure than in-house IT due to the fact that cloud companies must prioritize security. For instance, automatic cloud backup provider Mozy uses military-grade encryption to protect its clients’ backups.
Advertising is another area where cloud computing is revolutionizing the media and entertainment industries. Traditional advertising has centered around TV, radio and print ads. But the rise of mobile smartphones has changed the way the public consumes media and advertising. Last year, digital ad spending passed TV ad spending for the first time in history, eCommerce reported.
This has transformed the way the media and entertainment industries conduct advertising by promoting digitization. Ads are now designed primarily for mobile devices rather than for TV screens. And ad formats designed for print media, such as newspapers and magazines, are now geared toward digital publishing formats. TVs now come Internet-enabled, and even TV programming guides are now digital.
The digitization of advertising has been accompanied by a shift toward digitally-delivered products. Video streaming from services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have surpassed live TV viewing, with a 2015 Deloitte survey finding that 56 percent of Americans regularly stream movies and 53 percent stream TV shows, compared to 45 percent who watch TV live.
Video streaming and downloads have also overtaken DVD sales, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association. And the news and publishing industries have seen similar trends, with 38 percent of Americans now getting their news online compared to 20 percent who still read newspapers. Meantime, 28 percent of all Americans now read e-books, although print still remains the preferred medium for book readers.
Industry watchers see these trends portending a sea change in the way media and entertainment is distributed and consumed. Consumers increasingly expect to be able to search all distribution channels through a single digital interface. Connected and cloud-based tools will become the backbone of the media industry during the next two years, as more content is produced for more platforms at higher quality and speed.