March 21, 2020
Exploring how Entertainment is Going Digital
In the last few years, entertainment giants such as Apple and Disney have woken up to the revenue potential of the streaming service market that Netflix has long dominated. They’ve directed huge volumes of capital in their quest to seize market share, with Disney’s streaming business alone now worth a staggering $100 billion. It’s an exciting time for the sector no doubt. But in the age of the streaming wars, production teams have their work cut out. Content development and deployment requires huge swathes of increasingly high resolution video content (up to 8K) to be accessed and distributed readily on a global scale. Media production is also becoming more complex as production houses and associated post-production vendors transition to real-time collaboration and production. Moving content through production workflows and between creatives, executives and vendors involves copying and transferring files numerous times. This process can take a lot of time and easily lead to duplications and accidental deletions, subject to human error. You also risk being penalized financially for taking data in and out of the cloud, or moving it between a cloud provider’s storage tiers if data no longer needs to be accessed quickly, or needs to be archived. Collapsing timelines for delivery and burgeoning VFX shot counts also compound storage requirements. For example, the second season of the Netflix hit show ‘Stranger Things’, released as a whole season in-line with modern distribution trends, contained over 2,000 VFX shots in its own right - and VFX staff recall needing to be in pre, mid and post production simultaneously. With so much data at play needing to be stored long-term and accessed quickly by multiple different parties, one of the main challenges for players in the media and entertainment industry is in creating a robust and cost-effective storage strategy. As data demands grow and real-time collaboration on workflows increases, centralizing data depositories within super-fast cloud infrastructure to stay within schedules and budgets is crucial for success. The need to store large amounts of raw footage, rough cuts as well as the finished product in a highly secure and reliable environment should be a number one priority.