Cloud Distribution: “Standard and Specific” Broadcast Workflows Starting to Emerge

03/25/22

This article was originally published on IBC365.

While the migration to cloud-based production has tended to the dominate the headlines, the admittedly slower and more nuanced emergence of cloud distribution should not be undervalued, writes David Davies.

It is not always easy to identify the precise moment when a new technology crosses over from being a theoretical possibility to a commonly achievable reality. In broadcast, IP-based media is an obvious recent example, but the same could probably be said of the cloud. In this case, though, it might not have been overly helpful that much of the industry discussion has tended to focus on the often-revelatory possibilities of cloud-based production.

So through the course of more than a half-dozen interviews for this feature, it’s nice to be able to confirm that migration to the cloud of another critical area – distribution – is also increasing, albeit in a slower, less uniform and more nuanced way. “Cloud distribution is used more and more across all the different types of distribution,” said Kristian Mets, Head of Sales, Business Development at Net Insight, adding that “standard and specific cloud workflows for cloud distribution are emerging as they involve other technologies and competences related to cloud management. They do not vary a lot depending on what cloud is used.”

“With FAST channels and SVOD being 100% cloud-supported, the transition is almost entirely to cloud. As you move upstream towards more traditional methods and sources of content production like archive and linear playout, the supply chain workflows are actually increasingly on-prem and people-driven. So there is definitely a disparity across sectors.”- Symon Roue, Managing Director

Symon Roue, Managing Director, VIDA

But John Wastcoat, SVP Alliances and Marketing at Zixi, is not alone in identifying the multiple factors informing different rates of adoption across media applications. “There is considerable variation in leveraging cloud for distribution, as well as lot of experimentation being made possible,” he said. “For example, event-driven operations heavily leverage cloud resources, taking advantage of the dynamic scaling of resources on demand. [Then there are] broadcasters who need to rapidly deploy new channels, such as FAST channels, or who are developing novel audience experiences and will also generally leverage a cloud-first strategy.

“For operators who are managing a large number of fixed linear channels with predictable usage, the cloud benefits of dynamic scale and on-demand provisioning are less needed, [while] options to constrain costs, especially egress costs, where the channels operate on a perpetual basis are important.”

Symon Roue, Managing Director of VIDA, offers another variation on the FAST factor: “With FAST channels and SVOD being 100% cloud-supported, the transition is almost entirely to cloud. As you move upstream towards more traditional methods and sources of content production like archive and linear playout, the supply chain workflows are actually increasingly on-prem and people-driven. So there is definitely a disparity across sectors.”

(To read the full article on IBC365, click here.)