Last Updated on March 25, 2023 by Ashish
The media and entertainment industry has multiple segments that fall under the same umbrella. In this blog post, we will try to understand how cloud computing is impacting the media and Entertainment Industry segments in 2022. Examples of these segments are movies, television, music, publishing, gaming, radio, and advertising, to name a few. Now, we are all normalized to being around and consuming media and entertainment. The industry has evolved with the times and technological changes.
In this blog post, we will be diving into the modern types of entertainment and media, take a look into the past of traditional media and how it differs from new media, understand the current challenges faced by the media and entertainment industry and the cloud solutions that help overcome these challenges.
Let’s take a look at some of the segments that fall under the media and entertainment industry.
Segments of the Media and Entertainment Industry:
The film industry is comprised of movies, theaters, TV subscriptions such as Netflix, streaming content such as Twitch, and the distribution of filmed entertainment. Essentially, it is the industry involved in the creation and distribution of films as products.
The United States and Canada are one of the most influential film-producing countries in the world. As of mid-2022, all of the most expensive films produced in history were either in collaboration with studios in the US or made in the US. However, the effects of the pandemic are evident because, in 2021, theaters in the two countries premiered 403 titles as compared to 873 titles in 2018. During the pandemic, many were forced to stay quarantined indoors and relied on subscription-based streaming services to watch movies.
The music industry encompasses performing, recording, and selling music through different mediums. The most common medium for distributing and listening to music is through music streaming platforms such as Spotify. Live shows and concerts are also part of the music industry. The products offered in this industry have evolved over the years. In the 20th century, music was distributed using vinyl records and then transitioned into tape cassettes, then CDs, and now the most common distribution means are through the Internet such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Traditional Media And Entertainment
In this section, we will look into the media and entertainment industry before the Internet existed. How did people keep themselves entertained prior to the existence of the Internet and what are its limitations?
Types of Traditional Media
Traditional media are means of communication and entertainment before the existence of the Internet. Examples of traditional media are
- Printed materials – Paper-based means of communication that include newspapers and magazines. In this digital era, traditional print media is still the most trusted source of news and information. This could be due to a few reasons.
Firstly, printed media publications have been established for decades longer than mass digital media. With the current rampant trend of fake news, people turn to printed materials to obtain more credible sources of information.
Another benefit of printed materials is it is highly accessible. People living in remote and rural areas with low income might not have access to the Internet which cuts them off from digital news. Hence, printed media is the more affordable and accessible option for more people compared to digital media.
- Broadcast communications – Television broadcasting began around 1928 when silhouette images from motion picture films were broadcast to the public on a regular basis at a resolution of only 48 lines. Since then, constant research has been conducted to increase television resolution and technology. Before the Internet came into existence, people relied on television for entertainment and news. Drama series and movies were the main form of entertainment provided through television.
Before television was introduced to the general public, people relied on broadcast radio to gain information and keep themselves entertained. Radio stations would share current news, sports talk, and music. People could only listen to the news, talks, and music but could not watch them.
Although printed media, television, and the radio have been established for many decades, it still has their drawbacks. Below is a list of disadvantages of traditional media and entertainment.
- Radio medium is limited to the audio message, requires channel switching for best quality audio, and high advertising
- One-way communication
- News is not in real-time – News that is presented to the public is not from real-time events but rather from events a few days prior.
- Lack of options – Traditional television constantly airs repeats of the same movie and television shows so watchers are forced to watch repeats and can get bored quickly.
- Entertainment mediums are not portable – People cannot watch movies or television shows outside their homes. Radio can be used to listen to podcasts or music, but it cannot be moved around without requiring constant changes in the radio wave.
Modern Media And Entertainment
In this section, we will look into the media and entertainment industry after the Internet became mainstream. How did the media and entertainment industry change after the Internet appeared? What are the advantages and challenges of modern media and entertainment?
Changes In Modern Media And Entertainment
The media and entertainment mediums faced constant changes alongside rapid technological advancements. In 2022, it is common to find television sets that are touch-screen, including WiFi connectivity features and other smart features as compared to traditional TVs that could only stream a few of the mainstream broadcast stations. Netflix, a subscription-based movie and drama streaming service, allows people to watch a plethora of movies and shows over the Internet. Radios aren’t as popular now. Instead, people opt to listen to podcasts or music on their smartphones, anytime and anywhere, through applications like Spotify.
Below is a list of other changes in the industry thanks to the Internet and advanced technology. You will see that media and entertainment are not constricted to published papers, television, and radio only. In contrast, the industry is becoming broader by the day.
- Streaming services are taking over traditional television shows – A streaming service is an online provider of entertainment such as music, movies, and shows, that delivers its products via the Internet to the subscriber’s computer, television set, or mobile phone. Some of the most successful streaming service providers are Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Disney+.
- Social media as a new form of entertainment – Social media are applications and websites that allow users to create and share their own content. TikTok is a huge social media platform that many people go to when looking for quick entertainment. Twitter is a place where people can discover news in almost real time.
- Music can be listened to anywhere, even offline – Many kinds of music streaming platforms offer subscriptions and benefits of downloading music for users to play even when there is no Internet connection. People are now able to choose between millions of songs, all on their phones or smart devices.
- High-quality movies – Movie production companies use high-tech and advanced software to create high-quality films such as seamless green screens and CGI. Fictional movies and shows look realistic since high-tech software is used.
Below are some advantages of applying technology in media and entertainment.
- Provide consumers with the choice to choose what they want to watch instead of forcing consumers to watch TV packages with uninteresting content.
- Entertainment and media websites provide users with personalized content. This makes entertainment more personal and engaging.
- Provides multiple subscription types at different prices. This allows users to subscribe to content they can afford and reach a bigger market.
- Movies, shows, and music video contents are of high quality.
Current Challenges In The Media And Entertainment Industry
Although technology has significant positive effects on the media and entertainment industry, it also creates multiple challenges.
- Highly-competitive market – There are many subscription-based streaming services available in the market consumers can choose from. Usually, people will only subscribe to a few streaming platforms, not all. Hence, each streaming company must make itself very desirable to attract more customers and compete against other companies.
- Increased importance in changing business models – People are now more attracted to content that are relatable and engaging. So, movies, shows, and music must find new ways to connect with people, distribute content on the best social media platform and market themselves rigorously. This can be done through social media posts, hiring social media influencers to promote movies, shows, and music, or airing entertainment and media content on streaming services directly rather than on CDs or albums.
- Hesitant to adopt new technology – Not all entertainment and media industries are brave enough to adopt technology into their business model. These companies will quickly become unrelatable and uninteresting to consumers and can lead to business failure.
- Managing data – Businesses use data to garner insight into consumer behavior and make forecasts. Companies require the right data that suits their model and needs. The wrong data could only lead to more confusion and hinder progress.
- More fake news – People are free to post a piece of information online to thousands of other users. Fake news is fabricated information that is posted online which can cause confusion or worry to other consumers. Around 67% of Americans that believe fake news experience confusion and 38.2% of Americans accidentally shared fake news because it seemed very believable.
- Cybersecurity issues and privacy breaches – There are hackers that hack into users’ accounts to steal information, credentials, passwords, or personal pictures and videos. Online entertainment companies must spend money and time investing in security measures to hinder cybersecurity threats.
- Rise in Deepfakes – Although artificial intelligence is beneficial to businesses, it can also be a problem in itself. Advanced AI can now produce deep-fake videos that look highly realistic and cause confusion or spread terror in the community.
How does Cloud Computing Help Boost the Media and Entertainment Industry?
To keep up with the rapid change in technology and heightened customer expectations, media, and entertainment companies must find ways to accelerate their business. One aspect that these companies are concerned with is storage.
Storage is an important part of organizing and managing media and entertainment services. It requires advanced methods of optimization as image resolution increases, digital preservation gains momentum, and remote work increases.
Below are a few principles media and entertainment industries must be mindful of.
- Flexibility – Companies must be flexible in changing storage configurations to move files quicker and possess the ability to seamlessly adjust storage requirements based on use cases.
- Scalability – Storage solutions must be scalable to accommodate rapidly and constantly changing file sizes. Non-scalable solutions will delay the delivery of media and entertainment, causing issues at the consumer end.
- Connectivity – The company’s storage solutions’ connections must be reliable and adaptable to changes in the digital infrastructure. The adopted solution must be able to work with different types of communication configurations such as on-premise servers, cloud, hybrid, and more.
- Security – Companies must take cybersecurity seriously and implement technology that can detect and stop cybersecurity breaches. Valuable and confidential customer information is entrusted to media and entertainment companies. Any cyberattack will bring operations to a stop, and cause mistrust
How Can the Cloud Computing Elevate The Media and Entertainment Industry?
Below are a few ways the cloud can help boost the media and entertainment industry.
- Meet customer expectations – Consumers expect high-quality content that can be accessed at any place and at any time. Media and entertainment companies must have the technological capacity that is scalable to meet fluctuating customer expectations.
The Cloud is a technology that is highly scalable and agile which means it can meet changes in customer demands.
- Deliver new content – More customers opt for on-demand or streaming movies and shows. So, creators must develop and distribute content in a short period of time and deliver it at an optimum time to capture audiences. On-premise solutions are not agile enough to store and manage large-sized and fast-paced digital content.
The Cloud’s inherent agility provides businesses with the ability to quickly deliver content to customers.
- Reducing costs – To build on-premise infrastructures to accommodate the fast-paced industry would require expensive capital. Money must also be invested in high-quality servers, storage hardware, maintenance, and labor.
With the Cloud, businesses are able to save costs by only paying for the cloud service. Cloud service providers will take care of building and maintaining infrastructure, so media and entertainment businesses do not have to invest money in infrastructure anymore. The costs saved as a result of adopting Cloud Computing can then be used to push more quality entertainment or other business strategies.
- Minimize disruptions – Streaming downtime can destroy customer experience, increase negative reviews, upset sponsors, and loss in advertising profits.
Cloud solutions are able to offer redundant architectures and improved connectivity which reduces the chances or duration of downtime.
Cloud Computing Solutions for The Media And Entertainment Industry
Google Cloud has multiple solutions available to transform content production and distribution across the world.
- Data warehouse modernization – BigQuery
- Move to Google Cloud’s modern data warehouse to solve today’s analytics demands and scale your business.
- Accelerate time to value with serverless analytics
- Run analytics cost-effectively with BigQuery’s machine-learning capabilities
- Audience insights – Looker
- Access, analyze, and act on updated data
- Improve productivity and innovation by delivering more insights to more users
- Looker provides a real-time view of your data across multiple clouds to the entire organization
- AI-enriched video content – Video AI
- Precise video analysis that recognizes over 20,000 objects, actions, and places in the video
- Extract metadata at the video shot or frame level and simplify media management
- Gain real-time insights with streaming video annotation and object-based event triggers
- Infrastructure modernization – Multiple solutions
AWS has multiple solutions available to transform media workloads with the most purpose-built capabilities.
- Content production
- Create content faster
- Collaborate with global talent
- Focus on content, not infrastructure
- Amazon Nimble Studio: Rapidly onboard, collaborate and create content faster
- NICE DCV: Remote display protocol for secure delivery to remote desktops and application streaming
- AWS Thinkbox Deadline: Hassle-free hybrid administration and compute management software
- Media supply chain and archive
- Most reliable storage option for media archives with 11 9’s durability.
- Intelligent solutions to unlock metadata from content libraries
- Largest partner network to transform your supply chain
- AWS Elemental MediaConvert: Process videos and clips to prepare on-demand content
- Amazon S3: Object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.
- Amazon S3 Glacier: Long-term, secure, durable Amazon S3 object storage.
Azure provides multiple solutions to create content more quickly, maximize engagement, and collaborate from anywhere.
- Content creation – Avere vFXT
- Description: Protects your infrastructure investment while managing new demands. Provides low latency and scalability, efficiency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
- Process large datasets in the cloud quickly and easily
- Access scalable infrastructure as needed
- Run file-based workloads in Azure
- Content management- Azure Video Indexer
- Description: This solution builds upon media AI technologies for easy insight extraction from videos. These insights can be used for content discovery and to enrich apps.
- Make your content more discoverable
- Improve engagement with your videos
- Make your video apps more intelligent
- Content distribution and monetization – Azure Media Services
- Description: Manage, transform and deliver media content with cloud-based workflows.
- Boost media discoverability and performance using Video Indexer
- Support your modern content distribution using Azure Media Player, Encoding, and Dynamic packaging.
- Scale delivery according to your needs
- Empower consumers with personalized experience – Digital Experience
- Oracle CX Marketing: Understand, acquire, and retain consumers with connected data and intelligence in one solution
- Oracle CS Commerce: Increase consumer engagement by leveraging buyer signals
- Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote Cloud: Enable configuration and pricing across channels
- Oracle CX Service: Connect all service touchpoints throughout the CX journey
- Oracle Data Cloud
Now, let’s look into Cloud solutions that have been applied in real media and entertainment businesses.
Google Cloud – Sky
Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and telecommunications companies operating in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain. Sky provides TV, streaming, mobile TV, broadband, talk, and line rental services to millions of customers in seven countries. To ensure optimum user experience, Sky collects diagnostic data from its TV boxes for analysis and action.
Previously, in 2013, Sky used the Hadoop cluster to gather data. However, with the commercialization of the new Sky Q boxes, Sky started to see bottlenecks in the diagnostic data collection setup. The on-premises infrastructure struggled to meet increased demand. Then, Sky looked to create cloud-based architecture that could scale to handle not only diagnostics but all data from all Sky products to improve the overall Sky experience.
To achieve that goal, Sky worked with Google Cloud’s partner Datatonic to create a solution on Google Cloud. Data loss caused by bottlenecks was avoided by landing diagnostic data from the TV set-top boxes directly in Cloud Pub/Sub. The data is then passed through Cloud Dataflow to Cloud Storage and BigQuery.
Sky publishes between 200 to 300 million events per day. Cloud Pub/Sub can handle that volume with no manual interference needed. The entire pipeline was built with Google-managed services so the solution scales automatically to match the peaks during set-top box bursts.
Google Cloud’s BigQuery is at the heart of the solution. It can supply dashboards in Tableau and act as a hub for all collected data on a self-serve basis for a range of teams and tools.
No data loss or noteworthy accidents were detected since the launch. Sky continuously scales out the solutions to more set-top boxes and countries without friction or rework.
It took Sky and Datatonic just six weeks to develop, test, and go live with the new solution. Google Cloud Sky can now report all diagnostic data successfully from Sky Q boxes.
In 2020, Netflix keeps in contact with over 100 million customers in 190 countries using Amazon SES.
Before migration to Amazon SES, Netflix used in-house solutions for sending emails. This solution had overheads such as running dedicated servers with email delivery software, optimizing email-sending practices, and more. Scaling to new regions also was not easy because Netflix had to replicate the setup in each new region.
Another challenge was that Netflix sends different types of emails. They are transactional messages, product messages for current customers, and marketing messages. Each email type had its own level of importance.
Netflix was looking for an email solution that was flexible and affordable, highly scalable, had global reach, and promised excellent deliverability. They believed Amazon SES could help Netlfix to be elastic, pay-as-you-go, and can stop worrying about optimizing settings for each ISP.
To begin, Netflix created pools of dedicated IP addresses. For example, transactional messages were sent from one pool of IP addresses, while marketing messages were sent from another. These dedicated IP pools allow Netflix was able to isolate the reputations of different pools and maximize the delivery of its most critical communications.
Then, Netflix started routing small amounts of mail to Amazon SES to check if they were satisfied with Amazon SES bounce and complaint rates, sender reputation, and inbox placement rates. Once they were satisfied, Netlfix gradually sent more and more emails through Amazon SES. Finally, Netflix was able to migrate its email-sending tasks to Amazon SES.
Amazon SES had inbox placement rates exceeding 99% and a reputation score of 97/100. Delighted with these results, Netflix shut down its in-house email solution and migrated 100% of its email-sending asks to Amazon SES. Amazon SES has the ability to seamlessly integrate with other AWS services.
Microsoft Azure – Kantar Group
Kantar Group works with big media companies from around the world to improve brand awareness, attract customers, and sustain themselves financially. Entertainment on Demand which is a business unit within Kantar’s Worldpanel Division wanted to help its entertainment clients understand customer behavior and the propensity of customers to abandon a streaming service. Kantar used Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and its automated capabilities to analyze behavioral data and profile customers.
Different streaming series offer different diverse content and distinct tiers of service with their own niches. What is driving customer decisions to choose which service, to unsubscribe to switch to a new service?
Worldpanel, a division of internationally based Kantar Group, having launched Entertainment on Demand, includes as part of its offering a customer loyalty analysis solution to help entertainment clients grow.
Although Kantar had tried out machine learning services from various companies that provide BI solutions, Kantar was still wanting more – data storage, data cleaning, machine learning, insights, and visualization all within a single solution. The company wanted a more robust, cloud-based system to scale its analysis of bulk data. After having positive experiences with Microsoft Power BI to visualize data, Kantar decided to look into Azure for its cloud infrastructure and machine learning solutions.
Other than Azure Machine Learning, Kantar’s data science team chose multiple Azure platforms as service components as well. These solutions are Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Blob Storage, and recent experimentation with Azure Data Factory. Azure Analysis Services is used as the analytics engine for its data models, Azure SQL Database for intelligent SQL in the cloud, and Azure Cognitive Services to deploy high-quality AI models as APIs.
Building a new platform based on Azure Machine Learning and its automation solutions has helped Kantar to quickly deliver highly accurate critical analysis and satisfy clients, replacing complex, time-consuming, and manually-written Python code. Their data science team estimates that using the whole Azure ecosystem saved them about their days a month on model creations and around three weeks a quarter on reporting.
Conde Nast is the publisher of iconic magazines such as Voge and Wired. Conde Nast uses data to reach over 1 billion people in print, online, on video, and on social media. With large volumes of data, they struggled to manage infrastructure and enable productivity. With Databricks, cluster automation eliminated unnecessary DevOps effort, Delta Lake enabled the building of data pipelines, and data science innovation was unlocked with the collaborative environment with MLflow to manage the entire ML lifecycle.
Conde Nast manages over 20 brands in their portfolio. Monthly their web properties garner 100+ million visits and 800+ million page views producing a huge amount of data. The data team is focused on improving user engagement using machine learning and providing personalized content recommendations and target ads. However, using vanilla Spark to power their data platform caused a few challenges:
- Infrastructure complexity
- Breaking down walls
- Too much data
Databricks provided Conde Nast with a fully managed cloud platform that simplifies operations, delivers amazing performance, and enables innovation.
Databricks provided interactive workspaces for data scientists to collaborate, share, and track data and insights. Delta Lake of Databricsk can keep up with volumes of data and allow for more use cases such as data rewrites and data merges. Additionally, with MLflow, the company can easily manage the entire machine learning lifecycle.
The media and entertainment industry is a major industry that everybody is using as a consumer. Consumers nowadays expect quick, immersive, and reliable entertainment and media content. Media and entertainment companies must gauge consumer interest by analyzing data. The challenge is that the amount of data generated every second by each consumer amounts to a large volume. Companies must adopt efficient methods of managing, analyzing, and extracting information from billions of data. Cloud computing is a technology that can greatly help businesses in this industry as it is scalable, and flexible reduces costs of on-premise infrastructure and has many other benefits. For a company in this industry to survive, it must be brave to adopt cloud solutions into its business model.