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Is Cloud an Answer to Technology Challenges in the Ever Dynamic Media Industry?

Media Industry in India is set to grow by 18% (CAGR) from INR 917.4 Billion in 2013 to INR 1661.1 Billion by 2017 claims a report by KPMG. This brings forth a lot of technology challenges which the Media industry faces today and this blog is an attempt to point out possible challenges and how Cloud Computing has answers to these questions.

Media Industry is a broad term with Studios, Publishers and Broadcaster as the key player in the ecosystem. In the ecosystem, different players are involved in either content creation or distribution or both. Continuous innovation like Higher frame rates, 3D, streaming video and computer-generated imaging (CGI) driven by better end consumer experience have resulted in huge influx of data to be processed.

At the same time continuous development of the newer and better hand held devices supporting different content formats with different form factors multiplies the complexity of content distribution.

Following are the key technology challenges faced by the Media Industry today:

  • Innovative richer formats and ubiquitous high end technology devices coupled with invasion of social media are driving the need for large storage requirements
  • The mobile devices are increasing the reach, but at the same time because of fragmented mobile device market, arises the need for content in multiple formats
  • Content is consumed simultaneously through different mediums such as TV, Mobile and Web. User experience standardization across different medium possesses different technology challenges while distributing content

Let me give an example of the challenges faced by the new age digital media companies.  We were closely working with a Media company which owns around a dozen TV channels, few radio channels and large number of digital assets like websites and applications (mobile and web) to support these TV channels / Radio channels. They generate 50 GB to 100 GB of new content (raw – high frame rate) every day and this content has to be broadcasted through multiple mediums. To support different devices the content needs to be transcoded into multiple formats before it can be delivered. The content is viewed across the globe so the latency should be minimal. During some events like coverage of live sports event, the load on these websites dramatically increases and after the end of the event load gets back to normal.

To understand how their content is perceived by the consumers they need Business Intelligence to understand the content consumption pattern, such geographical usage pattern , most popular content, at what point users are moving away from content, etc.

 With this example you can clearly identify the challenges

  • Large file transfer and large storage
  • Content Transcoding in minimal time frame
  • Content Distribution with minimal latency
  • Un-predictable load pattern.
  • Big Data Analytics.

Is Cloud answer to these challenges of Media Industry?

 The simple answer to this question is yes. Inherent features of the cloud computing such as,

  • Elastic nature of Cloud Computing help media industry to face these challenges in a cost effective way. The storage on cloud is available in a Pay as Go Model
  • On Demand feature is answer to the Transcoding requirements
  • Auto-scaling helps to manage varying loads during the events
  • Content Distribution Network service helps deliver content across the globe with minimal latency
  • Possibility of hosting infrastructure on cloud for big data analytics makes in cost effective and feasible to put right business intelligence

With no Capex and infrastructure on demand the media industry can benefit by the Lower Total Cost of Ownership on Cloud.

Understanding that Cloud Computing can help media industry address its key challenges, BlazeClan has developed a solution framework.

BlazeClan has closely worked with media industry and understands the technology challenges very well, based on this experience and understanding their use cases BlazeClan has developed a solution framework.

Below diagram gives an overview of the solution stack:

Sample solution architecture for media

As part of framework there are pre-build components integrated with the Amazon Web Services to address some of the above mentioned challenges. With these pre-build components the time to market is reduced significantly.

In my next blog I will explain how this solution framework helps media industry at different points in Digital Media Supply Chain.

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