Extending media production to the cloud can increase production capacity and ease the operational burdens of content creation and distribution. With everyone from larger media enterprises to individual artists looking to capitalise on the efficiency and scalability that the cloud offers, Avid undertook a number of cloud test drives with select media organisations in Europe and the U.S. to develop deeper understanding of cloud workflows.
Avid systems deployed in Microsoft Azure data centres spanning broadcast and post production, social media and asset management, and workflows for production, craft editorial, social media publishing, and archive.
Using early learnings from these tests, this paper examines how virtualisation and cloud are impacting content creation, which aspects of content production are currently ready for primetime in the cloud, which aren’t best suited at present, and what this all means for production workflows – today and in the future.
A changing media production and distribution chain
Extending media production to the cloud can help meet the operational and financial challenges of media’s rapid digitisation, dramatically increasing production capacity and easing the financial burden of content creation and distribution for all – from individual artists to larger media enterprises.
Virtualised content production can offer myriad benefits: access to the best talent regardless of location, increased agility and scalability, and the means to produce and distribute more immersive, dynamic and relevant content. New technologies and solutions are delivering on the promise of cloud and fundamentally reshaping content creation and distribution workflows.
But, at the present time, not all facets of content production are equally suited to the cloud. While some media creation functions benefit greatly from cloud deployment, the cloud doesn’t make sense for all disciplines in the workflow – at least not yet.
For the areas that aren’t as well suited today, it’s only a matter of time before technology addresses what’s lacking. Increased availability of bandwidth will address most of the current issues over time. Eventually all content creation functions will be aided by the cloud, providing substantial operational, creative and financial benefits. This paper examines which aspects of content production are currently ready for primetime in the cloud, which aren’t best suited at present, and what this all means for today’s production workflows.
To inform this analysis, Avid has conducted a number of cloud test drives with select media organisations in Europe and the U.S. Over the course of several months, we conducted cloud test drives with a broad cross-section of content producers, including two public service media companies in Europe, one state-funded broadcaster in the Middle East, one large private entertainment group in Europe, one national public broadcaster in North America, and two large media and entertainment conglomerates in the United States.
These tests were designed to elicit a deeper understanding of the impact of the cloud on content creation workflows. For these test drives, we deployed systems in Microsoft Azure data centres to explore a range of realworld use cases spanning broadcast and post production workflows. The results have shed light on where we are today, where we are going, and how we’re going to get there.