Trends in the Acceleration of Video Management Technology

Trends in Media Technology

Are digital natives planning to take over the world? You may well think so if you look at the media technology industry, where trends support an increasingly digital-native economy, as outlined in Silverwood Partners’ Media Technology: Strategic Industry Analysis 2022.

Video Production in a Remote Working Era

The COVID pandemic jump-started an era of mass remote working, which meant that content creators — who rely on collaborative processes — struggled with video management: searching for clips, reviews and approvals, tracking assets, transcoding, etc. This accelerated technological innovation…as tech companies raced to meet the needs of a broad range of video creators and media companies. 

The Streaming Wars

The confinement of people to their homes led to another disruptive influence: audience numbers for streaming content skyrocketed. En masse, viewers cut the cord with traditional broadcasters and turned their eyeballs to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Hulu and other streamers.

Upsurge in Video Marketing

Throughout 2021 the demand for content seeped into almost every industry and, in response, the creator economy became more sophisticated.

We’ve seen a significant increase in recent years in the numbers of digital-native ‘influencers’ and professional video creators as they build their personal brand through video. Add to that the rise and rise of video marketing among enterprises, and you get the picture: technology had to ‘fly fast’.

So, it was time to wave goodbye to video files stored on hard drives and face-to-face teamwork —  it was time to embrace the cloud! Remote collaboration became a reality and will need to be a key part of enterprise strategy going forward.

Video Technology Innovation

Top-tier broadcasters and OTT providers require innovative media technology to differentiate themselves and fight for market share. The battle of the streamers is red hot after Netflix recently announced that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and expects to lose two million more in the second quarter. 

Enterprises and video creators are also operating in a very competitive environment. Broadcast-grade technology such as Overcast’s video management platform — which facilitates effortless collaboration and an efficient workflow — will be essential to their survival.

Request A Demo

We’d be delighted to give you a demo of our platform — please click here to request one.

Serverless Architecture… what’s the point?

What is Serverless Architecture?

Serverless architecture, cloud services, cloud-native, big data, are all terms that have been thrown around over the last few years. With claims of faster speeds, better security and overall improvement in your business processes!

In simple terms, we will break down what being “serverless” means to us and, more importantly, what it means for you when you’re using serverless platforms.

Before “serverless”, there was just “server storage”, which meant that businesses and enterprises kept their files, images, videos, systems on physical servers. There were sorted in server rooms on-site at the business premise or in designated buildings near your business locations.

With serverless architecture, your assets are stored in cloud servers managed and owned by a cloud service provider such as AWS (Amazon Web Services). This allows you and your team to access your files from anywhere in the world, quickly and securely.

How does Overcast use Serverless Architecture?

The Overcast platform is built cloud-native and serverless. It consists of a number of microservices – a major differentiator in the video asset management market. Overcast is a proud member of the AWS partner network. Overcast also deploys a suite of AWS Elemental services, including MediaConvert, MediaPackage and MediaLive.

We use AWS services to:
– Transcode your content into any format you require.
– Storing your content with fast upload and download tools.
– Build our platform to be as

What are the benefits of being Serverless ?

Business Benefits

Quick deployment

Doing business in today’s constantly changing environment means that enterprises need to move fast and be agile to take advantage of opportunities as they appear. Adopting a serverless architecture streamlines the setup process and allows you to deploy new projects quickly.

Easy scalability

Serverless platforms enable businesses to quickly scale up services as demand grows as they are not limited by server capacity. At Overcast, you can store an unlimited amount of content but only pay for what you’re currently planning on using. It also means that increasing your capacity by 1TB, 5TB, 100TB is as simple as one request to our technical team!

Better user experience

User experience (UX) greatly benefits from serverless architecture. By the nature of serverless platforms, there is no distance between the different “serverless” servers. This reduces the latency between them interacting with each other. This translates to a much faster and reactive experience for the final user.

Cost Benefits

Efficiency

It’s also possible to drastically reduce infrastructure and operational costs because you don’t have to maintain and service physical servers. One of the key benefits of serverless architecture is that you don’t have to pay for idle resources, which you would if you owned the servers yourself.

Accurate resourcing

Serverless models like Overcast also allow you to monitor usage in real-time. This will enable you to tailor your use with your business requirements. This greater level of transparency will enable you to monitor your spending and improve the accuracy of budgets and resource allocation.

Environmental Benefits

If you have environmental goals on the cards, you’re in luck! The data centres are built at scale to be energy efficient to achieve optimal utilisation and temperature. This leads to fewer carbon emissions than traditional data centres.

Another drawback to traditional data centres is the constant waste of resources while the servers are idle. Serverless computing becomes a solution to this matter by running on-demand.

Bottom Line – how Serverless helps you?

  • Cost savings
  • Increased agility and instant scalability
  • Faster recall of assets
  • More reactive UI for all users

Overcast:

Overcast HQ provides a white-label, fully intuitive User Interface (UI) to allow operational staff to exploit the power of the solution and the underlying serverless cloud infrastructure.

We deliver media pipeline management solutions configured to optimise existing video tech stacks, optimise complex video workflows, and allow all stakeholders (not just editors and engineers) to manage video content. 

Our platform allows customers to collaborate, search, review & approve, transcode and therefore spend up to 90% less time managing content. We are one of the very few solution providers built post-2015 to be able to take advantage of the latest suite of cloud-native, serverless technologies.

We’d be delighted to talk you through all of this, so please feel free to reach out to our CEO Philippe Brodeur on info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us to find out how Video Content-As-A-Service will save you time and money while increasing revenue opportunities.

Image of cloud based programming to represent the move to Serverless Architecture.
Cloud Infrastructure image to represent Serverless Architecture

Overcast Featured in DPP Media Supply Festival 2021

Overcast was featured in the DPP Media Supply Festival Demo Zone over the 7th and 8th of September.
We presented our demo alongside the best media providers from around the world and you can find our Media Pipeline Management demo video below:

 

Check out our Blog Posts.

Check out our New Updates.

Get in touch with us

If you are looking for a bespoke video workflow solution and want to learn more, please get in touch with Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur — he’s always happy to talk! You can reach him on info@overcasthq.com or through the contact form on our website.

Check out our Blog Posts.

Check out our New Updates.

Zahra – a case study

The following is a brief introduction to our Zahra Case Study which can be viewed in full below.

Zahra is a full-service content agency with owned media in the Food and Parenting verticals. Their mission is to connect brands with audiences through the creation and distribution of purposeful content.

“The review and approval process within Overcast has made it a lot clearer for everyone who is working on the project: clients, videographer, our team. It’s so helpful being able to compare older to newer versions side-by-side using timecodes.” 

 Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.

The Challenge 

“Content was stored in multiple locations which meant that things were difficult to find. This wasted SO MUCH TIME. It made collaboration (within the team and with clients) difficult because so much time would be spent trying to transfer enormous files. 

— Gina Miltiadou, Managing Director, Zahra Media Group

We needed a space that we could use internally and have versions 1, 2, 3 — and a place for continuing versions to be easily accessed by clients. If we are in a V3 stage and they decide if we want to use something from V1, we need to be able to access it.

— Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.

The Solution 

Overcast was able to help them with their folder management and metadata taxonomy. Then we trained up the various teams — client services, editorial, etc. — to show them how they too could manage the content in the cloud.

The Result 

After a few weeks of adapting to the new workflows, more people have been able to become part of the video creation supply chain. Editors now get to spend more time working on what they want to work on — great content. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise has been how it has helped client relations and experiences. By getting access to centralised content, an easy-to-use interface, semantic search and a well-defined audit trail, they are also able to engage in a clearer and more productive manner.

You can read the full Zahra case study here.

You can also view our other case studies here

Godolphin – a case study

The following is a brief introduction to our Godolphin Case Study which can be viewed in full below. 

Introducing a more streamlined, user-friendly system has enabled Godolphin’s global teams to find and share content easily. Managing content is now straightforward — anyone can find the pictures and videos they need for marketing collateral, when they need it, and so much faster!

“The personal touch from Philippe, Zsolt and George in teaching us how to use the system and fixing a couple of network errors has been incredible. Their support in helping us meet Godolphin’s needs confirms that we made the right choice in Overcast.”

Alexandra Bailey, Media Manager, CPL

The Challenge: 

Having four different storage systems led to several inefficiencies, including remembering how to use each platform and where to find assets.

“We needed a really good filing system that met people’s expectations when they were searching and didn’t lead them down a massive rabbit hole.”

The Solution: 

During the planning phase, Overcast worked with Godolphin and CPL to standardise the descriptive metadata fields across the four platforms. They then introduced a unique ID system and built an ingest solution using APIs that could map all of the intelligence into a single, unified system.

The Result for Godolphin:

Time-saving: Content is ingested from around the world in real-time. 

Cost Saving: The consolidation from four separate platforms to one has reduced subscription fees, training people to use them, and overheads required.  

Security: Content is centralised in a single location so it can never go missing, and the content is accessed through a secure login. 

Revenue:  With more people being able to access more images, the plan over the coming years for Godolphin is to drive sales using more sophisticated content marketing.

You can read the full Godolphin case study here.

You can also view our other case studies here

How Much Does Cloud Digital Asset Management Cost?

Overcast MAX #9: Max Simulator

Cost management 

One of the first things anyone asks when they are moving workflows to the cloud is, “How much is this going to cost me?”

It’s a fair question. And we can all go to the AWS or Azure calculator, plug in 25TBs and understand what it will cost to store that content for a month.

But what about the ingest cost, the egress cost, the transcode cost… and what are all those other parameters that the cloud providers list that can affect the cost?

Well, one of things that you will never get a straight answer to is how much your monthly costs are going to be. Why? Too many factors. Simply put, every application is built differently. 

That’s why we build MAX Simulator.

Cloud digital asset management

Whether you call it a Media Asset Manager (MAM), a Production Asset Manager (PAM) or a Digital Asset Manager (DAM), a cloud digital asset management platform is the secret sauce when it comes to managing video content. The reason? Video was traditionally managed on premise by editors and engineers.  Now social and marketing departments need access, as does corporate comms, product, sales and everyone else. It’s no longer reasonable to let “the video guy” hold the knowledge to the video kingdom.

The popularity of video means it’s no longer about whether you use it in business but rather how to leverage it. 

Remote working

Since coronavirus has forced many employees around the world to embrace remote working, it’s now trickier to collaborate on video projects. But a cloud digital asset management platform provides the solution — facilitating streamlined workflows, fast review and approvals, and easy transcoding to different formats.

Take it for a test drive

Which brings us back to cost: how much does is cost to use a cloud digital asset management platform?

You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive, would you? 

Now you can test drive our video platform to calculate the investment required.

Max Simulator

Max Simulator allows you to run a real-time simulation of your video workflows with more than 20 inputs. This will give you an understanding of the CSP (Cloud Service Provider) costs associated with storing and managing your content in the cloud. 

The inputs include everything from archive size to number of users, concurrent users and activity levels for real pricing.

It’s very accurate since you only test what you plan to use. You can then add new services to project those costs too. 

For example, we had one organization ask us how much it would cost to have 50,000 logins, 1,000 concurrent users working on the system 24 hours per day — and generating 3PB (petabytes) of content per year. To put that in context, it’s equivalent to 700,000 DVD quality videos. With that much content, you want to be fairly sure you know how much it is going to cost you to process it, let alone store it.  

Benefits of Max Simulator

Cost Optimisation

CSP costs can be an enigma — but running your workload over a short period of time using Max Simulator helps you better project cost infrastructure.

Customisable Solutions

We know that your business is unique, so let us customise the inputs in Max Simulator to create an accurate understanding of costs specific to you.

Better than a calculator

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a simple monthly calculator, which is useful for an initial estimate — but you’ll get a better picture by actually simulating a load on a real platform.

Contact us

Max Simulator is one of nine Overcast MAX products that makes video collaboration effortless. If you’d like to learn more about this fantastic suite of solutions, please contact Philippe on info@overcasthq.com or click here to get in touch.

No Limits To Your Live Streaming Ambitions

Overcast MAX #1: Max Live Streaming

“The video streaming market is on track to become a $124.6 billion industry by 2025.”

— Grand View Research

There’s no doubting the burgeoning popularity of live streaming. The wide-ranging benefits to business who use it include:

  1. access to a wider audience, unlimited by geographical or size constraints;
  2. direct communication with customers and potential clients;
  3. lower costs than running a real world event or traditional broadcast platforms;
  4. viewers can access your live stream on any device, on the go;
  5. the opportunity to grow your community;
  6. involve viewers through live interaction;
  7. the opportunity to cross-promote your social channels;
  8. repurpose the content by sharing clips from the live stream afterwards;
  9. take advantage of the SEO benefits of YouTube;
  10. use analytics to evaluate the success of your live event. 

Overcast MAX

In our previous blog post, we gave an overview of MAX, our suite of next-generation cloud applications for production, collaboration, storage and distribution that makes remote video collaboration effortless.

Max Live Streaming

You don’t need to be in the media and entertainment industries to grow your business through live streaming. It can be used for in-house trainings, public events, town hall meetings, etc. — in fact, anything you can think of. But you need a simple, high quality, secure way to do it: say hello to Max Live Streaming.

If you’ve tried live streaming before, you may have experienced low quality streaming due to limitations in the available bandwidth — it’s a common problem with free services. No such worries with Max Live Streaming! 

It’s cloud-based adaptive HD streaming, so you are guaranteed a high quality result. You’ll never run out of bandwidth, which means you can be confident about being able to deliver the content to your audience the way you want to. 

If you find that streaming is benefiting your business, you can easily scale up your live stream strategy — with no limits!

It’s quick and easy to set up; and once that’s done you can bring non-tech employees into the workflow and let them manage the content. If you’d like to create a channel, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping content.

We provide you with a network that has enterprise grade security. But while secure live streaming used to be prohibitively expensive, now your event can make money and you can re-invest it in your business.

Max Live Streaming is so easy that you can get up and running in seconds. What are you waiting for?

What else have we got?

In our next post, we’ll explore where to store and archive all those large video files and how to manage them effectively with Max Storage.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about live streaming, please do get in touch. Our email address is  info@overcasthq.com or you can click here to get in touch. Ask for Philippe. He’s always good for a chat!

Is Your DAM Future-proofed?

DAM for Enterprise

Your business is complicated. It has many different people in many different divisions doing many different things. Unsurprisingly, they all have unique ways of interacting with your products, services, clients, and assets.

A DAM (digital asset management system) provides an effective, streamlined way to manage your digital assets. Many companies begin by using a tool like Dropbox, but then find they need much greater functionality. So they upgrade to a DAM that services the needs of their organisation. 

But is your DAM future-proofed? It goes without saying that it needs to be cloud-based, but are there other elements of your digital asset management system that could be showing signs of needing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?

Here are three of the key considerations when assessing if your DAM will stand the test of time.

1. Growth Strategy

As your company scales up and your content production increases, your assets will also expand in terms of number and complexity. Now is the time to ask yourself, What is our growth strategy and will our DAM go the distance? 

With upscaling comes a vast increase in the size of your team, perhaps globally. So you need your employees in far-flung places to access assets as effortlessly as those in the office next door.

Also, we’re in the age of ‘big video’. Digital files are swelling in size (4K video) and, as if it wasn’t enough of a challenge to store such big files, a DAM must be able to transcode and render them automatically.

Add to this the need for fast file transfers and you’ve got yourself a whole lot of potential headaches if cracks start to show in your DAM.

2. A Seamless Workflow

Nothing sabotages productivity as much as a fractured workflow. Your DAM is your servant in this regard. It can automate laborious processes, thus freeing up your team’s time for more creative tasks.

Slow review and approvals on digital assets is also a common problem for organisations. Consumers’ voracious appetite for content, particularly video, needs to be satisfied but enterprises are struggling to keep up. If team members give feedback on a collaborative video project using time-stamped annotations and approve it through your DAM, this speeds up the time to market considerably.

3. Artificial Intelligence

While your team are busy working smarter, your DAM should be leveraging its smarts too. Through artificial intelligence (AI), a video DAM will enable you to search your video clips for words, objects, colours, sounds, settings, events and facial recognition. Goodbye and good riddance to the bad old days of trawling through hard drives to find that spectacular shot you remember filming but cannot locate.

The Inside Track

Our CEO Philippe Brodeur would be delighted to share his knowledge on future-proofing a video DAM, so please feel free to email him on info@overcasthq.com or tweet him: @philippebrodeur

Get Your Head Out Of The Cloud And Your Video Files Into It

Size matters. And when it comes to video file sizes — things are just getting bigger.

Over the last decade, we’ve graduated from standard definition to high definition, 2K, 4K and now 8K. Combine that with image enhancement technologies and we are talking about file sizes ballooning. 

The media and entertainment industries are driving the changes, hoping that the better quality will drive more viewership and lead to more revenue. But it’s not just the M&E industries that are chasing higher quality; businesses and brands are jumping on the bandwagon too. So just what are the implications for businesses?

Do video file sizes matter?

Size certainly does matter if you find you don’t have enough storage space for your large video files and it takes absolutely ages to transfer or share it with stakeholders or collaborators. This will slow down your production workflow and delay time to market. A recent Adobe survey revealed it takes brands on average 27 hours to create a single piece of long form content such as video and it takes companies on average 12 days to take a single piece of content to market. We think this is crazy!

How big is Big Video?

So let’s break down the problem: how big is Big Video? 1 hour of 4K (cinema resolution) video shot for a 30-second TV ad is equal to 300GB — that’s larger than the hard drive storage on an average computer! The next step up from that is 8K, which is 16 times bigger than HD (high definition) video. The graphic below by Signiant shows that one hour of 8K RedCode Raw 75 amounts to 7.29 TB (terabytes). That’s 121.5 GB per minute for raw 8K.

It’s not just the resolution either. There are also other factors which drive larger file sizes, in particular, image enhancement technologies such as Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), improved colour depth, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) — which, in simple terms, means the whites are brighter and the blacks are darker.

So what’s the solution?

Even if you’re not working with 4K or 8K files, if you are producing a lot of videos, you will need a workflow that can store your large files and allow your team to collaborate on them efficiently and effectively. The cloud is the obvious frontrunner by a mile. Overcast HQ is a cloud platform built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using the most advanced technologies for automating video processes and making it possible to send and share large video files quickly. It’s simply changing the way media content is managed. You can request a demo by clicking here.

The Cutting Edge Of Sports Production Technology

SVG Summit

Are you involved in any aspect of sports production, content creation or distribution? If so, why not swing by the SVG Summit 2018 at the New York Hilton Hotel today and tomorrow (10th and 11th December). There’s so much to check out in terms of the latest in digital sports video technology such as augmented reality, machine learning, workflows, digital ad insertion and the impact of 5G.

All Hail The Cloud

As in previous years, the SVG Summit will feature a Cloud and Virtualisation Workshop. This seminar will be full of tips and tricks about cloud-based production and media asset management workflows which are being used by sports-media organisations. It will give insight into how the cloud, virtualisation and SaaS are transforming video production.

This transformation will be discussed by a panel that will include Scott Bounds of Microsoft and Rick Gilpin of Google Cloud. They’ll talk about how the entire video-production ecosystem is undergoing a makeover: from storage and editing to encoding and transcoding and beyond.

Cutting Edge Technologies

Another fascinating panel discussion will explore what’s new for digital sports content creators and distributors. 5G cellular connectivity is on the horizon; AI is putting its stamp on the clipping and enhancing of highlights and social media content; and UHD/HDR streaming has the potential to make a big difference to those live streaming to compatible Smart TVs. Experts will share what needs to happen next.

Video Workflow

Every minute counts when it comes to getting post-produced content out across social media and other digital channels. Your team’s creative vision is challenged by tight timelines. Your business obligations might not match internal resources. So what do you do? A case study at the summit will show how production teams at MLB Network have adopted an agile workflow to get both internal and external stakeholders reviewing media faster from the first version to final delivery.

Keynotes

The summit will also feature keynotes by some of the biggest names in sports TV.

Brad Boim will talk about how heading into the 2018 NFL season, NFL Media upgraded its asset management system to enhance metadata tagging with the ingestion of GSIS data, Next-Gen Stats and Speech-to-Text transcriptions into their MAM. This extra metadata has enabled producers to run deeper searches within the database.

Charlie Ebersol, who has created a new American pro football league, will give a presentation on how video production and distribution technology will play a key role in it.

Fresh off a busy year when NBC Broadcasting/NBC Sports Group broadcast the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, its chairman Mark Lazarus will reflect on the successes and challenges of 2018 and examine issues and opportunities facing the live sports production industry.

Fan Engagement

If you’re interested in how to fill stadiums for matches, then don’t miss the panel discussion on how teams in the New York area attract fans to the stands game after game, using tech tools from larger-than-life video displays to mobile gaming.

AR, AI and Machine Learning

Other panel discussions will look at new ways to use Augmented Reality technology, camera tracking and data visualisation to give much more impact to a sports production and whether 1080p HDR sports production workflows are the sweet spot in terms of cost and performance.

There will also be a Sports Content Management Workshop exploring AI versus machine learning. It will tease out how major sports-media organisations are leveraging AI and machine learning for speech-to-text and translation; object and facial recognition; automated personalisation and content discovery.

Trends

The 2018 SVG Summit is also the go-to place for one-on-one conversations, case studies, tech showcases and insights into trends shaping the future of the sports-media business.

Overcast HQ CEO Philippe Brodeur will be at the SVG Summit 2018 and would be delighted to show you our video platform. If you would like to meet up with him and chat about all things video, please tweet him: @PhilippeBrodeur or email philippe@overcasthq.com

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