The Demand for Remote-Enabling Video Technology

The democratisation of video

Practically everyone owns a smartphone these days; therefore, we all carry a mini computer with us every day. But, more than that, phones can record video clips and you can edit that footage through apps; so, effectively, we are all walking around with full video production capabilities in our pockets.

Armed with this portable video technology, it must be a piece of cake to make professional-looking videos, right? 

Wrong!

Not as easy as “point and shoot”

Over the past few years, the popularity of video has exploded as the preferred communication channel for enterprises — both internally with employees and stakeholders, and externally with customers. 

But, despite everyone having free access to video production tools through their smartphone, content creation remains a challenge for enterprises.

Original content is king

The first question enterprises must ask themselves is, “What do viewers want to watch?” 

The streaming wars provide a valuable insight into this. When consumers sit down in front of their TV in the evening and flick on Netflix or Apple TV or Disney Plus or Prime Video or Hulu or any other streamer, the choice of programming is almost overwhelming! 

Silverwood Partners’ Media Technology: Strategic Industry Analysis 2022 shows that original content is a hit with viewers! When an original show is released by a streamer, the number of subscribers goes up significantly.

Netflix Sign Ups video technology
Disney Sign Ups video technology

This exponential demand for original content is fuelling investment in media technology, which will also benefit enterprises who are struggling to create their own content. 

The move to remote working enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic generated difficulties for teams who had, up to that point, collaborated on video in the same physical space. Suddenly, they discovered that finding particular clips, accessing shared footage, exchanging feedback, getting approvals, and delivering video in different formats was slow, clunky and expensive.

The thirst among consumers for immersive, engaging, superior-quality content is elevating the demand for innovative technologies that make video collaboration, creation and delivery easy. 

Such technologies will be digitally-native solutions, which OTT providers might be better positioned to support than traditional broadcasters. 

Macro trends OTT video technology

When COVID-19 necessitated people en masse to work from home, the remote-enabling technology that emerged was a “quick fix”. But now, as we exit the pandemic, the accelerating demand for optimised solutions is firmly paving the road to permanent remote-forward production workflows.

Get ahead of the game

Want to know more about remote-forward workflows? Get in contact and we would be delighted to show you our platform to enable you to easily leverage video to grow your business.

Content: The Localisation Challenge

In this world of streaming video, the demand and opportunity for content targeted at global markets is continuing to skyrocket. But the total money available in those markets is lagging behind. A key challenge is the versioning and localisation of that content.

What do these terms mean? Most of the content produced has to be versioned for the various platforms and services on which it will be distributed. Most of it will also be ‘localised’ — that is, prepared for consumption in another territory — this can include adding foreign language subtitles and soundtrack, and re-editing to comply with regulatory and cultural requirements. 

“The scale of the localisation process is immense. For every asset we create, we can have up to 16 different versions to cover all the regulatory requirements of our various markets. Now, across our consumer-facing international brands alone, we create thousands of hours of original content a year. Multiply that by up to the 16 versions; then multiply that by the number of languages, and then by the different audio dubbing and subtitling requirements. Add in the internal video editing that may be required to make the nuances of storytelling work in different territories: it quickly becomes millions of assets. And that’s before we get into promos and short form.”

— James Crossland, SVP International Operations, Warner Media.

So, what’s being done to address this immense challenge?

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP), a media industry business network, brought together twenty-two senior executives in a special roundtable event titled ‘The Localisation Challenge?’ at IBC 2019 in Amsterdam. The companies represented were: A+E Networks, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Deluxe, Disney, Eluvio, ITV, NHK Archives, PBS, Pixelogic, Prime Focus Technologies, SDI Media, SDVI, SES Video, Sky, UKTV, Videomenthe, Vubiquity, WarnerMedia, Zoo Digital and ZDF Enterprises. 

The roundtable generated the following three key insights.

1. Maturity in internal business relationships 

There’s lots of content being delivered, but…oops!…it’s not compliant with delivery requirements. And…double oops!…it’s not suitable to be prepped for versioning and localisation. Is this because there are no clear standards for deliverables in the media industry? Well, partly, but it’s mostly because people don’t want to upset the apple cart among the creative and commercial teams. 

Solution: Companies need to incentivise and build more productive relationships between different parts of their business.

2. Building trust into what we receive

We’re naturally inclined do business with people we know, like and trust. But when a piece of content is passed from one content provider to another, the receiving company may find that it’s technically inferior to what was promised. This means that even well-established, high-quality media companies don’t trust each other.

Solution: Use a cloud-native central library and agreed specifications for assets.

3. All content should not be equal 

All content is, in effect, tiered at the point of commission. In the pre-streaming world of linear distribution, tiering was based on the schedule: ‘daytime’, ‘peak’, ‘post-watershed’, and so on.

In this new world of on-demand, tiering is more difficult to identify. But, in reality, budgets alone still create tiering. 

Solution: Media companies should reflect the reality that all content should not be equal in the way they manage the onward processing of content. Some content is simply more valuable and should be treated as such.

DPP Tech Leaders’ Briefing

The who’s who of the media industry will converge on London for the DPP Tech Leaders’ Briefing. Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur will be there on 13th and 14th November and is be delighted to meet you and illustrate how your company could save time and money on more effective media asset management and internal collaboration.

Why Meet With Overcast?

A) Cloud Native

We get it. You want your applications to run more effectively together. You want this workflow to elevate the productivity of your team. So you sign up with a cloud provider and use it to run your existing applications. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily — like content, not all cloud solutions are created equally.  

So why is cloud-native important? Each part (applications, processes, etc) is packaged in its own container — this means your activities, actions and workflows are optimized for the cloud. And that ultimately means less cost and less time fussing about with legacy technologies.

(B) Managed Software as a Service

Managed SaaS is all about being able to create a tech stack. It allows you to integrate best-of-breed solutions, which ultimately allows you to manage your digital assets with maximum flexibility.  

SaaS, while it incurs a subscription charge, is significantly more cost-effective since you’ll save on hardware, licences, tech support, and scaling up.

(C) Tech-enabled services

On a cloud-native platform like Overcast, we segmented our application into microservices. This means they are significantly more agile and maintainable. Crucially, a tech-enabled service empowers you to redesign your workflows for speed and cost reduction. Oh — and it means you can pick and choose what you want so there’s no need to buy a whole tonne of software you would never use.

Contact Us

Please email Philippe on philippe@overcasthq.com if you’d like to pick his brains in London.

Does Size Matter?

“Video consumption grows 100%+ every year” — YouTube.

The global online video platform in media and entertainment market is projected to grow at an annual rate (CAGR) of 17.5% from 2018 to 2025 (— Allied Market Research). Businesses will ignore it at their peril.

In our last two blog posts, we explored search and collaboration, as well as management and video production. Once created, video needs a home to live in (storage) and a destination to go to (distribution). Today we are talking about one of the fundamental challenges — size of video files.

Size matters

How big is Big Video?

1 hour of 4k (cinema-resolution) video shot for a 30-second TV ad is equal to 300GB — this is more than can fit on the average computer! To put it in further perspective, 1 year of CCTV video for an average police department amounts to 1.5PB (which is approximately 80,000 Harry Potter movies in HD)! 

PB? What on earth is a PB? Well, a petabyte — or PB — is a crazy large chunk of data. You’re on first name terms with a gigabyte (GB), right? And you may have been introduced to the terabyte (TB). A TB is 1,024 times bigger than a GB. Sounds like a lot? Think about this: the Hubble Space Telescope generates about 10 terabytes of new data every year.

So, getting back to the question: what is a petabyte? A single PB is 1,024 TB — or more than 1 quadrillion bytes! That’s a heck of a lot of data. 

“1 PB is equivalent to over 4,000 digital photos per day over your entire life.” — Lifewire.

So if you’re generating a lot of video content, it’s easy to work out that you’re going to need a lot of storage space and the cloud might be your best option.

Cloud is the champion

Using a cloud-based platform provides more advantages than just storage. It facilitates you to share media across projects, groups or channels and to respond quickly to partners, distributors or clients.

No doubt you’ll be channeling a particular promotional campaign though your social profiles, website, email marketing software and you’ll want it to look amazing on mobile. So you need all of these to work off the same set of base assets for that campaign.

Getting your video out there

And then there’s outputting. How many versions of your video do you need? Disney has to create 234 versions of every film it produces to accommodate the aspect ratios of the various distribution channels (cinema, broadcast and streaming) and to supply versions in different languages for worldwide distribution.

Once you’ve decided on the number of versions you’d like to create, then there’s the quandary of formatting each one. How do you export your video file in formats optimised for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and all of the other different platforms without a degree in transcoding or bribing a highly-skilled technician? The secret is (shhh, don’t tell anyone): choose a platform that does all of this heavy lifting for you. And preferably one that automates it.

“81% of businesses say video increases sales.” — Optinmonster

Saving $$$

With the time saved on collaboration, reviews, approvals and outputting of your video assets — not to mention the cost savings on sending “urgent” DVDs/drives via FedEx or UPS — it’s a no-brainer to use a streamlined platform to manage your video projects. One login, one solution, one happy you!

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