Many years ago, the recording industry pushed back hard against digital music, even going so far as to call the now ubiquitous mp3 file format a threat to the recording industry. In the 20 years that have passed, we’ve seen the rise of iTunes, followed by other digital music services. Now, almost all music is delivered in some way via the cloud. Other entertainment media is following suit. Netflix and Hulu started a trend that has led to many traditional broadcast and cable subscribers launching their own streaming services hosted in the cloud.
How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Media & Entertainment
Cloud computing brings more to the table for the media and entertainment industry than simply a means of storage and distribution. Businesses of all sizes, and across all industries, are realizing the benefit of moving the locally owned and maintained aspects of their IT department into the cloud. In the sections that follow, we’ll examine some of those benefits and look at how they relate to media and entertainment.
User demand on the media and entertainment industry comes in two forms: storage and bandwidth. As the desire for content grows, so too do the storage requirements for that content. With local infrastructure, this puts the responsibility on the media company and its IT department to purchase, install, and maintain additional storage capacity.
Bandwidth needs are less predictable. When a hot new piece of content drops, servers can be overwhelmed as users rush to consume it. Other times, server utilization may be minimal. In the cloud, the ability to fire up and scale down servers makes these adaptations easy. Locally, you either have to pay for servers you don’t always need or leave your customers with slow or interrupted service.
One of our clients, a global music corporation, found themselves with the need to gather and process up to 5 terabytes of data every day. In addition, this data influx was drawn from a disparate collection of sources. Maintaining the type of infrastructure required to handle that type of throughput was putting a strain on their IT department. By moving them to an Amazon S3 instance, we were able to free them from that strain and let Amazon handle the technical aspects while they focused on making the most of the data.
A side effect of having to grow and maintain large local infrastructure is that the costs can quickly become prohibitive. Even when new capacity isn’t needed, hardware doesn’t last forever and eventually needs to be replaced. Often, to save costs, hardware is pushed beyond the limits of what it was meant to do, and performance suffers. With cloud computing, growing, and replacing infrastructure is handled for you. The only costs you’ll incur are for your actual usage of the resources. When that’s the case, performance doesn’t have to suffer due to cost/benefit tradeoffs.
One of the world’s largest music companies found their hardware was becoming stale and needed replacing. The need to balance costs with usage meant that several applications were running on the same hardware, causing performance to suffer. Tired of the tradeoffs, they asked us to move their system to the cloud. We moved them to Windows servers running on Amazon EC2 instances.
It’s expensive to replace hardware or software that has reached its end of life but failing to do so can have severe consequences. Outdated or overworked hardware results in performance issues that impact reliability and customer satisfaction. Even equipment that’s in perfect working order requires constant maintenance to perform at its peak. When problems arise, they must be addressed quickly, or your infrastructure becomes unreliable for customers and staff alike. Cloud providers focus on reliability and performance the same way you focus on media and entertainment, making them a perfect partner for your infrastructure needs
Outdated hardware was causing data loss and delays for a leading music company. Their servers had reached end-of-life and replacing them was going to be prohibitively expensive. But the aging and failing hardware was causing performance issues for customers on top of the delays to their business operations. They made the decision to replace their high-cost Oracle licenses with a cloud solution built on Amazon’s Aurora Postgres cloud services. We were able to migrate their systems and save them substantial money and headache.
The media and entertainment industry moves fast. Consumer expectations are ever evolving and to compete in the space the IT infrastructure of providers needs to evolve with it. The ability to adapt on the fly to changing conditions is greatly hampered when that infrastructure must be procured and maintained in house. With cloud computing, it’s easy to add new features with little overhead. The easily extensible nature of the cloud even allows companies to be more adventurous and experiment with new and unique features that would otherwise not pass a cost/benefit analysis.
One of our clients is a media conglomerate that was experiencing a high churn rate. Consumers have come to expect recommendation services to keep the engaged with a product, but our client didn’t have the infrastructure to put such as system into place. They needed a system that could interface
with their various streaming partners to pull in the relevant data and provide them with important business metrics. They decided a cloud solution was the most cost-effective way to do so.
One of the problems with local infrastructure is that you often find yourself locked into many disparate solutions in order to achieve the goals you want. Multiple platforms and applications all need to work as a cohesive unit using an infrastructure that wasn’t really designed for the task. Cloud computing platforms like AWS provide a unified platform that either already supports the use cases you need or is easily extended to do so. This flexibility allows for fewer complications as new features or experimented with or rolled out
A global music corporation found that their in-house solution had become overly convoluted. It relied on multiple third-party applications in order to provide the security they needed. Because there was no single application that could handle their needs, they were paying for software that wasn’t getting completely utilized and TCO was high. We solved their problem by building a custom solution made possible by Amazon AWS.
The rate at which technology changes has made many businesses in the media and entertainment industry second guess the wisdom of continually purchasing and maintaining their own hardware stack. Meanwhile, cloud computing is become an affordable and reliable alternative that can grow and shrink as demand for resources does. If you want to begin your digital transformation and move some, or all, of your infrastructure into the cloud, contact us today to see how we can help.
The lack of a single source of truth, quality data and ad hoc manual reporting processes undermined top management’s visibility of integrated insights on sales, sales rep interactions, marketing reach, brand performance, market share, and territory management. Understandably, the client wanted to align information that has hitherto been in silos, to gain a 360-degree product movement view, to optimize sales planning and gain competitive edge.