By Baskar Subramanian, Co-Founder and CEO, Amagi, finalist in this year’s SaaS Awards for the Best SaaS Product for Media and Publishing category

Cloud technology has powered a tech revolution at large, disrupting business models across industries. But, what may not be quite as obvious is how it’s transformed the media industry in particular. As one of the largest consumers of storage, compute and network, media companies—from broadcasters to streaming—rely on cloud technology to ensure business continuity, deliver huge amounts of content across the globe with greater agility, and stay competitive as the media landscape undergoes a period of rapid change.

Here are three ways cutting-edge cloud technology is bringing the media and entertainment industry into the future, revolutionizing how companies deliver—and viewers consume—the next generation of content.

Cloud computing empowers content creators to act with greater agility

Across the board, from smaller players to large streaming services like Netflix and HBO, the media and entertainment industry is migrating to the cloud. In fact, the global Cloud TV market size between 2020 to 2028 is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.8%. Such a high level of growth clearly reflects an industry preparing itself to be agile in changing circumstances. In the face of ever-erratic consumer demand and general market volatility, the ability to adapt and quickly respond to change has become increasingly essential.

Now, with the power of the cloud, content creators can store, manage and deliver digital content with greater agility, speedier time to market, and improved cost efficiency. Leveraging utility-computing, storage and network bandwidth enable flexible, boundless and globally coordinated operations. It also allows companies to quickly scale their infrastructure in response to business needs, plus, allows them to develop distribution models that touch end-users directly.

Take for example a company like Cox Media Group, which, thanks to cloud playout, has been able to expand its offerings to reach over 60 million Americans with 33 channels across 20 markets, and has become a reliable partner for distribution endpoints like Plex and Redbox. Or, a media giant like Netflix, which has been able to extend its platform to all 190 countries it’s available in, with the help of cloud services.

The cloud helps broadcasters disaster-proof their operations

Whether natural or man-made disasters can disrupt any broadcast or TV network, causing interruptions, blackouts and lost revenue.

So how can you build a broadcasting network so resilient, so indestructible, no disaster can impact it? You guessed it—the cloud. Cloud architecture is, by definition, disaster-proof. With cloud’s distributed architecture you get an end-to-end disaster recovery platform for playout and content delivery. You could even go so far as to access everything remotely, cost-effectively managing your workflow with no on-premise hardware needed. In addition, you can achieve multi-region capability, without investing in hardware-based facilities running in parallel.

What’s more, with advancements in cloud technology, the entire broadcast workflow can now be automated on the cloud—from content preparation, scheduling, graphics, playout, distribution, monitoring and even monetization.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to see more and more broadcasters replace expensive on-prem infrastructure with on-demand cloud-based systems, leading to the virtualization of the entire primary broadcast infrastructure. With this level of digital transformation, forward-thinking broadcasters will leapfrog organizations that stick with traditional production strategies, as they’re able to speed up supply chains and distribute content in near real-time—no matter what disaster the world serves up.

Cloud technologies allow media companies to stay competitive in a volatile marketplace

Today’s content must be accessible around the globe. And with the rise of CTV and streaming, cloud-based infrastructure is the only choice for broadcast networks and content owners to scale their enterprises and stay competitive in a market facing “subscription fatigue,” dwindling subscribers and the threat of consolidation. Indeed, according to EY research, 50% of media and entertainment executives believe they can no longer rely on traditional business models to drive future growth. Rather, to truly future-proof their businesses in the coming decades, media companies must embrace the cloud.

So how should companies making the transition to cloud-based workflows get started? To avoid a turf war between departments over ownership, the directive must be top down, with leadership communicating a clear vision for the digital transformation of the company.

Generally, this means migrating to the cloud from on-prem infrastructure. For a successful migration, there are a few key requirements:

  • Organizations must have a centralized schema, especially in terms of metadata.
  • They must create simplified interfaces for every team, so all stakeholders can easily access the same content, organization-wide.
  • Digital teams that previously operated with a large degree of independence may need to assume greater responsibilities and manage company-wide implementations, which require buy-in from across the organization.

However, with these foundational elements in place, the power and agility of cloud infrastructure can be harnessed in transformative ways. Channels that once took months to plan can now be launched in a matter of days—say, for example, a pop-up channel for a new sporting event. Live, linear programming can now be available on demand, instantly, not just after the event is over, but in segments as the live program continues playing out, in as little as 30 minutes.

While these are just a few examples, they illustrate the many ways cloud can transform digital content delivery, making it faster, more reliable, more unified and more cost-effective. For media companies, this is the way of the future—the way to stay ahead of the curve and maximize ROI, no matter what the future has in store.