4 Factors That Make Cloud the Future of Media Distribution

May 11, 2023By Ben Bonadies

From sports to entertainment, demands on media producers and distributors to deliver content to broadcasters, OTT channels and partners fast, accurately and securely are at an all- time high. This is driving a need for efficiency in the media supply chain. A centralized cloud storage library paired with a robust media asset manager can serve as the hub of operations, encompassing the full lifecycle of media workflow from ingest and edit to delivery and final archive. There are many factors to consider when deciding how to utilize the cloud in your media distribution strategy, outlined below are four main benefits of cloud storage to consider: 


The cloud provides dispersed teams with unprecedented access to their media and takes data out of silos that stifle availability and efficiency. Content owners and editors can immediately search their entire library on demand from anywhere in the world, made possible by metadata tagging within the MAM. The ability of the cloud to connect a dispersed, global workforce is essential in a post-pandemic economy. On-set producers can ingest dailies, editors can assemble rushes, and stakeholders can review them all within the same media asset management system. The cloud also provides a launchpad for content leaving owners’ hands. From the cloud it can easily be shared with third parties for review and encoded and sent to OTTs for delivery.  


The cloud provides an offsite repository for media storage that remains protected should your primary site data be unavailable. In fact, data security best practices suggest keeping three copies of your data on at least two different formats with one offsite, also known as the 3-2-1 rule. The cloud fulfils two of these requirements, being a separate format and offsite. Additionally, many cloud object storage providers have options for immutability which makes certain files unable to be altered or deleted, protecting them from malicious or accidental deletion. 


The power of the cloud lies in its scalability. Traditional on-premise storage solutions require hardware infrastructure to be purchased up-front, with an eye toward managing the next year’s avalanche of content. These devices require regular maintenance, accrue power and cooling expenses, and necessitate the purchase of additional devices when they inevitably fill up. With more content being generated every year, keeping up with the rate of production is an uphill battle. Cloud storage grows elastically with your data needs, so there’s no need to purchase hardware in anticipation of what your needs might be. With the cloud, you can free your organization from the regular upgrade and maintenance cycle that hinders growth and take the task of running a data center out of your hands— simply store what you need and the provider will handle the rest.  


Cloud storage’s reputation as expensive is mainly attributed to its unpredictability. According to a survey by Wasabi Technologies, 49% of an organization's public cloud storage bill is attributed to fees associated with simple API operations: PUTs, GETs, READs, and WRITEs. Fees like these cannot be accounted for in advance—you won’t know in a given month how many times you’ll need to retrieve a certain file—which is why 50% of organizations exceeded their budgeted spend on cloud storage in 2022. If you plan on accessing your content regularly as with a media asset manager, it is imperative to choose a cloud storage solution that does not charge usage fees (ingress, egress, API calls, etc.). 

It’s no longer just about creating content, but how that content is utilized and distributed. It is easy for costs to sky-rocket when growing a distribution strategy. Technologies like media asset managers and cloud storage help enable affordable scalability and maximize the value of content.  

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