Gone are the days of traditional content delivery technology. While in the past, content owners have had to rely on a chain of complex hardware to enable playout and control solutions, now, they are turning toward a cloud-based architecture to deliver content with greater simplicity, cost-efficiency, scalability and reliability.
Indeed, to thrive in today’s competitive streaming environment, cloud technology is an absolute necessity. As the industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it demands not only more efficient workflows, but also more affordable ways to deliver high-quality content to audiences worldwide.
So how has the cloud impacted the media landscape and what benefits does it offer to broadcasters and streaming providers alike? Let’s take a look at a few of the ways cloud technology is revolutionizing playout for broadcast and OTT channels:
Flexibility alongside broadcast-grade quality
With the cloud, broadcasters and streamers can spin up/ down channels on the fly in just hours — allowing for rapid scaling in response to audience demand. Want to launch a pop-up channel around a live event? Done. Need to close a channel that’s not seeing adequate reach? Also done.
And this level of flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing on quality. Not only does cloud enable content owners to deliver channels over satellite, fiber, or IP, it also ensures top-of-the-line playout for both 24x7 linear and VOD channels. Whether via Free-Ad Supported TV (FAST) platforms, native apps, or broadcast channels, organizations are able to efficiently deliver content, graphics, captions and metadata in up to UHD resolution, all while minimizing implementation and operational costs to enhance revenue.
Automated playout management
Unlike traditional playout systems, cloud technology enables automation for more effective playout management. Processes such as playlist generation, quality checks for configurable parameters, scheduling and monitoring no longer have to be manual, time-consuming efforts. With cloud-based automated processes, content owners have the ability to manage hundreds of feeds and scale up or down at will with ease.
What’s more, cloud technology even enables automated dynamic ad insertions — selecting the optimal ads based on the viewer and the content they’re watching — as well as advanced graphics placements. With an automated process that incorporates graphics from media databases and playlists, along with asset metadata, into channel playouts, content owners can achieve dynamic effects, faster and more efficiently than ever.
End-to-end workflow functionality
Today, comprehensive end-to-end workflow functionality is a baseline for every media company to keep pace with their competition. Fortunately, cloud technology makes this possible, providing everything including seamless media ingest from multiple sources, content management, scheduling, playout, captions support, advanced graphics insertion, ad placement and monitoring — increasing efficiency while reducing complexity.
And, as content owners today need to serve a global audience, they must also be able to centrally manage multi-country feeds. This is, again, where cloud-based playout becomes a necessity — able to deliver content directly to operators using remotely managed cloud playout. In other words, cloud delivers media anytime and anywhere it’s needed, for ultimate efficiency.
Superior performance and reliability
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based playout is its built-in reliability. Cloud solutions automatically back up media assets, so there’s no need to spend additional time or resources to ensure channels continue uninterrupted in the face of disruption. Effectively, the cloud is disaster-proof, enabling organizations to implement the right level of redundancy for them to make sure their channels never go down.
Regardless, disaster scenario or no, cloud guarantees a superior level of performance, offering low latencies and high-quality HD/UHD video. What’s more, many cloud solutions provide a unified dashboard for users to view all their data in one place, remotely, for improved monitoring, analysis and real-time decision making.
Competition for viewer attention has never been higher. The streaming wars are heating up and, with a possible recession on the way, media companies need to capitalize on every possible opportunity to capture and grow their reach — or get squeezed out of business. With the advantage of cloud-based playout and control solutions, broadcasters and streaming providers can not only offer rich, optimized content experiences and reliable, disaster-proof service at scale, they can also lower their cost of operation — and pass that savings on to their customers to help cement loyalty while boosting revenue.
Reach out to Amagi to see how Amagi CLOUDPORT, an award-winning cloud-based channel playout platform, can work for you:
Srini is a technology entrepreneur with 23+ years of experience in establishing and successfully scaling businesses. Srini co-founded Amagi in 2008 and established it as a global leader in SaaS for broadcast and streaming TV on the cloud. As the Chief Revenue Officer of Amagi, Srini is responsible for revenue growth, inclusive of sales & marketing.