The Evolution of Cloud


Micky Edwards TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
with Micky Edwards
Issue 108 - Decmeber 2015

Television was originally created to be a mass communication platform. Yet, over the last few years, it is becoming increasingly hyperlocal. There are several reasons the television industry is transitioning from a broadcast to narrowcast schematic. One is monetization. According to Borrell Associates, local advertising is a $115 billion market, and estimates show that digital spending in 2015 will account for 42 percent of all advertising within the local space. Thats a lot of revenue that broadcasters limited to a single geographic region could potentially miss out on.

In addition, the trend towards hyperlocalization enables broadcasters to offer targeted content and advertisements, especially with the growing demand for a multiscreen TV experience - from TV sets to PCs, smartphones, and tablets. In its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2013-17 research report, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has predicted that the growth in the OTT market is likely to touch $17.44 billion by 2017 as streaming and Internet-to-TV services become more prevalent. In the same report, PwC highlights that homes will spend increasing amounts on OTT, and purchases and subscriptions made through the TV, amounting to $1.28 billion in 2017. As such, the hyperlocal content and advertising segment will unfold at a rapid pace in the coming months.

Hyperlocalization also allows broadcasters to meet broadcast regulations and content rights requirements that are specific to a particular country. For instance, some countries permit the advertising of alcohol and some do not. TV networks need an easy and affordable way to replace those ads on a common feed.

The challenge is how to distribute hyperlocal TV across multiple platforms in the most efficient and cost-effective means possible. Traditional satellite and fiber-based models are too expensive for hyperlocalization due to high CAPEX costs which, in turn, put pressure on ROI expectations. This article will explain why broadcasters are turning to the cloud to deliver hyperlocal TV, highlighting the specific benefits and applications.

Benefits of Using Cloud for
Hyperlocal TV

Leveraging the cloud, broadcasters can gain increased scalability, streamline the distribution of television content, and dramatically reduce infrastructure expenses. Lets take a look at three specific workflow areas where broadcasters are finding cloud infrastructure to be beneficial for hyperlocal TV.

First and foremost, the cloud is a great way to reduce storage costs. Whenever a broadcaster decides to start delivering hyperlocal playout, they can expect storage costs to rise in parallel with the additional assets theyll be distributing. By storing assets on the cloud, broadcasters do not need to make a large capital investment in data centers or tape archives. They can pay as they grow.

From a playout perspective, a cloud-based infrastructure provides broadcasters with more flexibility when it comes to expanding into noncontiguous geographies. For example, lets say that a broadcaster in the UK wants to cater to audiences in Germany, the Middle East, Australia, and Canada. The TV network would have to build a satellite infrastructure that covers each continent. Given the cost of satellite-based content delivery, thats quite an expensive undertaking. Whats more, a separate satellite feed would be required to expand into each additional market in other geographies in the future. With a cloud-based infrastructure, broadcasters can push their entire content just once, and then start delivering content to regions of their choice in an easy and affordable manner. The regions can be as far apart as Australia, the UK, and Canada. In this case, the broadcaster can even hyperlocalize content specific to each region. Ultimately, a cloud-based playout approach provides opportunity for hyperlocal playout and monetizes content at a reduced cost.

The broadcast community is also starting to use the cloud as a reliable solution for disaster recovery. They can now address feed disruption for any duration in a localized manner. For those who are leveraging satellite or fiber for their primary channel feed, running the secondary and tertiary feeds on the cloud as parallel feeds can dramatically reduce capital expenditures. For disaster recovery, the cloud offers reliability, manageability, and security without compromising on broadcast quality.

Future Outlook for Cloud-Based Delivery

The concept of television is evolving rapidly, as the demand for personalization and targeted content continues to grow, both from a consumption and advertising perspective. The cloud provides broadcasters with a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective way to deliver hyperlocal content and gain insight into a users viewing habits, driving monetization.

As far as the rate of adoption for cloud-based architecture, small and large TV networks acknowledge that the cloud is the future. With an eye to lowering CAPEX and OPEX to manage their current feeds and to support expansion plans, network executives are banking heavily on cloud and next generation playout platforms. Many TV networks have already initiated the transition to cloud-based broadcast to benefit from hyperlocalization advantages. The smaller TV networks are also aggressively adopting cloud technologies to save on capital investment, build efficiencies, and capture audience and advertising share in a competitive marketplace.

In the future, as the television market continues to focus on multiscreen distribution and personalization of content, the majority of broadcasters will transition to a cloud-based architecture for storage, content delivery, and disaster recovery.


Tags: amagi | iss108 | cloud | hyperlocal | Micky Edwards
Contributing Author Micky Edwards

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