Digital Transformation in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Content digitization has completely changed the way media companies think about the creation, production, marketing, distribution and monetization of content.

As their audiences find new ways to consume entertainment, whether through tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, PCs, games or combined reality devices, the competition for their attention has never been greater.

This evolution has disrupted traditional business models and directs organizations across the industry to identify new ways in which they can quickly and securely produce and deliver the right content, at the right time, on any device, all supported by business value information and projections, which can be used to drive future decision making.

More and more organizations in the media and entertainment industry are turning to cloud providers to help manage their computing and storage needs and recognize the benefits of flexibility, security and scalability.

For those organizations, having the ability to scale up and down quickly, the processing capacity when required changes the cost curve for the content produced. Once content is ready, advanced search and intelligent content recommendations lead to increased consumption.

Advances in computational vision and natural language processing (NLP) will take these changes even further.

From working with NBC Sports to powering live broadcasts of the Rio Summer Olympics through devices such as TV Connected for the first time, to delivering content storage, media encoding, processing, advanced analytics and more.

Microsoft partners with companies across the media and entertainment industry to help enable digital transformation.

At the National Association of Broadcasters Show, we are excited to announce several new partners and customers who have chosen Microsoft’s cloud to drive their digital transformation:

Avid chooses Microsoft Azure as its preferred partner to drive its business: Avid is a leading technology and multimedia company that specializes in audio and video; specifically in digital nonlinear editing systems; and management and distribution services.

With this strategic alliance, Microsoft Azure will drive Avid and all of its content customers together, globally, and we will jointly develop cloud-based solutions and services for the media and entertainment industry, powered by Avid MediaCentral Platform, the industry’s most open, efficient and tightly integrated platform designed for media.

With a cloud-based offering built on Avid’s portfolio of the industry’s best media workflow solutions and the industry’s most creative end-to-end solutions, this partnership will enable media organizations and creative professionals to quickly and easily leverage the efficiencies, flexibility and agility that the cloud enables.

Verizon Digital Media Services Offers Integrated Microsoft Azure Storage: Recently, we also announced with Verizon Digital Media Services that we will make Microsoft Azure cloud-based storage available to all Verizon Digital Media Services Edgecasts Content Delivery Network (CDN) customers.

Azure Storage will now power Verizon STORE; the cloud-based source storage offering on Edgecast CDN, to provide an even more convenient option for infinite scale, resilient object storage that is ideal for media and metadata.

Crackle, a unit of Sony Pictures Television Networks, selects Microsoft Azure as its broadcast service partner: Crackle programs Hollywood movies, popular TV shows, original series and feature films for the worldwide connected audience.

Azure helps boost the broadcaster’s broadcast services and allows consumers to view content anytime, anywhere or on a connected device.

The next wave of digital transformation

With a diverse and growing set of ways in which audiences can consume media and entertainment, it is not only important to simplify content creation, it is also important to ensure that data provides intelligent and valuable information about the content that resonates among audiences. In 2016, global Internet advertising revenue surpassed global TV ad revenue for the first time.

As our world becomes more digital, advertisers, content creators and distributors will move beyond general demographic information and increasingly require more granular customer details for TV, just as they do for the Internet. Over-the-top (OTT) solutions will help in this, but it is also important that there are end-to-end monetization strategies that accompany them.

At NAB some of our customers and partners show how their businesses evolve to leverage intelligence to create more meaningful connections with their customers.

Ooyala, a Microsoft partner and leader in premium video, media logistics and advertising platforms, demonstrated how Ooyala Flex, the media logistics platform, integrates with Microsoft Cognitive Services to simplify metadata capture by extracting transcripts, detecting faces within videos and analyzing text to detect key topics.

Ooyala then uses those metadata to recommend relevant videos to viewers to deliver targeted advertising.

UFA GmbH (UFA), one of the oldest and most distinguished entertainment brands in Germany, is a very efficient creator of entertainment content. UFA was among the first to have a long-term vision for cloud-based workflow production. They have now brought their archive and content distribution to Microsoft Azure, with the help of Microsoft partner Interlake and

With Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, UFA is able to make its video content actionable and accessible in new ways, such as automatic content translation and tagging, for viewing within the video. The vision is to take the entire production process to the cloud, from recording to playback.