The rapid shift from television to digital and the increase in online streaming due to the pandemic have caused media broadcasters look for new solutions. With the dramatic acceleration of digital transformation in the broadcasting industry, just having a cloud solution is not enough. In addition, broadcasters will have to invest in a media ecosystem and more (international) cooperation in order to take maximum advantage of technical developments.
The broadcasting industry underwent a huge change in 2021. Largely forced by Covid lockdowns, companies suddenly had to handle their content distribution in a different way. Live events such as the Olympics took on a different form, leading to a massive shift to OTT.
The influx of simultaneous viewers put pressure on traditional streaming workflows. Ensuring successful delivery of video to their end users without any interruptions meant that it was not possible to do everything on-site. As a result, many organisations turned to cloud-based streaming workflows due to on-demand services offering numerous advantages such as flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness.
This development made remote production possible and thus led to an increase in remote production facilities. The entire process, from pre-production to post-production, can be carried out in such a remote production facility. Components such as audio mixing, editing graphics and remote commentary are therefore no longer done on location itself, but remotely. This is not without its challenges: latency can affect the synchronisation of video, audio and meta-data feeds. The degree of end-to-end latency is therefore hugely important, because it's critical for remote control.
However, it's not just the need for scalable and flexible bandwidth worldwide that's causing more and more broadcasters to opt for the cloud. There are also new technologies, such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFTs are digital property certificates stored on the blockchain, just like a cryptocurrency. NFTs can ensure that media companies have more control over their content. Media companies can also use NFTs to build cross-platform interactivity with their end-customers.
Media and entertainment companies will therefore have to deal not only with the changing behaviour of the end user, but also with major technical innovations. To enhance the end-user experience, they will need to automate many things, as well as simplify and optimise processes. Merely shifting to the cloud will not be enough to remain competitive in the media industry in the coming years. Media parties will have to work together more and forge partnerships, such as sharing content with each other or using each other's technical services.
To respond to these changes, media and broadcast parties are looking for one innovative data center where all providers of these developments are located together. In this way, you create an ecosystem where data and video transactions can take place within the same data center. This is a more efficient approach than using different parties to set up connections and turn services on and off. Creating an ecosystem not only enhances the end-user experience, it also reduces latency.
LCL embraces the MediaHub initiative launched in Brussels. Its purpose is to allow media facility providers and media tech organisations to collaborate cost-effectively within one efficient large-scale data center. This initiative makes it possible to address the various challenges of a dynamic media landscape that is becoming increasingly international.
LCL Data Centers is a leading data center company catering to the rapidly growing need for modern cloud solutions. With five independent data centers spread across Belgium, LCL's data centers are located at the economic heart of Europe. London, Paris, Frankfurt, the German Ruhr area and the Dutch Randstad are all close by, making LCL the perfect data center provider to facilitate a centrally located media hub. LCL's data centers already house a number of major broadcasters and CDN parties. From the LCL data centers, you also have access to network, content and cloud parties around the world via the Equinix Fabric.
Although media consumption and broadcasting capabilities are constantly changing, the essence remains the same: reach viewers and ensure continuity. So the challenge is not in spotting the trend, but in acting in a timely manner to continuously meet the new requirements of a changing market.
Curious about what LCL can do for your media & broadcast organisation? Contact our Media Broadcast expert Robert van Beurden.