Netapp: The changing role of data in broadcast industry

At a roundtable organised by data management experts, NetApp, media industry experts from Vice Media and Pixit Media met to discuss the impact of data in an industry rapidly disrupted by changing consumer expectations.

Digital transformation in the media industry is a $1.3 trillion opportunity, and the panel was positive about how media companies could use data to drive new strategies and content targeted to a new generation of consumers.

The role of data in the media industry has changed from simply being video files stored on a hard drive, to include complex metadata, a multitude of version-specific formats and advanced machine learning technology that is capable of sorting through all this to intelligently manage and archive this.

Toby Taylor, Head of Technology, Vice Media said: “The devices used to consume media have diversified from the one piece of equipment in your lounge to your phone, tablet, laptop – anything really – to watch content back on. Combined with the fact that media is freely accessible, this has caused people to prioritise their consumption ahead of other factors. That for us is meaning that we’re having to change the way we approach the traditional broadcast process.”

“As a global media company, we rely on being able to move data in and out of the cloud to get content to our viewers. For example, for our Vice News piece, we can film in London, pre-edit in London, send to New York for final edits, and then it plays out there.”

Sean Baker, Chief Sales Officer, Pixit Media added: “We’re seeing huge uptake in people asking us about having their power machines (for video editing and 4K broadcast) based in the datacentre or the cloud. I think this is going to be one of the biggest changes that we see in the near future. From a Pixit perspective, this is increasingly an opportunity for us to offer infrastructure based on our own solutions. That way we can offer a system that can be responsive to customers like Vice Media who have large volume of data across a huge range of locations in the cloud, on-premises and between the two.”

Grant Caley, UK&I Chief Technologist, NetApp said: “One of the challenges digital transformation brings is that the speed of access to information needs to be that much faster. As part of that, we see people with legacy environments now need to use faster technology and accelerators in order to provide information to their consumers. Customers just aren’t willing to wait for their content anymore.”

Nick Thurlow, UK&I Managing Director, NetApp concluded: “It’s all about data. 15 to 20 years ago, data was a dry word – it was bank statements and spreadsheets. Now there is a huge trajectory for data, and it is widely distributed and diverse. There are all sorts of different types of media, from catch-up and on-demand through to live broadcast; the landscape is dynamic and changing all the time.”

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