Frost & Sullivan: Cloud is the Way of the Future – Is Your Video Workflow Ready?

Mountain View, Calif., April 8, 2014: Today’s media executives face the dilemma of meeting the overwhelming consumer demand for TV Everywhere, while maintaining the cost efficiency, agility and scalability necessary to succeed in an over the top (OTT) world. Frost & Sullivan finds that increasingly ubiquitous broadband adds flame to the fire, as it drives an increase in video viewership from personal devices such as tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and smart TVs. While these multiscreen opportunities are lucrative, there are technological challenges in creating a live video workflow with the scale and flexibility to deliver a high quality, live multiscreen experience. Cloud-based solutions have come of age to enable businesses to meet these challenges by delivering business agility, elastic capacity and lowered upfront investment. However, many media and entertainment businesses have a perception of cloud that is rooted in earlier generations of the technology, resulting in outdated misgivings.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest white paper, Empowering Multiscreen Workflows through the Cloud, debunks four key pitfalls media companies often fall into when considering the cloud for deploying online video offerings, and offers best practices for success in a cloud-based video ecosystem. The analysis is based on discussions with leading programmers and broadcasters, whose insight sheds light on current production environments and expected growth patterns, which, combined with Digital Media analyst insights, reveals a pulse on the industry’s status today and its future needs.

Research finds the dominant perceived risk of cloud-based, live video workflows is the inability to derive value from existing equipment investments when looking to the cloud for ongoing growth. The trepidation also comes from the perception of being held hostage to an ongoing rental model for business critical operations, in contrast to the comfort of owning one’s own equipment.

Frost & Sullivan Digital Media Senior Global Director Mukul Krishna said, “The key counterpoint to that concern is to consider fickle technology trends, as there is no guarantee equipment will remain useful over its actual lifetime. Additionally, by locking into fixed format equipment, a business loses agility to adapt to changing trends and leverage the latest, most state of the art technology. Instant-on scalability with no prior commitment is the strongest promise and value proposition the cloud offers today. Dedicated equipment, on the other hand, is more static and less agile by its very nature, a heavy burden in a market that is rapidly growing and changing.”

Another standout concern is reliability. As a counterweight to that point, the iStreamPlanet’s Aventus cloud-based video workflow platform serves as a case study of a solution that ingests, decodes, encodes, packages, secures, publishes and monitors media processing all on one platform. Built from the ground up for cloud, Aventus presents minimal to no interruption to ongoing programming, which proves invaluable to media companies to ensure the consistent, reliable, high-quality experience online video subscribers and viewers are after. Aventus was recently showcased through its live encoding of NBC Sports coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics including the cloud-based ingestion, processing and publishing of 41 live channels over 17 days to millions of viewers on a collection of connected devices.

Robin Cole, vice president of marketing and business development for iStreamPlanet, said, “The research and best practices from Frost & Sullivan underscore the benefits of cloud solutions like Aventus in helping premium content owners, programmers and aggregators accelerate the launch of live video, multiscreen services. Highlighting the differences between the various cloud offerings provides valuable insights for media executives evaluating cloud-based solutions today.”

Empowering Multiscreen Workflows through the Cloud is part of a portfolio of research delivered by Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Media industry research group. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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