“The only thing that is constant is change.” In a world shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 18 months, never has this quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus been truer. Shaped by blocks and social distancing, the world we live, learn and work in has changed irrevocably, with technology becoming an essential tool for collaboration, engagement, and the way we consume content.
About the Author
Gordon Brooks is Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zixi.
Regarding the latter, for example, according to Nielsen, the most popular activity for housewives was listening to music on an AM / FM radio station or streaming services, with 40 % of daily listening. This was closely followed by watching TV or streaming content during a break from work, with 33% of them watching every day.
This increase in content streaming, especially live streaming, is not a behavior that is likely to change in the foreseeable future, and for the media and entertainment industry it is important to adapt and adopt. new technologies to prosper.
With that in mind, we’ve identified three key characteristics for the streaming infrastructure to support efficient and agile multimedia workflows. These are:
- Inherent agility
- Universal interoperability
- Data-driven capabilities
Let’s go through them in turn.
1. Inherent agility
Modern streaming workflows must be able to react quickly to changing market dynamics, as well as seize new opportunities as they arise. For this, they must be based in the cloud.
Software-defined and virtualized workflows deliver a level of responsiveness that cannot be replicated in any other way. For this reason, we are seeing more and more large-scale media companies turning to increasingly cloud-based end-to-end workflows.
The cloud brings five major benefits: improved flexibility, cost savings, increased reliability, faster time to market, and the ability to support a virtualized and remote workforce (which will become more late a key component of the post-pandemic economy). Each of them is a compelling reason to move to the cloud on their own; Add them together and it’s easy to see why only 35% of future infrastructure developments in a 2020 survey were for hardware-defined infrastructure. 65% envisioned software-defined infrastructure, and given the pandemic’s ability to accelerate everything in this area, we’d be surprised if that number weren’t already higher.
2. Universal interoperability
Any IP, any protocol, any infrastructure; the most efficient new streaming workflows will be IP-based and portable.
The move towards IP workflows across the media industry is a generational shift driven by many different factors, ranging from changes in viewing options to the adoption of hybrid network workflows, increased bitrates, improved monetization opportunities, etc.
It is also made possible by the increased reliability, adoption and democratization of managed and unmanaged IP networks beyond traditional transport methods. Managed and unmanaged IP networks are defined as including Internet, leased fiber, cellular, including 5G and satellite IP. When done correctly, public IP offers higher resiliency, higher reliability, lower latency, higher quality, and considerably more flexibility than traditional methods. If you look around the industry, that’s where the momentum lies. Other transport methods have played and still play an important role in the overall development of IP-based workflows, but they are essentially becoming evolutionary dead ends for the new global multimedia workflows which are nearing the end of their usefulness then. that IP becomes the dominant path. to connectivity.
It is important to recognize the critical importance of 5G in this area as well. 5G will generate $ 1.3 trillion in revenue in the media and entertainment space by 2028, completely reshaping the media landscape and ensuring that if businesses don’t support it, they risk failure or even failure. extinction.
The cloud is also essential to the successful deployment of 5G, as are the other four 5Cs, namely content, carrier, cellular and consumer.
- Content – Provides the ability to produce and deliver broadcast content with the highest quality of experience (QoE)
- Cloud – The extension of the existing cloud to 5G / 4G LTE creating multi-access edge computing (MEC)
- Carrier – Critical fiber infrastructure between regional and global MECs
- Cellular – The high-bandwidth, ultra-low latency wireless network providing universal edge
- Consumer – The ability for mobile consumers to create and stream live 4K content
For example, we spent the last year working on a deployment with a major broadcaster to broadcast over Verizon 5G networks using AWS Wavelength Zone technology to enable delivery of 4K UHD streams to commercial targets with ultra-low latency without the need for satellites. . The result is a defined architecture that includes on-premises devices (5G routers) across all segments.
3. Data-driven capabilities
Finally, it’s important to consider the role of data analytics in ensuring QoE and more.
There are quite a few complications here. Data overload can lead to too many false alarms, leaving organizations unsure of what is important and what is not, while a reactive rather than predictive approach can be costly and stressful.
What is needed is better RCA (Root Cause Analysis) to quickly understand the causes of instability and failure, to get ahead of them and prevent them from happening in the first place. The increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is having a major impact here, and the correct application reduces noise and costs, improves RCA accuracy, improves operational efficiency, and enables a predictive approach and proactive streaming issues – allowing users to be alerted to issues before they occur.
The momentum behind streaming is undeniable. However, there are a few pitfalls for the unwary in a rapidly changing field and the potential exists for solution deployments to be too restrictive to ensure adequate ROI, especially as we look to future developments.
However, by ensuring they engage with partners who deliver services with inherent agility, the universal interoperability needed to accommodate public and private IP networks, hybrid IP and 5G, and capabilities based on data to ensure reliability and QoE, broadcasters and other media companies can be confident that their streaming offerings will meet and exceed consumer demand for streaming content, now and in the future.