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07/05/2019

Why Broadcasters Should Harness The Power Of Cloud-Based Solutions

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The newsroom has always been the beating heart of any news organisation. Whether we are looking at the hustle and bustle happening underneath the New York Times' iconic red central staircase or within the BBC's open-plan and multifunctional studio and workspaces. This is where the magic for news organisations happens. Broadcasters, in particular, have always invested heavily in innovations that allow them to capture content quickly and bring it to consumers no matter where they are.

Innovation is therefore deeply ingrained in the broadcasting industry. Whether that is the advent of colour television or the more fundamental technological changes like moving away from analogue film reels to digital storage, which seems to become smaller with each passing year. The rise of social media has now brought the industry to its next inflection point. As consumers are able to access content at any time and from anywhere, their expectations in terms of quality, timeliness and relevance has sky-rocketed.

The old ways of distributing news are no longer compatible with the new ways of consuming them. For this reason, broadcasters across the globe are now looking at implementing cloud technologies that will allow journalists on the ground, staff back at HQ and themselves as an organisation to make their workflows more efficient, effective and instantaneous, while, at the same time, catering to the needs of modern consumers.

Finger on the pulse, on the ground
Journalists on the ground are often the first to benefit from using such new technologies. Nowadays, there is a clear requirement for them to be able to collaboratively share content no matter where they are in the world. In the past, this has meant building bigger systems and giving more people access to systems across multiple locations. But with new technologies, this is no longer necessary. Journalists now have access to flexible and highly-customisable systems via the cloud, which can be deployed on premises, completely in the cloud or in any combination of the two.

The result of this is that journalists can capture content from the source of the story on the ground, anywhere and anytime. Cloud connectivity allows for an immediate feedback loop with directors, producers and editors back at headquarters, improving the overall quality and relevance of the content. The new generation of newsroom systems made possible by cloud technology is flexible, accessible from anywhere and scalable, which allows journalists to go and capture news stories as they break.

Away from the action on the ground, editors are working in the newsroom to bring all the different components of a story together and turn them into a finished product, ready to be distributed to consumers as quickly as possible. Just as instant feedback via the cloud helps journalists capture the best footage, it also helps editors pull together the best stories. If required, it is important for editors to be able to course correct the content journalists are capturing, as they are capturing it. Cloud technologies, with their instant feedback loop, allow just that and enable editors to provide journalists with clear instructions in real time.

Access to anything, anywhere
Broadcasters also sit on a treasure trove of archived content that, in the past, editors painfully had to unearth from physical storage in order to use any of it. Cloud technologies provide editorial teams with instant access to their entire back catalogue. This is bringing an end to rummaging through boxes in the back room looking for the right SD card or reel of tape. Not only is the whole process sped up but also allows for breaking news to be much more easily complemented by existing content.

Now, last but not least, broadcast organisations themselves draw significant benefits from implementing cloud technologies. Not only do they help broadcasters future-proof their workflows, but they also allow organisations to rely less and less on costly physical infrastructure and become much more agile in the process. Fundamentally, broadcasters are businesses. So, if new cloud-based technologies add more value to a business, they are easier to justify adopting.

At a time where budgets are squeezed and media organisations need to find a way to capture and distribute more high-quality content, quicker, and see a real return on investment, cloud-based solutions might just hold the answer to these challenges for modern broadcasters ready to embrace innovative technologies.

Stuart Almond, Head of Intelligent Media Services at Sony Professional Europe
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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