Cloud infrastructure has been crucial in disrupting the media distribution market over the last decade. Innovations in technology and improvements in global connectivity have enabled new video content creators and many traditional broadcasters to evolve efficiently. When it comes to linear channel origination, by removing the complex and unnecessary resources affiliated with traditional broadcasting, operators are benefitting from cost-savings, scalability, and simplified ways of managing multiple channels.
We have previously explored the differences between true or natively designed cloud software and virtualised ones, concluding that while virtualisation has its place in some cases, its potential certainly has its limitations compared with that of true cloud. In a recent article, we asked the question: Cloud vs Virtualisation for Playout: Does it Matter? In this blog, we explore 3 reasons why it does.
With a rise in demand for remotely accessible solutions, the cloud provides operators with immediate access to their channels through a web browser and sometimes apps, no matter where they are located. It also opens up opportunities for channels to reach new regions, regardless of company size - even the smallest players can target a wider audience through a range of platforms without facing the high costs or cumbersome long term financial and human resource commitments.
The cloud removes the need for physical infrastructure meaning any necessary maintenance or updates happen behind the scenes, with no disruption or down time for customers and viewers. Removing complex hardware means operators can easily scale their operations, regardless of the number of channels and feeds they are managing, thus responding quickly to changes in the market and viewers demands.
Cost is often the biggest factor for many broadcasters when considering a move to the cloud. However, there are little to no upfront costs and lower operating costs associated with true cloud playout. Additionally, with more competition arising from vendors, the cost of implementing the cloud is falling.
By removing the traditional hardware, broadcasters gain the extra benefit of reducing ongoing costs such as maintaining specialist servers, requirements for committing valuable engineering resources (e.g. broadcast, security, IT, etc) to a niche but very complex infrastructure, and ongoing operational costs (datacenter space, air conditioning, internet connectivity, etc). Furthermore, if a channel is unsuccessful, there are no cost penalties due to shutting it down. This gives operators confidence to expand on demand without the worry of throwing money away unnecessarily.
Native cloud software products are able to evolve and integrate rapidly in response to user needs. Broadcasters can adapt to demand by quickly launching new channels or closing existing ones to reflect needs. Whether users require a 24/7 channel, or a pop-up channel for a one-off event, cloud playout streamlines the process of distributing content. Cloud playout allows the user to control the operation of channels as well as enabling them to launch emergency videos, skip events, and manage live sources as needed. By removing dependency on hardware and introducing the flexibility of pure cloud playout, broadcasters can efficiently deliver high-quality content without limitation.
Another benefit is the ease of integration with other natively developed cloud products. Given that most of such products are developed with the same open and easy to understand API architecture, building wider workflows is much faster with cloud solutions.
Operators gain maximum benefit when introducing cloud playout systems into their channel management solution from the get-go. Veset’s pay-as-you-go, self-service, and all-in-one cloud playout platform for channel management provides broadcasters with a quick, efficient, and economical way of managing linear/live TV channels. As the broadcasting industry continues to move away from the traditional hardware-based infrastructure, cloud playout will be waiting to offer itself as the only feasible option for the future of broadcasting. Until then, it will sit firmly alongside legacy infrastructure until operators decide to make the full commitment.