Posts Tagged ‘Amazon AWS’

Evolution of Opinions About Virtualization and Cloud Technology / Service in the Media and Broadcast Industry

Analysis, broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Conference Sessions, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 18 2015

This is the third in a series of articles about some of the findings from Devoncroft’s 2015 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2015 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.

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The Most Interesting Take-Away From the 2015 SMPTE Conference … A Change in Sentiment Towards Cloud

On the last day of the 2015 SMPTE technical conference in Los Angeles, I was chatting to the CTO of a large media company.  I asked this person their opinion on the most interesting take-away from the 2015 SMPTE Conference.

After pause for thought the answer (I am paraphrasing here) was that three years ago when SMPTE started the cloud technology track at their annual conference, the 2013 cloud session chair Al Kovalick (who this year chaired the IP Networking track) practically had rotten tomatoes thrown at him when he told the (highly skeptical) audience that broadcasters and media company could indeed get to 5 nines” of reliability, and that it would not be long until media technology infrastructure migrated to the cloud.

Fast forward three years to the 2015 SMPTE Technical Conference, and the most interesting take-away for this media CTO was that not only were there no tomatoes thrown at speakers presenting papers about cloud and IP – it was just the opposite.  There appeared to be was broad agreement, that cloud technology is real (or at least becoming real) and that media companies are rapidly adopting it in various ways.  So minds (and therefore budgets) have changed considerably in a very short space of time.

 

Our Research Shows a Similar Change in Sentiment

What this executive expressed dovetails with the way the opinions of participants in Devoncroft’s annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) have changed over the past several years.

As mentioned in a previous post, one of the key outputs from the BBS is the annual BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index. This is a ranking of the broadcast industry trends that are considered by BBS respondents the most commercially important to their businesses in any given year.

The way the opinions about cloud technology and virtualization have evolved in the minds of media and technology buyers is very interesting to observe.

In the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, “Cloud computing / virtualization” ranked as the #5 trend (maintaining the same position as in 2014 and 2013).

For the past several years, it was apparent that there was not a clear understanding of how cloud technology would be deployed in the broadcast environment, and what benefits it would bring.

Today, our research shows that despite remaining skepticism about the cloud (not to mention security concerns), the acceptance of (or at least the willingness to consider) cloud technology and related services increased noticeable over the past several years.

 

 

Plans for Cloud Deployment in Media and Broadcast

But what are buyers of broadcast technology actually planning to deploy in the cloud, and do they actually trust cloud technology?

There is a substantial amount of additional data captured in the 2015 BBS on what technology segments end-users are deploying and planning to deploy cloud services, along with what efficiencies they hope to achieve by deploying cloud Services.  This data is presented in the 2015 BBS Global Market Report (available for purchase).

Over the past year, we’ve observed that cloud services / cloud technology is one of the fastest growing areas of project spending in the media and broadcast industry.

But what are buyers of broadcast technology actually planning to deploy in the cloud, and do they actually trust cloud technology?

 

Opinions and Sentiment About Cloud are Changing Rapidly

Perhaps more than any other topic, the industry’s plans for cloud have evolved considerably over the past several years.

For the past several years, we’ve been asking BBS respondents what they’ve already deployed, or plan to deploy in the cloud over the next 2-3 years.

As the chart below highlights, the answers given by BBS respondents over the past several years have changed over time, as cloud went from a non-issue, to a curiosity, to a top-5 project.

Today, we are hearing more and more from end-users about serious projects being deployed in the cloud, and many more are evaluating how to take advantage of the benefits offered by cloud technology.

 

2009-2015 Evolution of planned cloud deployments in media & broadcast

 

To further illustrate how plans for deployment of cloud technology in media and broadcast have changed over the past several years, the three “word clouds” below show the free-text responses we received from BBS participants about what they have already deployed in the cloud or are planning to deploy in the cloud over the next several years.

 In 2013, plans for cloud technology were highly fragmented, with projects ranging from email, to collaboration, to storage and archive.

 

2013 BBS - Planned Cloud Deployments

 

Many respondents to the 2013 BBS said they planned to use cloud technology to deploy things like email systems, collaboration portals and file-sharing, and straightforward applications such as off-site storage of media assets. However, very few respondents contemplated “serious” media operations in the cloud.  Perhaps that’s because they were busy throwing tomatoes at Al Kovalick…

 

One year later, respondents to the 2014 Big Broadcast Survey revealed that they had started to contemplate more seriously what could be done in the cloud for media operations.  In addition to plans for email and collaboration systems, there was a noticeable increase in the number of companies that were planning to utilize cloud applications for media processing (such as transcoding and editing) and workflow-related applications (such as VOD and archive management).

 

2014 BBS -- Planned Cloud Deployments Word Cloud

 

We also heard from many 2014 BBS respondents that they were beginning to experiment with different operational models and architectures involving virtualization and cloud technologies.  However, in 2014 the majority of responses still involved more “simplistic” cloud technologies such as collaboration, off-site storage, and subscription software services, and file sharing.

 

By 2015, both cloud infrastructure as well as end-user understanding of what can be done in the cloud had evolved.

2015 BBS - Planned Cloud Deployments.

2015 BBS respondents shared information about specific projects already underway, or that have been completed.  We’re also seeing planned cloud deployments of “serious” media operations such as playout, compute, workflow, and MAM.

Perhaps most interestingly, we saw the term “confidential” more than ever when we asked people about their plans to use for virtualization and cloud technology in broadcast and media operations.  Based on what we see and hear in the market, we’re taking this as an indication that that trials and projects are already underway.

This was reinforced throughout the 2015 SMPTE Technical Conference, where presenters from BT, Fox NE&O, Amazon AWS, Sundog, Telestream, Levels Beyond, and others all talked about the potential of virtualization and cloud, and described real-world examples of how cloud and virtualization are being used today, and how this will increase in the future.

So hearing from a media company CTO that one of the most interesting take-aways from the 2015 SMPTE conference was that there is growing acceptance of cloud is not a surprise.  Our data shows a clear progression of the importance of cloud technologies and cloud services in media and broadcast operations, and we expect this to continue into the future.

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Related Content

2015 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

The 2015 Big Broadcast Survey

Ranking The Most Commercially Important Trends in Broadcast and Media Technology – 2015 Edition

Download New Devoncroft Partners Report: NAB 2015 – Observations and Analysis of the Media Technology Industry

New Devoncroft Report Available for Download: IBC 2015 – Observations & Analysis of the Media Technology Industry

2015 SMPTE Technical Conference Program

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Ericsson to Acquire Envivio in $125 Million All-Cash Deal

Analysis, Broadcast Vendor M&A, Broadcaster Financial Results, OTT Video | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 10 2015

Ericsson_Logo
Ericsson announced it has agreed to acquire Envivio for $4.10 per share, or approximately $125m.

The deal values Envivio, which had revenue and $41.5m for the year ended January 31, 2015, at more than more than double its closing price of $1.90 in yesterday’s trading.

The board of directors of Envivio has unanimously agreed to recommend that Envivio’s stockholders Envivio_Logotender their shares to Ericsson in the tender offer, and a group that collectively owns approximately 34 percent of Envivio’s outstanding common stock, have also expressed support for the deal.

Envivio provides software-based video encoding/transcoding, processing, packaging and ad insertion for broadcasters and pay TV operators.

Ericsson says the deal will “greatly enhance Ericsson’s software video encoding capabilities and its virtualized encoding concept, which enables abstraction of video processing functions from architectural and functional boundaries, enabling the flexibility to use both hardware and software based video compression, as well as any deployment architecture.”  Ericsson also said the deal extend its “leadership position in TV and media as a global end-to-end solution provider, strengthen [its] video compression position with combination of software and hardware encoding, [and] bring deep competence in software-defined and cloud-enabled architectures for video processing, enhancing Ericsson’s virtualized encoding approach.”

Ericsson’s acquisition of Envivio comes just a week after Amazon Web Services announced that it will be acquiring multi-screen technology provider Elemental Technologies.

Last year (at NAB 2014), Ericsson and Elemental jointly announced that Elemental’s video processing software had been “fully integrated into the Ericsson Virtualized Encoding solution.”  At that time, Dr. Giles Wilson, Head of TV Compression for Ericsson, said: “By expanding Ericsson Virtualized Encoding to also support Elemental software encoding, we are enabling TV service providers to efficiently address the growing complexity of multi-screen TV service delivery within a single solution. As providers strive to address consumer demand for TV Anywhere, we are focused on helping them make the right choices with their multi-screen video processing deployments.”

The combination of Elemental and Ericsson technologies were marketed by Ericsson as the SVP 4000 product family, which according to Ericsson’s website is “a server-based encoder [that] uses standard off-the-shelf GPUs to complement its powerful CPUs and hence provide the best encoding performance on a server-based platform.  In this regard it sits alongside the AVP 4000 system encoder, which offers the best encoding performance on a hardware-based platform.”

With Elemental now part of Amazon AWS, Ericsson moved quickly to find a new partner for multi-screen and virtualized encoding, and found a good one in Envivio.

Indeed, the Ericsson’s announcement of the Envivio acquisition specifically mentions that Envivio’s “pure software video processing is available on Intel-based appliances or IT blade servers.”

Interestingly, while the acquisition of Envivio gives Ericsson a good partner for multi-screen delivery, some of Envivio’s technology may overlap with Fabrix Systems, which Ericsson acquired in September 2014 for $95m. At the time of the Fabrix acquisition, Ericsson said Fabrix provides “cloud based scale out storage and computing platform focused on providing a simple, tightly integrated solution optimized for media storage, processing and delivery applications such as cloud DVR and video-on-demand (VOD) expansion.”

Time will tell whether Ericsson believes the technologies acquired from Envivio and Fabrix are complementary or overlapping.

Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson, says: “Our consumer research clearly shows that viewers are demanding TV on their terms on any device, and expecting experiences that continually evolve. We are committed to offering our customers a clear path towards fully agile cloud agnostic platforms that delight TV consumers. I look forward to welcoming the market leader in pure software-defined video encoding, processing, and packaging into Ericsson. The combination will strengthen our encoding position with both custom silicon and pure software encoding, delivering performance and flexibility.”

 

Ericsson’s acquisition of Envivio is the latest in a series of deals related to online video and transcoding. As broadcasters and media companies scramble to deploy multi-screen services, transcoding is seen by many as a key technology.  As a result, transcoding has also attracted its fair share of financing and M&A activity.  Here’s a quick run-down of some of the recent transcoding deals and related-financial news:

 

 

 

 

 

  • In April 2014, Imagine Communications acquired Digital Rapids for an undisclosed amount

 

  • In April 2014, Dalet acquired Amberfin for an undisclosed amount

 

  • In January 2013, Amazon unveiled its “Amazon Elastic Transcoder.” Based on the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform, the Elastic Transcoder the service provides “a highly scalable, easy to use and a cost-effective way for developers and businesses to transcode video files from their source format into versions that will playback on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.”

 

  • In August 2012 Brightcove bought Zencoder, a 2-year old start-up with $2m in revenue for $30m, and subsequently launched a cloud based transcoding service at IBC 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • RGB Networks bought transcoding vendor Ripcode in 2010

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Related Content:

Press Release: Ericsson announces agreement to acquire Envivio

Amazon Web Services to Acquire Elemental Technologies for a Reported $500 Million 

Press Release: Elemental Announces Full Integration with Virtualized Encoding Solution

Ericsson Virtualized Encoding (EVE)

Ericsson SVP 4000 Product Family

Press Release: Cloud video transformation accelerated through Ericsson acquisition of Fabrix Systems

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Amazon Web Services to Acquire Elemental Technologies for a Reported $500 Million

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 03 2015

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Elemental Technologies.

Elemental_Logo

According to a statement from AWS, the deal brings together Elemental’s leading video solutions with the AWS Cloud platform to provide media and entertainment companies with a range of integrated solutions to efficiently and economically scale video infrastructures as the media industry increasingly moves to internet based delivery.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but several outlets are reporting that the value of the deal was approximately $500 million.Amazon_AWS_Logo

It the rumored $500 million acquisition price is true, it represents a strong valuation for Elemental. For the full year 2014, Elemental had revenue of approximately Elemental had revenue of $49.2 million, according to INC Magazine’s listing of the fastest growing private companies in the United States

In December 2014, Elemental closed a $15m series D funding round, led by led by Australian telco giant, Telstra, who in August 2014 acquired online video platform provider Ooyala for $360m.

According to Crunchbase, Elemental raised a total of roughly $44 million from investors over the years, including venture firms General Catalyst Partners, Voyager Capital, Steamboat Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners. Others of its investors include the Australian telco Telstra, the European pay TV giant Sky, and the angel investor groups Oregon Angel Fund and Alliance of Angels.

blackman, elemental

Speaking on a panel of industry executives at the 2015 NAB Show, Elemental founder and CEO Sam Blackman said the company had more than $50 million in revenue, had grown its top-line revenue by more than 55% over the past year, and that he would “be disappointed if we didn’t do that again this year.”

Elemental will continue to operate its business under its existing brand, delivering the full range of solutions for pay TV operators, content programmers, broadcasters, governments, and enterprise customers. Elemental will also expand the integration of its offerings with AWS, and through close collaboration with AWS, accelerate the innovation of next-generation services that feature a range of solutions for customers leveraging on-premises assets, hybrid architectures, and cloud.

In a blog post, Blackman said I am thrilled to announce today that Elemental is joining forces with Amazon to accelerate the development and adoption of our software-defined video platform. Elemental’s top core value of Integrity is similar to Amazon’s Leadership Principal ‘Earn Trust of Others.’ Amazon ups the ante on Elemental’s core value of ‘Customer Centrism’ with their ‘Customer Obsession.’ And Elemental’s third core value, ‘Innovation,’ is matched by Amazon’s ‘Invent and Simplify.’ This alignment around the fundamental, intrinsic cultural values shared by our teams ensures that we will do great things together.

Elemental will continue to operate its business under its existing brand, delivering the full range of solutions for pay TV operators, content programmers, broadcasters, governments, and enterprise customers. Elemental will also expand the integration of its offerings with AWS, and through close collaboration with AWS, accelerate the innovation of next-generation services that feature a range of solutions for customers leveraging on-premises assets, hybrid architectures, and cloud.

“The media and entertainment industry is at a unique inflection point, and as a part of Amazon, we will be in an even stronger position to help our customers delight their viewers globally,” said Sam Blackman, co-founder and CEO of Elemental. “We’re thrilled to have Amazon supporting our growth and ongoing commitment to our customers’ success.”

“We’re thrilled to have Amazon supporting our growth and ongoing commitment to our customers’ success.”

“Elemental shares Amazon’s passion for invention and putting the customer first,” said Andy Jassy, Senior Vice President of Amazon Web Services. “Together, we’ll collaborate on deeper technology integrations and new infrastructure offerings so that media and entertainment companies can evolve their hybrid and cloud models as they continue to innovate their services for viewers.”

 

Today’s Elemental announcement is the latest in a series of deals related to online video and transcoding. As broadcasters and media companies scramble to deploy multi-screen services, transcoding is seen by many as a key technology.  As a result, transcoding has also attracted its fair share of financing and M&A activity.  Here’s a quick run-down of some of the recent transcoding deals and related-financial news:

 

 

 

  • In April 2014, Imagine Communications acquired Digital Rapids for an undisclosed amount

 

  • In April 2014, Dalet acquired Amberfin for an undisclosed amount

 

  • In January 2013, Amazon unveiled its “Amazon Elastic Transcoder.” Based on the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform, the Elastic Transcoder the service provides “a highly scalable, easy to use and a cost-effective way for developers and businesses to transcode video files from their source format into versions that will playback on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.”

 

  • In August 2012 Brightcove bought Zencoder, a 2-year old start-up with $2m in revenue for $30m, and subsequently launched a cloud based transcoding service at IBC 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • RGB Networks bought transcoding vendor Ripcode in 2010

 

 

Related Content:

Press Release: Amazon Web Services to Acquire Elemental

TechCrunch Amazon Acquires Elemental Technologies for a Reported $500 Million, In Cash

Elemental Blog: Sam Blackman – Building Earth’s Biggest Video Infrastructure!

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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There’s a Lot of Talk About Cloud Technology in Media & Entertainment, But What’s Actually Being Deployed?

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 30 2014

This is the second in a series of articles about some of the findings from Devoncroft’s 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2014 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.

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There’s no question that cloud technology is a hot topic in the media and entertainment industry.

Indeed, it seems that these days you can’t read anything about industry technology trends (in broadcast or any other industry for that matter), NAB or IBC Show wrap-up piece, and/or manufacturer white paper, without coming across some mention of “the cloud.”

We see this in our own research too.

In the 2014 Devoncroft BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, “Cloud Services / Cloud Technology” was ranked the #5 in terms of the industry trends that are most important commercially to broadcast technology end-users world-wide.

This indicates that while there continues to be skepticism (not to mention security concerns) about cloud technology, the acceptance of (or at least the willingness to consider) cloud technology and services increased rapidly in 2014.

For example, data from the Devoncroft 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Global Market Report shows that Cloud Services / Cloud Technology had one of the largest year-over-year percentage increases in terms of broadcast technology end-user project spending, when compared to wide variety of other capital projects.

So while there is still a great deal of hype about cloud in media and broadcast, there also appears to be genuine interest on the part of buyers to actually deploy technology in the cloud.

But what are buyers of broadcast technology actually planning to deploy in the cloud, and do they actually trust cloud technology?

To find out we asked participants in our 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) what they have already deployed, or plan to deploy in the cloud over the next 2-3 years.

Since we typically get about 10,000 people in 100+ countries participate in the BBS (thanks to all who participated, we really appreciate the time you spent sharing your feedback and opinions), we’ve gathered a lot of data on this and many other topics.

As simple example is shown in the “word cloud” below, which provides a graphical representation of how the many thousands of broadcast technology end-users who participated in the 2014 BBS responded to this simple question:  “what have already deployed in the cloud, or plan to deploy in the cloud over the next 2-3 years?”

Please note that the chart shown below is derived from “free-text” answers received in 10 separate languages from the many thousands of 2014 BBS respondents, so there is a lot going on in this diagram.

The free-text responses from 2014 BBS participants were used to create the “word cloud” shown below, whereby the font size of each term was made larger based on how often it was mentioned by 2014 BBS respondents (the colors do not mean anything, but they are pretty).

 

 

2014 BBS -- Likely Cloud Deployments in Broadcast Over Next 2-3 Years (small)

 

 

Although the data in this chart just scratches the surface in terms of the overall scope of opinions captured in the 2014 BBS, it’s a useful illustration of what broadcast technology buyers are thinking about actually deploying in the cloud.

It’s probably not surprising to most readers that “storage” was the use-case mentioned most often by 2014 BBS participants. The combination of low-cost digital acquisition technology, ever-increasing shooting ratios, and the desire to monetize content assets over multiple distribution platforms is driving the need for more storage (both on and off-premise). As one vendor told me recently, “the one thing I can tell you about content archives is that they are not getting smaller every day.”

More interesting, is that when you compare the above diagram with how last year’s BBS respondents answered this same question, is appears that there is more consensus beginning to emerge about media use-cases for cloud technology beyond the obvious.

In previous years, BBS respondents also reported that storage was one of the most important things they planned to deploy in the cloud.  However, after storage, the next most important response was typically “I Don’t Know.”

While there are still some BBS respondents who remain unsure about their cloud deployment plans, there are now many fewer, and it appears that in 2014 broadcast technology end-users are more serious than ever about deploying cloud technology.

In 2014, commonly cited use-cases for media and entertainment cloud deployments include streaming, archiving, editing, transcoding, and content distribution.

It’s also interesting to see specific vendors (including Adobe, Amazon AWS, Apple, and Dropbox) being frequently mentioned as being “the thing” that will be deployed in the cloud. This may indicate that technology buyers are looking to these vendors to provide them anything from specific cloud-based tools, to a complete end-to-end cloud solution.

Leaving aside specific technologies and vendors, sometimes it’s more useful to “zoom out to a 10,000 foot view” of the potential deployments of cloud technology in the professional media and entertainment industry.

Considered from this perspective, we believe that more significant than the technologies and vendors mentioned in the above chart, is the fact that cloud technology is being seen as increasingly important by major broadcasters and media companies.

There is plenty of evidence to support this premise, including several recently announced end-user initiatives and many discussions about creating a “virtualized broadcast infrastructure” in order to drive greater efficiencies. If this is the case, there are significant implications for all involved in the media supply chain, including both vendors and end-users.

Much more information about the attitudes of broadcast technology buyers towards cloud technology, and what broadcast technology buyers are likely to actually deploy in the cloud is available from Devoncroft Partners as part of our 2014 BBS Global Market Report. This report also includes information about what technologies end-users are planning to deploy in the cloud, when they are planning to deploy them, and what efficiencies they hope to achieve by doing so.

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Related Content:

2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

2014 Broadcast Industry Market Research from Devoncroft Partners

Devoncroft Research: IBC 2014: Observations and Analysis of Broadcast and Media Technology Industry (free 52 page report, registration required)

2014 BBS: Ranking the Most Important Trends in the Broadcast Industry, Based on Commercial Importance to End-Users

2013 BBS: With All the Hype About Cloud, What Are Media Organizations Actually Going to Deploy?

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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