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.
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).
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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