The next big step for the media industry is to industrialise the way they work.
Continued globalisation of audiences and content has meant that a new way of working is necessary to meet the growing demands of production and distribution across various platforms in various geographies. Add to this the constant pressure to improve market share and operating profits and the need to do things differently becomes paramount.
To succeed, many industry heads are now looking towards the manufacturing industry for best practice. After all, media is a commodity and production and distribution on a grand scale is most efficient when streamlined and automatized.
Media and the fourth industrial revolution
The media industry must join all other industries in finding a coherent way to manage better the fourth industrial revolution – that of emerging technologies. This has been easy for the newer media organisations that have grown and developed in the age of digital but the challenge remains for the more traditional media companies.
The media industry has worked, for a long time, in a completely different way to most other industries. Traditional media companies develop and use their own bespoke technology and systems and their experts develop skills very specific to their roles and ways of working. A broadcast specialist is not necessarily an expert in IT.
Because of this it has traditionally been a difficult industry for others to navigate. Internally it has relied on a very small pool of appropriately trained individuals.
Increasingly, however, it is becoming difficult for the industry itself to navigate and manage. The boom in content and different platforms for publishing has created a mish mash of different supply chains working on different formats split across different platforms.
All too often, especially in longer-established media companies, these content supply chains are still pretty much siloed. Specific products often rely on dedicated yet inefficient supply chains that are often very poorly automated.
And not only is this inefficient and costly but it also leaves organisations open to error, such as, for instance, rights violations, as it’s difficult to track centrally how and where content is being used. They also result in duplication and inhibit potential synergy. This has got to change. Fluid collaboration across these many media processes now becomes key to success in the market. It’s time to consolidate, industrialize and modernize the media supply chain from end-to-end, maximizing process automation and integrating the numerous systems that make up media workflows.
The IT service industry has already got advanced capacity in defining and implementing reference architectures and platforms for service and process integration that the media industry can leverage. The IT pros can support media specialists in the world of ITIL, Enterprise Service Bus, Service Oriented Architecture, Micro-Services, and Business Process and Performance Management.
The evolution of a micro services approach, for instance, has been the exemplar of how the media industry should manage its content supply chain platfoms.
Put simply, microservices are a design and development process whereby component parts built specifically for one purpose are joined together. A platform built on this approach is quick and flexible and allows for the entire chain – processing, managing, distributing and selling of content to happen in one place. It can be easily scaled up and down to suit needs and any issues within the system are able to be quickly fixed without breaking the entire system.
Standardised supply chains are cheaper and more efficient to manage.
How to make this change
The first and most important step is to realise that IT and IP are essential for moving forward.
The skills needed to design and build a process like this are not media skills but those of IT professionals working alongside those with deep knowledge of the industry.
A totally new architecture standard is needed.
Engage people with IT and IT service backgrounds in your media-process discussions, and it will soon become clear that their experience adds real value.
The IT service industry has already got advanced capacity in defining and implementing reference architectures and platforms for service and process integration. The IT pros may talk a different language but find a way to establish a common dialogue between your media process specialists, and those used to managing IT service, and you have a formula for success.
Follow our next articles as part of “IT in Media” Blog series for IBC 2017
At IBC 2017 in Amsterdam, we are exploring all four focus areas and sharing ideas and experiences with specific reference to some of our many media partnerships around the world.
IBC is the world’s leading media, entertainment and technology show, exhibiting more than 1,700 of the world’s key technology suppliers and showcasing a debate-leading conference.