Technology Record - Issue 28: Spring 2023

147 MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS FEATURE on it, which becomes a bottleneck. Then, the movement of files becomes the hardest part. Studios very rarely do translation in house, for example, and so they would need to send a tape or lower resolution digital file out and wait for them to come back from the company they’ve outsourced the work to. There is therefore a significant amount of time that’s just spent waiting.” As media organisations look to become more flexible and responsive in a world where trends come and go in a matter of hours, the delays caused by these slow transfers are starting to become an unacceptable inefficiency. By moving assets onto the cloud, the limits of location can be eliminated, and new tools can be brought to bear much more quickly. “One of the main advantages you should be looking for in a cloud-based environment are the increased number of people able to access content and the ability to use capabilities such as machine learning to automate tasks,” says Beach. “To return to my previous example, the task of translation is no longer as time-consuming with our speech-to-text capabilities.” Another important benefit is the ability to label content using metadata, which identifies details about what each piece of media contains and makes it searchable. Beach points to an example of Microsoft’s work with Warner Bros. Discovery to demonstrate how the archives of historical content owned by the traditional media organisations can become a much more powerful asset with a cloud-based supply chain. “Some of these studios are now over 100 years old,” he says. “Over that time, multiple companies have been merged together to create these truly vast archives, to the point where they simply don’t know what they have. When these archives are moved onto the cloud, they become active – I can go back and find a clip on the cloud in an instant, when that might have taken me weeks before. For example, when we worked with Warner after they were acquired by Discovery, we did a search for the word ‘shark’ to find clips for Shark Week. We came up with thousands of Content stored to the cloud following production can be much more easily identified after being labelled using metadata