Technology Record - Issue 28: Spring 2023

45 Through our partners, customers get more value from Microsoft’s products and services. Media and entertainment’s unique workflows and requirements to distribute very large assets on a global scale benefit from this approach. Avid, a long-standing industry partner, works strategically to leverage the Microsoft Azure services to bring its edit-on-demand services to broadcasting customers around the world. Look for news from Avid around integration with Teams very soon. Partners are often at the forefront of innovation, developing new solutions and services that leverage Microsoft’s products and technologies. These innovations are helping Microsoft stay ahead of the competition and drive new growth, which is even more critical in an industry driven by technology. How does sustainability apply to the world of media and communications, and where does Microsoft play a part in driving change? Media production can have a significant environmental impact, particularly in terms of carbon emissions and waste. Companies are taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint by using sustainable production practices, such as reducing plastic use, recycling materials and using electric vehicles. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the content they consume. The media industry is responding by creating sustainable content and leveraging data to understand how they are doing. Organisations in this sector are also investing in sustainable technology, such as energy-efficient data centres and cloud computing solutions. This can help reduce the industry’s overall carbon footprint and support sustainable growth. An example from a Microsoft perspective is our AI for Earth programme where we are using AI to address environmental challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. The programme provides grants and resources to organisations working on environmental solutions, and is leveraging Microsoft’s AI capabilities to drive innovation in sustainability. How do you see audience experiences being reimagined, and what elements of your work excite you most right now? Audience engagement is a critical aspect of the industry, and companies are constantly looking for new ways to engage with their audiences. Interactive experiences are becoming increasingly popular, as audiences seek more immersive and engaging content. This can include interactive TV shows and movies, virtual reality experiences and interactive games. Social media has become a key platform for audience engagement, as it provides a way for companies to connect with their audiences in real-time and build a community around their content. Companies are also using data and analytics to personalise content recommendations and are developing new technologies that can create tailored content experiences. Gamification is another new approach to audience engagement, where companies are adding game-like elements to their content and experiences to make them more interactive. This can include adding points, badges and leaderboards to content, or creating games that are based on popular TV shows or movies. PlayFab is one such technology (see box). Based on existing Xbox technology, it goes beyond engagement activities and provides unique first-party data that also supports monetisation opportunities. Bringing gaming to the cloud PlayFab is a complete back-end platform for live games with managed game services and real-time analytics. It enables game developers to increase revenue, improve player engagement and reduce costs. The Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform helps users leverage cloud technology in their workflows to build and operate games, analyse gaming data and improve overall experiences, via a service that scales with their games.