Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

108 says Beach. “We’re going to be taking the tools that are already out there, then bringing new AI tools into their services and product lines, enabling organisations to leverage them inside of their environments. He continues: “We’re also taking our first-party search, networking and computing capabilities and working directly with the organisations and internet service providers to make sure that an archive is as optimised and cost effective as possible. We’re making sure that an active archive doesn’t become costly for our customers and is instead an effective way of increasing and scaling their production environments.” Microsoft is also working closely with its partners to enable their solutions and deliver value for their customers. “The partners are a critical part of our ecosystem,” says Beach. “In this space, I think about the work we’re doing with partners like IPV, Avid, Adobe and Unity, with some of their asset management capabilities. You also have startups like Deep Dub who are doing localisation of assets in active archives as part of their workflows.” Another key partner is Prime Focus Technologies, which is collaborating with Microsoft to combine its media asset management and AI technologies with Microsoft’s Azure cloud and generative AI capabilities to develop new solutions for managing media content libraries. The two companies aim to bridge the gap between on-premises and cloud-based solutions, allowing organisations to transition smoothly as they modernise their media asset management strategy and create active archives. “A significant portion of media archives remains inaccessible or underutilised, and this partnership signifies a substantial leap towards maximising revenue streams, harnessing the power of AI as a strategic catalyst for growth and success,” says Saumya Dwivedi, executive vice president at Prime Focus Technologies. Ultimately, Beach sees active archives as a way to empower employees across an organisation, helping facilitate new ways of working. “It’s about putting intellectual property in the hands of everyone in the company and making it faster for them to do their jobs,” says Beach. “Once you do this, there’s an almost neverending number of ideas and applications for them to explore.” FEATURE Media analyst Paul Kosac offers his view on the impact that active archives will have on the industry Analyst perspective With the combination of content inventory and viewers across many platforms, free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) growth is up 30 per cent over the past year – be it in advertising, number of channels, or hours of viewing (HOV). Leveraging Microsoft Azure, FAST services can now harness massive libraries with personalised and targeted advertising powered by advanced analytics and AI-driven insights from Azure Cognitive Services. The recent integration of multimodal models, such as GPT-4 from OpenAI, available through Azure OpenAI, further enhance these capabilities by providing sophisticated natural language understanding and generation. Additionally, Azure Synapse Analytics provides predictive metrics for monthly active users, HOV and revenue, which is robust data that can back up investment payoffs for FAST. When you add the power of real-time understanding through Microsoft’s cloud-based architectures and tools like Power BI, FAST media strategies are becoming profit machines, maximising existing inventory at low cost. What’s more – media processing and delivery are handled by trusted partners, ensuring a seamless experience for viewers. Paul Kosac Director, Entropy Photo: iStock/scyther5