Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

111 INTERVIEW MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS The one with the active library Ramki Sankaranarayanan from Prime Focus Technologies explains how studios and brands can leverage generative AI to maximise their multimedia content BY ALICE CHAMBERS Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said that marketing expenses for the Disney+ streaming service are too high and will be cut at the end of the 2024 fiscal year. Disney is one of many media companies looking to maximise revenue and engage audiences without increasing expenses. Ramki Sankaranarayanan, founder, president and CEO of Prime Focus Technologies, says that an active library approach will help firms to better manage extensive multimedia content archives. He explains how this approach allows businesses to leverage these archives to create more effective marketing strategies and quickly produce new and engaging content. What are the trends driving an active library approach to multimedia content? Media companies struggle to find new revenue opportunities because navigating extensive data catalogues is difficult and time-consuming, despite studios, rights owners and brands being eager to develop thoughtful marketing strategies. For example, if news breaks out about a leading cast member in the TV show Friends, Warner Brothers may want to quickly get hold of specific content from the show to encourage audience engagement on social media. Warner Brothers can then search for the same actor across other shows and films with an active library approach. Please define an active library and what role generative artificial intelligence plays. An active library organises extensive archives of multimedia content. It manages data across different storage tiers automatically and organises, categorises and surfaces relevant content with AI and machine learning. Generative AI is changing the media landscape and can answer questions like ‘what happens in the 10th minute of this film?’ within seconds. It has multi-modal comprehension, so it can understand camera shots, spoken dialogue, background music and other elements. What are some key benefits of an active library? Active libraries enable media companies to save time and money by creating ‘snackable’ content for media platforms. Speed is crucial, allowing users to manage thousands of multimedia documents quickly and effectively. What benefit is there in having your best content sit in an idle archive, unused by consumers? It’s about transforming passive archives into active libraries to unlock new content potential. Prime Focus Technologies provides cloud and AI-powered solutions for the media and entertainment industry but what excites you the most about your collaboration with Microsoft? We are bringing more value to our joint customers so they can generate more revenue and save time on projects. Microsoft has the competitive advantage from an AI perspective due to its partnership with OpenAI and success with Microsoft Copilot. Because of this, there is a sense that Microsoft is ahead in the AI game and that has a positive impact on our customers because they know that the technology we’re using is credible. “ Generative AI is changing the media landscape”