How cloud is powering the future of entertainment

Two video cameras
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We are living in a digital age of entertainment. Advances in ultra high definition coupled with the boom in streaming and an increased value placed on back catalogues has boosted the media and entertainment industry’s reliance on technological infrastructure to deliver the content and services consumers demand.

The cloud, however, has struggled to keep up with the needs of the industry. The flexibility and ease of access promised by cloud storage seems a natural fit, but the available services and associated fees meant, for a long time, that many entertainment companies were reluctant to risk incurring spiralling costs. Such expenditure, too, can’t necessarily be predicted or allowed for in advance.

This environment, fortunately, is changing. With providers offering single-tier, high-performance storage with predictable pricing, the entertainment industry is finally starting to reap the full benefits of the cloud that were tantalisingly out of reach before.

The changing landscape of cloud

The entertainment world is now digital-first. 4K and 5K resolutions demand much more data. In our global, dispersed business culture, this can mean huge files being transferred all over the world for editing, promotion and eventual release to the public. Many companies have been seeking ways to monetise their archives through on-demand streaming services and other projects, which means their data needs to be easily and reliably accessible.

The cloud would seem the obvious solution to these needs, offering fast scalability and ease of access from any location – as well as reliable backup solutions that are essential for protecting precious archives.

Traditional cloud solutions, however, have often proven to be too expensive. While, theoretically, cloud storage per gigabyte is cheaper than other options like on-premises storage, added costs like egress and API fees as well a bemusing selection of different tiers can make cloud expenditure high and unpredictable. This is especially true if you want to do outrageous things like actually accessing your data.

Cloud providers like Wasabi are now offering simplified and streamlined cloud storage solutions that are finally allowing the cloud to reach its full potential for the media and entertainment industry. Wasabi’s Hot Cloud Storage, for instance, eradicates tiers, envisioning the cloud as a common, reliable utility with a one-size-fits-all solution in which all data is treated equally. This high-quality, low-cost service does away with API and data egress fees and allows for simple, straightforward scalability so organisations can predict their cloud expenses and don’t have to worry about unforeseen costs that can throw budgets into chaos. Entertainment companies can access their stored data as and when they need it.

A Legendary solution

Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film, television and digital and comics divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to a broad audience. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary commercial entertainment output has realised grosses of more than $17 billion at the global box office.

With media spread over a variety of storage formats and mediums, including on-premises and multiple cloud storage platforms, Legendary found storage becoming a growing financial burden. On top of this, the organisation was increasingly concerned about its ageing hardware.

Collaborating with Wasabi, Legendary was able to offload its expensive on-premises storage to the cloud while still maintaining easy access to its essential files and data. It was also able to reduce cloud storage costs by switching some of its most expensive accounts from other cloud services to Wasabi, cutting down on those egress and API fees and retrieval request charges that had been contributing to its mounting storage budget.

The easy remote access enabled by Wasabi’s solution also allowed editing work to continue remotely during the COVID-19 lockdowns. “Going forward, we see a lot of benefit in enabling employees to work from the comfort of their own home with rapid access to all the work-in-progress and archived assets they need,” said JoAnne Kim, Legendary’s VP of post production technology. “Moving more of our workflow to the cloud will also allow us to hire the best people, no matter where they are.”

Working with Wasabi, Legendary achieved savings by reducing both on-premises and cloud storage costs, and was able to break down a number of storage silos that had been slowing down operations.

“Wasabi has proven to be an easy to use centralised storage environment for a range of studio assets,” said Jason Davison, SVP of information technology at Legendary. “The process of transferring assets to the service is straight forward and all stored content is immediately available so our creative teams can continue to work uninterrupted. With no egress charges, too, we don’t have to worry about how often we access our Wasabi storage or download assets for review and repurposing.”

Read more about Wasabi’s collaboration with Legendary and what it can offer your organisation


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