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The direct to consumer future of media and entertainment


[MUSIC PLAYING] ANIL JAIN: Hi I'm Anil Jain, Managing Director of Media and Entertainment Industry Solutions at Google Cloud

It's my pleasure to present at the first Digital Next OnAir Media and entertainment companies are in the midst of a significant transformation, transitioning from the traditional pay-TV ecosystem to providing their content directly to consumers via new streaming services According to PwC, direct-to-consumer streaming will grow significantly, increasing to nearly $74 billion in global revenues over the next three years That's a growth rate of nearly 14% year over year With the impact of COVID-19 and shelter in place policies, this transition has accelerated in the past few months

According to a recent study done by Accenture, video streaming has increased by over 36% since the beginning of the pandemic It's clear that audiences are hungry for more content, stories that inform, educate, and engage during these challenging times Today I'll talk about how Google Cloud is helping some of the world's largest entertainment companies satisfy audience needs in four key areas First, we're working to provide and support robust and resilient content production pipelines The number of scripted television series produced in the United States alone continues to reach record highs year after year

And with the pause in filming due to COVID, media companies must find a way to continue remote production of new content Second, we're helping companies apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to manage content and to maximize the value of existing libraries Third, we're providing scalable infrastructure to power direct-to-consumer distribution platforms that scale with audiences across geographies And finally, we're helping companies understand their audiences more deeply throughout the customer lifecycle using data and predictive analytics Leading media companies must continue to innovate and transform in all of those areas, while also maintaining a safe and collaborative environment for their workforce

This is going to be increasingly critical in order to succeed in today's fast changing media landscape Let's take a look at each area in more depth First, content production With live action filming for many TV shows and films on pause this year, and with many editors and artists sheltering in place, there's been an acute need for establishing remote post-production workflows While many companies have been working with hybrid workflows for some time, we've seen more companies experiment with cloud native processes during 2020

Here at Google Cloud, we're working with media partners such as Teradici, Nvidia, and BeBop Technologies to bring GPU-accelerated, high-powered workstations to artists everywhere for tasks like visual effects, animation, and film editing We know when it comes to remote collaboration that securing your content is a large concern So we've worked extensively with the media industry to ensure tier one compliance with all of the major film studios We also undergo regular independent security evaluator audits and conform to the best practices outlined by the MPA standards Luma Pictures, a visual effects company, completed hundreds of shots for the blockbuster "Spider-Man: Far From Home" with about one third of those shots created in the cloud

By utilizing our global infrastructure, teams in Los Angeles and Melbourne could work around the clock to produce astonishing visuals collaboratively While the creation of new content has paused, companies are working to mine their steadily growing libraries and back catalogs to help fill the audience demand for content In five years, entertainment data will encompass a quarter of all the world's data, but 42% of media CIOs today struggle with managing the immense volume of content being produced, according to a recent white paper by IDC and Seagate Google Cloud's AI and machine learning capabilities, in conjunction with partners such as GrayMeta, Vidispine, and Zorroa, can help companies digitize, categorize, index, and activate content We're working with Fox Sports to help automate a time consuming manual process in media and entertainment, the labeling, discovering, and storing of video assets

Fox Sports will utilize Google Cloud's video search and advanced machine learning capabilities to more effectively unlock the value of its vast archive of sports content When it comes to distributing content to a large audience, media companies need reliable, globally available infrastructure that scales to meet demand Everything we do at Google Cloud is based on our global infrastructure This is the very same technical infrastructure that makes low latency experiences on Stadia and on YouTube possible Our 24 data center regions are spread across the globe, with nine more regions to come

These locations are tied together by our private fiber optic network We have two tiers of network offerings, but our premium network tier is what we're recommending for media streaming It keeps traffic on Google's private network as long as possible and exits to the public internet at a location close to the viewer in order to provide a smooth viewing experience On top of our scalable infrastructure foundation, we're also working with a growing ecosystem of media partners to help modernize existing broadcast and video processing workflows, including Synamedia, MediaKind, Evertz, and several others Innovative media companies like Vimeo and fuboTV are scaling their distribution supply chains to continue serving their audiences globally with Google Cloud

Vimeo was able to seamlessly scale their live streaming service in response to unprecedented demand due to COVID, and we continue to work with fuboTV in scaling their video processing and distribution The shift to digital viewing and direct-to-consumer allows companies to understand at a much deeper level what their audiences are experiencing in real time Streaming services produce billions of data points and events per day, but media companies often struggle with harnessing the power of that data to produce personalized audience experiences throughout the customer journey, from acquisition, to engagement, through to retention Our smart analytics platform, powered by BigQuery and Looker, provides a scalable serverless data warehouse with machine learning capabilities built right in that can help capture, store, process, and analyze massive amounts of data seamlessly Customers like Major League Baseball, ITV, and Sky are utilizing our smart analytics platform to better understand their audiences and listeners and provide personalized experiences

Now, stories and audiences are at the heart of any successful media business, but there's one last critical factor driving a successful transformation to direct-to-consumer, and that is your teams Many companies have already pioneered working from home, but 74% of CFOs surveyed in March 2020 say they intend to shift some previously on-site employees to remote work permanently post-COVID-19 G Suite and Google Meet can help A great example is how we help the broadcast team at Yahoo Finance transition 150 reporters, producers, anchors, and technicians from a legacy TV studio to a 100% work from home model overnight Within a span s a few hours, our team worked with them to set up eight hours of seamless live broadcasts from locations across the United States and London, providing global audiences with critical news and information in this particularly uncertain time, all using Google Meet

In short, many companies are turning to Google Cloud for a globally scalable infrastructure, advanced data analytics and AI capabilities, and our growing ecosystem of media specific partners who can help manage the new normal while continuing to modernize their organizations to serve audience needs I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Gaedtke, chief technology officer of Major League Baseball, on how Google Cloud is helping him modernize America's game Let's take a look Hi, Jason We are so incredibly excited to be working with Major League Baseball

Thank you for making the time to join us today JASON GAEDTKE: Thanks Anil I'm glad to be here today, and we're excited to talk about the new Google partnership ANIL JAIN: So earlier this year, as many people know, we announced a strategic partnership with MLB Can you tell us a little bit more about how that came about, what your goals were specifically with the partnership? JASON GAEDTKE: Sure

When we sat down to take on this infrastructure refresh and our product refresh mission, we had to ask ourselves, what is our end goal here? And it pretty quickly became obvious to us that our fundamental goal is fan engagement It's bringing the game of baseball, which is a beautiful game, to our millions of fans And being able to come in and introduce new technology that allows for things like personalization, personalized recommendations, a social viewing experience, where something happens in the field, you get excited about that, and you get to share that experience with other fans These are the things that really motivate us, and Google's been a great partner in building some products that I think embody those values Statcast is a good example

Statcast is our baseball analytics platform where we are increasingly measuring everything that happens on the field to extremely high degrees of fidelity This started off about five years ago as a ball tracking technology, so we could track pitches Today we can track literally everything that happens on the field, not only pitches and hits and throws, but also player positioning for all players on the field, even coaches and umpires And we're moving from tracking players as a single point of mass, center of mass on the body, an approximation for these players, to skeletal tracking, which is a real-time data feed that really captures the player poses and positions and how a player responds to a play on the field It gives you a much richer sense of the game as it's being played

And this is something that is now entirely being powered by the Google Cloud ANIL JAIN: It's early on in the partnership between MLB and Google Cloud So can you maybe give us some examples of projects that you have already started to work on? JASON GAEDTKE: Sure I'll give you a couple of examples Our technology infrastructure team is really excited about deploying Anthos within the 30 ballparks around the country

What Anthos allows us to do is provide a common control plane for all of our compute workloads, whether we're running those on-prem at the baseball parks themselves where we have small data centers in each facility, or within the cloud A more fan-facing example would be a project that we internally call Fastball This is a fundamentally new approach to video within the game So traditionally baseball has been a one-to-many kind of publishing platform where our editors and producers cut highlights like home runs, or double plays, or exciting moments in the game, and there's a handful of those that then go out to the fans What Fastball allows us to do is cut literally every play out of every game and put those in the hands of the fans with some powerful tools, like advanced search, personalized recommendations, and social sharing

We think this is a new way of experiencing the game, and it's one that's really going to appeal to a younger generation of fans Finally, an example maybe behind the scenes more of a baseball operations workload is our business analytics platform We have a project in-house called Wheelhouse, which is a large data lake that integrates all of the interaction our fans have with the game of baseball So this could be buying a ticket, buying a jersey, streaming a game online, visiting our website, using the mobile app All of these touch points tell us a little bit about how individual fans engage and enjoy the game

And by putting Wheelhouse on BigQuery, we found that we have an extremely powerful data analytics platform for running complex queries It also integrates very well into the rest of our workflow and tooling, whether that's single sign-on using G Suite IDs or integrating Google Sheets to do ad hoc queries and analysis Finally, the MLB marketing team and the club marketing departments enjoy the fact that a lot of their ad management integrates natively into BigQuery and the Google ad platform as well ANIL JAIN: The global pandemic has of course disrupted practically every industry Can you talk a little bit about how it's affected your operations, and even how you're sequencing some of these projects? JASON GAEDTKE: Our MLB teams and the club teams haven't missed a beat

We've used the time that's available to us to pull in some projects that we had planned for later in the year, finishing the workload migrations that we have, polishing up our products, testing our infrastructure, making sure that last 1% of our use cases are buttoned up and ready to go so that we can provide a great fan experience when play resumes on the field ANIL JAIN: Jason, thank you for sharing your experience and your insights We at Google Cloud are very excited to be playing a part in helping modernize America's pastime and working closely with MLB We have a few more sessions with the teams from MLB throughout the rest of Next OnAir, so be sure to tune in for those And again Jason, thank you very much for your time

JASON GAEDTKE: Thank you Anil ANIL JAIN: We're proud to help Major League Baseball and other media companies in continuing their cloud journey, and we're thankful to all of our partners and customers around the world For more information on how Google Cloud can help you with your direct-to-consumer transformation, please visit our Media and Entertainment Solutions website, and tune into our continuing Next OnAir programming throughout the summer Thank you [MUSIC PLAYING]

Source: Youtube

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