Outlook: Optimizing workflows with cloud storage & AI
Whit Jackson
January 3, 2024

Outlook: Optimizing workflows with cloud storage & AI

This past year saw a dramatic change in the media & entertainment industry – from the onset of AI, to the historic Hollywood strikes and continued budget cuts – producing a new film or series is not as straightforward as it once was. As studios gear up to get back to work in 2024, many are transforming their production pipeline to create content quicker while shaving costs. Additionally, there is a growing need to monetize legacy content libraries and take advantage of the new streaming services and insatiable consumer demand for content. To address these challenges, production workflows must be as efficient as possible, and content libraries need to be more accessible and searchable. 

Getting the production pipeline up and running again 

This year’s production hiatus gave technology leaders an opportunity to evaluate the way they’ve been going about their business and consider how to do more with less. With shooting expected to resume in early 2024, it will be critical that these new workflows are ready so studios can make up for lost time. 

However, speeding up workflows is easier said than done. Often, production is bogged down due to the sheer volume of raw content generated and bottlenecks encountered while getting material from on-set into the hands of editors, artists and vendors. Many are now turning to cloud storage and new AI tools to improve content accessibility, reduce time-consuming tasks and control costs. 

Leveraging cloud storage and AI in production and archive management 

Cloud services have been widely adopted in production and post production for their immediate availability and scalability, and their potential to help companies better match operational costs to specific projects. Cloud storage specifically offers a centralized repository for editors, artists and vendors to access raw footage, and provides a storage hub for work in progress. Now, content producers are applying AI to their storage to automatically generate descriptive and technical metadata to enable highly-refined searches of their collected assets, and trigger automatic content processing and correction. 

Cloud storage and AI are also combining to breathe new life into content archives. Media organizations of all types have been struggling with the growing overhead and cost of managing legacy LTO tape archives. Cloud storage alone relieves all the overhead of tape-based archives. But content owners can now go one step further and apply AI to their archives when they migrate to the cloud. The result is that a once-static archive is now infinitely searchable for people, places, things, events, logos, sounds, etc. The ability to search and instantly retrieve almost anything in one's archive is the path to monetization, whether by publishing historic content to satisfy an audience segment, licensing clips to match a trending topic, or simply not recreating what has been produced before. 

As studios and creatives crank up the production pipeline in 2024, there are new imperatives that relate to efficiency and maximizing the value of their intellectual property. Cloud storage and AI are redefining how media assets are stored, organized, accessed and processed, which will drive a new era of productivity and creativity in the M&E industry. 

Whit Jackson is VP of Media & Entertainment at Wasabi Technologies (https://wasabi.com), a company whose mission is to store all the world’s data by making data storage simple, affordable, fast and secure.