Outlook 2016: Moving files in the year ahead
Michael Nash
Issue: December 1, 2015

Outlook 2016: Moving files in the year ahead

The entertainment industry is entering a new era, as technological advancements enable increased collaboration among distributed teams, and as video quality — and file sizes — continues to grow. These changes will create huge opportunities, but also challenges for post production companies. In the spirit of the New Year, I’m going to share what Signiant believes the post production industry will see in 2016 and beyond. 

Complicated Distribution Workflows

Back in 2011, we wrote an article in Post about the increasingly complex content supply chain, driven by the move to file-based workflows, increasing file sizes and changes in distribution windows. Nearly five years later, the same challenges persist and are being compounded as distribution workflows become increasingly distributed and global, and as the shift to linear plus nonlinear distribution continues. This has become a challenge for today’s content producers as projects are more global then ever — being filmed in Belfast and edited in California, for example. And, we’re already seeing a demand for realtime international distribution of video under tight deadlines.  

Growing File Sizes

With the advent of HD, UltraHD, 4K and even 8K content, file sizes are increasing at a rapid rate. For example, the average :30 TV commercial is now 2GBs; the average 3D feature-length movie, such as Avatar, is about 3,000GBs; and the average regular digital cinema package is around 275GBs. In 2016, it will be increasingly challenging to move these huge files quickly and easily to employees, partners and customers around the globe. 

In the past year, the use of 4K has risen for movies. In 2016, we’ll see the use of 4K spreading more broadly into other markets such as video gaming and virtual reality, due to the ultra-high definition experience offered by 4K. This will be the key to delivering an immersive, realistic experience for today’s demanding consumers. 

Increased Use Of Video 

Enterprises are starting to utilize video more as a communication tool. Today’s employees, who grew up in the YouTube era with video always at their fingertips, expect high-quality video. Organizations will turn to post-production houses to produce a variety of high-quality video content from internal training to recruiting videos. Companies large and small will also increasingly turn to file transfer solutions to solve the challenges of sending these video files to employees and customers, often in distributed locations.

Continued SaaS Adoption

There are many benefits to adopting a SaaS model, including reducing IT support costs and allowing more immediate customization while promoting collaboration and agile software development. These are huge benefits for the creative professional who thrives on customization of tools and relies on collaboration in a secure and timely manner to meet rigorous deadlines. In 2016, we will see an increasing shift to a SaaS model to meet these needs.

The entertainment landscape is constantly changing, and with change comes challenges and opportunities. Accelerated file transfer solutions can solve many of the challenges facing post production companies today, by allowing them to easily collaborate with global teams, and share large, high-value video content quickly and easily. We’re interested to see how the creative landscape continues to evolve in the New Year.

Michael Nash is the Director of Product Management at Signiant in Lexington, MA (www.signiant.com). Signiant’s intelligent file movement software helps the world’s top content creators and distributors ensure fast, secure delivery of large files over public and private networks. Built on Signiant’s patented technology, the company’s on-premises software and SaaS solutions move petabytes of high-value data every day between users, applications and systems with proven ease.