Niche channels capitalize on remote workflows
Parham Azimi
Issue: March/April 2022

Niche channels capitalize on remote workflows

The pandemic brought forth many new challenges for the media and entertainment world. To keep productions rolling, media organizations had to find and deploy new and innovative ways of working that would provide coherent management of their media content. It became very clear early on in the pandemic that better remote production tools were needed.

Organizations had to respond to the rapid increase in the consumer interest in a variety of on-demand content while deploying new working practices at the same time. In the last couple of years, the global video-on-demand industry has boomed. As more broadcasters create their own on-demand and catch-up services, consumers are presented with a wider choice of content, and there is a growing interest in speciality and niche genres of content. 

The rising demand for speciality content can be linked to the effects of the pandemic. With lockdowns forcing people to stay at home, time spent watching TV surged and rather than being restricted by traditional linear, scheduled programming, consumers were going straight to the OTT platforms that satisfied their individual needs. During the first lockdowns in the United States in 2020, niche networks were reporting initial increases of up to 63 percent, suggesting that consumers were going direct to the programmes that had previously been unavailable. However, with more demand for specific TV and film content, service providers were increasingly reliant on production teams to shoot fresh footage.

To deliver prime media, production teams are often located in various locations to capture different stories and perspectives before rendering the raw media into a centralized platform at the end of filming. Rather than relying on the traditional, lengthy process of analyzing content at the end of each day, organizations are beginning to integrate advanced post production solutions into workflows, enabling them to review content immediately. Additionally, any content captured from other locations is also available for immediate review, meaning producers aren’t needed on site to make decisions.

During a recent project with an outdoor lifestyle channel, it was becoming more apparent that demand for its content was growing as viewing numbers were rising and channel subscribers were expanding. To satisfy its audience, the channel needed a faster turnaround on capturing, editing and delivering more of its speciality content. 

The channel had relied on remote work for a few years, with its teams capturing country lifestyle content from various regions in America. It was when COVID hit that the need to streamline workflows became more apparent and it welcomed a cloud-native media management solution that simplified the process of organizing content. The use of Iconik made it easier for the channel to manage and access content wherever it was needed, whether in a studio or on location. Using a solution to consolidate all media assets has improved the organization’s workflows and removed its need for a centralized hub. The team is able work collaboratively and producers can instantly review, approve and give feedback for the content that has been collected. 

Although many media companies have been forced to change their standard working practices, a hybrid approach to media workflows has brought new opportunities for the industry. Speciality channels have been able to stand out among the big players, capturing new audiences and satisfying demand, even when the content is far from mainstream.

With the ability to remove the reliance on physical infrastructure and providing instant access to footage captured from different locations, remote production is simplifying the process of organizing and packaging media for distribution. With the cloud offering secure, global access, remote workflows are set to be around for the long-run - along with the diverse range of channels they support.

Parham Azimi is the CEO of Iconik (, the provider of a cloud-native media management and collaboration solution.