Outlook: Three trends driving workflow efficiency
Dave Colantuoni
Issue: November/December 2022

Outlook: Three trends driving workflow efficiency

Despite having access to re-opened movie theaters in 2022, we observed a proliferation in the creation of episodic television and streaming content, and looking into the future, one thing is crystal clear: the appetite for streaming content shows no signs of slowing down. In 2023, we’ll continue to see an enormous amount of content that needs to be created to fill the production pipelines for all types of media, including traditional linear broadcast, motion-picture production and streaming media services. 

The investments being made to support all this content creation will continue as consumer demand skyrockets like we’ve never seen before. In turn, this demand is also influencing a rise in new micro trends around the way teams produce content. 

Here are three trends we see influencing content creation and production to meet growing demands in 2023.

Redesigning production workflows to maximize efficiency 

Production teams are operating on increasingly faster production timelines with a growing list of considerations, like time to market and worldwide distribution of content, as well as high standards for production quality and value. When relying on third-party tools and cloud service providers to complete their projects, it’s imperative that these service providers create efficient workflows for production teams. 

From the camera to the cloud, service providers are implementing new technologies into the entire lifecycle of the production pipeline, such as cloud storage, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to introduce efficiencies earlier into the production pipeline. For example, leveraging the cloud to conduct multi-copy archival quick reviews and approvals on-set, or leveraging AI and ML for dubbing and captioning traditionally occurred later in the production workflow, but today, are pushed further up in the production chain. 

A majority of content today still resides on-premises, and we also expect to see a growing number of hybrid workflows develop across production teams. As a result, solution providers are creating more solutions that are interoperable with both hardware and the cloud, including tiered storage to complement on-premises environments. The accessibility of storage within the production workflow is growing more than ever. Today’s production teams require both nearline and online storage options, from the beginning of the production workflow to post, and through the delivery of the content.

Leveraging cloud collaboration to expand and promote talent 

Good talent has always been hard to find and in today’s media & entertainment industry. Production houses are scrambling to fill roles, including editors, producers and engineers. Because of this, production teams are leveraging technology to maximize their resources. One way they can reduce inefficiencies in production workflows is by leveraging ML tools to make menial tasks more efficient, which allows them to dedicate more time towards creating. 

Distributed teams depend on a streamlined user experience when they’re leveraging cloud-based tools to collaborate and work on content remotely. These workflow efficiencies are driving solution providers to create faster toolsets and, in some cases, even consolidate products or solutions. 

Cutting production cost through cloud-based workflows 

Most production teams, if not all, don’t have a blank check to write to produce content. When faced with the need to produce more content, teams are leveraging the cloud to uncover more efficient workflows within their budget. The challenge with this, however, is that when it comes to cost savings, efficiency often trumps quality, even though the quality of the content you’re producing defines the value of the production. By leveraging the cloud, production teams can maintain workflows and access a broader range of talent, located anywhere, to produce the same level of quality content, and more of it, within budget.   

Subscription based models are also growing in popularity, which enable production teams to pay for only the cloud services they use when they need them, and easily scale up or down according to demand. Subscription options offer production teams the ability to transition their infrastructure spend to OPEX, as well as the flexibility to gradually migrate their software licenses to run on the cloud over time, as they embrace hybrid cloud deployment models. These subscription models provide teams with the financial flexibility and operational agility they need to navigate the rapidly changing media marketplace.

A cloudy forecast 

Looking ahead into 2023, the direction everyone is headed in is towards the cloud. Sure, this might have been a slower migration if the pandemic never happened, but the demand for content would have eventually reached these levels, and the cloud is providing the path forward for film and production industries to adapt. 

Based in Burlington, MA, Avid (avid.com) offers technology for creating, managing, storing, distributing and monetizing film, television and music. Dave Colantuoni is the company’s VP Product Management.