In an article published on the Guardian earlier this month, Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, contemplates the changes that cloud computing will bring over the next year. It’s a list we wholeheartedly agree with, including the developing trends in data availability on mobile devices, cloud-based analytics, and real-time data processing. But, possibly the most interesting cloud computing trend Vogels highlights concerns how cloud technology has the power to change the way companies think about media production, particularly the way in which the cloud’s media capabilities level the playing field for companies stepping into the world of video and audio creation.
Disintermediation has been an influential concept over the last few years. Individuals and brands now have direct access to potentially huge audiences without having to go via third-party publishers. The content gatekeepers have been deprived of their position as the channel through which companies must communicate with customers and potential leads.
When it comes to media production, the resources for doing it right have often been beyond the means of even midsize businesses, which has limited the effectiveness with which they can craft a rich media experience for their audience. Prices have been exorbitant because very few have had the means to produce and distribute high-quality media without a significant investment in expensive hardware or outsourcing to third-party production houses.
While the creation of rich media is never going to be inexpensive – it requires a significant expertise – the cloud has enabled many of the tools necessary for video and audio production and distribution to be commoditized, which for the first time is helping businesses bring their media production in-house.
Vogels gives examples such as a soccer club and an orchestra to demonstrate that organizations that could never before have hoped to achieve the necessary international distribution network are now leveraging cloud technology to build a niche but valuable audience. Cloud media production has changed the economics of media distribution.
Using the cloud, companies can bring media production in-house and still have simple and low-cost access to the pre- and post-production tools, and the computing heft they require. Over the next few years, companies will start to embrace the revenue generating potential of rich media production because the barrier to entry has been so comprehensively lowered.
Almost anyone can access relatively low-cost recording equipment to capture video and audio, and the cloud will help them process it with professional quality post-production tools and then push it out to international distribution networks that will make their content available in a location and format to suit their audience. Most importantly, cloud computing empowers users to do this with very little capital investment. Creating high-quality and compelling rich media has never been so easy.
(Ted Navarro is the technical writer and inbound marketer for ComputeNext, an innovative cloud marketplace company.)