How to Use Media Orchestration to Win Like Netflix

Changing consumer behavior is driving media consumption to new heights. Media orchestration is the missing link in this transformation.

With more outlets to satisfy and more content to manage, media production companies feel the squeeze of a highly competitive market. To stay ahead of the competition, broadcasters are under pressure to shorten the content production lifecycle. One way to achieve this is to use media asset management (MAM) systems to archive, organize, and manage media files and workflows.

But traditional MAM systems are a gift and a curse. They solve the problem of managing media assets on the one hand. However, the wrong MAM platform can impede operations with excessive “babysitting” required to operate and manage basic tasks. The right MAM will incorporate built-in media orchestration capabilities to minimize human dependency in the post-production workflow.

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What is Media Orchestration?

Media orchestration is the process of monitoring and managing the media production workflow with little operator intervention. This helps you save time and operational costs while increasing the efficiency and quality of your media workflow.
Media Orchestration

Media orchestration can’t handle every detail, but it can significantly reduce your labor requirements and deliver substantial cost savings. 

The rest of this article will walk through the importance of media orchestration for modern media asset management, its benefits to your media supply chain, and how you can use it to improve your media production workflow

Traditional Media Asset Management Systems and Media Orchestration

MAM systems originated from the need to store and manage rich media files within the film and broadcast industry. To address the storage problems that came with increased content propagation, MAM systems were fundamentally built to ingest, archive, and distribute. These core features relieved the pain of managing media assets, and extra features were bolted-on later.

But as the industry transformed, the media production workflow evolved to feature media operators, art directors, producers, editors, colorists, marketing, accounts, etc. – all professionals specialized in their defined roles. This led to a task-specific working environment where siloed programs with limited abilities to initiate processes in other applications. As teams evolved, new ways of working and remote collaboration created a need for an interconnected infrastructure with automation and orchestration capabilities.

Netflix without Media Orchestration

An early example of a solution to this need is the Netflix Conductor. After a total shift of operations to cloud computing, the Netflix team encountered challenges in its workflow coordination. Resolving technical challenges on-premise was straightforward. However, the cloud brought new challenges – network fault tolerance issues, distributed transactions, service discovery, device integration, e.t.c.

After much trial and error, Netflix developed Conductor, an orchestration engine for microservices.

Conductor was a game-changer for Netflix. It could create, execute, and oversee complex media workflows with the option to scale to millions of process flows. It also could enable teams to debug systems quickly and learn on the job without completely overhauling old systems.

Netflix decided to contribute back to the Open Source software pool with Conductor, allowing tech giants like Tesla, Github, and Redfin access. The result was a great microservice and workflow orchestration software.

Long story short, Netflix has the brightest Silicon Valley engineers writing custom code to create a media orchestration pipeline that was the envy of the media world.

But one critical thing was missing. Conductor was (and still is) only available to users with technical expertise. As advanced as it seems, the program’s reliance on custom code limits its potential to evolve fully into the ultimate media orchestration engine. So, how does modern media asset management software fill this gap?

Media Orchestration for Modern MAM Systems

Generally, orchestration refers to various independent elements working harmoniously. In music, orchestration happens when individual musical notes are assigned to different players to create balance. In IT, orchestration happens when multiple tasks, computer systems, applications, or services are executed and managed as part of large media workflows. 

The same principle applies to media. Media orchestration brings multiple elements of the media supply chain together and performs tasks automatically to produce a finished project.

The success of your media post-production workflow depends on the seamless orchestration of specialized teams, processes, and tasks using a system that controls and monitors each element. 

Modern MAM solutions feature an overarching MAM orchestrator that provides full visibility and control over independent tasks. This saves you cost and time by automating critical functions across the media lifecycle like bulk intake, transcoding, playout, OTT fulfillment, etc. This control helps media production facilities save time and money while using automation to prevent avoidable errors.

RED to S3

Evolphin Zoom MAM Provides Advanced Media Orchestration Features to Transform your Media Supply Chain

Next-generation MAM solutions like Evolphin Zoom provide interconnected ready-to-deploy orchestration widgets that allow anyone – with or without technical expertise –  to execute chains of specialized tasks from one central interface.

Zoom offers a one-stop shop for the entire media production workflow with integrated third-party tools like Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Apple Final Cut Pro, and other apps for various phases of the production journey.  So, creatives can monitor and control simultaneous tasks and processes with minimal human intervention.

Unparalleled Integrations

Modern media assessment solutions like Evolphin Zoom are a substantial upgrade from the traditional MAM roles of ingesting, archiving, and retrieving. Here are some next-generation solutions that Evolphin Zoom brings to traditional media orchestration problems:

Front-end Deduplication 

Evolphin Zoom MAM offers an exclusive, patented front-end deduplication feature that eliminates identical data copies using a specialized data compression technique.

Front-end deduplication is intuitively orchestrated to check new versions of digital assets, matching file segments against previous versions to avoid storing unnecessary duplicates. The technique keeps links and file paths intact, reduces cloud storage costs, and increases the speed of file transfers with smart copies. Users can save up to 30% of cloud costs by detecting duplicate media during data transfer to AWS S3 or on-premises storage without human supervision or input.

Hi-Res Transfer Orchestration

Traditional file transfer managers are ill-equipped to deal with the rapid transfer of huge media files in a way that complements collaboration in remote teams.

Evolphin Zoom MAM’s next-generation Hi-Res Transfer Manager addresses this by orchestrating rapid content consumption and dissemination to and from any location, including the cloud.

For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Circle – an Opry entertainment group company needed to keep its remotely-distributed team efficient and productive. The team needed on-premises cloud data migration, remote editing capabilities, and a means for content delivery to VOD partners. With Evolphin Zoom MAM Hi-Res Transfer Manager, Circle could transfer all of its historical archives and fresh on-premises content to the cloud easily.

Evolphin Zoom’s Hi-Res Transfer Manager ​​automatically splits up large media files into manageable chunks, which are then simultaneously uploaded to the cloud, allowing teams to quickly upload or download folders in their entirety.

Deep Cross-Application Integration with Creative Plugins

Evolphin Zoom MAM enables a seamless, multi-functional, creative environment that anyone can orchestrate without technical knowledge. Featuring an extensive range of app plugins beyond the popular Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, creatives from all stages of the media supply chain can collaborate from one interface that supports video editing, vector art, motion graphics, layout, photography, and lots more.

Plugins enable the creation of time-saving workflows with a far-reaching range of capabilities including

Evolphin Zoom MAM is a single source of truth for all media assets, that infuses orchestration capabilities into your production workflow and speeds up project delivery.

Inter Milan FC used Evolphin Zoom MAM's media orchestration features to quickly broadcast highlights from archived matches

Founded in 1908,  Football Club Internazionale Milano (or Inter Milan FC) controlled a huge archive containing petabytes of data, growing by around 600TB each week.

To aid the transition of their media production team to remote working, the club needed a MAM that could centralize their media content without committing huge human resources. There was also a need to orchestrate the media production process to ensure that archives could be easily ‘mined’ for new broadcast material.

Challenges: Inter Milan FC has faced significant challenges in navigating these issues.

1. Leverage And Monetization Of Huge Content Archives

Inter Milan’s digital archives grew by more than 600 Terabytes over the years, containing videos from games, player events, and the player academy’s training materials. Every media digital transformation plan’s competitive edge lies in its ability to produce high-quality content in near-real-time. 

With over 26 million social media fans worldwide, it was impossible for Inter to manually manage 100+ years’ worth of video and millions of photographs.

2. Boost In Engagement Worldwide On Digital Platforms

As a popular name among football fans, Inter Milan Football Club needed a new revolutionary digital platform to offer tailored content and keep a constant digital connection with their worldwide fan base 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The club needed support to swiftly scan through hundreds of soccer games, target certain demographics, and produce clips and visuals to satisfy their ardent fan base and devoted advertisers.

3. Robust Game-Day MetaData For Rich Analytics

Critical game-day metadata had been lost due to a lack of automation. Metadata from Inter Milan’s feed could provide immediate access to descriptive information about content such as commentary notes, AI-face recognition of marketers and sponsor logos, etc.

Without metadata, retrieving specific match/player/sponsor details was an uphill, time-consuming, manual task that often yielded erroneous results.

Inter AI Aided MAM

Solution: After adopting Evolphin Zoom MAM, Inter Milan FC could orchestrate Zoom’s unique preflight storage scanners to crawl existing on-premises storage and AWS S3 buckets. The data gathering process triggered the creation of set criteria for automating the intake process. 

Next, importing 21,000+ hours of video footage from three legacy DAMs and two NAS volumes into Evolphin took under a month, thanks to Evolphin’s data migration tool. 

At this stage, 171,938 files were detected as duplicates and promptly deduplicated using Evolphin MAM’s patented frontend deduplication technology. The Evolphin Transcoder orchestrated the creation of proxies automatically from media assets before submitting them to AI engines for further processing. These AI engines included Italian speech-to-text recognition, bespoke logo identification, and AI-face recognition using a custom training AI-face recognition.

Benefits: As the IT head of Inter Milan FC, Lorenzo Antognoli, stated, adopting Evolphin Zoom MAM was critical to the success of Inter Milan’s digital media transformation plan. Evolphin Zoom MAM’s capabilities helped Inter Milan to harness its sizeable digital content inventory in new and inventive ways to engage its sponsors and worldwide fans. The move helped Inter Milan FC to unlock images and films buried in inaccessible archives and drives for over a century for broadcast to the public.

Try Evolphin Today

The media supply chain is constantly evolving, and a robust media asset management system with orchestration capabilities is critical for media production companies that want to stay competitive. Evolphin Zoom MAM is the most competent media asset management solution for digital transformation.

Evolphin Zoom MAM’s media orchestration features will help you streamline your workflow, reducing overhead costs and giving you peace of mind. And migrating to Evolphin is easy – we offer technical setup, consultations, and ongoing technical support as part of the package. If you want to streamline your media production workflows and save costs, try Evolphin today