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Industry Inventory: Hello 2023!

Posted on Feb 10, 2023 by FEED Staff

We ask media industry heavy hitters what their goals, aims and – yes – resolutions are for the upcoming year, in the Industry Inventory

Matt Cimaglia – Alteon.io, Co-founder and CEO

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

Content creators and industry heads are becoming more flexible when it comes to technological adaptation. With gigabit internet speeds and greater internet infrastructure on the rise worldwide, technologies such as cloud and remote workflows are becoming more common.  

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

  • Connect with community members to see Alteon-powered projects come to fruition.
  • Push for global adoption of sustainability in blockchains (with hopefully fewer implosions).
  • Discover a new technology. 

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

The Alteon philosophy is what we call ‘one file’. Instead of multiple versions and duplicates, there is one original media file in which every revision, comment and edit is stored and tracked. This vastly reduces the number of hard drives purchased, communications flying around and media shared between collaborators and clients. 

Sending a simple text email (eg “thanks”) produces 0.000001 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. A study from 2019 calculated that if every UK resident (64 million people) sent one fewer unnecessary email per day, they could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon per year in total. Apply that logic to the way creatives share media – through file attachments and file-transfer protocols – and it’s clear that a cloud-based alternative is not only more efficient, but more ecologically sustainable.  

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

Web3 is evolving rapidly, and we see ways to drive that in a direction that supports creators. One goal of ours is to empower the Web3 creator economy by ensuring they have access to the same tools as all creative professionals. Implementing blockchain technology and building blockchain infrastructure into Alteon.io will be a challenge, but we view it as an inevitable step to future-proof the company.

What is your battle cry/motto for 2023?

Creativity without constraint.

Dan Goman – Ateliere Creative Technologies, CEO

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

Streaming experienced unprecedented growth in the global pandemic, and it’s still evolving. However, consumers are now more discerning about subscriptions, and it’s a challenge for services to maintain growth. This meant an industry-wide pivot, with the offer of advertising-supported tiers. As a media supply chain platform, Ateliere must be agile and attuned to the market’s demands, ready to respond as customers pivot. This means understanding evolving technical requirements and customers’ business challenges.

Content owners, streamers and media supply chain providers rely on data-driven decision-making. Ateliere’s platform has evolved to become a rich data source for clients. We focus on enhancing our platform’s business process management capabilities to better inform customers. It’s no longer how fast and adept a platform is at ingesting, transforming and moving media. It’s how intelligent the platform can be and how well it serves as a data source.

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

  • Customers remain our central focus.
  • Products align with customers’ needs.
  • Innovation drives market leadership for our company and customers. 

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

Sustainability is top priority in evolving our platform for the future. Being cloud-native and choosing AWS as Ateliere’s cloud provider puts us at an advantage when it comes to carbon use. AWS is committed to carbon neutrality by 2025, and we’re engineering our tools to take full advantage of sustainability in the cloud. We migrated our platform to serverless computing, which significantly reduces power consumption, and continue to optimise our software for efficiency. Ateliere’s unique deduplication capability helps to significantly conserve energy use by reducing storage footprints, often by more than 70%. 

However, carbon neutrality is not an individual endeavour. The industry must commit to lowering carbon emissions for sustainability to take root. This includes broad policies, bold industry standards, better sustainability practices, efficient technology and more tools to assess and control our environmental impact.

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

One of perception. Transitioning a media supply chain from on-premises to cloud-native doesn’t have to be intimidating. Ateliere simplifies it all by replacing disconnected tools and workflows with an automated cloud-native platform. Getting people to buy into the concept of moving from on-premises storage used to be challenging. Now, the focus is on problems only cloud solutions like Ateliere Connect and Discover can address. At first glance, the cost of moving to the cloud can be difficult to overcome, but the end-to-end efficiencies our platform offers mean the numbers make sense in the long run. 

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

Work hard. Serve our customers. Innovate for success. 

Penny Westlake – Interra Systems, Senior director, Europe

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

At Interra, we’re specialists in monitoring and quality control for broadcast, telecom and media organisations of all sizes and positions in the supply chain. In 2022, we have seen an increase in the number of new output formats, standards and requirements for facilities producing content for multiple distribution chains – all at increased speed. We expect this trend to continue in 2023. For an industry where the viewer’s experience is everything, it’s becoming increasingly important for these facilities to automate and accurately track where errors are occurring, whether it’s in file-based production or streaming.

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

To continually improve the quality of our products, business dealings with our customers and our support and maintenance services.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you be doing to help reduce emissions in 2023?

We will continue to analyse our business practices, always being mindful of our carbon footprint. The relationship we have with our customers means that it’s not always necessary to jump on a plane to conduct business. In addition, carbon emissions will continue to be an important part of discussions we have with our customers when they are making their choice between a cloud-based, on-premises or hybrid solution.

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What’s the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

As a supplier company, we always look at how customer needs are changing. In the past few years, the speed of change has accelerated – a trend we don’t see slowing down in 2023. Due to the nature of our business, Interra Systems has never been a static company. Requirements for the automated monitoring of new technologies continue to expand, whether it’s machine learning or supporting new encoding methods, ways of organising metadata or access services – just to name a few.

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

I’m taking mine from the English writer and philosopher John Ruskin: “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”

Adam Curwin – Greening of Streaming, Executive director

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

The good news is that there is a real desire to improve throughout the industry. Nearly everyone who gets in touch with Greening of Streaming genuinely wants to make a real change. There’s a danger that membership of an organisation like this might be viewed as a greenwashing option – sign up to cover your responsibilities.  Fortunately, that seems not to be the case! Our members – and particularly individuals representing companies – have really engaged in what we do, in turn inviting others to join.

We’ve found there are others – academic institutions and large companies – who have started localised investigations by trying to assess the energy used by streaming. Due to the diversity of our membership, we are in the unique position of being able to analyse a huge part of the network. We’re gathering significant data and working with highly regarded universities for analysis. 

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

Ensure we increase awareness to the streaming sector, policy makers and public of the amount of energy used by streaming. Show we can improve this without harming user experience.

Increase membership. The message is getting out and we’re grateful to members who push the cause! We need some household names to join, as this will further raise awareness.

Develop the working groups – which are suggested and managed by our members. This is at the core of what we do – collectively exploring ways to maximise efficiency and reduce power consumption in streaming, and sharing best practice.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is a nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to reduce emissions in 2023?

Greening of Streaming actively embraces this already. We don’t hold in-person events where possible. Our parliamentary launch was a high publicity event to raise the issue of streaming’s impact – as it hadn’t been widely understood or promoted at this point. This was very successful. However, when we decide which events to attend, the priority is to be allowed to appear remotely. The exceptions are events like IBC – it made sense for me to attend as there were so many of our members in their ‘day job’ capacity – the incremental impact was just me travelling! As a new organisation, it was a late decision for me to attend, so unfortunately I flew. Next year, I will ensure that I use the train instead.

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

One of the biggest challenges is the ever-changing global political landscape. We had great cross-party support from UK politicians, but as we’ve seen, politics changes very quickly! It’s magnified massively with the same happening in all countries. As we find people to champion our cause, they can be removed just as they are in a position to introduce us to policy makers – or the policy maker themselves is changed before the meeting can occur! We want to engage with politicians on behalf of our members to offer our findings and ensure that any change of policy is based on science.

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

We can make significant improvements in streaming with the support of all the companies involved. Let’s engage with the issue and we can have a huge impact on global power consumption!

Evan Statton – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Senior principal architect for media & entertainment

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

In 2022, we saw media and entertainment (M&E) customers seeking out new ways to do things. Many organisations were either transitioning from tried-and-true processes, or in other cases, leveraging the cloud to support a new launch. This observation reinforces our continued efforts to invest in customers early in their cloud journey, so we can help guide them to solutions that fit their business and build new ones with them.

For example, in the last year, Netflix built an entire visual effects studio in the cloud using AWS compute services on Local Zones. Opting to run a combination of diversified Amazon EC2 instance types and its VFX studio on Local Zones has allowed them to bring cloud resources closer to content creators, so that artists can work anywhere in the world and create without boundaries. Another example comes from international livestream sports service DAZN, who developed a new feature that gives Nippon Professional Baseball audiences more control over their highlights experience, leveraging real-time match data from Stats Perform, Amazon Rekognition Custom Labels machine learning and video analysis technology from AWS.

Reflecting on the past year, we’ve gained more understanding of how our M&E customers work in an ecosystem. A more holistic view is helping us rally business efforts around our five industry innovation centres: content production, media supply chain and archive, broadcast, direct-to-consumer and streaming, plus data science and analytics. At IBC this year, we organised our booth to reflect each area and show how we support customers from content production through distribution. Recognising the importance of working collaboratively across each industry innovation centre will prove essential in 2023 and help us see where connections exist for customers as they transition more of their workloads to the cloud. 

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

Advance collaboration across M&E workflows to bring value to customers. Ensure they are well architected on AWS.

Continue to help customers achieve their sustainability goals by eliminating inefficiencies and providing solutions that allow them to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Enhance the way customers and partners create, produce and distribute content. This goal aligns with MovieLabs’ 2030 vision – to bring media production entirely to the cloud. AWS has already helped solve five out of ten principles that make up MovieLabs’ vision – eight years ahead of schedule – and we plan to continue this work in 2023.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is a nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

AWS is committed to running our business in an environmentally friendly way, and our scale allows us to achieve higher resource utilisation and energy efficiency than a typical on-premises data centre. A study by international analyst firm 451 Research found that AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed enterprise data centres, with over two-thirds of this advantage due to a more efficient server population and higher server utilisation. In addition to the environmental benefits associated with cloud-based applications, we’re committed to powering our business with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and are on path to reach that target by 2025. Our push to use more renewable energy is one step on our path to net zero carbon by 2040 as part of Amazon’s climate pledge.  

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

Change is a constant for our M&E customers, so our focus in 2023 will centre on helping them adapt to new business models, emerging workflows and evolving goals. We did this in our work with creative studio Pixomondo, who opted to incorporate AWS into its infrastructure to enable teams to collaborate across locations. We want to help customers evolve with the times, not just by transitioning to the cloud, but by showing how to embrace the advantages that come with it. 

What’s your battle cry/motto for 2023?

Think big. Anything is possible.

Roland Vlaicu – NativeWaves GmbH, Senior advisor, product

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

Advanced use cases that bridge the gap between traditional linear broadcasting and more personalised streaming experiences take time to sink in. It’s critical to articulate the added value in a way that resonates with B2B audiences and consumers. 

While we all understand the new currency in M&E is attention and engagement, we must remind ourselves that technology is a means to an end, and what matters ultimately is the experience and why audiences should care about it. Fan engagement will increase when the user experience is better and incremental, while keeping things simple. It takes time for broadcasters and rights holders to embrace changes – technology vendors will have to be patient.

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

  • Framework approaches resonate with customers more than integrated solutions – complementing is better than replacing.
  • Demonstrate how the product maximises the value of existing assets and content rights while driving new use cases that matter.
  • Understand the business goals of your customer first and tailor your offering to address those goals – this might sound simple and generic, but it’s the key to success.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

Live event production creates lots of content that goes unused. Leveraging this to build new, better experiences that audiences care about automatically increases the efficiency of productions by avoiding incremental effort and complexity.

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

As the industry transitions from ‘linear’ to ‘personal’, we’re focusing more on custom UX designs and tailored use cases for dedicated events.

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

With face-to-face communication back, make every demo count!

Chris Smeeton – Argosy, Director

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

On an organisational level, I’ve understood that promoting the culture of our business internally is vital to sustaining and retaining staff. It’s become clear that whether team members are office-based, remote or in a hybrid pattern, we must work to promote and retain those things that give us both identity and uniqueness. 

This helps maintain staff engagement and promotes an infectious, can-do attitude among the team. As a result, we will be looking to do more team activities and fun events throughout 2023. 

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

  • Greater promotion of our KVM and network
    switching product offerings across the UK
    & Middle East markets.
  • Implementing a new OS.
  • Conducting many more customer visits than we have in the last three years, especially in Europe.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

We’ve moved many products to sustainable packaging and this will continue. We’ll also be making our building more efficient. Lastly, we’ll be looking to improve intelligence regarding stock movements between warehouses, so we can further reduce our reliance on air freight shipment in favour of more regular sea freight shipments.

At this year’s IBC, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

The implementation of a new OS – this will touch every aspect of our organisation and improve efficiency throughout, but will need to be managed carefully to avoid disruption.

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

I want Argosy to be the best version of itself. We must take a professional approach to all areas of our business.

Sadie Groom – Bubble Agency, CEO

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

In 2022, I have learnt the importance of communities – whether meeting online or in person, they’re there to help you share and receive knowledge and contacts. For the year ahead, it will be more important to gain support as we face some uncertain economic times and outside pressures. My tip is to join as many communities as you can – check out the Guild app for these.

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

  • Ensure we continue to be a business that cares for its team and any other stakeholders, with giving back at the heart of this.
  • Continue to grow and expand Bubble Agency into other territories.
  • Proving and promoting the ROI of marketing and PR services.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

We’re working with a consultant on this as we travel by plane a lot, especially as we expand the business globally. As well as tree planting schemes, we’re travelling to IBC by train, for example. 

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

This year will see a change in people, through displacement, M&A activity, recruitment from other sectors and career changes. It’s not negative, as it gives people the opportunity to explore other roles and companies. For me personally, this is a great thing to negotiate as I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. 

What is your battle cry/motto for 2023?

Keep calm and carry on!

Atika Boulgaz – Viaccess-Orca, Executive vice president, global communication

Which lessons from 2022 will you apply to the year ahead?

Despite the pandemic, the video industry is dynamic, rapidly growing and continuously evolving. Tech vendors must stay on top of the changes that are happening, including the evolution of technologies, shifting infrastructures, increase in competition and the fluctuating user behaviours and expectations. 

This past year has demonstrated in abundantly clear fashion that there is a real need to meet face-to-face, interact in person, and showcase new technologies in action. 

At Viaccess-Orca, we enjoyed getting back to in-person industry trade shows where we met with our customers, partners and the media, shared our insights on market trends and showcased our many innovations.

You have to write three goals for 2023 on the back of a business card. What are they?

Our top three business goals for 2023 are to support the evolving needs of our customers with future-proof solutions, continue to stay agile in our ways of working and accelerate the development of sustainable technologies.

Every month that carbon emissions rise is another nail in the coffin of a survivable future. What will you do to help reduce emissions in 2023?

Our development approach allows operators to keep their platform as long as possible and improve it through our microservices components and hybrid cloud hosting. Thanks to future-proof technology, operators don’t need to constantly start from scratch. 

As part of our commitment to sustainability, VO is a member of the Nested (New video standards for enhanced delivery) consortium along with Enensys Technologies, Orange, Ateme and IETR. The aim is to unite our efforts in achieving sustainable video streaming over 5G networks.

Our industry has a lot of work to do, and sustainability will continue to be a crucial topic.

At this year’s IBC Show, we heard the term ‘change management’ over and over. What is the biggest change the industry needs to negotiate in 2023?

Good question. Change management is not a term, it’s a fact. We deal with the uncertainty of our world having to adapt, anticipate and stay agile. 

At VO, we are committed to managing change as the video industry continues to evolve and grow. It’s hard to predict what the biggest change in 2023 will be, but I’m confident that the VO team will handle it expertly.

What is your personal battle cry/motto for 2023?

Faster alone, further together! 

Article originally appeared in the winter 2022 issue of FEED magazine.

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