ProductionTech Innovation

Using cloud technology to scale up business and monetise content

By 21st February 2020 No Comments

SPONSORED: Copa90 and Aurora Media Worldwide have leveraged cloud technology to improve their businesses

The explosion of new sports content viewing platforms presents new challenges for companies in sports media, dealing with management, storage, processing and delivery of huge data sets. Two companies that have solved this problem by leveraging cloud technology to scale-up their businesses and monetise their content are Aurora Media Worldwide and Copa90.

Copa90

From humble beginnings as a YouTube channel back in 2012, Copa90 now has a network reaching millions of fans. Copa90 creates content from multiple platforms, producing its own original content, but also working with big brand sponsors in football.

“We describe the brand as being how football feels,” says Barry Flanigan, chief product officer at Copa90. “You go to traditional media to find out what’s happened in the game, but you come to Copa90 to understand how you feel about it.”

Dealing with a global fan base of content contributors and delivering a huge output of video on a daily basis has driven Copa90 to the cloud.

Flanigan says: “We had an archive going back to 2012. Over 200 terabytes of content, and it was spread over portable hard drives and Google drives and different laptops. We moved to the cloud to have a much more robust and scalable way to manage our assets. The more exciting elements really allowed us to scale our production workflows and our content workflows to cope with the demands, particularly of major events like the World Cup in Russia, and also the Women’s World Cup in France. We just simply couldn’t have achieved that volume of publishing without the cloud workflows that we put in place.”

A major driver for their cloud-based approach is that the majority of Copa90 content is distributed and published online.

He continued: “We distribute across every social platform. We always have to stay on top in new emerging platforms. We started publishing on TikTok a few months ago, but we also distribute across syndication networks. We’ve got about 200 or so broadcaster partners around the world that license and distribute our content. By being in the cloud, by having the workflows that we’ve got in place, allows us to deal with that large variety of different end-points.”

Aurora Media Worldwide

Aurora Media Worldwide is a production company with sport at its very heart, looking after a range of sports clients including Formula E and Goodwood, as well as international cycling and tennis events.

BASE Media Cloud provides the team with a cloud storage and delivery solution for Formula E, which has developed into a branded media hub for all its global broadcasters, sponsors and teams.

David O’Carroll, operations director at Aurora Media, introduced us to Formula E, which has been gaining fantastic traction over the last six years since its inception.

O’Carroll said: “Formula E is single seater, open wheel racing in city centres, with electric powered race cars. It’s close racing. There’s barely a second between the top and bottom of the grid. Usually it’s combative. It’s very close. It’s wheels-to-wheel. It talks about being a platform for the development of electric vehicles. It also has a sustainable message, which again, talks to those younger demographics.”

Formula E content distribution figures and audience numbers have more than doubled year-on-year since launch.

He continued: “The championship is now five years old. Over that time, the growth has been pretty impressive. There was a huge step change into Season 5 where more mature broadcasters came on board, and the distribution therefore has become much wider. It’s gone up again to over 400 million viewers through the season, which is staggering for a championship that is five years old.”

To deal with the growth, the team has continually adapted and scaled its approach to technology.

O’Carroll added: “We had to just elevate everything we were doing. Part of that was scaling up very quickly – the cloud based DMH (Digital Media Hub) that we have, so that it became the central hub of all of the content we were producing for the global TV output and the teams and partners and sponsors. Everybody had one place to come to get content. I think that’s been a major difference.”

By moving content distribution to cloud-based services, it has also unlocked detailed analytics and usage data, to help drive business decisions.

He said: “One of the things that we do now…is draw the metrics from the DMH, which allows us to see who’s using what content, how frequently… We can see who’s downloading it, who’s using which bits. That allows the Formula E commercial team to really target what’s going on so they can see what is being used, what’s popular, what’s not popular, who is using the content in the best possible way, perhaps who’s maybe not making the best possible use of it.”

For the launch of Season 6, BASE Media Cloud has implemented AI services with Veritone’s aiWARE operating system. The service automatically transcribes race commentary as well as automatically tagging drivers, presenters and key celebrities in the footage. The ability to provide frame-accurate logo recognition has the potential to open up whole new methods of sponsorship reporting and analytics.

David O’Carroll confirms the business drivers for rolling out AI in their latest platform: “Moving to AI is going to mean that someone doesn’t have to do it with a pen and paper and physically log, but it will also give us far richer insight into what these search terms can be… they’ll be able to find the parts are looking for much quicker, hopefully leading to more use of the footage, and more great personalisation of the content.”

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