Sony Launches Media Solutions Division to Consolidate Cloud Services

New group seeks to manage every stage of production lifecycle December 14, 2017

NEW YORK—Sony Professional Solutions Americas (PSA) has announced the formation of Sony Media Solutions, which combines many of the company’s technology resources designed to help media customers maximize, and monetize, content distribution, as well as drive efficiencies at every stage of the media production lifecycle—from content acquisition to distribution to archive.

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(L to R): Beth Anderson, head of business development, Sony NMS; David Rosen, vice president, cloud applications and services, Sony PSA; Ali Amoli, director, product management & solutions development, content creation solutions, Sony PSA; and John Studdert, vice president, Sony Media Solutions

John Studdert, vice president of the new group, characterized the development of the division as a response to media companies’ increased acceptance—over the past 12 months—of using the public cloud to store, manage and distribute media.

“Almost every large media company now is using the public cloud for their content,” he said, during a press conference Monday. “Acceptance has skyrocketed.” Studdert adds that the main impetus for this acceptance is that concerns over security have lessened. “Media companies have found that security in a public cloud is better than they can provide on-prem,” he said.

In parallel with this seachange has been increased media consolidation that prompts companies to consolidate operations. “We’ve seen consolidation among the broadcast groups, rental companies and even OB groups,” Studdert said. “They have to find efficiencies in running those organizations. In many cases it’s global, not just domestic. That also calls for a solution that allows for connectivity across the enterprise on a global basis. There’s not many of those out there without the cloud.”

In addition, Sony has realized that its customers are looking for a “one stop shop” in a software as a service (SaaS) environment, according to Studdert. “Our customers were looking for solutions that went beyond a single problem across the entire enterprise,” he said. “Collectively we had a lot of these pieces but we didn’t connect them, so we formed this division now to connect all these businesses to create seamless workflows in our own processes and the response has been very good.”

Studdert heads up a division of approximately 200 employees, half of who do software development. “Almost all the developers are here in the U.S.,” he said. “They’re very close to the customer, they understand the media marketplace and they understand how to be agile and respond to it.”

The new division will oversee XDCAM air, Media Backbone Hive, Media Backbone Navigator X, Memnon digitization and the Ci cloud platform. Sony acquired Crispin Corporation in April, adding master control automation and asset management, and the recent addition of Ven.ue to the PSA family adds OTT and cloud-based content distribution and management capabilities.

Studdert noted the new group recognizes even the definition of “media customer” has changed, expanding to include not only traditional broadcasters or production companies, but also multichannel networks, OTT producers and VOD services, telecommunication brands and more.

Sony has had several noted cloud deployments over the past several years. Since 2014, together with its partners and newly acquired Crispin, Sony has been running 24/7 master control for PBS through its Public Media Management cloud-based service. The PMM service addresses unique needs of local stations such as archiving content to the cloud or localized branding, and continues to sign on more stations.

In addition to its foundation offering digital supply chain solutions to a variety of global brands, Ven.ue is being used as the complete end-to-end managed service solution for Funimation Entertainment, providing a full OTT Video-on-Demand service encompassing avails-based ordering, ingest, processing, delivery, native app development, subscription management, digital and physical commerce transactions, analytics and reporting.

Sony solutions, including Media Backbone NavigatorX and Hive and the Ci cloud platform, are also in use at broadcasters, sports networks, financial services companies and universities.

Sony has built API’s to more than 100 on-premise and cloud based devices and actively distributes to more than 1,400 platforms globally; connecting those APIs back into its cloud distribution service. Its application solutions are developed to optimize the power of cloud processing and distribution, and Sony’s cloud collaborative tools are growing based on feedback from media customers.

Sony’s cloud services work exclusively within the AWS cloud platform.

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