Microsoft at NAB: Showcasing the future of media and entertainment

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So much has happened to the world at large over the past two and a half years and that is reflected heavily in our media and entertainment industry. The response to the pandemic, dramatic changes to global weather, and the rise again of geopolitical conflicts have all driven the acceleration of change in media and entertainment as we struggled to work and live in new ways.  

But in many ways, this is nothing new. The media and entertainment industry are the earliest adopters of digital advancements. We continue to push the boundaries of physical and digital environments and produce volumes of content in new ways. It also doesn’t have a choice; it must change as consumers have upped their expectations as technology has evolved and creators and producers competing for consumer time are no longer limited to traditional media.  

At this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, Microsoft is reinvesting in our commitment to the media and entertainment industry. At our booth #W3017 located in the new West Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center, we’re excited to showcase how we are empowering the future of creativity, content, experiences, and technology through our investments in partnerships, experiences, and products.    

Reimagine content creation with anytime collaboration and creativity 

The demand for content continues to grow. So does the demand for creative and production staff: more content with less budget, increased output with the same staff, higher quality, you name it. These demands are putting stress on ways of working, workflows, and production systems developed over the decades. 

In our booth, partner Avid will be showcasing Avid Edit On Demand solution that provides a full virtual post-production environment in the cloud—complete with cloud-optimized media composer software and Avid NEXIS storage—making it easy to scale teams and ramp up new projects at a moment’s notice. With a simple subscription, team members can work and collaborate from anywhere in a fully configured secure environment. 

We’re excited to highlight Evertz’s BRAVO Studio virtual production solution powered by Microsoft Azure that allows content creators to tell their stories from anywhere. BRAVO Studio delivers a professionally produced, high-quality live experience for any audience on any platform.  

Speaking of content creation, come to our booth #W3017 to see our live streaming podcast studio. You’ll have the chance to see our technology live and in action as we interview industry thought leaders, partners, and customers. In partnership with Discovered, join us with entertainer, digital brand evangelist, and host of Discovered.tv Podcast, Taylor Mosby.  

Redefine content delivery for broadcasting and live events 

As of August 2021, 84 percent of United States consumers said they were spending more time on online entertainment in the home and less time on in-person entertainment outside it.1 Even when the pandemic subsides in a meaningful way, it will likely leave a mark on behaviors for some time to come. The industry has proven itself to be resilient with remote broadcasts, virtual productions, streaming platforms launched, and sporting events won, all during a very disruptive time in history. 

During NAB, attendees can see firsthand how Microsoft Digital Experience solution brings together proven technology from partners Epiphan, Disguise, Evertz, Blackmagic, Lumen, Aoto, and Mediakind in scalable on-demand services that move the entire live stream process offsite and into the cloud, enabling remote teams to work together in real-time. It leverages Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to deliver rich insights analytics for event measurement hand feedback in a secure environment.   

Explore this NAB session, Live Production in the Cloud, where our Microsoft team shares how technology enables distributed teams to produce digital experiences (for example, concerts, e-sports) through a cloud-based solution. This solution reduces the carbon footprint needed to manage events, enables companies to enter the space with a low investment footprint, and brings expertise together from wherever they are, rather than relying on them to travel to locations. In this session, we will review, demonstrate, and discuss how we can build a distributed broadcast setup to support remote or work-from-home operations that can also take advantage of 5G.   

In honor of the 2022 professional football draft, we’re also showcasing our latest augmented reality (AR) technology using Microsoft HoloLens to produce a sports arena digital twin that can help satisfy key sports stadium requirements, such as health and safety, wayfinding, space management, and facilities management. Great examples of how event venues can improve efficiency, support preventative maintenance, and manage the safety of your business.  

Our partner MediaKind announced an extension to our strategic partnership to accelerate video digital transformation. This extended partnership significantly increases the integration and optimization of MediaKind and Microsoft products, platforms, and cloud capabilities within a sustainable framework. It enables MediaKind to provide new opportunities for video content owners, broadcasters, operators, and enterprises to accelerate their video digital transformation. This new collaboration has been designed to significantly enhance the integration and optimization of both companies’ products, platforms, and cloud capabilities, to enable its respective customers in media and entertainment—and beyond—to drive new levels of growth within the media industry. In our booth, Mediakind will be highlighting their solution, Engage, a live, end-to-end, direct-to-consumer streaming solution that showcases a personalized, broadcast-quality, and reliable media experience.

Additionally, our partner Blackbird will be showcasing how their solution provides professional video editing in a browser that allows media organizations to drive efficiencies across their organization with cloud-native video editing anywhere, publishing everywhere, and helping media organizations be first to market with quality content. 

Enable next-gen experiences with data and AI 

Every organization wants to be more data-driven and this is especially true for media and entertainment companies, which have new requirements for customer data due to the industry’s shift to direct-to-consumer. Today, businesses must not only understand their clients better, but they need data to decide what content to produce, what media to acquire for their streaming platforms, how to sell in non-linear ways, and more. Data is equally important to the operational side of the business, whether it’s improvements to how we managed content at scale through metadata or empowering media operations with great knowledge of the entire delivery pipeline, data intrinsically drives forward all aspects of the modern media ecosystem.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, our own Andy Beach, Chief Technology Officer of Media and Entertainment, will give a talk on the role of media metadata in modern data-driven workflows. He will talk about how we have worked with customers to change the way they think about the creation of metadata, and how to use it to improve their own operational efficiencies while continuing to evolve into new ways for customers to experience their content.

The Microsoft Customer Experience Platform helps organizations unlock the power of consumer data to deliver personalized experiences and create raving fans. We’re eager to demonstrate how this complete marketing stack helps media organizations accelerate their business growth and deepen customer connections. At NAB, we’ll showcase how it can deliver connected experiences from awareness to purchase that feel human and real whether through digital ads, website, content, or conversations.  

With a 360-degree view of customers and rich out-of-the-box insights, organizations can understand and predict customer intent to deliver the right content at the right channel and at the right moment. Your organization will be able to win more hearts and minds in an omnichannel world by personalizing every interaction in real-time using AI-orchestrated journeys. In a privacy-first landscape, ensure full control of customer data and protect an organization’s brand reputation with unmatched data governance and privacy.  

Using customer insights and AI technology will continue to have a transformative impact on the media industry. The use of data, automation, and AI technologies (for example, voice recognition) will help to deepen fan and audience engagement through personalized, connected, and relevant experiences. 

Attendees can also discover how speech translation, part of Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, can help media organizations add accessible and localized content. Grab some time to learn about Azure’s text-to-speech and custom neural voice services, and how a media organization can reach a broader and more diverse audience with natural sounding voices.  

Our partner PWC will be showing off new solutions they have been jointly developing with Telestream and Datazoom on Microsoft Azure to provide video observability for any over-the-top (OTT) or live video platform. This solution brings together data telemetry from across the media pipeline to deliver end-to-end quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for real-time analytics in network operations, support, and improved video playback experience. 

Innovate with gaming technology 

Media organizations can unlock new revenue streams by engaging audiences through immersive and connected experiences that build a community around content and digital good. I recommend seeing our NAB session, Using Real-Time Data to Drive Engagement and Build Community, where the Microsoft team will discuss LiveOps techniques developed by the gaming (video game) industry when it was faced with similar challenges of audience fragmentation and personalization, and how those techniques can be selectively applied to streaming media.  

As media streaming has become increasingly fragmented, engaging with viewers and fans in a personalized way is critical to growth. At the same time, viewers’ expectations for media are rapidly shifting, as they demand more information, control, and interaction with their streaming services. In our booth, Microsoft and our partners Alice & Smith and Ease Live (an Evertz company) will explore how XR Server, Ease Live Studio, and Microsoft Azure PlayFab for Media LiveOps can be used by media companies and content owners to drive increased engagement and monetization opportunities with the gamification of the user experience. We’re excited to explore how media companies can leverage first-party data to better understand their users and react in real-time with targeted programming, promotions, and user experiences.  

Looking ahead to the future

As exciting as the past few months have been, I know we’ve only taken the first few steps to address the challenges in media and entertainment that we have tried solving. I believe the work that we are doing now with great people and fantastic partners from across the industry will open the door to new ways that we’re only beginning to imagine. 

In that spirit, I look forward to sharing more news with you at NAB as we continue to push the boundaries of what technology can do to maximize collaboration and productivity, streamline operations, enable insights-driven decision-making, deliver engaging customer experiences, and accelerate innovation and business growth. At NAB 2022 , we’ll share news of exciting partnerships and, hopefully, have a chance to connect with many of you. 

Resources

Learn more about our NAB virtual showcase at Microsoft Media and Entertainment Industry Solutions.


1 Media companies strive to retain subscribers as social begins to bite, Rapid TV News

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