Following on from its establishment of Telstra MediaCloud, Telstra Broadcast Services has inked a deal with UK-based BASE Media Cloud to offer the APAC market what it is calling “an impressive range of native cloud-based services”.
Telstra Broadcast Service’s (TBS) move to expand its cloud services has been a decisive one. In June this year it announced that it had acquired MediaCloud Pty Ltd; at a stroke, dramatically ramping up its cloud-based services, particularly in the fields of streaming, playout, and delivery. Now it has followed that up by greenlighting a sales partnership with BASE Media Cloud (BASE) that effectively adds a full range of cloud-based media services to its offering; allowing it to provide a cloud-native workflow from ingest, cloud storage, file transfer and asset management through to virtual post-production and file delivery.
TBS will initially roll out the service to the Australian industry, with plans for expansion to the rest of APAC following soon after.
BASE is one of the originators of the new breed of subscription services companies that has been set up to take advantage of the move towards the cloud, offering multi-cloud managed media solutions to the industry since 2015. In the six years it has been trading, the company has doubled in size year-on-year; leveraging organic growth to establish an enviable position in the UK market with strengthening footholds on both the US east and west coasts. BASE’s list of cloud subscription customers includes BBC, ITV, Formula E, Little Dot Studios and LadBible Group.
BASE and TBS call the partnership a “win-win for both companies”. BASE is able to expand its offering first into Australia, and then into the wider APAC market leaning on Telstra’s expertise in the area, while TBS is able to provide a suite of tailored remote working services – comprising cloud storage, file transfer, transcoding and cloud-native asset management through to virtual Adobe editing, custom Artificial Intelligence and content distribution SaaS services. All of this can be white-labelled and offered as part of its established Telstra MediaCloud package to Telstra customers.
FROM POSTPRODUCTION TO DELIVERY
Interest in cloud-based workflows, already at high levels, has only intensified in the wake of the pandemic. Where the new partnership between the two companies gains potential traction in the marketplace is that the desire to implement the cloud is balanced by the fact that doing it well, and doing it cost-effectively at scale, is not as easy as it seems.
“Many RFPs going out right now are about remote working, cloud-based asset management and storage,” comments BASE Media Cloud’s founder and Managing Director, Ben Foakes. “Companies that have legacy investment in on-prem are starting to gradually bridge across to hybrid or go full cloud. But, one thing we’ve seen is that a lot of big broadcasters and big media brands have tried to do cloud themselves and struggled. Many have chosen a direct partnership with a big cloud provider and found that keeping on top of engineering, cost control, software development and governance is hard; it becomes a never-ending investment. So, we’re seeing an increasing trend towards outsourcing to specialist firms like BASE.”
Foakes says that the ‘secret sauce’ that has gained BASE its success to date is that it knows how to launch, manage and support workflows seamlessly across multiple cloud platforms, as well as manage costs of those services once they go live, giving customers a single provider experience.
BASE also owns the IP for many of the custom integrations it deploys and has invested in the network topology and technical partnerships required to make the cloud cost-effective for media companies. This, says Foakes, is what enables customers to save on some of the more well-known gotchas of cloud deployments, such as egress fees and API call fees, as well as removing the headache of dealing with multiple cloud providers through a single interface.
Initial interest in the TBS-badged cloud services is, so far, coming from the fields of remote editing and content management, where it offers cloud-based Adobe postproduction services and production asset management. Several joint RFPs have already been undertaken by TBS and BASE that look specifically at moving postproduction services into the cloud.
“Editing and post services are just the start of what we can do with BASE though,” comments TBS’ Paul Slowey. “Because we can now deliver complete end-to-end workflows, we’re going to be able to offer the market a more fully-featured cloud consultancy service than before. We incorporated over 60 cloud experts with the MediaCloud acquisition, and BASE’s expertise can plug into the already established Telstra Purple team, giving us the capacity to cope with digital transformation and cloud-migration projects of any size.”
GROWTH IN THE CLOUD
“One of the reasons why the collaboration with TBS is so Important is because cloud is only as good as your connectivity,” says Foakes. “Telstra supplies the networking and infrastructure, and we bring additional value in adding a Software-as-a-Service subscription layer onto its network, coupled with our media-focused cloud expertise.”
Meanwhile, connectivity consistently advances to improve the service. TBS’ Paul Slowey says the company is in the process of constructing an on-ramp to the various clouds; with the aim of bridging its digital video networks with the public internet to provide telco-grade connectivity into public cloud providers.
“We have the volume and scale to build on innovative solutions that weren’t available to TBS until recently,” he says. “Areas of focus that have now been given the greenlight to move forward with.”