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Poacher turns gamekeeper in publishing’s digital revolution

July 12, 2018

Brian Morris   

Blog contributor

The digital revolution has transformed the world of publishing beyond all recognition. A combination of factors including new technologies and changing reader expectations has led to an incredibly challenging media landscape where legacy titles must adapt or risk disappearing altogether.

Traditional magazines and newspapers have seen a decline in advertising revenues, but this is offset by increasing investment in digital media. Dennis Publishing is an example of a company which has recognised a growth opportunity through digitisation of its content, investing heavily in its online footprint and adopting an online and mobile-first strategy.

As business models expand and evolve, a number of digital trends have shaped the new wave of media companies. Social media and the increased customer engagement that goes with it, along with a growing demand for live video content and higher quality picture formats have put commercial publishers under more pressure to deliver to their audiences.

Cisco data shows that by 2021 all IP traffic will be video, a trend which is partly driven by marketers, with Google research showing that almost 50% of Internet users seek out videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.

What’s more, in the era of ‘fake news’ and increasingly stringent data privacy regulations, publishers must work extra hard to build audiences and maintain trust. However, ageing IT and network infrastructure can get in the way. That’s why forward-thinking publishing firms need comprehensive network infrastructure to thrive in the data-driven world.

Building a global media platform

In order to meet the demands of the current media landscape, VICE Media formed a partnership with Tata Communications that enables its international editors to work together as if they were in the same room, seamlessly delivering media content to a global audience.

VICE includes both broadcast and OTT channels including VICE News as well as specialist verticals such as music-based Noisey, tech site Motherboard and women’s interest channel Broadly. VICE titles are aimed primarily at younger markets, with an emphasis on video and ‘snackable’ content. Delivering content in easy-to-digest formats is paramount in an era where time is a consumers’ most precious commodity, and this is an insight which VICE proactively addresses.

As part of the partnership, we provide VICE with a cloud-based media platform for global media asset management, storage, content contribution and distribution. This enables the company to capture content anywhere in the world and quickly make it available to editors in production centres in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Toronto and London. The platform allows the seamless transfer of video with speeds of up to 10Gbps — a crucial element in helping VICE to deliver timely content to its digital-savvy audience. What’s more, VICE Media’s media asset management and file acceleration tools have been integrated into the bespoke platform.

Security and storage

Security is paramount for any modern media company, and more often than not, these businesses store their data and applications in the cloud. In VICE’s case, the use of private cloud storage helps the company’s remote teams to collaborate more easily while ensuring that all media files, including HD and 4K videos, are kept safe. These files are replicated in multiple private cloud locations around the world, serving as a reliable backup.

The use of private cloud is also important when it comes to protecting user data. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25th May, 2018, requires media companies to store any personally identifiable information securely and to ensure customers know exactly how it will be used.  In order to ensure secure storage of both media files and customer data, a reliable end-to-end network infrastructure is vital.

What’s next?

The world of publishing will continue to change in the coming months and years as media firms experiment with new business models, and abandon less successful ideas. Video and mobile streaming is set to continue to grow in popularity, especially when 5G begins to rollout, which will enable faster streaming of data-heavy video with low latency.

We’ll also see more blurring of the boundaries between traditional publishers and new media companies, while other companies, such as social media firms, become publishers in their own right.

These new platforms will enable more immersive experiences, such as interactive articles, that make use of technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Publishing companies must continue to evolve, and invest in comprehensive media platforms in order to seamlessly deliver the best content in a timely way. Those that don’t could well be left behind.


Read more about how digital transformation is empowering businesses here.