Entertaining Change: Big Data and Cloud Transform Film Industry

We’ve been talking a lot about how Big Data and cloud computing are changing business, adding value through agility, mobility, and competitive advantages.

These benefits span industries, and one in particular is experiencing an evolution: the entertainment business. In celebration of recent award shows, let’s look at how these technologies are transforming the industry — even the awards themselves.

Entertainment and Big Data

  • Using Big Data research — including figures for the number of nominations, wins in other awards shows, and information from betting websites — analysts are able to predict the major award winners in advance of the ceremony.
  • Movie companies such as studios and distributors are using information gleaned from Big Data to make decisions on where and how to release their films more efficiently to increase sales.
  • And music execs are analyzing data to gain insight into listening habits and musical preferences to better understand consumers. For instance, data on song aspects, like tempo and pitch, are being analyzed to help some companies learn what sells. The analytics extends to the concert-going experience, too: Organizers can use data to make decisions on where to do shows and what artists to promote, and how to best promote the shows.

Cloud Computing and the Film Industry

  • The cloud has changed how people consume media at home. “We’ve hit the point this year where by some measures, people are watching more movies online than physical discs,” Dan Cryan, senior director of digital media for market research firm IHS, tells Forbes. Streaming services from Amazon and Walmart’s Vudu give viewers access to movies soon after they appear on DVD. And with those services available through newer TVs, Blu-ray players, and streaming devices such as Roku, viewers can find, pay for, and watch a movie without ever leaving the couch.
  • The popularity of streaming — and the desire to protect against the problems the music industry has faced — has also led to new revenue models based on licensing agreements, where studios are taking advantage of the competition to get the most lucrative deals possible.
  • Change as a result of cloud computing extends to the film industry’s IT model as well. Movie studios used to own all the capital assets needed for making movie — including storing media files, applying effects to them, editing them, then transcoding them for delivery to the over 100 separate platform and bandwidth combinations — but increasingly, they are turning to cloud providers to handle the needed tasks and space, shifting the work to flexible operating expenses that stop when the production ends.

What other ways do you see Big Data and cloud computing changing the entertainment industry? How have these technologies changed how you consume entertainment?

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