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How Media Supply Chain Flexibility Drives Competitive Differentiation

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Responsive Infrastructure and Technical Agility Prove Vital for Leading Media Organizations

The core of competitive differentiation for a media company is, first and foremost, content itself. Content that people want to watch is a valuable commodity. Nearly as important and valuable to a media company is enabling the best possible consumer experience around that content.

So, to extract the utmost value out of their content, media companies seek not only to make it flawless but also to make it available in all the right places, easy to discover and consume — thanks in part to high-quality metadata — on a wide variety of platforms and devices, and sometimes even easy to share. The modern media supply chain empowers organizations to manage and optimize all of these processes.

Within today’s dynamic global media marketplace, competitive organizations differentiate themselves by leveraging their media supply chain platform to get challenging jobs done the way they need them done. While every media company has the same inputs and the same outputs, the process by which those outputs are delivered can position the company to make great content available in a way that best speaks to consumer needs and preferences.

Addressing a Dynamic Marketplace

Modern supply chains address the complexities associated with bringing together all the tools and managing all the tasks required to enable content companies to create exceptional content and deliver exceptional consumer experiences at global scale. They are also adaptable, changing as new deals are struck between content owners and distributors, as business models evolve, and as markets and the larger industry evolve.

When working with a media supply chain platform that can accommodate nuance and complexity, media companies enjoy critical agility, which in turn can accelerate their response times, whether for putting together a new FAST channel, inking a licensing deal for a new service, or another fresh opportunity. Media organizations can take advantage of the platform’s inherent versatility to modify content preparation workflows not just to meet current challenges and opportunities, but also to grow — or even pivot — as their needs and market demands evolve. As one Rally user has explained it, “Managing for volatility in the media business is so important today. That’s really what it’s all about — how you can get to market faster, get to market more efficiently with a high-quality product.”

Doing Real Work in Real-World Deployments

As Rally deployments with some of the world’s largest media companies demonstrate, an adaptable media supply chain management platform gives organizations the ability to take on tough challenges, respond to opportunity, and, in turn, realize true business gains.

Warner Bros. Discovery

Using Rally as its media supply chain platform, Discovery (now Warner Bros. Discovery) became one of the first media companies to move its entire media operation, from production to distribution, into the cloud. Leveraging SDVI and AWS platforms to reimagine all aspects of its media supply chain and operations, Discovery realized the capacity and speed it needed to deliver new viewer experiences, including direct-to-consumer products, and to support new services.

Rob Goldheim of Warner Bros. Discovery seated at SDVI NAB 2023 interview studio“I would say there’s no question that the supply chain was a major factor in allowing us to be more flexible and do these other things within the business. It gave us not only the confidence but the ability to move quickly on these deals, which is where a lot of the cost efficiency has come into play,” said Rob Goldheim, group vice president – production engineering at Warner Bros. Discovery, in a recent conversation. “It’s that agility and flexibility that you have — it may be hard to define an actual number of cost savings, and it may not even be cost savings on day one — but the ability to move fast and be flexible and to have your business people be able to spin up a new idea and not worry about how they’re going to fulfill the content for a deal that they just signed.”

A+E Networks

A+E Networks used Rally to build a cloud-based media supply chain that enables both scale and agility, which have allowed to company to achieve enormous volume increases at critical times, despite the complexity of modern delivery deals.

“Early on, as we were building up distribution in 2020, we had a strategic deal come up with another streaming service,” said David Klee, vice president of strategic media solutions at A+E Networks, at AWS re:Invent 2022. “It was a fairly large-volume deal. With our operations team and the legacy systems, they said it would’ve taken 30 to 60 days to complete by a team of five. But we were able to work with the engineering team at this other organization, who were fantastic, to set this up as a cloud-to-cloud transfer because they were also a Rally user. So, it was really from supply chain to supply chain. And we got 60 days’ worth of transfer done in about 16 hours, including all the renders, including the transfers between S3 to S3. It was a real eye opener for us.”

See Klee detail A+E Networks’ complete cloud transformation in his AWS re:Invent presentation.

Sky Group

Sky Group has used Rally to move away from traditional media asset management and workflow systems to a cloud-based platform that delivers greater efficiency, agility, and scalability in media processing. The group has deployed Rally across its operations in the U.K., Germany, and Italy.

presentation from AWS re:invent 2022, Sky's Dave Travis in the upper right and a diagram of Sky's many playout destinations fills most of the screen“To launch a channel at Sky — it’s a complex organization — we were talking somewhere between six to 10 months of time, and it would probably take 60 people involved to make that happen,” explained Dave Travis at AWS re:Invent 2022. “We were incredibly resource hungry. We had all of these different locations and no consistency, no ability to scale. Our costs were just through the roof.”

“So we decided to set a vision of where we wanted to go and take our people on that journey,” continued Travis, describing the company’s plan to refresh and modernize. “The North Star for us was to automate and rapidly deploy services at speed.”

Rally played a key role in enabling the company to centralize all its capabilities, consolidate its operational footprint, and abstract functions and storage in a more cost-effective and scalable technology environment. Leveraging the Rally platform and the benefits of the cloud, Sky ultimately reduced that 10-month channel launch window to just four minutes.

While Sky’s initial implementation of Rally was extensive, the team saw it as just scratching the surface and anticipated that over time, it would open up opportunities they hadn’t yet imagined. Read the initial case study here or watch the AWS re:Invent presentation to hear about more recent Rally expansion at Sky.

Building Your Workflows in the Cloud

If you’re looking for a proven platform that can support the real work that you need to do — and enable you to realize the exponential throughput increase or capacity upgrade to handle bigger, more demanding jobs — let’s talk! We’re ready to help you move to the cloud in a way that meets your needs.

Have a unique workflow in mind? All of our customers do! Everyone works differently and changes over time. And Rally makes that possible. If you are looking to get up and running quickly, our Supply Chain Accelerator working with our partner, TMT Insights, offers a fast track to a modern, cloud-based model.

Our team is experienced at helping media companies re-envision their media supply chains and execute their vision on the world-class Rally platform. They’re always on-call to help your team map out an adaptable, responsive supply chain.

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