What lessons can we learn from email to help us predict the future of video?
Over forty years, the humble email has evolved to become the champion of digital communication with 269 billion emails sent per day.
But as a communications medium, email, is facing stiff competition from its sexier, younger cousin - video. By 2021 a million minutes of video will cross global IP networks every second. Are we ready for video? What can we learn from the evolution of email to help us predict the services and infrastructure needed to support and manage the increased use of video – particularly by businesses?
A ridiculously quick history of email in three parts
- The dawn of the electronic communication - Email as we know it began life in the labs of MIT in the late 1960s and was quickly co-opted by the US Department of Defense through ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). Near instantaneous communication between machines across organisations was a concept that quickly caught on and was the impetus for the invention of the internet itself.
- The beige box in the corner - During the 1980s and ‘90s, email addresses and inboxes were largely provided by Internet Service Providers for personal use. At the same time, many companies began to build their own IT infrastructure to handle their corporate comms. The email server was born – feted beige boxes in the corner of the office or rack mounted servers in the basement - carrying the life blood of businesses large and small.
- Email in the clouds - With the advent of cloud computing, companies have been able to significantly reduce spend on IT infrastructure and outsource all the complex stuff to service providers. Corporate email is now a utility we buy from cloud-based infrastructure and service providers like Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
What does that tell us about the future of video?
What parallels (if any) can we draw from the evolution of email to help us prepare for the massive increase in demand for video expected in the next 5 to 10 years?
We’re well past the phase of innovation and early adoption - we’re already consuming vast quantities of digital media every day, in every part of our lives.
However, for organisations that produce and manage large volumes of video on a daily basis – across entertainment, defence, sport, the public sector and throughout the commercial world, the cracks are beginning to show. Mountains of media are still being stored, managed and organised on-premises.
The beige box in the corner is at breaking point. Many organisations are still managing their growing video libraries on a groaning local infrastructure that will struggle to cope with:
- The scale of storage necessary for video (Particularly as we all become accustomed to HD and 4k quality)
- The wide variety of video formats produced (That format you shot with, it can't be played back on mobiles...)
- Controlling access to video (Who can see what - and what they can do with it)
- Making video easy to find (How do you locate the perfect video, or even a section of video when there are tens of thousands of hours of content to wade through?)
- Adding descriptive information to the video (So it can be easily found in the future)
- Publishing and securely distributing the video (Can you post clips to social media? Can you push to your YouTube channel? Can you distribute HD to broadcasters or news agencies quickly and securely?)
- The human factor (Do you have the in-house expertise to coordinate your media operations)
Prepare to scale, or prepare to fail
As demand for video increases across entertainment, sport and corporate communications, it’s clear that organisations need to prepare for a step change in technology. To migrate from outdated local infrastructure to a specialist cloud service provider. To be fair, many large organisations are already uploading their video to the cloud – where the rent is cheap – but there’s a lot more to managing video than low cost storage.
Cisco predicts video will make up 82% of global internet traffic by 2021. Media companies and businesses need a platform capable of easily managing video at scale - powerful enough to convert media at speed - for faster distribution to staff, partners, clients, or consumers.
Storage, bandwidth and processing power is only half the story though – you need a great user experience – to ensure that video is easy to find, playback, edit, share, distribute and even monetize.
That's where Imagen v7 comes in
Imagen v7 is the latest release of our award winning video management platform. It delivers a world-class video experience for a wide range of end users – from media companies and broadcasters to businesses eager to improve internal and external communications.
With elastic cloud storage and a new transcoding architecture to convert more video content for use by more audiences, more quickly, the Imagen v7 can flex to cope automatically with increases in demand.
Imagen v7 is the step change in media management that gets you ready for the future of video based communication.
Here are our top 7 favourite features and improvements available in Imagen version 7:
- Mass media processing Increase the throughput of your workflows and distribute your content faster with Imagen v7’s new unlimited transcode power. Ingest at high speed and make large volumes of HD content ready for market or a consumer audience faster than ever before.
- Web page customisations and themes Imagen v7 brings your content to life through a superior user experience that you can customise for any audience. Build a better UXP with advanced content management tools.Imagen version 7 gives you all the creative tools you need to build and maintain a great looking video platform. Design, edit and update beautiful web pages that make the most of your video content.Promote and market your content more effectively; publish your latest news and blogs, showcase collections and introduce the latest additions to your video library with simple to use in-page updates.
- Faster global distribution Open up your content to new territories with high bandwidth, low latency distribution of live streamed HD video. Imagen v7 even provides an easy connection to your Content Distribution Network (CDN) when you need it.
- Improved live server functionality We’ve extended our live server architecture to improve automation, the user experience and quality of the video captured.• Archive at original bandwidth, as an .mp4 • Thumbnail previews on timeline when viewing live • Optional CDN support • Optional automation of start/end for events • Imagen support team can monitor in real time using Prometheus – our system monitoring dashboard
- Video pre-roll / Sting in workflows Need to add stings and idents to your video? That’s easy with Imagen’s new improved pre-roll video feature. Create any number of pre-roll workflows to easily add exciting, branded intros to your video content.
- Object Tracking Track faces, objects and brands with new onscreen video annotations. Highlight objects with a range of marquee shapes, set time line points and watch the trackers follow your target object as the video plays.
- Notifications Keep on top of your media operations. Imagen v7 delivers an updated notification service for real time feedback on job processing, clip editing, collection management and file delivery.
Companies that are still storing their video content on premises should prepare to move to the cloud – for added convenience and accessibility, but more importantly scalability.
Imagen V7 is the your future proof video solution that will transition your video management and comms to the cloud – ready for the golden age of video.