New business models for digital media
The business models for digital media is currently undergoing drastic change. Peter Hanebäck, Executive Director of Strikersoft's latest customer Mediasmiths, explains what’s happening in the industry.
Strikersoft has a new customer – Mediasmiths – a company whose innovative solutions are primarily designed to suit the media industry. Since media distribution and entire digital-media business models are currently undergoing major change, we took the opportunity to ask Peter Hanebäck, Executive Director of Mediasmiths, to describe the changes.
Enormous Demands for Real-Time Capacity
“Although the term itself has been overused, I’d still characterise what’s happening right now as the industry undergoing a paradigm shift. If we start with the technology, for example, we see that today’s cloud technology is clearly catching up in meeting the needs of media companies, a lot of whose content happens live and requires a high-quality output. In this case, we’re talking about large file sizes and an enormous demand for real-time capacity,” Peter explains.
“What Mediasmiths has tried to do is to take what is theoretically possible – handling and streaming large amounts of data in real time – and make it practically possible and available to everyone, all the way down to the end-consumer,” he adds.
Not Just Technology
According to Peter, when it comes to media companies, improving the technology is not, in fact, the greatest challenge faced.
“The most important question is how to organise things so that you’re not simply transferring old work methods to new situations and continuing on in the same way as before. If you fall into that trap, you won’t derive any real benefit from the shift to digitalisation and will be outpaced by your competitors,” he says. “We approach the challenge this way: If we were going to start over from scratch, how would we do things? Then we organise ourselves in line with that and create the processes from there.”
“At the moment we’re discussing with CTOs what IT environments will look like in 2020, so they can be sure they’re making the right investments today,” Peter explains. “The five-year plan is now a thing of the past. Just think back to the way things were five years ago: Could you have predicted today’s reality back then? The answer is no. Nowadays, it’s possible to plan 6-12 months ahead and no longer. Instead, you have to build in a way that gives you the flexibility to adapt in the next step, so you avoid the need to make wholesale replacements.”
Change Will Never Be This Slow Again
The pace of change in the media industry will increase significantly and it’s no longer possible to plan as we did in the past, Peter believes. What he foresees in the industry’s future are no small changes, either.
“Just look at Netflix: they started out renting DVDs and laid out a plan to produce their own set-top box. They were basically ready to send out invitations to their launch event when their CEO realised that they were on the wrong track altogether. It wasn’t their own platform they should have been focusing on, but all platforms. They’ve since gone from being a distributor to a production company that creates its own original series,” Peter explains.
“Netflix has made no less than four highly public 180-degree ‘pivots’ in ten years. So, what’s the next step for them? Not even they will know that until tomorrow,” he concludes.
They’re now our go-to provider
Mediasmiths is attempting to reinvent itself at least as fast as its customers, if not faster.
“This is where Strikersoft came in,” says Peter. “We had an immediate need for front-end UX/UI that we couldn’t fill ourselves. To solve this problem we contacted Strikersoft, who with zero overhead immediately began work on our development tools and processes and quickly familiarised themselves with our challenges. We enjoyed good communication with their design team and they delivered a high-quality solution on time and on budget.”
“In this brave new media landscape, you need a partner like Strikersoft. They’re now our go-to provider whenever we need external help.”
4 Solid Tips
Peter has four sound pieces of advice for media companies that will help them keep up with the pace of change when planning their technology investments:
- Cultivate your in-house expertise.
- Choose technology partners who are innovative.
- Acquire knowledge that will let you determine for yourself what is right for your company and your business.
- Choose a partner who challenges your outlook by providing new ideas, but don’t let them make choices for you.