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Moving to an ecosystem model: The complex reality of global, intercompany content exchange

By Meg Cater | Aug 12, 2019

Filmmaking has always been a collaborative art

Do you ever watch the credits at the end of a major film and think about all the months or years of work that went into creating it? If you’re in the industry at any level, you know intimately what I mean.

What might start as an idea in the mind of one person or creative team blossoms into an artform that will eventually require thousands of people to bring it to life. A few filmmakers you may have heard of reflect on the experience:

“When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.” Steven Spielberg

“I like the feeling of making things. It’s very, very rewarding. And filmmaking is that type of experience, where you’re forced to collaborate with so many people.” Chris Evans

While it’s always required a diversity of talent, the collaborative process that is film and television production today is changing. What’s new to the modern digital M&E landscape is the dominance of intercompany collaboration.

Every large company, from Disney to Netflix, has a global ecosystem of post-production partners. Most are vetted thoroughly during an onboarding process to ensure they meet the program’s technical and operational standards. And there is no dearth of post studios vying for contracts.

Bolstered by the freedom to set up shop most anywhere with decent Internet, new post studios are popping up in cities all over world, ranging from generalists to niche visual effects specialties.

Market drivers behind increasing cross-company partnerships

What’s behind the rise in cross-company partnerships? Not only has the market become increasingly competitive, pushing companies to further diversify revenue streams, the global consumer demand for content — all the time, anywhere — means each of those streams has to have more versions for more platforms, and each version then needs to be localized for increasingly diverse audiences. With so many companies located in different countries working on a single production, workflows get complex and content exchange becomes constant.

However, most software designed to manage content exchange — which means moving very large video files, long distances over the Internet, back and forth between many different locations, under very tight production and release timelines — does little to acknowledge this new reality, much less make it easier.

This dilemma is the inspiration behind Signiant’s SDCX (software-defined content exchange) platform, the foundation of our newest product, Jet, which makes it easy to automate and accelerate the transfer of large files between geographically dispersed locations. Targeted at “lights-out” use cases, Jet meets the growing need to replace scripted FTP and legacy transfer tools with a faster, more reliable and more secure alternative.

Jet’s new intercompany content exchange capability will be introduced at IBC

At IBC 2019, we’ll be introducing a new capability to the SDCX platform and Jet that simplifies and accelerates content exchange between companies with a secure cloud handshake mechanism.

Like Jet, Signiant’s widely-deployed Media Shuttle solution is also built on our SDCX platform, which is now used by more than 500,000 professionals and over 25,000 companies to send and share large files around the world. With its vast global footprint across media companies of all sizes, the platform is already connected to thousands of on-premises and cloud storage endpoints. The new capabilities enable customers to make storage endpoints private, discoverable or discoverable only to select partners in their supply chain.

Via a simple, secure web interface, companies can request a connection with a partner. Once both sides accept, specific jobs can be configured and mutually approved to allow for secure, automated transfers between the companies. Jet’s simple, predictable pricing model makes it accessible to companies of all sizes and enables cost sharing for intercompany content exchange.

Jet was first introduced at NAB 2019, winning a Best of Show award for bringing advanced automation and acceleration to companies of all sizes. Come see what’s new at IBC, including a demo of Jet’s new intercompany content exchange feature.

Contact us to Book a Meeting at IBC2019