The Media & Entertainment industry has long been global. For decades, the world’s largest media companies like Disney and Time Warner have operated in multiple countries and released content to even more. But globalization has picked up in recent years and, at the same time, is undergoing a fundamental change. Today’s global media industry is far more inclusive than it was at the turn of the millennia, with media companies of all sizes, located all over the world, getting a chance to participate. 2018’s blockbuster, Black Panther, is an illustrative example.
Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia and Busan, South Korea with scenery shot in Argentina, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, and Uganda, Black Panther was officially released in 62 countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the huge markets of India, Russia and China. Along the way, 167 companies spread across the globe worked on its production, special effects, distribution and all the rest.
However, the big blockbusters are not the only or even the most common example. Scripted original TV series are on the rise around the world, providing ample work for small and mid-sized post-production and distribution companies. In the U.S. alone, the number of original scripted TV series nearly doubled between 2010 and 2017, largely thanks to online services like Netflix and Hulu.
What’s driving the change?
Participation in the global media industry is no longer predicated on being a huge company with vast funding for infrastructure in multiple locations. Though the revolution is culminating now, its foundation was laid a while back, with the rise of the Internet and the transition to file-based workflows.
However, the real catalyst is recent developments in IP and cloud technologies that are scalable to different size companies and accessible anywhere in the Internet-connected world. A leader in SaaS and cloud technologies for the media industry, Signiant has been a central figure in the industry’s transformation, particularly through our SaaS solution, Media Shuttle.
Media Shuttle enables fast, reliable and secure large file transfers over public and private networks. As the first cloud-native SaaS file transfer solution developed for media professionals, it brought Signiant’s enterprise-grade intelligent file movement software to companies of all sizes, allowing them access to files no matter how much data they contain or how far they need to travel.
Media Shuttle now connects over 400,000 global endpoints in 218 countries and territories around the world. A case study just published by SVG Europe on COPA90’s massive coverage of the 2018 World Cup tells Shuttle’s story well. However, it’s not just advanced file transfer capabilities that makes Media Shuttle so friendly to international media work.
Customizable solution for every use case
Media Shuttle’s easy UI for end users or ‘portals’ are accessible via any web browser. From the Shuttle dashboard (Figure 1), portal admins can set up an unlimited number of portals for different projects, clients, teams, etc. Portals are brandable (including background image, logo and color scheme) and customizable, with three portal types to choose from.
- Submit portals provide a means for people in different locations to submit content into an aggregation point.
- Send portals provide a quick and easy way to send a file to someone just by entering their email address.
- Share portals (Figure 2), the most popular type, allow multiple people access to a file directory to organize, browse, upload and download files.
The flexibility of the three portal options makes Shuttle fluid enough to handle the diversity of global projects, really anything that involves people moving files.
Control permissions and storage choice
But just giving people around the world means to move files isn’t enough. Say you have a team of remote freelancers doing VFX and you’ve created a share portal for them, not all of them need access to every file or folder. Shuttle allows portal admins to manage portal members, control permissions, track transfers and view history, so you always know who has access to which files.
Another important capability of Shuttle is the ability to choose the storage attached to each portal, whether on-premises or in AWS or Microsoft cloud storage. This ability to abstract storage allows assets to remain under your control, even as the people interacting with it are all around the world. It also sets up additional workflow options, such as using Shuttle for fast cloud i/o.
Foreign language support (Chinese just added) and enhanced enterprise features
A key feature enabling international collaboration is Shuttle’s language support. Media Shuttle portals can be set to several languages. We continue to add new languages based on feedback from our customers, and just recently added Chinese. Other languages include English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and Italian. Each end user can also override the portal’s default language to their own language of choice, allowing easier global collaboration.
For larger companies working internationally, Media Shuttle has a few advanced features that support complex and high-volume workflows, such as single sign on with SAML, CloudSpeX, IMF support and custom metadata handling.
- SAML allows everyone across a company to sign in with their corporate account credentials.
- CloudSpeX is a file pre-validation feature that checks files against industry-defined or custom format requirements before they are sent, dramatically lowering the receipt of incorrect formatting or file types.
- IMF is a rapidly emerging standard to help manage versioning for media assets and is particularly useful in cases where assets need to be distributed in multiple formats and languages. Media shuttle recently added support to make it easier to work with IMF packages.
- And, lastly, system admins can create custom metadata entry forms for end users to tag assets with additional information such as language or shooting location.
All of these capabilities help manage the volume and complexity of today’s international workflows and complex multiplatform deliveries. If you are new to Media Shuttle and want to hear how it could work for your business or just want an update on the latest features, schedule a demo today.
 IMDb Black Panther (2018) Release Info: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/releaseinfo?ref_=ttco_ql_2
 IMDb Black Panther (2018) Company Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/companycredits?ref_=ttrel_ql_4