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MESA events: Scalability challenges & anti-piracy discussions

A little while ago, Joe, our head of enforcement, went along to a couple of MESA events in London (that’s the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance, FYI). At Entura, we stand firmly behind MESA’s mission to support companies that create, produce, and distribute content across all platforms – and we knew our Joe would have some worthwhile insight to share afterwards.

MESA events: Scalability challenges & anti-piracy discussions

A little while ago, Joe, our head of enforcement, went along to a couple of MESA events in London (that’s the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance, FYI). At Entura, we stand firmly behind MESA’s mission to support companies that create, produce, and distribute content across all platforms – and we knew our Joe would have some worthwhile insight to share afterwards.

I love a good event, especially the presentations, panels, discussions – generally any forum where people are talking about our industry’s challenges. So I was excited about heading to MESA’s Content Workflow Management Forum, and definitely looking forward to its first Content Security Group meeting the following day.

Though the first event wasn’t entirely focussed on Entura’s area of specialism, it was fascinating to hear about the issues and considerations facing international companies. But what struck me most was the attitude of many attendees towards piracy: they just weren’t concerned by it. How was this possible? As it turns out, they felt this way simply because they assumed they couldn’t do anything about it. Instead, they’re focussed on securing content within their production and pre-release workflows – this makes perfect sense, but it’s only one part of protecting content revenues. And there are other business issues they feel are more pressing, like scalability.

Being (or becoming) scalable is an operational challenge everyone faces, from production houses to streaming services – even anti-piracy companies. Here at Entura, we take on projects on a global scale, meaning we completely appreciate what being scalable entails.

So my attention was grabbed at the event by a presentation from Deluxe, a film industry stalwart for over 100 years now. In it, the presenters set out four things every entertainment company that’s looking to be scalable and successful should bear in mind. And I absolutely agreed with them.

  1. Move services to the cloud. As the Cloud provides the flexible, technological bedrock for scalability, this is a no-brainer. Pay for what you need, with no extra hardware costs.
  2. Use micro-servers. Most companies do need some hardware, and although not perfect in every environme­nt, micro-servers can scale-out workloads for extra capacity and pool resources. Plus they need less power and space than ‘traditional’ server set-ups.
  3. Automate. A clear winner in business terms. With the right software and systems in place, people can be freed from simple, repetitive tasks. Then they can concentrate on more important or profitable work.
  4. Make data-oriented decisions. This is the killer point. Being guided by hunches doesn’t really work anymore. In the entertainment sector, we’re used to bringing data like box office figures, market research, and audience polling into decision making. But that approach doesn’t always extend to other areas. For those looking to scale and succeed, using data to guide day-to-day operational decisions (and, obviously, anti-piracy work) is a critical step.

Deluxe’s presentation was bang on the money, as scalability is a challenge facing all entertainment businesses, in every area. From Entura’s point of view, scaling content creation and distribution goes hand in glove with scalable anti-piracy measures, so I was obviously keen to get stuck into the content security debate. The next day, it was great to have a frank discussion and hear different people’s viewpoints. But, alas, Chatham House rules prevent me from sharing much more detail. All I will say is that I’m looking forward to the next meeting in September.

In the meantime, if you want to hear our thoughts on content security, or meet at the next MESA event, just drop us a line here.