Video production

Blackbird accelerates sustainable video production with the cloud

With video content becoming more and more popular, it has never been more important for broadcasters and creators to ensure that they are able to deliver a seamless experience to users.

To achieve this goal, they can implement Blackbird, a cloud-native video editing and publishing platform that enables remote editing so that video content can be created and published from anywhere and at any time. moment. In partnership with Microsoft, Blackbird supports vendors with Microsoft Azure technology to deliver fast, efficient, and sustainable video production in the cloud.

“Microsoft technologies enable broadcasters to take full advantage of the unique benefits of our cloud-native platform,” said Ian McDonough, CEO of Blackbird. “This allows us to facilitate the creation of video content that is very fast, inexpensive, flexible and sustainable. Blackbird has a very light technical footprint compared to traditional cloud-based non-linear editing.

Blackbird is working with Microsoft to reduce carbon emissions from content providers by promoting the environmental and economic benefits of decarbonizing video production. For example, his previous white paper Video Shouldn’t Cost the Earth demonstrated how Blackbird’s efficient cloud-native architecture reduced carbon emissions by up to 91% compared to cloud-based editing workflows and on the site. The company also just released its groundbreaking follow-up document, Decarbonizing Video Production.

The company also joined Microsoft at NAB 2022 as a booth partner. “The event was a resounding success, as we demonstrated to hundreds of media companies the tremendous workflow efficiency of true cloud-native editing on Azure,” McDonough said. Overall, NAB has demonstrated that the key efficiency benefits of cloud-native video editing and publishing are too great to ignore.

“The mood has shifted from cloud acceptance to cloud adoption,” McDonough says. “The last two years have proven that the cloud is capable of delivering performance far beyond what many on-premises installations are capable of.

“High on the list of benefits is the ability to work faster. Freed from the constraint of being in a particular establishment, people can work flexibly and productively.

Blackbird recently conducted a global survey with Caretta Research and found that 90% of video professionals have adopted cloud production and remote editing into their workflows. Yet 65% inefficiently and unnecessarily move large files.

“For those who haven’t yet migrated to remote editing, the limiting factor is often how the cloud is integrated into the overall workflow and this is where Blackbird has a very strong story. Most remote editing is still implemented using old-fashioned “lift and shift” workflows in which users move original high-resolution media files over the Internet. With our platform, there is simply no need to move large media assets, which saves a lot of time, energy and money. »

Some content providers use cloud-based tools rather than cloud-native solutions. “These solutions are indeed superior to traditional outside broadcast technology,” says McDonough. “However, they still require dedicated hardware – cloud-based tools are simply stored elsewhere and controlled remotely via the internet.

“Cloud-native solutions like Blackbird don’t use or require dedicated hardware or infrastructure. This is the only way for the industry to unlock the real benefits of the cloud, namely scalability, flexibility and sustainability. If the solution isn’t cloud-native or browser-based, it’s just a workaround for the inevitable future.

Blackbird has been deployed by various customers on Microsoft Azure, including the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia and New Zealand, as well as one of the world’s leading sports federations. Another client is Deltatre, which uses Blackbird to create content for the NFL’s Game Pass platform – the league’s premium subscription service. Deltatre’s digital production teams in the US, UK and Italy collaborate using Blackbird to quickly create sports highlights for the enjoyment of millions of fans.

The NRL broadcasts sports games that are run through Azure and from content partner production sites. “The NRL’s digital team uses Blackbird to quickly create and publish highlights to social and over-the-top platforms,” ​​says McDonough. “Clips can be delivered in just 30 seconds.”

These examples show how Blackbird leverages Microsoft technologies to provide organizations that create large-scale video with a fast, low-cost, and sustainable content creation solution that improves efficiency and performance.

“Our partnership with Microsoft is stronger than ever, and we are extremely excited to continue to work closely together to deliver the most efficient and innovative cloud video solutions in the industry. »

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Technology Record. To receive future issues straight to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.