The Future of M&E

A new year brings reflection and anticipation for the future of the Media and Entertainment industry.

Competition is heating up in Video on Demand (VOD) offerings. That’s great news for our industry and content creators in general as demand has never been higher. It is no surprise that Hulu and Amazon Prime are starting to chip away at the massive VOD market that Netflix enjoys. But the reality is there is plenty of content and consumption to go around. projects VOD to grow at an annual rate of 3.6% for the next several years.

The drive for more content with higher quality images will also continue to push data growth. As will the need to handle it efficiently. Seagate sponsored an IDC white paper with some amazing facts about data and storage predictions. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the Global Datasphere will grow from 33 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025. The Datasphere is defined as the summation of data. That includes created, captured or replicated. It defines four industries as holding almost 50% of the world’s data storage; financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and media and entertainment.


The pressure to deliver faster, while maintaining data integrity, is driving the application of technology and standards. Ultimately – to reduce pinch points in digital workflows. Imagine Products has been working closely with the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and other manufacturers in the industry to establish a new standard. The focus is in regard to large data set integrity and assurance throughout acquisition and production workflows. The new standard, dubbed ‘ASC-MHL’ (Media Hash List) is poised to be implemented in 2020.

The hope is to make ASC-MHL the standard for creating data integrity chains of custody. We fancy ourselves experts in workflow. As such, we believe we have valuable input on how this should be implemented. The goal is that the M&E industry begin using directory checksums for ease of use, while increasing verification power, and optimization for cloud based operations. We believe MHL with Merkle Tree technology will become core to both ‘air gap’ data handling as well as cloud storage strategies. It offers the ability to audit data from origin throughout its use cycle.

The implications of an increase in VOD, data storage and standardization are far reaching and will impact our industry for some years to come.

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