Wazee Digital’s Cloud Asset Management Business Trusts Telestream Cloud

This cloud-native solution enables media rights holders to enrich, monetize, and deliver high-value content to distribution partners and viewers worldwide.
Wazee Digital’s Cloud Asset Management Business

With its cloud asset management service, Wazee Digital has a lofty goal. Its mission is to give content creators and rights holders a way to enrich, monetize, and share their high-value, branded media with the right people, at the right time, anywhere in the world.

Wazee Digital’s client roster is a Who’s Who of the media and entertainment industry, including Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Partners, College Football Playoff, FremantelMedia, USA Swimming, and CBS News.

“We currently handle 750,000 transcodes per month, with daily volumes ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 transcodes. And this workload is growing exponentially. Our business model also requires a global cloud strategy that can intelligently distribute this media processing to the data center that’s closest to the cloud storage or source media for faster transfer and delivery.”

Brian Noecker, Vice President of Information Systems and Services, Wazee Digital

Content creators and media rights holders can select the services they need from the Wazee Digital cloud platform. With its Wazee Digital Core, Commerce and Digital Media Hub solutions, Wazee Digital’s services encompass the following:

  • Media asset management providing control, visibility, and insight into assets
  • Centralized global access to content
  • Organizing media assets in appealing, searchable online galleries and archives
  • Content licensing including rights and clearances
  • Live event services for real-time capture and metadata enrichment of content

This cloud asset management business model depends upon having an intensive transcoding and media processing workflow capable of transforming rich media files into low-res proxies for browser-based searching and live streaming, as well as the many file formats needed for video-on-demand and multiplatform distribution.

The Challenges

Founded in 2003, Wazee Digital remembers the day when video was shipped on physical media, like hard drives, or delivered via FTP. By 2011, as their workflow became increasingly digital, they began searching for technology vendors that offered comprehensive, end-to-end transcoding solutions.

In particular, they wanted a solution that would automate their high-volume media processing, continually support new codec integration, and provide the responsive tech support required for their time-sensitive services.

The search was over in 2011 when Wazee Digital discovered Telestream Flip Factory, a transcoder that could flip files quickly for greater digital throughput. Over the years, they remained loyal to Telestream, and moved up the product line as greater speed and functionality became available. The timeline of their Telestream product acquisitions is as follows:

  • 2011—Flip Factory for transcoding tasks like ProRes upconverting
  • 2012—Vantage Media Processing for automating high-volume media processing workflows
  • 2012—Lightspeed Servers for accelerated processing and forensic watermarking
  • 2015—Vantage Cloud, configured as a hybrid premise/cloud transcoding workflow
  • 2017—Telestream Cloud services, powered by Vantage, initially configured as a hybrid premise/cloud workflow
  • 2018—Telestream Cloud, with virtually complete migration to an exclusive, end-to-end cloud-native workflow
  • 2018—Today, only 5% of their media processing remains at its physical data center in Wyoming, which is slated to close in the first or second quarter of this year

“In our years of working with Telestream, it’s become clear that they are extremely engaged with the market’s requirements, which are constantly changing. That’s something we look for in a technology partner—somebody that listens to customers, gathers market feedback, and then really addresses those concerns in their product development roadmap.

“For us, Telestream was the first vendor that really supported all of the transcoding targets we had in the cloud. There was a race to the cloud and Telestream effectively won that.”

Andy Hurt, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Wazee Digital

The Solution

By shifting its operation to Telestream Cloud, Wazee Digital saves the time and money associated with running, upgrading, and maintaining their physical data center. Since they now access Telestream Cloud as a usage-based service, they can immediately provision whatever processing power and capabilities they need when they need it, as well as scale back when things are slow to reduce costs.

“With just-in-time cloud provisioning, we’re now free to on-board, enrich, and output media with the quality and turnaround times today’s media market expects. So, while we felt a certain comfort in controlling our own physical data center, we know that we cannot pursue emerging market opportunities and meet our business goals effectively without a holistic solution like Telestream Cloud on the AWS platform.”

Brian Noecker, Vice President of Information Systems and Services, Wazee Digital

While Telestream Cloud can be set up on any major public cloud platform, Wazee Digital chose to use Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. In doing so, Wazee Digital further streamlined its global workflow through localization—the uploading of assets to the AWS data center closest to the customer’s location or cloud storage for faster transfer and processing times.

Content owners can either upload their media files to the cloud storage of their choice or upload it to storage buckets associated with Wazee Digital’s AWS service. When that media is discovered by Wazee Digital’s Core solution, it’s automatically on-boarded for media processing.

The Results

By combining Telestream Cloud with AWS, Wazee Digital is realizing greater operational efficiency. Just in terms of localization, Wazee Digital saves time and money by reducing the instances where large media files—especially HD or 4K resolution—must be transported to a centralized center for processing.

“Not having to move an asset very far for transcoding is advantageous to serving our customer base and opening up new international markets. And it’s especially important to certain rights holders that don’t want their digital properties to leave their home territory or cross international borders.

“With 85 percent of our customers in the U.S., and 15 percent in the UK and Australia, it was beneficial to us that Telestream engineers worked closely with Amazon to build out their Telestream Cloud service to include the AWS data centers we need in the UK and Australia.”

Brian Noecker, Vice President of Information Systems and Services, Wazee Digital

According to Noecker, the way that Telestream makes incremental improvements to its comprehensive cloud platform gives Wazee Digital confidence that this managed cloud infrastructure will keep pace with their demands, and scale sufficiently as they grow.

For example, in late 2016 or early 2017, Telestream engineers solved a key concern for Wazee Digital by enabling the processing of sub-clips of large media assets. With sub-clipping, they could transcode just the portion of the media asset that someone wanted to license or use. Considering their overall transcoding volume, this feature is a big timesaver that boosts productivity.

Telestream engineers solved a key concern for Wazee Digital

“To put a sharper point on our Telestream partnership, our Wazee Digital Core cloud asset management service simply isn’t as powerful without a robust, full-featured transcoding platform like Telestream Cloud.

“We must be able to ingest high-bitrate native files, convert them to low-res proxies for browsing and streaming, and quickly spin-up whatever file formats and resolutions are required for an optimal user experience. Telestream Cloud is definitely core to our platform, no pun intended.”

Andy Hurt, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Wazee Digital