How Cloud-Based Programming Unlocks a Better Viewing Experience

Cloud technology has made programming faster, cheaper and more flexible


June 8, 2022

When thinking of the ways our home-entertainment viewing experience has changed over the years, from the age of cathode-ray televisions to the modern era of digital smart devices, we tend to measure progress based on improvements in things like picture quality, integrated features and portability. Those items are all significant, but there's one component that tends to get overlooked: programming.

Ask under-30 viewers what they think about sweeps week, reruns and TV Guide, for instance, and you’ll likely get a lot of blank stares in reply. Many of the old ways we took for granted as being baked into our viewing experience are now gone or all but unrecognizable. Most of them, however, aren’t missed, and a lot of that has to do with modern programming. Thanks to the drumbeat of progress, digital tech and cloud-based programming have unlocked a far better viewing experience for the end user.

For decades, television programming was rigid and analog-based. Harsh deadlines to hand over physical tapes hung over the heads of producers. The lack of agility and responsiveness in content programming tied the hands of networks and key decision makers. Making changes or fixes on the fly, and reacting in a timely fashion to accommodate the preferences of viewers was difficult.  But, a shift to the cloud removed many of those bottlenecks associated with traditional programming.

Today, content managers can monitor and control a library of content on a live dashboard, updating and reformatting programming schedules in real time, without the need for physical tapes and regardless of location. Cloud-based technology also allows for better awareness of issues and outages in a content schedule. The result: improved flexibility and efficiency for programmers and fewer glitches overall.

Because programming is faster and easier than ever, managers are left with more time to enhance the interactivity and engagement of their content. That may manifest in a number of ways, including sharper ad targeting and relevance or higher-quality streams – all of it creating a downstream effect that theoretically improves the availability of content to a programmer.

The biggest and most appealing change in the move to the cloud, however, has been the price: It’s cheaper. A lot cheaper. No costly infrastructure, no media servers, fewer personnel required. That development has made the media business far more competitive, drawing a raft of new upstarts into the game. But, because the transition to cloud-based programming is so affordable, legacy networks and providers with a rich content library still have a leg up in a crowded streaming market.

Cloud technology has removed many of the traditional physical constraints from programming and made the process faster, cheaper and more flexible. That’s not just great news for programmers and media providers – but for viewers, too.

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