If you’re like me and have followed the cutting-edge innovations by Major League Baseball to better engage their audiences, you’ll love this Google Next OnAir session. If you haven’t registered for Next OnAir yet, click here to do so.
Google’s Industry Solutions Managing Director, Anil Jain, and Major League Baseball CTO, Jason Gaedtke, dive into how media companies use Google Cloud solutions to accelerate their digital transformations. By becoming more agile, resilient, and productive, companies can continue entertaining and informing audiences worldwide.
MLB was amongst the first major sports brands to capitalize on the changing nature of broadcasting, launching its own direct to consumer channel MLB TV back in 2002. Since then, MLB has continued to innovate and iterate on the ways they engage with their audiences.
As pioneers in distributing high-quality live video over public internet, MLB’s achievements, and those of MLBAM (their Advanced Media division), have been recognized with prestigious awards, including a Technology and Engineering Emmy.
Jain began this Next OnAir session by highlighting the rapid, ongoing growth of live streaming revenues. He noted that PWC projects this field to reach $74B in revenue within three years.
GOOGLE CLOUD’S MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT FOCUS
Next, Jain outlined the four key focus areas for Google Cloud within the Media and Entertainment vertical:
PRODUCE CONTENT SECURELY, FROM ANYWHERE
Remote production was, until recently, considered an exciting concept without much proof. Thanks to the COVID-19 restrictions, it’s now become a widely adopted, mainstream set of techniques and technologies. As innovation accelerates in this area, it will likely form part of the persistent “new normal.”
Jain then shared how the post-production world’s real heavy lifters—the visual effects guys—are now experimenting with cloud-native processes. And if you’re worried about complying with the big studios’ security requirements, Google has you covered. They have been working with the Motion Picture Association to ensure the processes meet the highest compliance standards.
ENRICH CONTENT MANAGEMENT WITH AI & ML
What’s not to like about video content monetization? You already have the material, so why not extract as much value from it as possible? While the long tail of value here sounds excellent, you will struggle to realize it unless you have good quality metadata.
Thanks to cloud AI and machine learning, the digitization, categorization, and indexation of video content no longer needs to be a highly manual process. Google has the keys to monetizing your archive for you.
BUILD SCALABLE, GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION PLATFORMS
The ability of broadcasters and content producers to speak to huge audiences is not new. But the ability to do this on a truly global scale is now within reach of almost everyone. With the competition for audiences transcending traditional geographical boundaries, broadcasters who have invested heavily in high-quality content now need to access extremely reliable, high quality, low latency, distribution.
The infrastructure which supports Google’s subsidiary YouTube is now available as part of Google’s premium tier network and offers a scalable, global distribution platform.
DEVELOP DEEPER AUDIENCE INSIGHTS THROUGH DATA AND ANALYTICS
The fourth focus area Jain highlights in this video is audience insight. Google and its partners are working with broadcasters, such as the UK’S oldest commercial broadcaster ITV, to better understand audience viewing behavior.
Google’s big data tools such as BigQuery can help personalize the audience journey, improve the quality of experience, reduce subscriber churn, and deliver enhanced value to advertisers and sponsors.
MLB HITS A HOME RUN WITH GOOGLE CLOUD
So, how do these key focus areas show up in the newly announced strategic partnership between Google and MLB?
Gaedtke says that it’s all focused on fan engagement with personalized recommendations and a social viewing experience. This allows the audience to engage with the content and with each other, creating a shared experience.
As a prominent example, Gaedtke highlights MLB’s in-field analytics, which provides a wealth of data about gameplay. All powered by Google Cloud, this platform covers everything from pitches and throws to exact real-time player positioning and movement.
SWINGING FOR THE FENCES
So what’s next for MLB? They are deploying Anthos—Google’s hybrid/multi-cloud offering—to have a single point of control across all of their local data centers. In addition, MLB is using BigQuery to gain a truly holistic view of every aspect of their fans’ engagement, from buying a jersey to watching a game on the mobile app.
To watch the session in full, visit “The Direct-to-Consumer Future of Media and Entertainment.” If you haven’t registered for Next OnAir yet, click here to do so.