When Prime Focus Technologies, better known as PFT, was founded in 2008, the media and entertainment (M&E) industry was just beginning its journey of digitalization. At the time, technological solutions specifically designed for M&E were scarce. There was a pressing need for content companies to move to file-based workflows and deliver content across multiple platforms.
Fast forward to 2021, PFT has set new industry benchmarks with its technology offerings and established a global footprint across five continents. Its innovative solutions are used by some of the world’s leading broadcasters, studios, brands and service providers. Among them are Turner, PBS, Hearst, Channel 4, Star TV owned by Walt Disney, Disney + Hotstar, Amazon, Viacom’s Voot, Cricket Australia and BCCI, among others.
It is this unwavering commitment to the growth of the M&E industry that made it the winner of the ISV Innovation Cup, organized in association with AWS. This intensive challenge aims to enable independent software vendors (ISVs) like PFT to accelerate product innovation and evangelize its ideas to launch their products. Read on to learn more about the origins of this winning ISV, its contributions to the M&E industry, and how the ISV Innovation Cup will accelerate its growth.
How PFT announced the technological revolution in M&E
Founded by Ramki sankaranarayanan and Ganesh Sankaran in Bengaluru in 2008, PFT saw a huge opportunity for cloud-based software and services to transform the M&E industry.
“Our effort was also to connect all stakeholders involved in the content industry through digitization. So we gave the M&E industry its own ERP software – CLEARMT – which automates the content supply chain. Leveraging the power of hybrid cloud and automation, it has provided industry with unique software for the enterprise, specifically designed to connect all of their departments, geographies and businesses. said Ramki sankaranarayanan, Founder and Global CEO, Prime Focus Technologies.
Media’s cloud-enabled enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, CLEAR, has been adopted by the world’s leading broadcasters, studios, brands and digital businesses to manage their content operations. Today, the platform manages more than 1.6 million hours of content worldwide.
PFT’s solutions have enabled its customers to reduce costs by 30% and improve efficiency by 40%. Almost 50% of major studios in the United States use CLEAR’s SaaS applications for production, broadcast and distribution. It achieves video on demand (VoD) of 10 million assets per year and manages over 100,000 hours of new TV episodes and 10,000 hours of live streaming content per year.
AI / ML: the next frontier
According to Muralidhar Sridhar, Vice President, AI / ML and Global Head of Product Management at PFT, one of the most promising organizational transformation opportunities in the M&E industry lies in harnessing business intelligence from data. And while data is everywhere, it’s essential to generate relevant and actionable insights. According to their research, many companies have tried to collaborate with various vendors to develop artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI / ML) engines for this purpose, but to no avail.
To meet these demands, PFT has developed CLEAR Vision Cloud, a native multimedia recognition AI platform that helps solve real business problems of TV networks, studios and OTT platforms through technology and to the board.
CLEAR Vision Cloud consists of two key components: data packs and action toolkits. Modular data packs facilitate operations related to basic metadata, advanced metadata, premium metadata, video comparison, compliance and transcriptions.
Action Toolkits facilitate discovery, segmentation, content moderation, video comparison, and language-related operations. “These are enveloped by PFT’s unique Machine Wisdom layer that transforms basic facets of cognition into meaningful higher-level knowledge in the CLEAR Vision cloud,” says Murali. “So CLEAR Vision Cloud not only produces precise data, but also actionable data. “
Murali also mentioned that PFT is actively strengthening its solutions internally to deliver results-driven offerings. “For example, our remaster team used CLEAR Vision Cloud for video compliance … What used to take 60 hours to comply with a TV show now only takes two hours and the accuracy levels are above 90% on conformity. Likewise, CLEAR Vision Cloud is used to conform the dubbed audio tracks to the original video with an accuracy of over 99.5%, enabling rapid human verification and editing to achieve over 90% process automation ”.
PFT provides cataloging and metadata services to some of the largest broadcast networks, studios, brands and sports organizations around the world. Like most cataloging service providers, its process was also manual. With CLEAR Vision Cloud’s segmentation toolkit, Murali claims that all physical segments are now automatically identified and labeled. This reduced the segmentation time from 30 minutes to about 5 minutes for a 30-45 minute video.
“Our creative teams also use CLEAR Vision Cloud’s promotional support and promotional quality control features to automate mundane processes and allow publishers more creative time. With the entire Promo QC process now taking place in the cloud, we don’t need an editing suite for this process, and editors can work on more creative tasks, ”says Bhaskar Sitholey, Senior Vice President, Techno-Creative Solutions at PFT.
The AWS factor
PFT had an innovative idea for product improvement and participated in the ISV innovation cup to validate and transform the idea into product. During the challenge, PFT had access to AWS Solution Architects to review architectural designs and build Vision Cloud on AWS. Access to common solutions with AWS also helped
“Clearly, we wanted to bring to market (GTM) with AWS, with our solutions built on AWS Cloud as SaaS. We are developing solutions that will ensure the realization of business value for our end customers and with AWS hosting many M&E customers in the cloud, it was a win-win, ”said Murali.
“PFT plans to aggressively reach out to its new and existing customers, as well as AWS customers about the value of CLEAR Vision Cloud. To this end, common access to GTM will really help PFT and AWS meet the needs of customers in the M&E industry.