The Ultimate Guide to Future-Proof Your Media Supply Chain

June 27, 2024

Media Supply Chain

A media supply chain, while complex, can be defined simply. 

It is a complete system or network or ecosystem that allows for the creation, management and delivery of digital media. That media may be video or images, but regardless of its content, organizations rely on a sound media supply chain to ensure that digital assets are transmitted from one point to another.

While concerns related to media supply chains and media supply chain management used to be reserved primarily for the media and entertainment industry, times have changed. Today, organizations across industries rely on media assets for internal and external communications boosting corporate culture, brand awareness, advertising and social media engagement.

As media supply chains have evolved from physical systems to the digital networks of tomorrow, organizations have to keep pace by integrating customized software programs to accommodate tools from a variety of vendors. This approach is not only cumbersome, and outdated, it creates fragility across a network and misses out on efficiency.

A digital media supply chain deserves and requires optimization. By streamlining media operations, entertainment companies and organizations across industries utilizing media assets are positioned in a more agile stance. This agility allows media assets to be delivered swiftly and accurately to the appropriate audience or user, precisely when and where it needs to be.

7 Critical Media Supply Chain Challenges

Mastering media supply chain management hinges on archiving and storage management. It's not just about organizing and storing assets; it's also about ensuring they're easily and efficiently retrievable. 

The real challenge lies in handling the ever-growing volume and size of media assets, the variety of types and formats, and the costs tied to storage, security, and recovery. This is where precision and innovation become crucial.

Let’s expand a little on these challenges:

  1. Users have accessibility expectations: Users live in an on-demand world and that expectation extends to content. 
  2. Varied platforms = varied formats: The variety of available platforms results in varied formatting demands on content creators. Finding ways to use and repurpose content across different formats is critical.
  3. Secure sharing needs have increased: Teams are dispersed, locally and globally, which creates a need for secure channels for content sharing as part of the creative development process.
  4. Progress is difficult to track without visibility: Meeting deadlines and minding budgets can be challenging when it’s difficult to track the production of content throughout a media supply chain.
  5. Inadequate capacity: Without reliable media supply chain management, a system can easily experience more demand than resources available to meet it.
  6. Ambiguous or missing industry benchmarks: Quality is difficult to measure without expectations or standards. 
  7. Managing service provider support: Shifting the measurement of a service provider relationship to prioritize quality over quantity could help reduce costs.

Create efficiencies through media supply chain optimization


Staying competitive in the market means having solid processes for media supply chain management. We get it. 

We dive deep into media workflows and partner with our clients to develop the media asset management protocols that work best for their operation. With that type of support, organizations can pivot the energy and excess expenditures they had focused on media supply chain management to the core needs of the business

The 3 following use cases exemplify how the right type of media supply chain management support can prove transformational for media companies, the entertainment industry, and global corporations. 

1. AI and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Integration


Artificial intelligence and machine learning are game changers for media supply chain management. The digital media supply chains of the future will no doubt leverage the efficiencies afforded by these integrations, reaping the rewards in content archiving and compliance.

But, honestly, the benefits extend way beyond those boundaries. 

From metadata management and extraction to file organization and tagging, the integration of automated tools minimizes the likelihood of human error and reduces the reliance on manual tasks. That is particularly important as the use of varied media assets continues to grow.

The efficiency of AI expedites media content creation for streaming services and digital formats by assisting with content analysis, automated categorization and allowing for intelligent search, among other applications. 

2.  Cloud-Native Supply Chains

Cloud-native media supply chains borrow the same philosophy, and similar functionality, of those used in cloud-native computing. They allow organizations to scale and adapt at the rapid pace of digital media in a streamlined, accessible, cloud-based environment.

But the real magic is that cloud-native media supply chains let you keep everything— media files, content and the complete media supply chain—in an optimized flexible environment. This makes it easy to evolve in a media industry that is continuously changing.

Diversified’s new approach to Intelligent Orchestration, introduced in 2024 at the NAB show, is one innovative example of how cloud computing is effectively colliding with media supply chains. Although rules-based automation has been instrumental in effective Media Asset Management (MAM) for many years, this new approach is the 2.0 orchestration of the future. Key elements of Intelligent Orchestration reflect the industry’s current challenges when it comes to content delivery, including a need for decentralized production, streamlined media workflow, and software-defined production integration. 

3. Fragmentation and Consolidation of MSC


Media supply chains are experiencing an overhaul. In this always-on era of immediacy, media customers are shaking up the market with their demands. 

The consolidation of media supply chains has become a necessity to streamline distribution strategies, allow for efficient management and maximize audience engagement with creative content. 

Where fragmented media supply chains used to be the norm, distributing content across a network supported by multiple vendors and systems, a consolidated, comprehensive ecosystem is proving to be the way forward. 

Consolidation not only saves costs from a system and software standpoint, it offers more streamlined visibility across a network and improves a network’s ability to connect with global audiences. And cloud technology is the catalyst driving this transition.

Integrating a consolidated Media Supply Chain

From the implementation of a cloud-native media supply chain to the utilization of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the cost savings experienced from a responsive infrastructure is well worth the investment. A digital supply chain allows for valuable agility, flexibility and supports a future-focused mindset for any company looking to update and improve its media supply chain ecosystem.

Learn how to get started with us.

Media Supply Chain FAQs

Media supply chains can be intricate systems with multiple layers and a series of moving parts. Here are some frequently asked questions and brief answers to clarify their benefits.

  1. What is the ROI of a consolidated, digital media supply chain? Think about saving time for editors by automating certain tasks, monetizing media assets, assigning permissions and protecting content as part of a secure framework, and improving speed when it comes to media delivery. That’s your ROI.
  2. What are the most common aspects of media supply chains and media supply chain management? Comprehensive services include media asset management, workflow orchestration and automation, transcoding and distribution, shared storage and archive, and platform integration.
  3. Can these solutions be customized? Absolutely. Media supply chains can be customized, from full-stack software development to database administration to middleware development. 
  4. How does a digital media supply chain support scaled operations? Content demand fluctuates with peaks and valleys.  A premium media supply chain management platform lets organizations optimize operations when demand is high and scale back when it settles — unlike traditional media supply chain networks.  
  5. How long will this need exist? The volume of content being produced is growing every year, and customer demands will only perpetuate that growth. With streaming content giving users control, content needs to be on-demand, wherever the user wants it. Put simply, efficiencies with a media supply chain are here to stay.

Media Supply Chain Innovation Begins Now

Agility, flexibility, adaptability and the opportunity to save time and money are among the top reasons why the media and entertainment industry, along with corporations across a variety of industries, are jumping on the evolving media supply chain bandwagon. At Diversified, we've got the experience and expertise to guide you through this transformation.

We understand the lifecycle of media assets as well as the need to manage data and processes every step of the way, from data extraction and migration to editing, archiving, resource management, BPM and distribution. 

As an industry-leading partner that works with leaders within their industries, from media to entertainment to tech, we’re adept at developing a media supply chain ecosystem designed for success. 

Your evolved framework is just a consultation away

Dave Simon

Dave Simon

Dave Simon, a Principal Consultant at Diversified with a focus on Media Supply Chain, spearheads a team of solutions architects and technical consultants known for delivering cutting-edge, multi-layered media supply chain solutions. With a focus on live broadcast, production, post-production, venues, corporate, high education, and government entities, Dave excels in guiding projects through the crucial 'phase zero' consultation and definition stage.

Bringing over two decades of expertise, Dave is not just a consultant but a thought leader in media supply chain dynamics. In the ever-evolving landscape of hybrid-cloud linear and file-based MAM/PAM/DAM, orchestration, high-performance storage and archive, transcoding, and software-defined automation, Dave is at the forefront of innovation. His impactful leadership has steered numerous multi-million dollar projects, leaving an indelible mark on major broadcast, sports, Fortune 500 corporate customers, and higher education clients.

About Diversified

Diversified is a global leader in audiovisual and media innovation, recognized for designing and building the world’s most experiential environments. Our Emmy Award-winning team specializes in delivering solutions for the most complex, large-scale and immersive installations. Serving a global clientele that includes major media organizations and retailers, sports and live performance venues, corporate enterprises, and government agencies, Diversified partners with clients to create spaces that bring people together, and keep them coming back.

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