While Brad Soroca’s home is Deluxe Entertainment Services Group as its chief commercial officer, he has long resided at the intersection of content and technology, dating back to his prior tours of duty at such roosts as NBC Local Media, ESPN Digital Media, eMusic, and cloud-based workflow tech startup Arazoo.
Being situated at that intersection continues to provide Soroca with a vantage point which he described as “a good window” looking onto industry transformation as “massive amounts of content are going to more and more platforms worldwide.” Complexities spanning multiple platforms, formats and languages are growing, he said, “at a rate that hasn’t been seen before.”
From this has grown in turn a compelling need for managing, organizing and handling those complexities that challenge content creation and delivery, a responsibility which Deluxe has embraced on varied fronts, perhaps most notably with its development of Deluxe One.
Soroca noted that Deluxe’s end-to-end postproduction and distribution services take content from lens to living room, anywhere in the world. Deluxe One virtualizes these services in the cloud, giving customers the opportunity to leverage these powerful solutions, regardless of workflow, to maximize the value of their content.
Designed to simplify the overall process, making it easier and faster to get quality content to audiences all over the world, Deluxe One provides a unified platform for customers to manage their content--from creation to delivery--all in one place. Built on a micro-services architecture with open APIs, customers choose the services they need––from content acquisition and title and asset management, to localization, distribution, and OTT playout--unifying a traditionally fragmented media supply chain and giving customers control of their workflows.
In contrast to traditional closed-silo solutions, Deluxe One is devised to be open, allowing for integration with third-party solutions for improved collaboration.
With customers’ assets and data connected in the cloud, Deluxe One--which generated positive feedback during its international rollout at IBC 2018--accelerates today’s complex workflows by automating tasks to reduce hand-offs or errors, and speeding up turnaround times. The streamlined process means content can get to more screens, more markets, and more viewers, without added time and expense.
“Deluxe One,” related Soroca, “allows you to manage all of your content, all of the related data, versions and associated files in a single place that today might be in disparate systems or with partners. How do I know where everything is? What do I need to do with it? Where does it have to go? Whom do I have to get it to? Let’s say you want to get a file to a distributor in Germany. Do I have German subtitles? Do I have to kick off a workflow to accomplish that? Deluxe One allows you to start that process, to identify what you have, to deal with all the pieces and put the needed end file together, delivering it in a timely manner. Deluxe One realizes massive efficiencies in terms of communication, speed and the process. Multiple that by a hundred distribution endpoints around the world. You can fully monetize content, meeting the different needs of each endpoint with different permutations.”
Informing Deluxe One are the different creative entities--such as VFX house Method Studios, post shops Encore and EFILM--within the Deluxe family. “As we continue to develop the platform, refine and enhance it, the creative side informs the distribution side,” observed Soroca. With input and feedback from the creative side, Deluxe One can adapt, innovate and speed up the process ahead of the curve.
Also in terms of innovating, Deluxe is exploring artificial intelligence (AI). “How are we recognizing content? How are we conforming content? A good deal of the work we’re doing is to use AI to speed up those processes, to make them more automated,” related Soroca. “All this is being built into Deluxe One. We are managing and processing more content than anyone else. Our ability to get our machines trained has grown and become more sophisticated.”
Soroca said this evolution is in line with Deluxe’s lineage. “That’s the history of the company. Our reason for being is enabling and empowering our customers for whatever task comes next. As we move into a cloud-based environment where our offices around the world are connected, our capacities and capability to manage, transform and deliver content just become faster and faster, easier and easier. We’ve gone from the history of being a film lab to a digital environment and are now well into a cloud environment. We’re in a process of improving our technology across the board. There’s an evolution in terms of software interfaces, an upgraded infrastructure--now with Deluxe One sitting as an interface over all of it, making us an enabler of entertainment’s next transformation.”