Building the Future of Digital Media & Data Center Infrastructure

By: Ernest Sampera on May 28, 2020

In many respects, today’s consumers are already living in the future of digital media. According to a recent study, the average American has access to at least four separate streaming services, with a whopping 38 percent of them logging into five or more on a regular basis. As digital media services continue to proliferate and make the industry more competitive, media companies will increasingly turn to data centers to find the infrastructure they need to build their networks and complete their digital transformation.

Looking to the Future of Digital Media

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated a number of existing trends in the digital media landscape. Streaming content providers like Netflix and Disney+ were already seeing tremendous growth, but Nielsen data found that streaming consumption increased by 50 percent during the last weeks of March alone. Between March and April, Netflix added over 15 million new subscribers, double their original projections. While the streaming giant naturally expects to lose some of those newcomers as the crisis lessens, many of them will likely keep the service as it continues to churn out new original content.

Video games have also experienced a coronavirus-induced bump in their user base, with the market generating $1.6 billion in sales, an increase of 35 percent from March 2019. Online gaming has been a major aspect of that push, with millions of people turning to online play as a means of connecting with others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in demand has forced many companies to rapidly shore up their digital infrastructure to ensure high levels of uptime and continuous service.

General media consumption may have increased across multiple channels due to the coronavirus crisis, but there are still valuable digital media trends that can be drawn from user preferences. According to Global Web Index data, Gen Zers (ages 16-23) and Millennials (ages 24-37) have demonstrated an overwhelming preference for online videos and streaming television services. Taken together, these two demographics make up nearly 50 percent of the US population, which makes their digital media preferences incredibly important both for providers and advertisers.

Looking to the Future of Data Centers

If the future of digital media is going to be a bright and successful one, these platforms are going to need a strong foundation for their networking infrastructure. Data centers will have an important role to play in that future. Reliability and speed are key factors for success in the digital media landscape. Today’s data centers offer a substantial upgrade over traditional on-premises data solutions, boasting better power and cooling efficiency, improved connectivity, and greater redundancy.

High-quality (and exclusive) content will always be one of the strongest competitive advantages a digital media company can have, but they neglect reliability and speed at their peril. A subpar data center that experiences frequent downtime will disrupt streaming digital services and quickly result in a frustrating customer experience. Similarly, high-latency and low-bandwidth services will struggle to keep up with consumer demands and cause them to turn elsewhere even if it means missing out on quality content. Time remains one of the most precious resources consumers possess, and they have shown repeatedly that they’re not willing to waste it waiting around for digital media to load.

While many digital media companies continue to operate their own data centers, technical and consumer demands are rapidly pushing them toward colocation arrangements or cloud deployments that rely on third-party data center infrastructure. Netflix is the poster child for such a move, having undertaken a massive seven-year migration from its network of private data centers to Amazon’s AWS cloud. The move was prompted by a severe data center outage in 2008, which made the company realize it would need to make massive investments in data center operations and infrastructure in order to meet their goals as a digital media business.

How Digital Media Companies can Leverage Data Centers to Meet Future Trends

Netflix made the decision to focus its resources on delivering content rather than making the massive capital investments needed to build a world-class data center infrastructure. In an increasingly specialized economy, few organizations can afford to be the best in every aspect of their industry. By leveraging a state-of-the-art data center to host and deliver digital media services, companies can devote their limited assets to creating a better customer experience that will give them the edge they need.

Building and operating a private data center may sound appealing from a control and visibility standpoint, but not if it comes at the expense of a business’s core services. Building a hyperscale data center to deliver low-latency, reliable digital media won’t do a company much good if it has to sacrifice the quality of that content to do so. By partnering with a colocation data center, media organizations can build robust networks that deliver a high-quality user experience and provide cutting-edge content that keeps consumers coming back for more.

Enter the Future of Digital Media with vXchnge

As an award-winning colocation provider, vXchnge delivers a reliable and flexible infrastructure for the digital media companies of the future. Our national data centers are engineered for perfection and backed by 100% uptime SLAs to ensure that your essential services will stay up and running when you need them most. And thanks to the in\site intelligent monitoring platform, you’ll have complete visibility and control over your deployment, allowing you to evaluate and adjust your power and bandwidth usage at any time. With direct cloud on-ramps and Megaport access, our colocation services deliver the tools they need to build the networks for the future of digital media. To learn more about how we can enhance your digital media services, contact one of our colocation experts today.

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