Sony Launches Media Cloud Services

By Erin Harrison April 03, 2013

Sony is latest company to get into the cloud business, launching a new subsidiary, Sony Media Cloud Services, which is aimed to provide an online platform for creative professionals to store and share their large and complex media files.

Sony’s cloud storage platform – dubbed Ci (pronounced “see”) –is currently in beta production and is designed to provide broadcasters, filmmakers, independent producers and marketing teams with a “one-cloud” solution to collect, produce and archive high-definition content, according to Naomi Climer, president of Sony Media Cloud Services.

“Every day, creative professionals around the world spend numerous hours and resources on non-creative tasks like moving and sharing content, figuring out how and where to store it, and getting the right assets to the right places and in the right hands,” Climer said in a statement. “Sony understands these complex challenges, which is why we designed Ci as a functionally rich, scalable and secure, media-focused cloud platform that can enhance and streamline traditional production workflows to make it easier to collaborate more effectively and cost-efficiently.”

Company officials said Ci was designed with intuitive capabilities that can analyze complex media and data to enable machine-assisted workflows with pay-as-you-go pricing.

Applications that will be available at launch include the following:

  • Ci MediaBox: Collects, organizes, previews, shares and archives every media type and size using studio-designed cloud storage solution suite
  • Ci VideoLog: Enables logging of frame-accurate events to prepare content for downstream opportunities, distribution and playout automation
  • Ci AudioSync: Utilizes analysis algorithms and audio pattern matching to reduce non-creative editing work time in content-preparation workflows
  • Ci FrameMatch: Analyzes media files to automatically identify differences and likenesses between two sets of video files
  • Ci ReviewApprove: Enables review, annotation and collaboration on media files across multiple locations in real-time, simultaneously.

In addition to Sony Pictures, the company also signed NBCUniversal as a client. Ci will be available within the U.S. and European markets, with plans for additional service capabilities to be launched within the year, company officials said.

In related news, Sony sold off its U.S. headquarters in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. The building, according to multiple sources, went to a group lead by the Chetrit Group, a real estate developer. This move provides Sony with some badly needed extra cash, although the source of the cash may leave some investors worried.

Reportedly, Sony’s been looking to sell off “non-core assets” for some time now and refocus on the main business – but only time will tell if this was a smart move, or just the beginning of the end.

Image via TVNewsCheck

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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