2020 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has brought about a new normal which cannot be brushed aside just yet. In some countries, though the epidemic has slowed down a bit, people are still confined to their homes and dread to return to their 9 to 6 jobs or just going to the supermarket makes them break a sweat. The same is for production houses and traditional studios. But OTT emerged Fault Tolerant.
Dr. Andrew Cross, President of Global Research and Development, rightly said that returning to normal will fail us again because we were not properly prepared for our world systems to fail. And this has once again brought the term ‘Fault Tolerance’ to the fore.
Fault tolerance is the ability of a system to continue operating without interruption when one of its components fail. Thus, a fault-tolerant system is created to prevent disruptions arising from a single point of failure, ensuring the high availability, and business continuity. And this is where OTT platforms come in and can be described as a fault-tolerant system.
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Pre-COVID-19 times, fault tolerance from engineering to video production meant having a backup system ready to go when a workflow component went down, explains Dr. Cross. Backup studios, backup production switchers, backup cameras, and backup power cables etc. The pandemic taught us that not every disaster can be mitigated that way.
Dr. Cross points out that the ones who were the most prepared for a global pandemic to shutter workplaces and production houses were those who were dipping into the realm more commonly called ‘streaming media’.
OTT is popular from the viewers perspective, as they can access content via the internet. Many third parties are involved in the distribution network that the broadcaster either has no control over or little to no influence over. The internet-connected us via videos.
OTT platforms with the COVID-19 pandemic brought a new definition to Fault Tolerance, ‘flexibility’. The way the world began to see content produced in the global TV and streaming industries mostly had to do with creative reflex. In simpler words, homes became studios, and talent transitioned to remote participants, and virtualisation became more familiar. Dr. Cross says that at some point in the near future when the industry returns to the studio, someone will recall the capabilities that were unlocked by this shift. Suddenly, workflows will not be confined to a traditional studio space. Instead, there will be makeshift spaces quickly and effectively spun up to work as a production location.
The point here is that the storytellers and the audience have been able to connect through OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Diseney+ Hotstar etc. via technology, such as smartphones, mobile tablet devices and laptops etc. Creativity and technology have brought a lasting impact.