Baku Morikuni, co-CEO, Memnon Archiving Services S.A. (a Sony company), unpacks all you need to know about media digitisation.
What is media digitisation and why are companies opting for it?
Media digitisation is, in its simplest form, the process of converting data into a digital format. If we delve deeper into it, digitisation does not only serve the purpose of transferring physical data but it is also about faithful reproduction of the analogue original into a digital asset that is ready for distribution on other platforms. It fuels growth for many industries, helping enterprises expand their market reach and accelerate their integration with business applications and governments to preserve, in many cases, the only existing audio and visual historic evidences of cultural and national importance, and often used also in education and research. Organisations are exploring the world of media digitisation and the ways in which it reduces costs, facilitates access to data and provides the opportunity to reuse existing resources to materialise things that could not have been born otherwise.
Does a company require a high budget for digitisation or is this process catered to all?
We are experiencing a digital revolution, and all companies are bound to make the transition. This process is, in its essence, a requirement for all companies sooner or later. Whether your project budget is 10 000 USD or 10 million USD, we have done them all. Our proprietary workflow and industrial process engineering makes it possible to manage, control and process large numbers of content at consistent high quality.
Are most companies realising this urgency to digitise?
Looking at things retrospectively, we realise that over the last 30 years media firms would have collected many hours of material – something between the range of 50 000 and 500 000 hours or even more. Many businesses have already realised the importance of digitising their content as every media faces different forms of aging issues, from shrinkage on film to delayering and sticky shed syndromes on magnetic tapes, resulting in loss of important data.
What are the key benefits of digitising content?
There are many key benefits to digitising content. First, digitising content is a way to preserve content assets for future generations, re-using in new media channels to help public organisations showcase visual evidence of history, for instance. Additionally, digitising content saves time and allows for better access of archives as this process makes files only a mouse click away. It also reduces costs by saving space, as the need to keep physical archives at data centre conditions is not necessary anymore. Digitised content also generates good revenues and increased user engagement since the archival content has been rediscovered as a high quality and low-cost content platform, and to approach and reconnect to an interesting age group between 30 and 70. These are some of the key benefits but of course, there are plenty more benefits which are catered to different types of businesses and would fit very particular needs and objectives.
For many businesses, the fear of security breach from digital data is still a controversy and a valid concern. How safe is digital archiving and how confident should businesses feel switching to it?
Like any other transition, the shift to digital archiving is a major step that has plenty of opportunities, but unfortunately, many companies lack the knowledge and the guidance required to take the steps of change with confidence. When it comes to concerns on security of content, digital archiving is as secure as your digital environment and requires management of its lifecycle as does your IT infrastructure. However, there are many options in the digital world, one of the options being the Cloud service. Many archival organisations follow a multi-tier strategy in terms of long-term preservation of file formats and storage medium.
As an organisation how are you contributing in this industry?
Memnon Archiving Services is a company that has been active in the field of digitisation and digital archive preservation. The Sony Group acquired Memnon in July 2015 driving greater access to knowledge, tools, research & development and equipment. The power of collaboration has also led to new market opportunities for advanced media asset management and digitisation solutions for media companies, broadcasters and institutions around the world.
Memnon has the global expertise of over 15 years across four continents, as well as organisational knowledge due to the massive volumes (millions of hours) it has processed. Furthermore, Memnon has supported companies with recovering extremely valuable recordings, even in situations where materials have not been in a good condition.
Within this year, we will add a new range of services to offer a cloud based platform and new metadata and indexation services.
What is your client portfolio?
Memnon’s client portfolio represents many public broadcasters and media firms in Europe and across the world, from national libraries, national archive and cultural organisations, like the British Library or French National Library, to universities, research organisations, sports federations and even parliaments.