Leading secure media management and collaboration

Cloud-friendly and API open platform helping all size of companies to collaborate and manage their media in a daily basis. It allows all organizations to securely manage and share their media, no matter where it's stored. (creative, educational, broadcast, production, post production…)

Like who? Google, VICE Media, Orange, THEMA (Canal+ Group), Spotify, PokerGo, Little Dot Studios.

Last case studies

A Game-Changer for Film Production

Ever watch movie credits? That’s a lot of people working together to bring you a story. And these movies only become a reality through exceptional organization and collaboration.

When producing indie films with lean budgets, the difference of getting this right can save or doom a film.

Jason Starne is the VP of Media Solutions at CineSys where he offers solutions to the Media and Entertainment industry. During his free time, he produces films, and when we heard he was looking for a way to manage media for his films, we asked him to try iconik.

Boon movie poster

One Tool for Many Creative ProcessesHis latest film, Boon, is a modern-day western starring Neal McDonough and is currently in post-production. During the production of Boon, iconik was used as a system for:

  • Consistency between each scene (continuity standard)
  • Script supervision
  • Editorial work
  • Shots feedbacks
  • Reviewing dailies

Jason and his crew used iconik on location, but because iconik is in the cloud, executive producers from Canada or Texas could be part of the production process. Distributors were also brought in early to review and discuss the film as it was being shot each day.

Boon was filmed mostly outdoors in the mountains where the weather is very unpredictable, but with iconik, the crew could keep continuity for lighting, setups, and performances by reviewing the previous day’s shots on any device.

"I knew right away that I wanted to integrate iconik into the production workflow for Boon. When you're doing indie films any little thing that goes wrong can be devastating for the film. So you want to build a very efficient pipeline right out of the gate. Iconik was that for us." - Jason Starne, Boon Producer

Workflow Image Description: This workflow begins when footage is added to a storage that is monitored by the iconik Storage Gateway. This then creates proxy files in the iconik cloud, where media can be accessed to review and edit soon after ingesting.

Better Film Continuity With Rapid ReviewTraditionally, film footage would be moved to hard drives, transported, then played in a screening room to review the dailies. Dailies typically happen at the end of the production day, but with iconik, directors and cinematographers can see content during the production day and make adjustments on the fly. These rapid changes can save a film.

The Boon Crew Used iconik to Save the Day More Than OnceOne day, in the car, Jason noticed that one of the actors with him had mistakenly put on his earrings. He used iconik on his phone to compare the actor’s clips of the previous day and confirm that the earings had to be removed before shooting.

On multiple occasions, the director of photography used iconik to see how the lighting and weather had changed between shoots and rearrange the day’s shooting schedule.

Derek, the director, was able to quickly decide if an actor needed to go back and re-do a scene after using iconik to review performances over multiple days of shooting.

"Integrating iconik into our workflow and the way that we used it on this film was absolutely a game-changer. I can't believe we ever made a film without it" - Derek Presley, Boon Co-writer, Director

By using iconik as a cloud-based collaboration hub, creative visions move forward, and everyone involved can become more connected to the production process. The ability to review and collaborate on a film from anywhere brought a new level of agility and insight to the production of Boon.

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Efficient Cloud Video Workflows at THEMA

THEMA is a Canal+ Group company that has more than 180 television channels in its portfolio. It helps with the development of these channels and has built strong partnerships with major pay-TV platforms worldwide.

Celebrating Culture with ContentTHEMA started with a focus on ethnic, localized entertainment. What was once a niche has grown into a large, expansive service. Today, It has a presence in nearly every region of the world where viewers can enjoy programming that celebrates their heritage and offers a taste of home wherever they are.

Cédric Pierre-Louis is the Director Of Programming for the African Fiction Channels at THEMA. Gareth Howells is the Director of Out Point Media, which was created to assist THEMA QC and content operations mainly for its African channels. Cédric and Gareth share their iconik journey here.

A Familiar ChallengeTHEMA shares a common story that many other iconik customers have experienced. As entertainment demand has risen, the amount of video handled by an organization has sky-rocketed. Early on, most media asset management solutions that were considered for the African Fiction Channels at THEMA had a high barrier to entry with requirements for large upfront investments. To stay cost-efficient, more manual solutions were used, but it would prove to be unsustainable.

As THEMA moved into creating and managing channels, the increase in video production and added complexity of their on-premise and cloud workflows brought the need for media management front and center.

Cédric and Gareth began evaluating solutions by these key points:

  • Cloud-Based
To start, THEMA needed a solution that could improve how they work across all their global teams. The operation needed to work from anywhere. Cédric worked internally at the Paris office while Gareth worked from London, and together they managed content creation from production teams in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
  • Minimal Cloud Resources
There was also a unique challenge to overcome with connectivity and bandwidth restrictions facing the teams in Africa. They needed a light solution-requiring minimal cloud resources. Teams with limited internet access would also need immediate access to the content from the cloud.
  • Proxy Workflows
They also could not afford to continue working with large files. Previously, teams had to upload hi-res full master versions of video, which then had to be downloaded by every editor who worked on the project. Proxy workflows would allow creation to happen faster with much smaller files.
  • Adobe Integration
The team needed to be able to find video fast and have the ability to simply drag it into their timelines from a panel within their Adobe programs. This ability to self-serve from the cloud and find media without any bottlenecks would have a great impact on production speed.
  • Affordable Startup Costs
They also needed to stay within a budget. There could not be any costly installation of new infrastructure.

Landing at iconikWhile Cédric was searching for the right media management solution, he took a trip to Stockholm, where he met with iconik’s CEO, Parham Azimi. After a short talk and demo, it was clear that iconik was perfectly suited to THEMA’s needs for agility. All four of the evaluation points were satisfied in this one solution. Soon after that meeting, Cédric and Gareth began to implement iconik with the help of IVORY, who represents iconik in France.

Today, THEMA uses iconik as a full content management system that offers nearly end-to-end control for their media workflows.

This is how iconik is utilized for their broadcast work:

  1. Film and audio is created at the studios in Nigeria and Ghana
  2. The media is uploaded to Backblaze B2 cloud storage
  3. B2 assets are then represented in iconik as proxies
  4. QC and Compliance teams use the iconik Adobe panel with video proxies for quality control, checking compliance, and video editing
  5. Master files are downloaded to create the master copy
  6. The master video copy is distributed for playout

While all this is happening, the creative teams at THEMA can also access content in iconik to edit promotional media.

"I would recommend iconik to any company that wants a powerful, easy to manage, easy to scale media management solution for a reasonable cost." Cédric Pierre-Louis, Director Of Programming, African Fiction Channels, THEMA

Visions to Expand iconik’s UseWith the iconik experience THEMA has had so far, the team is excited to implement iconik for even more of their workflows. In the future it plans to integrate iconik with its broadcast management system to share metadata and files with its playout system. This would save a lot of time and work as much of the data in iconik is also relevant for the media playout system.

Further into the future, THEMA also hopes to achieve a total end to end workflow with iconik. The vision is to use iconik as soon as a movie comes in so their team can put it through all the steps in a workflow such as QC, compliance, transcoding, and sending media to 3rd parties for playout or VOD platforms.

For this global team that needed their media managed in a way that would be light and resource-efficient, iconik has arrived in a big way.

Here, you’ve read about how versatile iconik is. If you have a challenging media management situation, request a demo and let us help you find a solution just for you.

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VICE Media | Staying Agile as the Leading Brand in New Media

VICE Media has been creating edgy and informative content geared towards youthful, curious minds since it began in 1994 with a small, provocative magazine.

They have become famous for bravely telling the stories other news outlets miss. The journey since then has taken VICE from a free zine to the leading brand of new media for millennials. VICE now uses iconik to store their master mezzanine media in a true global library.

They plan to use iconik as the heart of their distribution where it will route content to a content management system (CMS).

We spent some time talking with Jack Skinner, the Product Manager of the Media Technology team at VICE, to learn more about how VICE has grown, and why they needed a solution like iconik.

Overthrowing a Legacy MAMVICE expanded very quickly as a brand. Within a few years, the production company went from a team of 200 to 1000+. This growth required space, which led VICE to set up one of the largest production spaces in New York at their headquarters in Brooklyn. The 75,000-square feet of space includes more than 125 video editing stations, outdoor gardens and a boardwalk that overlooks Manhattan.

VICE needed to add new channels and content to meet the growing demand, but their old media tech did not keep up.

The legacy MAM they had was for digital distribution and could only store mp4 files. It couldn’t meet the needs of their increasingly complex productions, which needed varied types of media files. Any given project could have media from a high-end RED camera or footage from an iPhone. That same content could originate from VICE’s massive production house or the hotel of their journalist in the field.

The complexity compounded further as media went through different workflows for film, TV, and social media. They quickly ran into issues of finding media—their product— across multiple storages.

Valuable intellectual property was untraceable!

The old solution had been a self-contained “black box”—with no integrations and redundant metadata. They knew that beyond their legacy MAM, their whole production needed an overhaul.

The Race To Smart Media ManagementVICE assembled an entire team that spent a year evaluating every possible solution for their system overhaul. With the help of Advanced Systems Group (ASG), they evaluated many points like AI, delivery, and social clipping. Some solutions came close to what they needed, but the cost and ability to deliver caused most to fall short.

Through it all, agility was key.

The need to have tech and workflows that are current, effective and flexible has been fueled by the creativity and drive of VICE’s young team. Their workflows often change, so configuring on the fly is a necessity. Jack and his team understand that you can’t be rigid in the digital media space or else you will break. Vice needed agility, and that’s why they quickly fell in love with the iconik API.

With a solution in sight, ASG deployed a project management plan and team for the integration between all of the custom connections needed for the system to function.

The team integrated:

  • Veritone to leverage the many AI engines they support­­
  • Telestream Vantage workflows
  • Bitmovin for encoding HLS and Dash
  • Vice's existing CMS
  • and several other software components that VICE has deployed.

The team, which includes Jason Perr’s Workflow Intelligence Nexus, is moving on to the next phase of system development after delivering the launch platform on time and under budget.

VICE Live wristband by Xyarnés

Jack shares more about his early impressions of iconik:“We found iconik at NAB 2019. We loved that the setup was super easy. Once we read through the thorough documentation, we could see that iconik could do everything that we wanted. We also loved how agile it allowed us to be by allowing us to bring our own AI and cloud storage. Soon after NAB, we were approached by the commercial department at VICE. They needed help getting ad values from our media. After a quick briefing, I knew we could do it by tying in our ad delivery solution to the iconik API. After we implemented that simple addition with the iconik API, our commercial team could respond to ad buying much faster. Before, this had been a manual process where they simply couldn’t supply the demand fast enough—leaving money on the table. When we showed this to the leadership at VICE, they were shocked that iconik worked so effectively! These victories were usually hard-fought. I’ve had other data retrieval tasks require two weeks, whereas, in iconik, I can get that same data in two seconds. Other vendors don’t come close to how flexible iconik is. It suits the digital media revolution better than any other media management I’ve seen”

Media Workflow RevolutionThrough iconik, VICE’s 50 global offices and separate departments can stay connected. The more VICE uses iconik the more they see entire products, that specialize in a subset of iconik’s features, pale in comparison. Beyond media management, the team has appreciated iconik features like:

  • Video collaboration tools
  • Review and approve processes
  • Easy media sharing

The iconik team’s consideration for media production has resulted in added product layers that lend themselves perfectly to VICE’s post-production work.

Looking Towards an Agile FutureVICE is just getting started with iconik. The early iconik wins have their technology team ready to explore more ways iconik can keep them agile.

VICE has used iconik to locate their valuable content, connect their diverse teams, and add insightful data to their media assets. As they find more ways to utilize the rich iconik API, they will place iconik at the heart of more areas in their pulsing media empire. The iconik team will continue to focus on developing new features that will allow VICE to manage their media and collaborate with fewer barriers.

There are plans to integrate iconik with VICE’s existing rights management system, CMS, and news planning system. The possibilities available with the iconik API mean that VICE will aggregate much more data around their media through its journey. Data around rights, context, audience, and social media will begin to pour into their growing library.

“The cadence of releases from iconik is great, as well as how quickly they process feedback and offer help. Their team is very responsive to their customers. It’s been the perfect tool for us to iterate quickly or over the long-term.” Jack Skinner, VICE Media Technology

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