Kevin Roy, COO, MENA, Afghanistan, Pakistan at Media Guru, tells Digital Studio about digital archiving and the latest developments at his company.
Digital studio: DIGITAL ARCHIVING HAS BECOME A HOT TOPIC IN THE MENA REGION WHERE THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF ARCHIVE FOOTAGE THAT NEED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO DIGITAL. TELL ME ABOUT MEDIA GURU’S ROLE IN THIS PROCESS.
Kevin Roy: We specialise in digital archiving, systems integration, consulting, digital media and infrastructure.
We have a joint venture with Memnon in Brussels for digital archiving. Memnon has done over a million hours of digital archiving across the world. We are their joint venture partner for Middle East and Asia. That is a core service we provide and it is not just about boxes or equipment, it is about service provision.
Digital studio: WHAT IS DRIVING DEMAND FOR DIGITAL ARCHIVING?
Kevin Roy: For digital archiving, broadcasters have got loads of heritage tapes going back many years. Almost every network I speak to has budgets or will get budget next year to start this process of digitising heritage tapes. We’re talking about 16mm, 35mm, 1 inch and 2 inch tapes, and some of it goes back to the 1950s or 60s. It needs to be cleaned and restored. Some of the roll film takes a lot of time to restore and the conversion machines are also very delicate. A lot of companies have very old tapes that have not been converted. They want to be able to access their archive data, especially in this region, where a lot of the rulers are getting older.
Digital Studio: IS THE MIDDLE EAST BEHIND other markets such as europe and the us in TERMS OF DIGITISING ARCHIVE CONTENT?
Kevin Roy: Not particularly. In Europe everything is done, but now Middle East, Africa and Asia are big for us. We’re actually just doing a project for India’s state broadcaster.
The flavour of the year really is digital archiving.
Digital Studio: WHAT OTHER AREAS IS THE COMPANY INVOLVED WITH?
Kevin Roy: Aside from digital archiving, the main areas are systems integration, consulting digital media and also infrastructure. Our strategic consulting capability includes doing business plans, content consulting, on-air look and feel, studio design, execution and infrastructure.
The fourth line is new media digital media, strategy side – not creating websites but teaching and helping TV channels in the region to actually start to monetise their websites, for example.
Because we have these four product lines I think we are probably the only media solutions company which does turnkey solutions, because we have product lines in technology, content, creative and recruitment. We are then able to go in and launch channels on a turnkey basis. You don’t have to have a systems integrator on one side and a creative agency on the other side and someone doing the studio set on the other. We can do it all.
We are not a project manager, because we don’t outsource anything, we have more than 200 people in house. So we have skill sets within the company to do that. We can only do that because we have the separate core product lines, so we have technology experts, creative designers, consultants, digital archiving, creatives, and because of that we are able to set up channels.