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Disney takes to the cloud with five-year Microsoft Azure deal

The two companies will use Azure to accelerate content production


Microsoft and The Walt Disney Studios have announced a five-year partnership to pilot new ways to create, produce and distribute content on the Azure cloud platform.

The aim of the partnership is to help accelerate production and post-production processes and bring more Disney content from "scene to screen".

The current landscape for the film industry is heavily in the shadows of Disney, with it relentlessly releasing Marvel movies and 'live' remakes of its own back catalogue.

What's more, the company is launching a streaming service to take on the likes of Netflix, called Disney+, and now has greater demand to create more of its own TV shows.

"By moving many of our production and postproduction workflows to the cloud, we're optimistic that we can create content more quickly and efficiently around the world," said Jamie Voris, CTO, The Walt Disney Studios.

"Through this innovation partnership with Microsoft, we're able to streamline many of our processes so our talented filmmakers can focus on what they do best."

Disney's StudioLAB, a technology hub designed to create and advance the future of storytelling with cutting-edge tools and methods will run with Azure to help speed up content processes.

However, the partnership will also have a third-party supporting it, with global media tech firm Avid working closely with both companies. Avid already has a "strategic alliance" with Microsoft, working on media workflows in Azure, including collaborative editing, content archiving, active-backup and production continuity.

"The cloud has reached a tipping point for the media industry, and it's not surprising that The Walt Disney Studios, which has its heritage based on a passion for innovation and technology, is at the forefront of this transformation," said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US.

"With Azure as the platform cloud for content, we're excited to work with the team at StudioLAB to continue to drive innovation across Disney's broad portfolio of studios."

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