Disney recruits Microsoft for cloud production, distribution projects

Disney Studios
Microsoft is the latest partner to join Disney's StudioLab. (Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons)

Disney and Microsoft signed a new five-year agreement to collaborate on new content production and distribution technologies using the Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft, which is now an innovation partner within Disney’s StudioLab, will focus on cloud solutions for production and post-production processes.

"The combination of Azure's hyperscale capacity, global distribution, and industry-leading storage and networking capabilities with Disney's strong history of industry leadership unlocks new opportunity in the media and entertainment space and will power new ways to drive content and creativity at scale. 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,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US, in a statement.

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Microsoft already has a strategic cloud alliance in place with Avid and, working with Disney, the companies have already produced several media workflows running in the cloud including collaborative editing, content archiving, active backup and production continuity.

Microsoft is the latest partner to join the StudioLab. Accenture was a founding partner for the project and last year Cisco joined to help with improving remote collaboration for production and direction teams, improving security for content throughout the production workflow and helping push media production away from SDI and toward IP-based architectures.

Earlier this year Disney also announced a partnership with Verizon to test 5G as a way to provide connectivity for remote production locales. According to Variety, the companies were also excited about downlink speeds nearing 300 Mbps that would allow wireless users to download full movies in a matter of seconds.