Aframe, the London-headquarted startup that is taking on industry giants like Avid with its cloud-based video production platform, is one step closer to founder David Peto’s vision to put professional-grade video editing in the cloud.
The company, which is backed by the likes of Octopus Investments, Eden Ventures, and Northstar Ventures, is teaming up with Adobe via its ‘Adobe Anywhere’ platform to enable broadcasters and other content producers to edit large-scale video projects “remotely and securely” via the cloud. The pay-off being that, as the cloud has done for other industries, the need to pay out for costly infrastructure and related equipment is greatly eliminated.
“We’ve been growing Aframe rapidly – think of us now as the operating system for video in the cloud – we give anyone (broadcasters, corporations etc.) one central place where they can do everything they need to do with video, no matter what stage or what they need to do with it. However, the missing link for us and the whole industry has been to do a true, full resolution edit from the cloud,” explains Peto.
That “missing link” was to be found by combining Adobe Anywhere, which works with Adobe’s Premiere Pro video editing software, and Aframe’s private cloud server infrastructure.
“Four years ago, Adobe showed me their product, Anywhere, the first system that would stream full resolution video over a standard broadband connection into Adobe Premiere running on your laptop. But it needed servers at the other end of the line. So I had a dream: what if you could take Anywhere and “cloud it” and run it on Aframe?”
The end result is that you can “fire up your laptop anywhere in the world” and do a full broadcast-quality edit in the cloud. Video projects housed on Aframe’s cloud platform appear in Adobe’s video editing software as if you are working off a connected drive or shared storage, courtesy of Anywhere’s Mercury Engine that generates an adaptive bitrate stream of the high-resolution media you’re working with.
“From the moment you upload video it would never ever leave the cloud from that moment to the moment that someone watches it. It turns the industry on it’s head,” says Peto.
That may be a bold claim (and I’m not wholly convinced it’s a first) but, doubtless, anything that keeps video files in the cloud without needlessly having to move them from one server to another, or from local to remote storage, during the editing and review stage is to be welcomed. Remember, unlike other types of document or media, broadcast video runs into the 100s of gigabytes.
Noteworthy is that 70 per cent of Aframe’s revenue is U.S.-based. In addition to a London HQ, the company has teams in Boston, New York and LA. It cites the likes of FOX, A&E, VICE Media and Voltage Pictures (makers of the Dallas Buyers Club) as customers. “If you turn on your TV it’s increasingly likely it’s made on Aframe,” claims Peto.
In April 2012, Aframe raised a $7 million Series A round, bringing total funding to around $10 million. It’s my understanding, however, that the company is currently raising another round of investment.