It is now ten years since MediaHub was launched, a milestone event that changed the Australian broadcast and media technology landscape in Australia. Initially built as a playout centre for joint venture partners ABC and WIN, MediaHub proved that broadcasters can collaborate and share critical infrastructure for operations while providing cost savings and greater operational flexibility and resilience.
In the last decade since launch, MediaHub has grown beyond playout to be a comprehensive end to end service provider, expanding its range of services and consolidating its reputation as technology and innovation leader in Australia, ready to meet changing media management and delivery requirements of clients.
Beyond playout, MediaHub now offers a full spectrum of products and services including ArkHub, CacheHub, ExchangeHub, FibreHub, FlexHub, MamHub, PresHub and StreamHub.These top tier services are complemented by compliance recording services, data centre, disaster recovery, master control, NOC and transcoding services. The company now also provides over 400 broadcast and live streaming services for both Television and Radio across Australia
That’s an incredible amount of growth and success in just a decade.
MediaHub CEO Alan Sweeney explained, “Ten years ago a number of broadcasters got together to discuss potential ways forward that would allow for a centralised national playout operation, reduce capex and opex spend providing a green field operation that was completely file based. After consultation with many broadcasters at the time, WIN and ABC agreed to establish a joint venture to create a joint playout centre and MediaHub Australia was born.”
MediaHub CEO Alan Sweeney
In November 2009, construction commenced on the MediaHub facility in Ingleburn and the first ABC TV channels went to air in April 2010. Just six months later, WIN had completely migrated its complex regional operation into the facility. Early MediaHub innovations such as commercial hot listing and flexible multi market playout enabled significant benefits to both clients far beyond the capability of their previous in-house playout facilities. This theme of technological innovation and ultra-efficiency has continued over the years growing from strength to strength.
Sweeney continued, “At Launch, MediaHub was basic playout only. It had no MAM or connectivity of its own and the only storage was a limited functional nearline to support playout. Then year-on-year as we met and exceeded our performance and financial targets we went to market.”
MediaHub’s early days included clients such as SBS, TVN and the FOX International group of channels. It has continued to grow, adding clients including Prime Television, Imparja Television, Australian News Channel (SKY News), Network TEN, Southern Cross and FreeTV.
It’s not just the number of clients that have grown but the services that are on offer now are on the cutting edge of innovation.
MediaHub Head of product Derek Curtis added, “One of our major milestones was the creation of our FibreHub managed fibre connectivity services product. From a standing start FibreHub has grown to now have 14 points-of-presence across Australia and New Zealand and currently provides 37 high-bandwidth, low-latency services for clients such as the ABC, WIN Television, PRIME Television, DDA, Southern Cross Austereo, FreeTV, Network TEN and ANC-Sky News. This collectively amounts to over 1.2TB/s of managed customer traffic, 365 days a year.”
Next MediaHub created its bulk Transcode Services product to process and transcode thousands of video assets and their metadata, and expanded their StreamHub online television streaming capabilities for their clients.
Then having built and deployed Channel Seven’s 7Flix channels and planned, project-managed, built and deployed all of PRIME’s 65 free-to-air broadcast channels, MediaHub also launched its MamHub MAM services product.
It was around this time that the organisation also took its first steps into the telecommunications world with the migration of the Digital Distribution Australia (DDA) NOC to MediaHub, as part of its integrated MCR services.
2019 also saw MediaHub win the contract to provide disaster recovery services for the TEN Network.
At the same time, it was planning and developing its new, flexible, cost effective deep archiving solution, ArkHub, specifically designed to give all industries access to a world-class, cloud based, deep archiving service without the complications or bill-shock associated with other major cloud archive providers.
In the past ten years, MediaHub has grown from its core deliverable of providing stable, cost effective playout services to the broadcast industry to now developing and providing all of its services to any industry. The size and scope of the organisation still surprises and impresses some of its key employees.
Head of operations Scott Jolly said, “Many people are surprised to discover that WIN TV carries programming from all three commercial free to air television networks in Australia, not just one. This adds an interesting twist to breaking news and live sports as at any one time, if you think about the amount of sport usually on over a weekend across all of the broadcasters. That said, MediaHub manages all of this across all channels simultaneously and seamlessly. When I joined the company we launched over 100 channels in just a few months in a greenfield site which many doubted was even possible. Not only have we proved the doubters wrong, but we take great pride in what we have achieved and continued to achieve.”
To Jolly’s point on staff contentment, MediaHub has enjoyed the same executive management team for its entire 10 years of existence. Staff turnover is extremely low and the company has employed such successful staff retention schemes and activities that it beat over 20,000 other companies to win the NSW Business Chamber’s coveted Employer of Choice award.
Fast forward to today and MediaHub is an operation that has been fine-tuned to add new clients to its portfolio and a full end to end suite of products that match the ever changing broadcasting and telco landscapes amongst many others.
There have been many achievements along the way as Sweeney explained, “Gaining each new client was huge as they could have remained in-house or gone elsewhere. The fact that they were willing to put their faith in MediaHub was and still is very humbling. We now add more value to our clients than ever before as they are able to cross connect into our FibreHub fibre ring from their own DC facilities. This has also allowed MediaHub to build out our other suite of products making us a full service player in the broadcast industry. Our proven systems allow considerable flexibility for all our clients and we are continually enhancing our services.”
MediaHub will continue to add new clients and expand key services such as its ArkHub deep storage and its content acquisition and delivery solutions as it increasingly leverages the power of its FibreHub platform.
Alan Sweeney concluded, “Our success with technology advancement and improvement has been replicated in our people culture to the point where MediaHub staff have always felt empowered and happy. As a result of our low staff turnover the IP alone that exists within the MediaHub team is second to none. Where we changed and added value to the broadcasting landscape we are now making the same progress and expanding into in the worlds of telecoms, finance, education, health and government. Our philosophy has always been to innovate, grow, add value and stay ahead of the curve and that’s exactly what we plan to do for the next ten years.”