Microsoft and The Walt Disney Studios are working to distribute cloud-native content on Azure, the companies announced Friday.
Part of a five-year deal, the companies will use Walt Disney's technology hub, StudioLAB, to help create cloud-based offerings "from scene to screen." The studio will move some "production and postproduction workflows to the cloud," Jamie Voris, CTO of The Walt Disney Studios, said in the announcement.
The agreement also builds on Microsoft's deal with Avid — a media technology provider — to produce media workflows, such as collaborative editing, archiving and backups, according to the announcement.
Disney is moving toward a cloud-based realm as it adapts the way consumers interact with content. In November, the media giant is launching Disney+, its streaming platform, which will compete against streaming providers including Netflix and Amazon.
Cloud-based content is tailor-made for a streaming world.
With Microsoft, Disney is working to find new ways to "create, produce and distribute content," according to the announcement. It accelerates physical production, particularly in a realm with large media files, which take time and storage capacity to render and upload.
The partnership with Disney marks a continuation of long, high-profile agreements with leading providers. In addition to using Microsoft's cloud platform, the vendor is also using industry partnerships to pilot new technologies and applications.
A major example of this came earlier this year when Microsoft and Walgreens Boots Alliance announced a seven-year deal to create ways to distribute healthcare services to consumers. The agreement uses Microsoft's technology and WBA's retail footprint to help personalize healthcare, capitalizing on each provider's specialty.
The deal is a model for industry partnerships. Rather than growing new branches of services, some providers are partnering with sector specialists to create tailored-solutions.
It could help shape a future where industry thinks of Microsoft as the go-to provider for TV and movie production or Google Cloud as de facto cloud for retail.
It's a shift that would establish the next era for cloud providers, as they vie for a sphere of influence as more enterprises shift to cloud-based operations.