Due to rising demand for content services, EIKON Group has embarked on a $5m investment in major facility expansion and technology innovation.
The insatiable demand for premium content among cinema goers and consumers of streaming services the world over appears unstoppable, but puts tremendous pressure on studios, streaming platforms and their suppliers to keep pace. It is imperative that mastering, localisation and distribution services remain up-to-date, delivering content in the highest technical quality and in formats that make it accessible to as many consumers as possible in every territory.
Not only are services such as international subtitles, motion graphics localisation and creative censorship needed at high quality, but also at greater scale than ever before. There is often huge complexity per title to factor on top of demanding timeframes to get product to market.
EIKON is rising to the challenge just as it has done every year since incorporation in 2014. The company is already a global leader in content mastering, localisation and distribution, working with the major Hollywood studios across theatrical and streaming — and it is about to get bigger.
“The focus on delivering quality for premium Hollywood clients in the theatrical and streaming markets is once again propelling the growth of EIKON and necessitating expansion across our global facilities,” explains Jonathan Gardner, chief information officer at EIKON Group.
“We have always had the global theatrical market at the heart of what we do and who we are and we are proud of our reputation for delivering quality at scale,” adds Richard Fish, chief operating officer at EIKON Group. “Our services have been in further high demand as a result of the global rise of premium streaming platforms.”
The company is forecast to grow by more than 45% in 2023, continuing a trend that has been consistent throughout its 10-year history. Now a $5m expansion in infrastructure and deployment of innovative technology is in full swing at its London and Los Angeles locations. The first phase of expansion in London is already complete and sees two new theatrical screening rooms and two new media suites, bringing the total theatrical screening rooms in London to five with eight media suites.
In Los Angeles, EIKON now includes a new and expanded localisation department for subtitles, access services and scripting services. Building is about to commence on four more theatrical screening rooms, four additional media suites and four new theatres in the expanded 32,000 square-foot facility.
In Sydney, where EIKON has recently established its APAC hub, plans are underway for a review of the entire facility.
As important as physical infrastructure is to the business, the continued focus on quality across theatrical and streaming also drives EIKON to think smarter. This has translated into accelerating the throughput of media ingest and asset tracking in and around its Los Angeles and London facilities to accommodate ever increasing data volumes. The company’s proprietary task and asset-oriented project management system TRAK has been deployed globally to further streamline efficiencies through all the different EIKON departments. In tandem, META, the EIKON cloud-hosted localisation system for international subtitle management, has rolled out version 3.0.
Quality and precision at scale are our guiding principles in everything we do.Richard Fish, EIKON
The highest specification technical parameters — from Dolby Vision to 4K HDR to High Frame Rates and audio at Dolby Atmos, 7.1 and 5.1 — are standard deliverables for EIKON.
“In such a competitive market, the highest quality precision mastering and QC can materially impact box-office attendance and subscriber growth,” says Gardner. “Localisation is about having the highest calibre technology and the most talented people. For all the benefits that automation brings, localisation is an artisanal process that delivers optimum outcomes for studios, streamers and consumers alike when there is absolute attention to detail made by skilled talent. At EIKON, nothing is more important than our people.”
Alongside this, EIKON is looking at acquisition targets to complement its growth and brand. “There are some things we can grow organically such as developing new technology in-house and others where a truly complementary acquisition can benefit our global service offering,” Fish explains. “Quality and precision at scale are our guiding principles in everything we do. We will put the best people with the best technology to achieve the best outcome for our clients, always.”
This article first appeared in Screen International April 2023