The Two Tales of Archive Projects

We have a diversified customer base including Media & Entertainment companies, Sports federations, Research
and Heritage Organisations and public bodies such as National Libraries and Parliaments.
The use case, business case and focus vary along the lines of two main considerations: Cost Savings and Revenue Generation.

With the global pandemic, we have seen that the virtualization of archives has become more important than ever before.
It is the best way to leverage the value of your archive for continuous engagement with your audience and stakeholders.

Explore our views on both sides and contact our team to explore what we can do for your archive.

Part 1 – Always Access: From Your Production or Your Home

Digitize now & Virtualize into Cloud

The archives and media libraries are always one of the most valuable part of any media related organization. With the pandemic and restriction in the physical environment, their value has increased even more and they have become central to many community engagement, media and communication activities.

We have seen increased requests amongst our clients for distribution use and increase in use-cases to engage with audiences, especially in sports and media productions.

Now is the time to use your media archives to engage with your community and audience in different ways. Connect with priceless moments, look back on how the world has evolved and combine your stories with a touch of history.

We have seen how important it is to ensure that archival content is always accessible in the digital space to deliver its value to all the stakeholders. With continuous risk of degradation, technology obsolesce and cloud infrastructure at significantly improved economics, it is time to accelerate the virtualization of your archive.


Today, we have possibly the most economic point to simply digitize everything and leverage technology. As the unstoppable obsolescence and deterioration continue, prices to digitize legacy formats will inevitably increase. Just looking at the cost to digitize older formats like 2” or 1” or even U-Matic, if we extrapolate costs and the effects of technical obsolescence, we are predicting a cost increase. With our Memnon MIRAGE Robotic system, our productivity has reached unprecedented levels.

If we add, on the cost side, wasted expenditures due to ongoing physical storage (which only returns in continuous degradation), there is simply no economic rationale to justify delaying.

In contrast to these increasing cost factors, we have seen recently significantly improved economics for long term archival digital storage. We are potentially at the optimum peak point for a balanced business case and economics before increases in digitization and continuous physical storage cost outstrip the benefits of digital storage. Until recently, when archival cloud and digital storage costs were high, it made sense to wait (and for some 4K+ film scanning it still may make sense), but as most archival material will not be growing in resolution anymore the benefits from further digital storage cost reductions will just be very marginal compared to future digitization and continuous physical cost.

Our recommendation is to use the window of opportunity now and digitize simply everything you have whether open reels like 2inch Quad or 1inch B/C or tape formats from the popular ones to the legacy high end ones from D1 to D6-Voodoo or D9-D/VHS. As our team always says, digital does not fail gracefully. (Whether Audio, Film or Video, contact our team to explore.)


The cost of archival cloud has reduced drastically, while its advantages continue to expand from object storage and the benefits of object metadata, multi-location data distribution, and the growing benefits of the cloud ecosystems from ML/AI to transcoding and compute on demand. With a significant improvement of economics in the last 6 to 9 months, archival storage costs  in the region of just $1 per TB or $1000 per Petabyte per month. We believe it is worth starting with the cloud as backup and gradually swapping with your onsite solution as your organization moves increasingly towards a virtual environment. 

We also started to help migrate legacy Data Formats for our customers from last year. This includes legacy LTO formats in pre-LTFS standard formats, magnetic and optical data media for our media clients which become in-accessible to them often with masters or early digitization/telecine of films in the past.

For the migration, in the process, we ingest, extract, validate, transcode new proxies, refresh metadata, re-organize and heavy lift Petabyte of data and hundreds of thousands of files into cloud and/or next generation storage environment.  


We have processed around 100,000 reels in the last 5 years across the world for clients in broadcast, media & entertainment and universities. We have fine-tuned and improved our processes. Over the last two years, we have significantly expanded our efforts to optimize large scale film processes, invested in R&D efforts and into a high-performance infrastructure only to finetune our film operations.

We are currently processing tens of thousands of film reels in 2K, 4K and over-scanned in 5K in a parallel multi-film scanner environment into DPX with MD5 checksum generation for every single frame. The frames are subsequently transcoded into ProRes4444 and ProRes422 as well as into a proxy from the DPX sequences and into FFV1 to offer lossless compression of the masters for storage optimized long term preservation. As we move from classic film operations on individual benches to high volume processing with industrial quality methodologies, we move into the area of high data processing and big data.

In order to process the volume and data bandwidth, we have developed and fine-tuned our in-house network storage solution using the latest 64-core EPYC processors and our workflow platform with optimized process flow. This allows us to process high volume at highest quality, continuously monitored and delivered at best economics for our clients.

Film usually carries very special historical value due to the age and uniqueness of the content. At Memnon, we generally see that the older the content is, the less discoverable, indexed and available it is. With older media formats, we also see the increasing risk of a vicious spiral of inactivity as content is not just in-accessible but is simply forgotten and continues to decay. In our film preparation processes we see everyday the impact of even a slight decay on film from color fading to deterioration of slices and glue to bad shrinkages and dehydration or vinegar syndrome. We believe that periodic film reconditioning as done in our film digitization process is necessary for the physical archiving of the film reels in the future.

Film scanning doesn’t have to be un-affordable or only for your directors cut. Moreover, increasing ML/AI capabilities also for image and color improvement open a new whole world of opportunities for content as long as it has been scanned and digitized.


With the growing demand for content through new distributionfrom OTT, VOD, social media to expanded traditional channels, we see over the last 12 months that our clients have more and more new return opportunities and projects as never before.

To help our clients in this endeavour and their projects, we have expanded our services to support large scale content confirming and media processing services to support also directly Archives-to-OTT and beyond. With the launch of our archival content and footage marketplace DARS, we look to expand our mission to help increase the value and use of archival content into new stories and productions.

Read more about the returns from archive projects here…

Part 2 – ROA – Return on (Archive) Assets:

Use, Monetize & Engage Your Audience & Stakeholders

The potential of media archives is often overlooked. With the growth of OTTs and Social Media, we have seen over the last 12 months a growth in new use cases, revenues and audience engagements among our media clients thanks to the archive. During the pandemic, we have seen a growing recognition for the importance of audiovisual archives. We have witnessed the release of productions based on archives and archival footage on new platforms. We see an opportunity to create new content and to achieve a higher return on existing archive assets with potential for hard operating cost reductions.

The return and business case for your archive has never been better. Our mission is to help our customers to unlock the value of their media assets and identify the best model to generate parallel revenue streams. 


The continuous success of programs like “Friends” on Netflix and archival music videos on Vevo via YouTube are the frontiers of the potential behind OTT and Social Media to engage, monetize, and leverage your archive. As one of our clients says, there is an audience for everything and even more for archival content as it has proven to have an audience in the past.

The number of streaming services available for OTT distribution continues to grow. Worldwide OTT revenue was roughly $46.5 billion in 2017. That number is expected to rise to $83.4 billion by 2022. As a result, there is a growing demand for new, inexpensive content. Memnon can help customers re-purpose old content and make them available and discoverable.

We are helping an increased number of our media clients, to directly conform large volume of digitized content and to deliver it to aggregators, OTT and social media. It is existing, proven content with a fan base and audience waiting to be reactivated and engaged.

Through our conforming and content processing services, we make your archival content ready for distribution in a highly economic and fast way. From package creation and advanced codecs, latest compliant close caption, renewal of logos, intros and regulatory notices to audio conform, dynamic add placeholders, bumpers, we make the programs in your media archive and library ready for distribution and delivery to your partners.


Latest market researches suggest that, before COVID, the $500 million per year global video archive footage and stock shot market may further expand over the next 5 years. We believe that recent circumstances have accelerated the demand for original documentaries, non-fiction programming, docudramas and interactive educational content.

For many of our broadcast and news clients, we help to clip and align metadata of digitized content for the purpose of footage licensing and for internal use to reduce production costs.

We have now launched our content licensing marketplace DARS to help explore and buy/sell archival footage whether rights managed or royalty free. With optional AI/ML supported search available for discovery and search within long form footage and a virtual workplace to work on your projects, we offer flexible business models to monetize your archival footage.


Did you know that around 1 in 3 of the projects we did in the last 2 years were based on cost saving business cases of our clients? It is mainly related to significant facility-related cost savings triggered by a review of facility and warehousing costs or the need to move into new slimmer facilities and floorspace or refurbishments and plans to use space more for digital instead of physical archive shelfs.

SMPTE and manufacturer recommendations are to keep physical media in similar conditions to data center conditions in respect to temperature, humidity and fire safety with significant hidden costs and saving potential to your organization for rent, electricity, maintenance, security. The virtualization of your physical archive can save costs and pre-empt continue wasting hard cash the physical storage of media which inevitably and continuously degrades and becomes inaccessible unless you potentially freeze it in artic conditions like many of the national film institutions.

From benchmarking of external record and archive warehousing companies as well as our internal costs, a single tape depending on its size and weight may cost you anywhere between $0.08-0.30 per months in the right condition.

Unlike wine, it is very unlikely that the condition and the visual quality will get better. Rather the opposite. Stop wasting money on just keeping physical media (with potentially very few exceptions like film).


Sitting on a pile of tapes whether data tapes or video /audio tapes will just limit the utilization ratio, access and value of your media archive and library. With increasing need for business continuity and remote access, it is time to visualize and enable always access to your archive, for new production, to fill new online channels and OTT and engage more with your audience. The cost to digitize a minute of the archive costs likely 1/100th less than producing or licensing new content. Increase the ratio and reuse of archive content in your new productions.

Considering the hidden potential for your archive, the cost of digitization vs. the cost of archival cloud, the new discoverability with AI/ML and use cases that have never been so strong, we believe it is the best time to start digitizing everything and virtualizing your archive now.

Read more about Always Access – it’s the right time to digitize…


We have created the ROA Simulator. It is a little tool to illustrate the potential benefits you may have from digitizing you archive and from the different ways to use and leverage of the archive. We support in every step of the process. 

Go to the ROA Simulator.


Explore our tools and information page to help with your project scoping and planning.

Speak to our team today to explore how we can help with your archive project.


The ROA Simulator is a little tool to illustrate the potential benefits you may have from digitizing you archive and from the different ways to use and leverage the archive. We support in every step of the process. 



Our Video Data Size Calculator helps to estimate the data size of your archive collection and the effects of the different digital formats.  

We have added comparisons for data volume.



Estimating the right volume of film can be particularly tricky as archival film in many circumstances less information and is not like modern cassette formats in predefined capacities. This tool helps in the estimation process from quotations over project planning to data sizing. 



We have collected links to additional resources and information to industry practices and guidelines, as well as industry bodies.


Let’s talk about what Memnon can do for
your content project or archive.

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