Backblaze goes live with continuously updating storage for media types

Storage and backup cloud provider Backblaze has taken the wraps off Backblaze B2 Live Read, giving customers the ability to access, edit, and transform content while it’s still being uploaded into its B2 Cloud Storage.

The service is particularly useful for media production teams working on live events, and promises “significantly faster and more efficient workflows,” and the ability to offer new monetized content quicker.

The patent-pending technology has already been adopted by media and entertainment (M&E) production solution providers, including Telestream, Glookast, and Mimir, who are integrating the service into their production environments.

“For our customers, turnaround time is essential, and Live Read promises to speed up workflows and operations for producers across the industry,” said Richard Andes, VP, product management at Telestream. “We will offer this innovative feature to boost performance and accelerate our customers’ business engagements.”

The technology can be used to create “near real-time” highlight clips for broadcasters’ news segments and sports teams’ in app replays, and can be used to promote content for on-demand sales “within minutes” of presentations at live events. On-set staff requirements can also potentially be reduced through the offering too, said Backblaze.

Live Read supports accessing parts of each growing object or growing file as it uploads, so there’s no need to wait for the full file upload to complete. This is a “major” workflow accelerator, especially when organizations are shooting for 4K to 8K resolutions and beyond, Backblaze says. When the full upload is complete, it’s accessible to customers like any other file or object in their Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage bucket, with no middleware or proprietary software needed.

“Backblaze’s Live Read is a game changer for helping organizations deliver media to their audiences dramatically faster,” said Steinar Søreide, CTO at Mimir. “Adding this offering to our platform unlocks a whole new level of impact for our user community.”

Beyond media, the Live Read API supports other demanding IT workloads. For instance, organizations maintaining large data logs or surveillance footage backups have often had to parse them into hundreds or thousands of small files each day, in order to have quick access when needed. With Live Read, said Backblaze, they can now move to far more manageable single files per day or hour, while preserving the ability to access parts “within seconds” of them having been written.

Gleb Budman

“Live Read is another example of the powerful innovation we’re delivering to support our customers and partners to do more with their data,” said Gleb Budman, Backblaze CEO.

Live Read is available in private preview now, with general availability planned “later this year”, said Backblaze

Earlier this year, Backblaze added Event Notification data change alerts to its cloud storage, so that events can be dealt with faster by triggering automated workflows.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, Backblaze revenues were $102 million, 20 percent higher than the previous year. It reported $58.9 million net loss, down from the $71.7 million net loss in 2022.