A Business Case for Organizing Media Content Assets with Appropriate Metadata From the Start
PFT Blog Team | 21 Mar 2018

A Business Case for Organizing Media Content Assets with Appropriate Metadata From the Start
A Business Case for Organizing Media Content Assets with Appropriate Metadata From the Start Click To Tweet

By T Shobhana, VP Global Head of Marketing & Communications

The recent explosion in video content is changing the way today’s media and entertainment (M&E) businesses operate. Broadcasters, studios, and production houses know that they must move beyond simply managing their content assets to be competitive. What they need is an all-encompassing data model to transform their content into dynamic, profit-generating assets. No matter what systems they use to manage their content, the key to monetization lies in enhancing the searchability and discoverability of their assets. This is where the right metadata can add tremendous value.

Metadata classifies and organizes digital content information, harnessing the explosive amounts of content into useful and easily accessible bits. By simple definition, metadata is structured information that explains, describes, or gives the location of content, or that otherwise makes using the piece of content more efficient.

Effective metadata services start with content, then add value through a number of functions and capabilities that allow for proper arrangement, categorization, and description, making the content easily discoverable. Some of these features include the following:


Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Video content comprises a wealth of subject matter that requires the expertise of individuals to categorize and catalog the data and increase its usefulness to the client. Phrases or information that are genre-specific, country or culturally relevant for episodic TV content, feature titles, news, sports, and documentaries are more readily accommodated by the skills of an SME. It is also through this global stable of SMEs that the cataloging service builds a community of culture and data.


Tagging refers to the metadata that is assigned to a piece of content and is key to the proper classification of content assets. While metadata provides a description of the content, tags are typically a list of words that are related to the content. For instance, outdoor scenes in a movie can be categorized (i.e. winter, beach, woods, etc.) and then further tagged with descriptors such as, snow-packed, beautiful, crowded, and so on. The efficient use of tagging in metadata services allows for a more structured and theme-oriented search with improved context.


Cross References / Filters

Metadata services that feature capabilities for cross references and filters make it easier for the asset owner to organize content and make it faster for the user to find what they are looking for. Multiple tags (words) can be assigned and cross-referenced to a category and filters define which tags are allowed. Additionally, cataloging services contain automated QC features with stringent quality checks at every stage by domain specific experts.



The use of standards in metadata services allows for more effective and efficient cataloging of content and are fundamental to the efficient exchange of data. Cataloging service typically abides by the four basic standards that apply to metadata, including data structure, content, value and format/exchange. These four standards provide the rules for structuring content, allowing it to be reliably read, sorted, indexed, retrieved, and shared.


The Business Case for Metadata

Making the most of digital content often requires M&Es to transform their business model to move beyond basic asset management. Tools and technology components provided with leading metadata services include value-added capabilities to help organize content in useful ways, make it easily accessible -- and provide the opportunity to monetize assets. Ultimately it streamlines and improves the overall efficiency of digital content creation, improves the monetization processes, and enables further creativity.

When regulations regarding content change, the burden placed on the M&E industry to maintain compliance quickly can be time consuming and stressful. For instance, when it was legislated in India that all smoking scenes be prefaced with a warning message about the hazards of smoking, detailed and accurate metadata allowed some content providers to quickly pick out which scenes included smoking, and choose to either remove them or add a warning message.

Dynamic, automated paid advertisements can also harness the power of metadata – furthering content monetization opportunities. By referencing metadata, ads can be placed where they are most relevant and powerful. For instance, viewers watching a movie heavily based in New York City may be presented an automated advertisement for discounted tickets to that destination.

Content creators can employ the use of metadata, particularly when creating content around a specific theme/public figure etc. When a famous or influential person passes, or a current event warrants a special, compiling footage and media about the topic can be made easier with detailed and accurate metadata. A quick search can bring up the relevant media and creators can even access this on-the-fly to produce their masterpiece efficiently.

Solutions with metadata cataloging capability, such as PFT’s cloud-based Media Asset Management (MAM) solution, can create and/or enrich existing content metadata to help transform content into dynamic assets. It’s an end-to-end solution which engages clients, stakeholders and content users at every stage of the workflow.

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