Disrupting Broadcast Workflows – In a Good Way
PFT Blog Team | 14 Sep 2017

Disrupting Broadcast Workflows – In a Good Way
Disrupting Broadcast Workflows – In a Good Way Click To Tweet

Depending on your point of view, disruption can be seen as a good thing, or a bad thing. From our point of view, the new options for managing broadcast media assets that are disrupting the status quo across the content supply chain are a very good thing. These new options promise to provide a higher level of collaboration, flexibility, and speed over existing systems, and in the process, significantly decrease operating costs.

Replacing Outdated Media Asset Management

The Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry strives to efficiently deliver tailored content across many media outlets. Media asset management (MAM) systems are a critical tool to keep track of assets from concept through production, post, and distribution, but because these MAMs were not specifically designed for ‘modern’M&E workflows, they fall short when it comes to collaboration and supporting automation.

In part, this situation developed because the market is made up of many specialized players – including broadcast and production companies, post houses, distributors, and many more – using multiple on-premise, non-scalable MAM systems that are not easily connected. These multiple systems are typically used for distinct content operations such as ingest, annotation, storage, and distribution.Some larger organizations even have separate MAMs serving different departments and locations. The inability to securely collaborate on these siloedMAM systems has resulted in a status quo of linear, manual workflows, duplication of metadata entry, and other inefficiencies that slow down the process and increase costs.

Today, complete Media ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning systems) with hybrid cloud-based MAM systems designed specifically for broadcast operations are displacing the general-purpose MAMs, disrupting this status quo and providing a new higher level of collaboration, flexibility, and speed to support content development through distribution.

Purpose-Built Hybrid Cloud

A purpose-built hybrid cloud system is perfect for managing content workflows across multiple distributed locations. Because it is a cloud system, the solution enables internal and external stakeholders to access content anytime, anywhere; facilitating easy collaboration with multiple vendors and distributors. For example, users can perform operations like cataloging and subtitling on a low resolution proxy, while operations like editing can be performed on the high resolution content.

In contrast to public cloud asset storage systems such as AWS or Azure, the solution’s hybrid workflow engine manages distributed workflows for the remote execution of tasks at service recipient sites as well as a central operations site. These tasks include transcoding (using Vantage Pro), Auto QC (using Baton/Cerify), file transfer (using Aspera/Signiant), file management and API integrations to ingest and deliver content. Moreover, data is protected with Encryption, Watermarking and Content Disaster Recovery. However, the hybrid solution also has the ability to empower the content owners with the flexibility of embracing public cloud fully if need be as Media ERP systems are typically flexible and open.

Having a unified Media ERP also supports the needs of the broader organization, so that not only the creative team, but the marketing, legal, operations, sales and senior executive leadership teams can also review/complete their tasks efficiently. This high efficiency through extreme automation across the organization further helps lower the Total Cost of Operations (TCOP) by automating business processes around content and managing their business of content better.

Here are some examples of how this new approach disrupts the status quo:

Disrupting Content Acquisition

During film and television production, content is often captured at remote locations. In a typical process today, the raw camera files from the shoot are put on a storage device and sent for review, a process which can take up to a week. Apart from on-site discussions, there is no mechanism to quickly review this content collaboratively, and feedback from remote reviewers cannot be used to guide activities at the site of the shoot.

As a new alternative, a Media ERP solution lets users upload raw camera files to the cloud from remote locations. The files are automatically transcoded into a low resolution proxy and made available for streaming to any desired destination, making them available for immediate simultaneous review by stakeholders and saving valuable time. Feedback can be quickly secured and put to use on site if needed.

Disrupting Asset & Essence Metadata Generation

Today, content needs to be processed, delivered and stored in multiple formats and resolutions, a time-consuming and laborious process that is subject to errors.

Ideally, technical and descriptive metadata should be generated as part of the ingest process to avoid duplication and ensure easy discovery. With a Media ERP, assets can be ingested and cataloged with pre-defined, content specific metadata, and supporting files like poster artworks, external audio tracks, QC reports and EDLs can be added as essences to the primary asset. This approach not only saves time and reduces errors, but it also ensures the best results during searches, and assets can be retrieved at lightning speed.

Disrupting Collaboration

Creating a film or television show requires the input, review, and approval of many teams, including Programming, Editorial, Marketing, Promo Production, Legal, and more to make content ready for telecast. Today, gathering these inputs and approvals can be a time-consuming process that might include emails, meetings, and in-person reviews.

An automated supply chain decreases the need for physical presence and allows multiple teams to simultaneously work on a low resolution copy of the content, thereby driving creative enablement and increasing efficiencies. The Programming team can provide comments for specific EDLs (Edit Decision Lists) and share these with the Editing team. Feedback can be easily tracked and compared for all subsequent edit masters, and NLE (non-linear edit) project files can be shared among editors to help save time on the edit table. All this, because, now, the content is brought to the center of the business.

Disrupting Promo Creation and Versioning

A Media ERP also offers new possibilities in automating previously manual tasks. For example, it offers end-to-end business process orchestration for promo creation including versioning automation. This includes end-to-end work order administration, seamless integration with Broadcast Management Software (BMS), review & approval processes, post-production and hand-off for play-out along with a revolutionary versioning appliance that allows to ‘render’ promo versions for the creative automatically based on pre-configured versioning templates.  This automation helps reduce the time and effort needed for these processes.

Disrupting the Mastering Process

A Media ERP solution automates the master creation process for domestic and international syndication across linear and non-linear platforms.Users can leverage the solution’s unique feature set which includes a Compliance Data Model, Caption Re-timing feature, and Profanity Check tool for compliance, and auto QC for captions and subtitles. This helps content enterprises lower cost by reducing the cycle time and editorial effort used for mastering, making distribution to multiple geographies and/or airlines a whole lot easier.

Disruption, in a Good Way

With a Media ERP, M&E enterprises get a single MAM system across creative, marketing and technical operations, and one consistent software across global sites. By automating processes such as promo versioning, work order administration, and mastering, enterprises can dramatically decrease operational costs – possibly by as much as 30 to 40% - while increasing speed and effectiveness.

Now, that’s the kind of disruption we can welcome!

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