Mastering the Media Universe
By PFT Blog Team
The task of managing production workflows across the content supply chain just keeps on becoming more complex, with no signs of slowing down.
There are at least four distinct drivers of this complexity: The first driver is the continuing increase in the number and types of content sources and formats. The second driver is the number of content viewing methods, ranging from mobile phones to big screens. The third driver is the growing number of organizations that contribute to the content development process, including special effects vendors and many others. The fourth driver is the increasing tailoring and reuse of content across geographical and cultural boundaries, with the concurrent need for localization, as well as compliance editing (to remove objectionable content).
Each of these drivers alone adds arithmetically to the complexity, but together, they add exponentially, with increases in any one factor multiplied and magnified by the complexity in the other factors. And together, they form a broad universe of organizations and possibilities that pose challenges for the industry while also providing tremendous potential to delight viewers around the globe and build much-needed revenue.
Addressing these levels of complexity with manual processes is quickly becoming impossible for leading producers and networks. There just isn’t enough time to process the flow of content – and the many variations that are needed – unless an army of workers is available. The corresponding cost of this prevents that option from being a practical solution. Instead, introducing automation across certain content operations to augment and reinforce human expertise is becoming an essential strategy for managing both costs and increasing efficiencies.
Powerful software tools are now available that can automate a wide range of content operations, freeing up the human staff to focus on quality management and other creative tasks that cannot be easily automated.
There also exist specialized solutions that automate the content supply chain, connect the production ecosystem, and act as the Media Universe for secure content operations from content acquisition through distribution and archiving.
Such solutions are well equipped to handle the input, processing, and output of all types of media, including scripted, unscripted, short form, and digital content genres. They can handle files of different resolutions, content types, help review and collaborate, track jobs and manage media logistics including distribution of varied content types across the production supply chain. In this way, the first and second drivers of complexity listed above can be addressed.
What’s more, there are solutions that leverage hybrid cloud architecture to link the various stakeholders and suppliers engaged in the production and post production processes with supply chain vendors for various tasks, including editorial, VFX, post production, sound, localization, mastering, and downstream distribution to connect the entire ecosystem. In this way, the third and fourth drivers of complexity, as described above, get addressed. Even though there may be a large number of groups working on one program from different locations and in different time zones, they can access the content they need and provide their added value into a single system for accurate tracking, management, and time and cost savings.
In this increasingly complex media universe, it is good to know that powerful new software tools can help multiple stakeholders across the content supply chain, whether they are large networks or small specialists working on select projects, to collaborate efficiently to create and deliver content. And when they can do this, they really do become Masters of the Media Universe!
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