As the number and type of distribution outlets and digital video services increase, creating a unified process for managing and distributing digital video content becomes more complex. A primary challenge for service providers is the ability to transform and package one video archive across multiple viewing platforms. Few organizations efficiently do this, while most stay stuck with redundant manual processes. This leads to the incredibly inefficient duplication of effort across each stage of the content preparation process without allowing for a comprehensive view of how content is being managed, distributed and, more importantly — consumed.
Harmonizing the metadata associated with content sourced from multiple providers is a key challenge in deploying a unified video distribution platform. Metadata represents all of the potentially relevant data about the video asset. The challenges associated with metadata draw striking similarities to the inefficiencies in any content workflow. Metadata supports content discovery (search) for the consumer and can add significant richness to the consumer experience by providing related content like cover art, trailers, thumbnails and ratings.
Furthermore, metadata supports assets by providing a platform for categorization (e.g. by year, director or genre) and other means of organizing video offerings. However, content metadata varies widely in both what data is captured and what format it resides in. For example, a telecom provider and an online rental website will offer different metadata for the same asset, and often in varying formats. Therefore, metadata analysis is often both manual and labor intensive. Effective metadata should be harmonized to allow for efficient parsing.
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