by Andy Hurt, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for Wazee Digital
With the amount of high-value video content being generated these days, content owners and rights holders — especially in the world of sports and live events — are sitting on a gold mine of continuous revenue. After that often irreplaceable footage gets broadcast or otherwise distributed for the first time, there are plenty of people who are willing to pay to reuse it (broadcasters, filmmakers, advertisers, etc.). But if rights holders expect to be able to cash in on that gold mine, then they have to make the content easy to find, sell, and distribute. And that starts with how it is managed.
The “Make Once/Use Any” Approach
That’s where a “make once/use any” media management approach comes in. The idea is to create and capture high-quality content once and make it available as many times in as many ways for as many applications as you want … forever.
To turn this strategy into reality, you need a content-management system built with make once/use any in mind — one that not only makes content easily discoverable, accessible, and licensable, but minimizes the expense and effort of storing it, transcoding it, and delivering it. Such a content-management system has the intelligence to generate granular metadata, store and restore content with security and ease, transform the data into the appropriate format for any deliverable, and even manage the rights and clearances for the content.
If make once/use any sounds easier said than done, then consider these three key components, keeping in mind that make once/use any depends on cloud-based storage and computing.
- Start in the cloud — Put your assets in a cloud-based storage platform, where they are more easily searchable and distributable according to strict security policies. It might seem counterintuitive to store content in the cloud, but in fact, it’s the key to successful reuse and monetization. And when you choose a platform backed by secure cloud technology such as Amazon Web Services, it’s also more secure than inviting people in to your private cloud. Sharing content outside the firewall in a less risky and security-focused environment means the right people will be able to discover it and the wrong people won’t attack it. Even better, if you choose a cloud-based MAM application that is also tied to licensing, you can turn what was once just a storage expense into revenue.
- Master the metadata — Metadata, and specifically rich metadata, is crucial to a make once/use any system because it is the key to content discovery and monetization. Buyers rely on advanced video search and recommendation engines to make purchasing decisions, and those engines run on enriched metadata. So instead of simply defaulting to the technical metadata and basic descriptive metadata that might exist when an asset enters an archive, choose a system that generates metadata for monetization. The right system has the intelligence to automatically extract a wide range of asset-level and time-based metadata detail from the content itself during ingest. Once in the cloud, that enriched metadata makes otherwise stagnant or lost assets searchable, discoverable, and shareable. By creating and managing both asset-level and time-based metadata at the production stage, content owners can add greater value and longevity to the life of their video content.
- Choose built-in smarts — Some asset-management platforms are more intelligent and capable than others. Truly smart cloud-based platforms are backed by the software and power to handle highly sophisticated cloud computing and smart workflows that go way beyond asset management. Putting the right software in place makes it easy to build a specific workflow for any given request — one that includes finding and tagging assets, creating clips, and making those clips accessible to third parties.
It is this built-in intelligence that enables, for example, transcoding workflows that take clips from the highest-quality master and transform them for any digital endpoint — satellite, cable, OTT, VOD, social media, or even sales and marketing vehicles (trailers, ads, poster art, one-sheets, press kit photography, etc.).
Make once/use any means creating and ingesting master content one time into a central location, and then accessing it anytime from anywhere through multiple workflows for unlimited use and reuse. It’s a strategy that has already served many of the world’s content owners and rights holders well. By choosing smart cloud-based storage and asset management systems capable of executing the make once/use any strategy, major studios, governmental departments, broadcasters, sports federations, news archives, and others have been able to turn their archives into continuous revenue generators.
Andy Hurt is responsible for Wazee Digital’s global marketing and business development organization. After more than 15 years in the media and entertainment industry, he is a seasoned professional with vast experience in marketing, product management, strategy, operations, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions in multiple global technology organizations.