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According to Ovum's ICT Enterprise Insights survey 2015/16, the integration of linear and nonlinear TV and video workflows and exploration of new personalized D2C content monetization avenues to improve profitability are top priorities for around a quarter of premium media asset owners. In a complex multiscreen video services segment, unification of the content supply chain (both linear and digital) and real-time contextual monetization require robust content syndication and search capabilities across multiple platforms. The centralization and standardization of media asset metadata is an integral part of the content syndication and search workflow, helping to exploit new multiscreen monetization avenues. The growing business need for an enterprise-wide solution that offers a centralized and simplified individual media asset metadata repository paved the way for Piksel to launch Fuse at the 2016 NAB Show in April. Fuse, a SaaS-based solution, offers a descriptive metadata management portfolio in a canonical format that is primarily targeted toward broadcasters and cable TV, satellite TV, and OTT video services.

An effective descriptive metadata ecosystem leads to a more personalized UX and higher multiscreen ARPU and ARPA

As media companies gradually step into the third wave of monetization, focused on personalized multi-form content (i.e., videos, images, long- and short-form text), single media asset-based metadata inconsistencies, redundancy, and loss are becoming pivotal challenges. In addition, the rapid emergence of multi-platform monetization strategies with exploitation of individual media assets on a real-time basis has further increased metadata standardization complexities. Traditionally, media enterprises have extensively leveraged technologies supporting operational metadata pertaining to a media asset, such as date of creation or equipment/software used. The explosion of the online video market and increased importance of search engine visibility to drive customized ad placement and audience engagement is pushing media enterprises to effectively consolidate and optimize their descriptive metadata (title, genre, casting, etc.). Because the repurposing of digital assets is essential for the multi-platform personalization of the individual user experience (UX), content owners face the pivotal challenges of aggregation and efficient synthesis of descriptive metadata with a frequent upgrade cycle (i.e., constant incremental updates by editorial, post-production, and production teams from ingestion to distribution).

Traditionally, OTT TV platforms (OTTs) have focused on the downstream content value chain (from media personalization and connected device distribution to audience analytics and measurement). As the nonlinear TV and video technology segment becomes more competitive, OTTs are steadily moving down the value chain, and are aggressively investing in upstream content value chain products and solutions pertaining to content management and workflow orchestration. Piksel's Fuse product launch is predominantly positioned to reduce uncertainties in the upstream content value chain.

Fuse not only improves content syndication and discovery across linear and nonlinear content workflows, but also helps reduce duplication costs in the form of multiple content workflows. Although the product is primarily focused on the centralization of descriptive metadata, it also utilizes operational data such as bitrates and file formats to improve the compatibility of multi-platform content playback and user experience. Piksel's single descriptive metadata repository approach also enables content owners to effectively leverage and segment streams to deliver a personalized UX on linear TV and video platforms (i.e., catch-up services). Fuse's primary competency lies in creating a single metadata source template for each media asset for real-time repurposing and usage on multiple platforms. The pre-integrated professional and managed services portfolio's added value proposition resulted in the company securing Liberty Global as its initial customer. The pan-European cable TV operator will be leveraging Fuse to extend its digital reach and reduce opex via a unified user experience on linear and nonlinear workflows.

Therefore, as media enterprises build new personalization strategies around multiple forms of content, this will eventually add a massive amount of descriptive metadata associated with single media assets. The need for the integration of the content supply chain and exploitation of converged monetization models (ecommerce kiosks, in-video ad placement, etc.) will be the core driver of increased adoption of metadata management solutions and services in the next wave of digital transformation (2016–19). These solutions will play a vital role in reinventing content personalization and user engagement on not only digital platforms but also linear platforms, including catch-up services.


Further reading

"Five key trends from NAB 2016," IT0006-000287 (May 2016)

"Crystal's VMA solution streamlines the workflow for multi-platform content monetization," IT0006-000266 (July 2015)


Kedar Mohite, Senior Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology

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