By Shirish Nadkarni
As published in APB July – August, page 27
Faced with accelerated change and growing complexities across OTT (over-the-lop), DTC (direct to consumer), on-demand and linear services, media companies are going for flexibility and efficiency in their content ecosystem, relying on a futureproof backbone.
“Strengthening that operational backbone allows them to reach for new business models,” said Johan Vanmarcke, the Singapore-based managing director of MEDIAGENIX – APAC.
“When you get right down to it, you can say that we provide a kind of ERP (enterprise resource planning) system for media companies that offers their viewers content on diverse channels and platforms.
“Our offerings consist of modular software solutions that come as desktop applications or web-based applications in the cloud.”
The company prides itself on optimising and automating the life cycles of content, and streamlining the customer’s content supply chain, from acquisition over planning, scheduling and rights management to publication and beyond.
MEDIAGENIX works with companies for whom content is their lifeblood. lt enables such companies to optimise their content life cycle across the most diverse linear and on-demand channels, which can be proactively launched and managed.
“Nowadays, the viewer has a lot of choice – you have all these channels, services, platforms and devices,” said Vanmarcke. “But in the end, it is still content that they view, so that hasn’t changed.
“A content provider needs to publish content on all these platforms and devices. lt means a lot of workflows and associated metadata.”
He told APB: “With our content-centric reference broadcast management system WHATS’ON at the heart of your operations, you can optimise the complete workflow from initial programme idea to publication and beyond.”
The broadcast management platform WHATS’ON is built from fully integrated modules. Together, they manage the content workflow as content moves from initial concept in the long-term plan to fully prepared and formatted material – complete with promos and secondary events – allocated to diverse linear channels and VoD services.
“Through the process, WHATS’ON ensures that you stay within the budgets, maximise your rights, deliver quality media, reach your editorial targets and comply with regulatory requirements.” asserted Vanmarcke. “As an enterprise-wide, extensive and multi-user system linking into other systems, WHATS’ON is the backbone of your media operations.”
Vanmarcke explained the relation between content and rights, insisting that, when the word ‘rights’ is used, it actually means rights in, rights out selling content, and even hidden rights or unknown rights.
“In sports, you can have a situation where content and rights are at the centre of the stage,” he said. We verify everytime content is scheduled across these platforms and devices. WHATS’ON will alert the users when there is an infringement of rights in the scheduled content.”
One of the most debated phenomena in the media market is the dramatic surge in the budgets spent on sports rights. According to Global Webindex, 3.4 billion people saw at least part of the 2018 World Cup. This constitutes half of the world’s population – a monetisation treasure trove.
Unsurprisingly, the social media giants have jumped on the bandwagon. “Sports and live broadcasting is very different from non-live broadcasting.” said Vanmarcke. “The differences in workflows and required functionality span across all departments. “Live events have their very specific challenges, what with the inherent unpredictability, including cancellations, delays, uncertain durations and last-minute changes.
“You have to deal with concurrent events and overlaps, diverse sources and feeds, graphics, several commentary languages, the very complex rights, obligations and exceptions. “There is also the ever-growing importance of metadata.”
To optimise revenue and achieve operational excellence in the face of these complexities, MEDIAGENIX has developed a solution for eSports and live events in general. lt automatically conformsall scheduling to the applicable rights, obligations and exceptions, and facilitates last-minute changes.
“When customers employ MEDIAGENIX solutions, there are three over-arching business benefits – in the flexibility, the efficiency and the creativity,” said Vanmarcke.
“When I talk about efficiency, it is streamlining operations across OTT, TV and radio.
“When I mention flexibility, the WHATS’ON solution really allows you to de-complexify the landscape and operations.
“And about creativity, our aspiration is to give media companies in this changing world the tools to engage with the viewers, to focus on their core business overall.” The company’s customers include public and commercial radio and TV stations, on-demand platforms, OTT streamers, telcos and their service providers.
“The BBC, Discovery and Viacom – they all go for growth in this excitingly fast-paced media world,” said Vanmarcke. “And we are proud to be right by their side.”