(Article published in APB, June 2018, page 24)
Content may be king, but the viewer is definitely calling the shots, certainly now that the internet giants have endowed them with even greater power. This has pushed media companies to start re-inventing themselves. Putting their compelling content on the viewer-preferred digital, on demand or linear platforms, they are seeking to provide all means for the viewer to connect with their content and their brand. Amid all the complexities of rights, royalties, formats, changing cost models and internal workflows, Broadcast Management System WHATS’ON by MEDIAGENIX delivers them the supporting platform they need to do more with less.
Traditional players diverge from their trusted linear delivery model towards “TV Everywhere” and “Time shifted viewing”. On the other side of the spectrum, new online players have entered the market. Having no connection with the traditional linear TV world, they come with new rules and business models. But the viewer forces these new players, too, to constantly revisit their workflows and look for new revenue streams.
New ways of distributing content become key, such as delivering content directly to the consumer as OTT, on social media, or by selling content packages to third-party platforms. In fact, we see a strong shift in focus from scheduling content to content distribution. Linear TV playout has become just one of the many ways of releasing content, on par with reselling content to third parties.
A new view on content
The changes also have a huge impact on content itself. For one thing, traditional players have become more creative in how they package their content for the viewers. They split content up into smaller parts that fit social and on-demand media, repackage seasons in different themes or add bonus content for the true fan.
And then there is the phenomenon of binge viewing. This has disrupted the whole traditional production process, as entire seasons of a series are now being released at once. The market has responded with shorter seasons—even more miniseries—, more consistent storylines and TV shows that are heavily marketed like movie premieres, with a huge build-up to the release date.
All this means that media companies need to be able to slice and dice content for use on different platforms. They need to manage rights for new versions of content that are assembled from many existing content parts. They will also want to present existing content in new and different ways, and group titles into collections for selling, planning or re-packaging. This requires a flexible content-centric system and quick editorial decisions that rely on a powerful management of media and material workflows and of complex rights and underlying rights and royalties.
WHATS’ON by MEDIAGENIX provides centralised content, media and rights management on a single system for both linear, on-demand and digital distribution. The system gives the users overviews that flag possible issues. Content information such as rights, scheduling and distribution data remain accessible along the content’s entire life cycle. This implies that everybody in every department taking care of business in any model or any platform is working on the same, real time data.
At Swiss public broadcaster RTS, WHATS’ON users open the frame-accurate player from their WHATS’ON screen and set markers segmenting the content. This facilitates its distribution on any platform while tracking the various rights on every individual segment of the content. The system informs users about rights problems and the additional costs for clearing the content. Among other things, this allows them to automatically create clips for fast publication online.
Global content management
In the meantime, international media groups are centralising their content in a global content management system so that it is ready to be shared by channels and platforms across the globe. Here again WHATS’ON fits in perfectly. As the media assets management in WHATS’ON pilots all video, audio and subtitle flows, the content is ready to be shared by all channels in whichever region, platform, version or language the content is needed.
Single multi-platform workflow
Basically, the BMS of today needs to offer an answer to the resounding question from media companies worldwide: help us streamline our back-office operations, but above all: give us a system that continuously supports our (future) business models. Product evolutions, configurability and easy integrations with the existing and ever-changing IT and business landscape are key.
When implementing new systems or replacing (in-house) systems, meeting the go-live deadline is a top priority. That was recently the case for the implementation at BBC, as it was for all customers who are now live with WHATS’ON. Just recently, UR, a Swedish public-service broadcasting company, swiftly changed over to WHATS’ON without custom development, and they took care of integrations themselves with the Open API.
The more complex reality gets, the stronger the need grows for solutions that make it possible to operate effectively across operational boundaries, locations, media and delivery platforms (TV/Digital/Radio). The content-centric set-up of WHATS’ON enables companies to streamline media operations and install one single workflow for both digital and linear usage. Whether media companies want to broadcast their content on linear channels, publish it on VoD platforms or stream it online, WHATS’ON enables them to easily launch new channels, setup on-demand media services, and optimise content exploitation and distribution in a managed way.
MEDIAGENIX serves leading media companies in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and APAC. Together these customers use the company’s software platform WHATS’ON to manage over 2,000 channels and on-demand services across more than 90 media networks.
Johan Vanmarcke, Managing Director MEDIAGENIX APAC