WHATS’ON takes the world stage with a scheduling solution for global streamers
WHATS’ON has been chosen as best-of-breed system to play an important part in the ecosystem of one of the world’s biggest streaming services, centrally managed with one global vision. All users in 50 countries use the same WHATS’ON instance for strategically planning the releases of a massive archive and a treasure trove of world renowned original productions.
When MEDIAGENIX was asked to provide a global scheduling tool for this subscription based on-line streaming service, the service was to be launched six months later with what is said to be one of the world’s biggest content libraries. The timing was critical: by the unforgiving deadline everything had to be up and running seamlessly in a brand new, global ecosystem.
THE CHALLENGE: TRANSFORMING FROM DECENTRALIZED MEDIA DISTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL STREAMER
Before this world-spanning project our client only had regional channels. Their business model mainly consisted in selling the rights of their titles to third parties all over the globe.
As they belong to the world’s most prolific content producers and their content archive had grown massive over the years, they took the logical step amid the ongoing changes in the media landscape to come forward as a global streaming player.
THE SOLUTION: A GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM
They started to build a centrally managed, global media setup, composed of the world’s best-of-breed systems.
This meant they had to bring together a jigsaw puzzle of MAM, Playout and Broadcast Management Systems, and one big jumble of rights descriptions – the legacy of major acquisitions and regional management – into one centrally managed, global distribution platform.
THE ROLE OF WHATS’ON: STRATEGIC RELEASE PLANNING
In WHATS’ON the client can now make a global on-demand schedule with the strategic release planning for the coming month (to be extended), on the basis of the information from the global rights management system. This is governed by business rules defined in WHATS’ON, which prevent, for instance, that a release coincides with a theatrical premiere of another of their original productions or the release of a movie from another of their production houses.
As a kind of second layer, on top of this global schedule, come the regional schedules, which are in fact the schedules that will actually be published. Release dates may differ on these regional schedules as they are dependent on specific restrictions stipulated in contracts that are still effective for the respective territories.
Where WHATS’ON really comes into its own is that the regions can add additional, locally produced content to give the service its much needed regional flavour, and try out different versions of the schedule.
For MEDIAGENIX this was an exciting project in many ways. We worked with teams in locations worldwide, designed completely new workflows, and worked with a deadline that could not be shifted as it was announced in the press. Critical success factors were the small dedicated MEDIAGENIX team, a strong focus on “get the basics right first” - starting with a minimum viable product and gradually extending it - and an implementation 2.0 approach: user manuals, workflow documentation and configuration was done by the MEDIAGENIX team in addition to, as always, intensive hands-on user training.
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