By Arjun Ramamurthy, Chief Technology Officer, Aletliere Creative Technologies
This story first appeared in the IABM Journal #118 in 2021.
We’re all inundated with data every day: from being told the number of steps we’ve taken to new recommendations from Netflix or Amazon. With so much information being thrown at us, are we using this data to its best possible advantage? Do we even know how to do that?
It’s no different in the media and entertainment industries, where every piece of content has metadata attached to it. This data that describes data ranges from how and when it was captured, file type, descriptive, structural, preservative, and more. When dealing with the often-massive libraries of most studios and other content owners, the sheer amount of data available to a customer can almost be as overwhelming as the number of titles themselves.
It’s imperative for organizations to start thinking about data differently — learning to save, store and use their data in a meaningful way. That could mean establishing data storage and planning policies, being able to source and search against the data accumulated over several years, and running predictive models.
If organizations can capture, store and use their data properly, then they can start to take control of their own organizations by accessing meaningful insight into how they operate. They can automate workflows, reduce costs and streamline logistics.
This all impacts how they’re able to address the market.
The Data-Driven Media Supply Chain
Gathering data is easy but understanding and interpreting it to make more informed business decisions can be a complex process – unless an organization chooses a flexible and scalable cloud-based content supply chain partner such as Ateliere™.
The overall advantages of having media supply chains be data-driven are useful, however, the goal has to be ultimately serving customer needs. Just having a ton of data for the sake of having data is essentially meaningless. We can provide a variety of data metrics, but all of that still has to support the content and the supply chain head ends we are providing.
A platform like Ateliere Connect™ can provide much of the data a business needs, but the customer is the one who knows best what information is needed so that we can get content as quickly as possible to any of the platforms that they wish.
The decisions still need to be business-driven. All the data can do is support it.
We’ve always had a lot of data to work with, from technical metadata to encrypted metadata and more. But the difficulty has traditionally been gaining a firm understanding of that data to make it actionable. Collecting data is only the first step. From there, what parameters are you setting for the data to make it actionable?
The data provided is not meant for customers to always take automatic action. It’s provided as more of a toolset to help them make better-informed decisions. It’s basically designing data-driven recommendations for customers to optimize their media supply chain. We never want to remove customers from making smart decisions. We’re providing a lot more information for them to make those smart decisions.
It’s about how data is being used, interpreted, and applied. Using our platform and its features, we can slice, dice, and provide metrics. But more important is helping customers drive their engagement with customers and deliver value to their audiences.
What Connect Does
The Ateliere Connect platform features a range of content enrichment capabilities. By employing cloud-based parallel computing (Amazon EC2 Elastic Compute Cloud web service) to transcode and package files. With the ability to scale up to as many processors as needed for each request, the studio can respond and fulfill customer requests regardless of size or complexity, quickly and efficiently. Using Amazon’s recognition service allows the addition of extra metadata according to individual customer requests, whether for commercial, merchandising, or compliance reasons.
The Ateliere Connect solution also incorporates the platform’s Deep Analysis Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool. The Deep Analysis AI algorithm scans the content to understand its layout and formatting. It then accelerates the traditionally long and manual process of content conforming and localization editing. By automatically identifying specific types of scenes or video elements and highlighting them on a timeline view, operators can focus their efforts primarily on the scenes that need adjustment, saving companies time and money. The AI portion provides the capability for reducing storage capacity and asset generation needs
The Benefits of Effective Data Mining, Storage, and Use are Wide-Ranging
Libraries can be set up for maximum content monetization. When an order is received, the studio knows exactly which version of a title is available. If a requested version is not available, they can easily create one without much human intervention, manipulation, and expense. Through automation and reduction of its storage footprint, studies can realize annual savings in the millions of dollars. Transcoding time is shortened leading to increased customer response times
Organizations of all sizes are becoming more sophisticated in how they approach and use their data. As this trend increases, technology providers need to keep pace to deliver the right support.
For example, since most of the content we handle is finished content, many customers may need markers placed within titles to identify spots in downstream versions for insertions or they may want to know from a QC standpoint where these actual points are and what is the allocation or information that they would want to associate with each.
Using data effectively will continue to increase in importance, especially with the demand for content growing across all platforms and the emergence of new platforms, formats, and resolutions. As audience behaviors and preferences change, our industry’s understanding of data tools and data extraction has to mature as well.
About the Author
Global Chief Technology Officer Arjun Ramamurthy brings a rare blend of experience and vision, working with company leadership to build upon the company’s already strong position in the media technology marketplace and ensure that the Ateliere technology stack meets and exceeds customer demands and expectations.