We need to talk about your media workflow
Media workflow has never been more complex to manage, and it just seems to be getting more and more complicated. We can see many media departments under constant pressure to generate a huge amount of content and deliver it to an ever-growing number of platforms and devices in response to expanding consumer demand for high-quality, compelling programmes. One of the most significant impediments to success in today's climate is managing video assets - that is, discovering, accessing, and exploiting them efficiently and effectively.
In this article, we will look at the operational and content delivery problems that media companies face, as well as some workflow design recommendations, such as the deployment of end-to-end platforms for speeding content generation, access, archiving, and monetization reuse.
Operational and technical headaches From editors and producers to senior management and social media/marketing employees, today's content operations must cater to a diverse set of consumers with various needs. Add in the fact that today's production teams are generally decentralised, with edit, audio, post-production working from several locations. Even if a file is online and accessible, a team's inability to see its location or status produces chaos and tension. And, of course, there is never enough time, especially as delivery cycles shorten and demand for efficiency and quick response increases.
Operators must juggle a plethora of codecs and containers, as well as manage complex storage systems with combinations of fast-edit, slower online, LTO, cloud, and optical storage, in addition to working in a mixed environment of on-premise, cloud, and hybrid systems across the major platforms (OSX, Windows, and Linux). Storage is typically dispersed throughout an organisation in disjointed silos of various forms and configurations. Higher data rates, 4K and 8K frame rates, and technologies like high dynamic range (HDR) all put a demand on storage. It can take a long time to find and manage video assets, and up to a third of all searches fail completely. Complicating matters are proprietary and opaque file formats that are difficult to preview on the operating system.
Preparing your Mindset
How can media companies overcome these obstacles by implementing new and improved workflows for accessing and managing media assets? Of course, one of the keys is having a set of reliable tools and finding ways to automate their own unique processes. Your company should gain as much information as possible about its specific demands and what a tool or collection of tools will bring to the table.
What is your content asset's end-to-end cycle? How does your business need to work with content along this cycle, from shoot to secure to screen to search and re-use? What components and resources, such as cameras, storage systems, archives, and asset management tools, do you already have on hand?
It's helpful to sketch out and visualise your workflow as you're planning it out. It's also important to think about the personnel and organisational components. Do you require an archivist on staff? And where do you draw the line between enforcing a team's workflow and promoting flexibility? How are you going to train your teams to get the most out of automated processes?
Finding the right tools
Your choice of a media asset management (MAM) tool will be influenced by the answers to all of these questions. MAM solutions, in essence, track content and manage its transit across storage tiers as it proceeds through pre-production, production, and post-production stages.
Choosing the correct MAM tool requires strategy and research, depending on the complexity of the company. When analysing MAM solutions on the market, we recommend considering the following:
Ease of Use is a term used to describe how simple something is to use. Many MAM systems provide a wide range of capabilities and sophisticated functionality, but they can be difficult to learn, use, and administer, and they come with a hefty price tag. The greatest MAM solutions strike the perfect blend of power and usability, as well as the ability to adapt to clients' processes.
Flexibility. Will the tool you use now be scalable and adaptable as your business grows and changes? Will you be able to move your old manual workflows over to the new automation system? Will the tool represent and enforce your organization's unique requirements and work procedures, or will the tool have to adapt to your organisation?
Inter-operability. No workflow, and no technology for automating the workflow, should operate in a vacuum. Is the MAM solution compatible with all other workflow systems, including cameras, storage, archives, networking, mobile devices, DRM, social media, and delivery platforms?
Support for native formats. The last thing anyone wants to do in a fast-paced, deadline-driven production setting is having to stop and convert 50 hours of footage. As a result, the MAM tool should be capable of ingesting and playing back files in their native format, including content from professional video and even DLSR cameras.
When properly developed, a MAM solution can be used as a true collaboration tool, allowing your team (regardless of their location or attribution) to access, share, edit and distribute their current materials. By avoiding costly reshoots and reusing content, such as b-roll film, in new productions, media companies can save time and money, and they can even monetize the content for new revenue sources.
These solutions represent a significant shift from previous workflows in which production engineers would configure and manage access to content by putting control of assets and their access in the hands of the content creators themselves.
After many years working with hundreds of clients in the broadcasting and media industry, Ortana Media Group designed and developed CUBIX, a platform that has been created to respond to the unique challenges that each organisation must face in the day to day management of their content.
Cubix is a modular and scalable Media Asset Management (MAM) and Orchestration platform. Our platform delivers intelligent centralised processes connected through API with the finest on-premise devices and cloud solutions, allowing broadcasters, content owners, and media organisations to have total business control.
CUBIX makes technology an ally for creative individuals so they can focus on what they do best: creating.
Click on the link below to discover more about CUBIX and the benefits that our platform may bring to your organisation and media management.