From powerful new tools to further workflow optimisation, media asset management (MAM) technologies continue to evolve. David Davies speaks to a quartet of vendors about their latest innovations in and around MAM.
Interviewee: Mathieu Zarouk – director of product strategy – media workflows
What is your main offer in MAM? A collaborative media factory, Dalet Flex combines intuitive user tools with a powerful workflow engine to address various use cases across the entire content supply chain – from production and distribution, and all the way to profit.
What are the latest improvements or additions? We put in significant efforts in 2021 to enhance our proposition for production requirements. Media production workflows have been evolving quickly during the pandemic, with customers in need of solutions to make remote work really work – with good performances and reasonable costs.
[Therefore] we delivered key technical improvements such as the ability to connect local storages and services to a cloud-based Dalet Flex deployment. Coupled with the latest version of our panel for Adobe Premiere Pro, this enables editors to benefit from cloud-based systems and work from anywhere without the usual downsides. Performances are preserved by relying on proxy files for editing, and conform operations are ensured by a remote Media Encoder, on the cloud or on premises. This ensures a better user experience by making local systems available for continued use and saving significant costs by limiting heavy file movements.
How do you see customer expectations of MAM changing in the next few years? We are seeing increasing expectations around remote work, simpler deployments and shorter projects, new business models based on subscriptions, and a need for agility to quickly on-board new partners or swap modules in and out of the supply chain. The rise of SaaS-based solutions illustrates vendors’ answers to this evolving market. In addition, one [other] important trend is a will to be more data-driven, understanding costs and ROI.
What’s next for you in MAM? We are preparing the launch of Dalet Flex SaaS – a brand-new offering making Dalet Flex available as a service. We are also working on a mobile application, a cloud-native video editor, improvements to our search functions (faceted and fuzzy search, content recommendations), and a new tasks management application. We will also make FlexMAM available in additional languages and improve compliance with accessibility requirements (following WCAG guidelines).
Interviewee: Julian Fernandez-Campon, CTO, Tedial
What is your main offer in MAM? Tedial is currently working on a major new concept – a Media Integration Platform or no-code iPaaS for media – which will bring a new era in media management with a new paradigm. Traditionally, MAM vendors used to offer a MAM with either simple or complex orchestration capabilities and systems integration. Now the MAM is integrated as another system, as part of the Media Integration Platform. [The platform] efficiently integrates all the business systems and applications quickly and efficiently, and provides opportunities to test new tools, unleash creativity, deploy new workflows to offer new services and engage the audience in a reduced time to market, cost-effectively.
What will be some of the main features? All the applications are integrated within the Platform and access to each one is harmonised using three pillars known as Common Interface, Common Datamodel and Common Workspace. This approach has several advantages, including [the fact that] workflow stages are not dependent on the system used as all have the same methods.
How do you see customer expectations of MAM changing in the next few years? Broadcasters need to be more agile than ever. This means that more content has to be produced and new challenges need to be addressed in an efficient and cost-effective way. For these reasons solutions that do not constrain the creativity nor the capacity to produce and distribute new content using the latest available technology are required. AIl tools will be used more and more as new streaming experiences will need more content and ancillary data to be delivered.
What’s next for you in MAM? Our solution is fully based on microservices, and what we’re doing right now is adding more features to integrate new systems and additional business intelligence to increase predictability and vision regarding the cost of new services. Our roadmap is always agile and flexible because we’re always listening to our customers.
Interviewee: Russell Wise, Senior Vice-President
What is your latest offer in MAM? MetadataIQ is Digital Nirvana’s SaaS offering that automatically generates speech-to-text and video intelligence metadata for Avid PAM/MAM users. It sits on top of the Avid MAM, augmenting it with microservices in a cloud-based app. These microservices enhance the MAM’s capabilities so users can find content immediately.
What are some of the main features? There is off-the-shelf integration with Avid Interplay, and operators can automatically submit media for transcription, captioning, and translations from within the existing workflow. They can also create and ingest different kinds of metadata, including speech-to-text, facial recognition, OCR, logos and objects, each with customisable marker durations and color codes for easy identification. And they can access all of it through Avid MediaCentral.
MetadataIQ applies advanced AI- and ML-based content analysis to create better-structured, more detailed and more accurate metadata automatically in Avid MediaCentral workflows. It automates the entire process of metadata generation, including transferring video assets from Avid and ingesting the metadata as markers along with the asset. [It is also] the first platform to offer on-premises transcoding and intelligent audio-file extraction to generate these transcripts.
How do you see customer expectations of MAM changing in the next few years?
Remote working and widely distributed creative teams are becoming the norm, and the demand for content is insatiable. For those reasons, production teams will want to access content remotely from anywhere and be able to find it quickly using AI tools, such as translation and video intelligence. And they’ll expect more AI tools such as facial recognition, emotion recognition, etc. MetadataIQ offers most of those capabilities today.
What’s next for you in MAM? Right now, MetadataIQ is optimised for Avid and MediaCentral production management assets. In 2022 we’re going to expand MetadataIQ into other MAM/PAM systems.
Interviewee: Geoff Stedman, Chief Marketing Officer
What is your latest offer in MAM? SDVI’s Rally is a platform for optimising media supply chains, enabling media companies to dramatically improve the agility of their business, the efficiency of their infrastructure, and the intelligence they get from supply chain data to make better decisions. To help media companies cope with the growth in demand for content across multiple services, the new Rally Connect content exchange service makes receiving and delivering content more efficient. The SDVI service simplifies and standardises the preparation of content and its associated metadata prior to content exchange.
What are some of the main features? Rally deploys all the applications and infrastructure needed for whatever workload is required, elastically scaling as needed, and all on a per-unit, pay-as-you-go consumption basis. Going well beyond asset management, the SDVI Rally platform optimises all the effort associated with turning those assets into revenue, across all delivery outlets.
How do you see customer expectations of MAM changing in the next few years?
For far too long, media companies have struggled with bespoke media management systems, each custom-built to the unique requirements of each installation. These systems are brittle, hard to change, expensive, and they’re just not architected for the cloud.
Media companies today are looking for a more modern, cloud-native solution to manage how their media assets are prepared and monetised. [Among other capabilities] they want more flexibility and the responsiveness to adapt to changing market dynamics. They want better resource utilisation to drive greater efficiency.
What’s next for you in MAM? Our roadmap for the Rally platform includes ongoing expansion of the media supply chain to encompass a wide range of content suppliers and content delivery platforms. As media companies face ever-increasing demand for content, they need fast, efficient movement of content across this expanded supply chain – without time and money wasted on duplicate transcoding and QC processes that others have already performed. Our vision is for a broad media ecosystem where content flows efficiently between thousands of suppliers, aggregators, distributors and delivery platforms.