When it comes to reaching OTT and social media audiences, Welsh public broadcaster S4C is showing how to harness the power of digital broadcasting. The Carmarthen-based broadcaster is delivering content quickly and, in addition to localising it in Welsh, it is publishing on more than 100 digital channels micro-targeted to specific interests.
To address the growing fragmentation of digital platforms and audiences, S4C has embraced an efficient and agile media workflow based on cloud technologies such as Wildmoka’s Digital Media Factory.
S4C is a free-to-view Welsh television network and one of the oldest terrestrial channels in the country. As a public broadcaster, its mission is to inform and entertain citizens while prioritising Welsh-language content. The network covers news, weather, entertainment and sports events via linear TV, OTT platforms, and more than 100 channels on social media platforms.
S4C social media manager Alun Jones explained that the broadcaster aims to be the first to publish live and edited digital content to their audiences. “Speed is key,” he said. “To get the clips ‘near-live’ is very important to us and since there is nothing faster than live, it is also critical to have the ability to live stream any video in moments, with just a few clicks.”
This, Jones added, is where Wildmoka’s Digital Media Factory helps S4C achieve its goals. By connecting to the cloud-based platform, remote editors can rapidly edit and publish content through a web interface.
“There is no time wasted waiting for uploads and downloads of video files over the internet,” Jones explained. “Everything is accessible from one central cloud-based platform and any number of users can collaborate simultaneously to make the best content available.”
Using Wildmoka’s cloud-based platform also supports S4C’s operating model. It works with more than 100 editors, some of whom are from independent TV production companies supplying S4C or work on a freelance basis. Digital Media Factory allows an unlimited number of editors to access content, edit and publish it, all while ensuring users rights and permissions are set as appropriate.
As one of Wales’ national public broadcasters, S4C publishes content in the Welsh language, but with a growing focus on reaching wider audiences, S4C has the ability to easily create the corresponding subtitles.
Jones highlighted Wildmoka’s subtitling features, which allow editors to rapidly apply Welsh or English language subtitles to any content. “We no longer need an external, closed-captioning tool,” he said. “This drastically improves the efficiency of our video production supply chain – both in terms of speed to produce as well as editorial efforts to produce subtitled content.”
Thanks to Wildmoka Digital Media Factory, S4C produces near-live clips for sports, such as UEFA Euro 2021, Le Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Rugby World Cup, United Rugby Championship and others, as well as highlight reels showing ‘best of’ long-form content. It also live streams to digital platforms and creates live pop-up streams on social media for breaking news, such as government Covid-19 announcements.
S4C has multiple video feeds (sources) ingested and available within the Wildmoka platform, enabling editors to easily extract and create all forms of content to target different digital destinations. As an example, near-live clips of a sports event can be posted on social channels to inform viewers that something amazing is happening and to encourage them to jump onto S4C’s OTT on-going live stream.
Jones added: “S4C has complete flexibility. We can publish where we want, when we want with no limits. We have the ability to diversify as much as we need and deliver content fast”.