OTT ― an abbreviation that has without a doubt changed the face of the media industry ― has also transformed the way viewers consume content and the way content is produced, packaged and delivered, writes Tech Mahindra Media & Entertainment business consultant Darryl Vaz.

Every day, we read about the exploding volume of content consumption and the demand for more. This is good news for the media industry which relies on this constantly increasing demand. But fulfilling this demand is at this rate is a major challenge for all content operation teams across the industry. Content prepping, QC and packaging operations keep increasing and the options are limited.

Darryl Vaz

Darryl Vaz

Option 1: Increase in the team (internal or outsourced) size to handle the volumes. This gets impractical and costly for the media house.

Option 2: Motivational speech to the content operations team.

Hence, the pressure is on the content operation team who struggle to maintain the quality of the output with stagnant manpower and increasing volumes of input. A study shows that almost 70% of the submitted content gets rejected because of non-conformance or errors in the creation process. This results in either significant remediation efforts in correction and re-submission of content or straight loss of revenue due to rejection of said content.

Looking at this, Tech Mahindra has brought together its team of media and technology experts to solve this teething issue. Content Operations teams now have a solution that works as a partner to help them handle the growing volumes and the media houses are happy since this solution comes in an extremely cost-effective package.

What is Spot-on?
Spot-on is Tech Mahindra’s very own solution for the Content Operations dilemma. Some of the use cases are listed below. Each use case is a customer challenge that Tech Mahindra took up and developed a solution for.

A global media house was in a dilemma when a whole batch of content was rejected due to non-conformance. They soon realised that they have a huge archive of non-conformed assets.

Manual conformance seemed extremely expensive and time-consuming. We developed a solution that automatically aligns the audio and the subtitle timeline of various versions of an episode to conform to a single version of the episode.

It checks if the master and the derivative versions are in sync with the same timeline. If not, it identifies the parts of the content of the master and derivative versions and automatically creates new versions of the derivative audio files that are in sync with the master file. The same is also adjusted for the subtitles.

Video soft marking
Operators of this media house used to spend between 6 to 18 minutes to scrub through each episode and identify the content portions along with recaps, precaps, leaders, credits, billboards, etc. Tech Mahindra developed a Video soft marking solution that automatically browses through the audio and the video of the episode and identifies various portions of the video with the help of the structural template of the season.

It identifies and marks elements like colour bar, leader, segment start and end, credits and billboards. It is also used for scheduling and features like skip intro and next episode when the episode hits credits.

Audio language check
A European media house wanted a cost-effective solution for their QC check but existing solutions took to the cloud and were deemed cost-ineffective. The challenge was to try to develop a preferably ‘in-premise’ solution.

We took up the challenge and developed a cost-effective solution that checks if the asset has the correct audio language as required by the file name or any metadata used for scheduling.

Audio and subtitle sync check
Checks the sync between audio and subtitles of different languages.

Spot-on highlights

  • Time and effort savings: Hours to minutes
  • Infrastructure independent: Can be deployed on cloud or on-premise
  • Can be used on a desktop machine without the use of GPUs
  • Extremely cost-effective
  • 60% effort savings realised in POC testing
  • Completely customisable: A framework that can be customised to suit the requirements of various workflows and formats
  • Available as a custom implementation or as a full vendor service

Darryl Vaz is business consultant Media & Entertainment at Tech Mahindra.