Latest news in the broadcast world

MAM and QC systems: the perfect allies to boost your Metadata management

Are you thinking on acquiring a QC system for your company’s content quality control? Then maybe you should also think about acquiring a Media Asset Management (MAM) to complement the previous one. Aaron López, VSN’s COO offers us in this joint article with VSN’s partner Quales several reasons why the data management of any given Broadcast and Media company needs both MAM and QC systems to achieve its ideal performance.

We all know at some extent that information is power. But we all should understand that all the information and data collected without following any specific organisation or order is useless to be successful (and sometimes working this way, without following any specific logic, can even be detrimental).

In today’s Broadcast and Media work environment, where professionals need to work under pressure and against the clock to offer the exact content to the correct audience in their preferred platform, all the information and Metadata have stopped being only a useful tool to become a total priority and need for all professionals. Metadata, those ‘data about data’ that offer information about our files, are key for guaranteeing the delivery of our content, while building loyalty among audiences, monetising productions and therefore, creating new revenue resources. It could even be said that without them and the appropriate equipment and software to collect and interpret metadata correctly we are lost.

When considering to invest on new Broadcast and Media systems and equipments, one perfectly understands the benefits and direct impact of acquiring a good Quality Control solution. These QC systems offer us thorough information about our content quality, detect errors unnoticeable for human eye and monitor media in each and every stage of its lifecycle, always warning us where an error has to be immediately corrected.

It goes also without saying that good QC reports are very valuable and even strategically key for multiple tasks of any Media company. Imagine what would it be like to broadcast a TV series episode with a black in its middle…Even if we notice it quickly, it will already be late. The audience could have noticed it on air or even experienced a break while changing the wrong file in our broadcasting list. Either way or another, the audience will suffer this mistake.

So once we have understood the importance of acquiring a good QC system, what added value can give us a good MAM system for content management? It is true that not so long ago, lots of users only thought about a MAM system as a media preservation tool or as a way to monitor our files’ evolution throughout their whole lifecycle. But nowadays, we cannot still think that this is all what a MAM system can offer us. Truth be told, it would be like undervalue its functionalities.

In this particular case, at VSN and QUALES we offer joint and integrated solutions comprising our MAM and QC systems precisely to exponentially increase both systems performance. Indeed they have already been implemented in several clients’ facilities with high satisfaction levels. The main reason? Thinking about specific advantages, we can not only analyse all our files automatically at the precise moment that the ingest is taking place, but also embed all the extracted information to our assets that, from now on, will be distributed through the system from one user to another comprising all this additional information (from technical data to other practical information like title, genre, location or cast).

Furthermore, any error detected in the file throughout the process will also remain registered in the MAM and will be notified to users as soon as it is detected.This way, we increase our flexibility and time of reaction, in order to have always our content ready for broadcasting. And what is more, we can even automate all these processes thanks to QC information. For instance, we could restrict some users from send content to the web or the channel’s broadcasting list, we could also ban concrete assets comprising a serious QC error (drop frames, black images, incorrect audio…) to be broadcasted and avoid this way human errors in our production chain or broadcasting.

Lastly, we cannot forget about the main advantages of integrating MAM and QC systems in terms of cataloguing and information search. As we were saying, all these additional data provided by a QC system can directly be embedded in our assets, providing our MAM system with new information that we can easily find through our website’s browser anytime. And even more! Thanks to a media management system, all these data can be crossed between each other to detect inefficiencies or bottle-necks, such as content providers that do not deliver content with good quality standards or departments that create content comprising errors.

Moreover, given the flexibility of this kind of integrations, where users can establish and customise their preferred points of control throughout the whole production chain, it is crystal clear that both systems working closely have a very positive effect on Broadcast and Media companies, which now can have a stricter control of all their daily files, regardless of the type and number of platforms in which them will be distributed.

So, to the question ‘How can I start monetising my content?’, at VSN we firmly believe that you should start looking for those systems that better fit your needs and that will allow you to collect all the data and information required, in order to always broadcast your content in the ideal conditions. Apart from this, the rest is on your imagination and talent.