Seamless and automated online publishing

Rino Petricola TV-Bay Magazine
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by Rino Petricola
Issue 91 - July 2014

In todays anywhere/anytime/any screen media environment, companies and advertisers have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with audiences. Consumers appetite for Internet-enabled gadgets and devices is showing no signs of abating, driven by improvements in encoding technology and bandwidth infrastructure. These advances are enabling content owners to deliver video over IP networks (also known as over-the-top or OTT) often at higher quality than by traditional linear terrestrial and satellite methods.

OTT delivery is not without its challenges, however. In order to take strategic advantage of the growing online publishing opportunity, media organizations must revamp their operations to make them more efficient and technically sound. Content owners need technologies and tools to minimize up-front capital investment and headcount, maximize flexibility to test new target devices and platforms, and automate the complex technical workflows required to distribute content to every consumer device.

Online publishing comes of age

These requirements are now being effectively addressed by fully automated, highly efficient, rules-based online publishing solutions that support all popular consumer technologies. In some cases, media organizations can even leverage cloud services, with their scalable resources, to minimize capital costs and streamline workflows. Such online solutions offer great promise for media companies that have previously relied on homegrown and unnecessarily complex content management and distribution solutions to push content directly or indirectly to the end viewer.

The most effective cloud-based OTT publishing solutions are based on content storage management (CSM), which drives a fundamental file-based infrastructure for production, editing, playback, content archiving, and content exchange. CSM interconnects any number of independent, file-based workflow silos with complete transparency to a central, unified storage repository comprised of cost-effective, commodity, IT-based storage devices. The most advanced CSM solutions can tap into the CSM storage repository automatically, regardless of content format, and publish assets directly to any type and any number of online media platforms, including websites, mobile devices, gaming consoles, and aggregation/syndication sites.

CSM as a cloud service

Recent advancements in the area of CSM as a service leverage hybrid cloud technologies to help make CSM more scalable, cost-effective, and accessible, even to smaller organizations with cloud services performing all necessary and complex transcoding, metadata, packaging, scheduling, and delivery tasks. Furthermore, cloud-based direct online publishing makes it possible to backload costs based on end-user uptake rather than investing up front in staffing or equipment. With this strategy, an organization can test new revenue streams with minimal risk or disruption to workflow.

Another advantage of cloud-based implementations is that they provide the detailed viewer analytics required to help ensure optimal return on investment. An advanced online publishing platform automatically collects information regarding viewing patterns, geography, viewer retention, and loyalty. Such data is critical for media organizations to fine-tune their online publishing strategies to ensure resources and content are properly allocated.

A self-evolving publishing platform

With homegrown solutions, most content owners find it impossible to keep up with ever-changing formats and requirements as online services evolve, but the cloud eliminates that struggle. The cloud holds functionality and features that have been developed for all to use, and takes into account the industrys best practices. You can leverage that existing technology through the cloud rather than investing the time and money to develop and maintain it yourself. As target platform requirements and essence specifications change over time, the cloud-based approach can proactively address them and ensure content delivery is always compliant.

In most cases, technology enhancements and upgrades are transparent to you and wont disrupt your individual workflow. Whats more, you get continued enhancement of target platform support with near immediate availability even further minimizing your up-front capital or staffing costs. Lower up-front investment means you are free to try as many potential revenue streams as you like because it wont cost you any more to do so.

In summary, cloud-based tools are the most cost-effective means of transforming content to feed current and emerging online platforms. With them, you can embrace emerging online business models, test new markets with minimal investment, monetize content, and ensure the longevity of your content and your brand. By leveraging advanced CSM solutions that include fully automated, cloud-based online media publishing, you have the power to capitalize on the connected lifestyle and directly engage your viewers no matter where they are. And thanks to the cloud, cost-effective workflow efficiencies are becoming more accessible than ever before.

Tags: iss091 | Front porch digital | online publishing | Rino Petricola
Contributing Author Rino Petricola

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