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Metadata makes for not just easier user experience, but also facilitates workflows behind the scene
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Metadata: Key to Value Generation in OTT

How metadata drives user experience, navigation, discovery, recommendations, and importantly monetization in OTT

The statement - ‘content is the king’ becomes quite evident while looking at the original content production figures of the year 2019, which reached a staggering USD 120 billion. But how do the companies rate content, know what to produce, what content people are watching, and how to push content to viewers? The answer lies closer to the data related to content than the content itself.
Money spent by top studios exceeded USD 120 billion in 2019
Graph showing distribution of money spent by major US M&E organizations
Personalized recommendations, content filtering, search, everything depends on metadata. But sourcing, managing, and tagging high-quality metadata is no easy task in this increasingly complex streaming industry. The latest trend of localizing content for different countries and regions means that every asset carries more data in multiple languages and formats. Moreover, the hyper-personalization trend in the industry requires highly rich metadata and is increasingly becoming the key to deliver a compelling user experience.
Today, a modern household, in the US, UK, and Germany, is subscribed to two or more VOD services. They have even more options to choose from; this proliferation of services makes viewer-churn a considerable concern in the industry. Companies are ramping their retention strategies with unique personalization and targeting. Such personalized strategies are also heavily reliant upon metadata. Using machine learning and AI, platforms are actively tweaking recommendations, thumbnail and video previews, and advertisements to fit individual taste.
Rich and quality metadata is not the only piece in the puzzle though, it needs to be combined with an efficient content management system that can ingest, manage, filter, match, curate, and orchestrate the various metadata assets. With customizable editing workflows and an infrastructure that allows M&E companies to showcase their content to their viewers, content becomes more visible and contextual on the different screens. It also allows the following:
Metadata for intuitive UX and frontends
Interface with various metadata assets and tags visible for user
Optimized User Experience - The most prominent use of metadata in the media industry has been to create better user experiences. From EPG to Thumbnails, every piece of metadata improves the interaction between viewers and the platform. It also allows the creation of tailored and intuitive interfaces for various devices and platforms.
With AI and ML tools, many new platforms are already churning metadata and user insights to drive traffic through dynamic and personalized thumbnails, catalogs, video previews, and recommendations.
Personalized Advertising - Utilising the considerable amount of information contained in the metadata, such as the SCTE or custom ad markers, broadcasters and providers can now dynamically insert advertisements in the video. The ads are also made more effective and personalized with the available content information, viewer history, and preferences.
Better Monetization - Assets with enriched metadata also provide streaming platforms information about viewer demographics, inclinations, sentiments, and context. With all this information, M&E companies are forming new channel partnerships to drive ancillary revenues on top of their VOD platforms.
Simplified Localization (Or, Globalization) - Entertainment transcends boundaries, language, or geography. An extensive content library is not the only thing that makes streaming platforms unique or global; the availability of these TV shows, movies, and documentaries in several localizations is a crucial factor that adds to success. People like content, and there’s nothing better than watching a high production international content in a local language.
This increasing appetite for local content internationally is also very evident by the revenues generated by movies such as Dangal. Originally released as a Bollywood (coveted Indian version of Hollywood) Hindi movie produced by Disney, it ended up grossing over USD 233 million internationally. The film was released in Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, and English dubs and made a more significant fortune overseas than the measly USD 80 million it earned at its home box office.
Efficient Content-Chain - As stated earlier, metadata plays a crucial role in the digital content supply chain. A proper database and an efficient management system can streamline the process of editing, managing, and distributing an extensive library of assets. Leveraging on metadata, editors can also create customized and automated workflows.
Undisputedly metadata is the backbone for most digital video workflows, and the success of a platform lies not just in great content but also in excellent metadata management. An OTT infrastructure must place metadata at the center as a means for the various workflows.
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