The migration to multiplatform TV has provided consumers everything they could dream of, in terms of convenience, but has created a summary of challenges for content owners and distributors which, together, are straining the fabric from the television industry. The number of endpoints you need to serve is growing. Workflow processes happen to be duplicated, creating what some consider to be unsustainable inefficiencies and overhead. Rights management is becoming fragmented.

Rights owners lack visibility about how exactly their submissions are being used at any given time when they're being forced to invest more in commissioning or acquiring content. The reliance on trust means they have to be cautious who they hand their content to, potentially passing up on distribution handles new partners. Where usage information is returned, it's a complex procedure that burdens both the servicer provider (distributor) and also the content owner.

As the brand new Videonet report, 'Re-imagining content distribution workflow for the video industry' makes clear, multiplatform TV is making rights negotiations harder and longer. It also comes with security vulnerabilities wherever submissions are decrypted and re-encrypted for processing, especially when submissions are transcoded. The report explores the many challenges facing content owners and service providers within this environment and proposes a totally new approach to how the content-to-consumer value chain is organised, thus the bold title about 're-imagining' rather than just evolving.

To summarise the chance outlined in this report, it is to render the flow of content and knowledge between stakeholders in a more secure, efficient and nimble manner, to create a collaborative and transparent environment that removes barriers between content and global consumers and, to put it bluntly, modernise the information distribution model.

Central to the proposition is that content providers and video service operators are connected using a common cloud platform, and Verimatrix has had a lead position for making this happen with its Viewthority solution, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) based on the AWS infrastructure and AWS Elemental Media Services video workflow. This centralises and streamlines management and control of contract terms, distribution windows, playback policies and business rules using a defined rights management interface, that has been integrated using the Mediamorph Content Value Management Platform.

Both content provider and service provider can setup video workflows quickly and avoid duplicate processes, instead making use of massive economies of scale. Using this model, content is going to be encoded once, packaged once and encrypted once (using Common Encryption).

\”For operators, this platform saves the price of having to re-encode and re-encrypt. By encrypting content once with decryption keys and playback policies distributed separately and securely for final end-device playout, such a system would improve distribution efficiency,\” the report notes.

One from the key points of friction this new model smoothes is contract compliance and the efficiency with which the can demonstrate compliance. Because the report notes, it is necessary that everybody adheres to rules about content exploitation windows, and they police the amount of views each client is allowed (referred to as 'playback policies'). It's expected that output controls, and viewing offline in addition to online, is all monitored. After which these controls must be reported to the content owner.

The Viewthority model supports real-time analytics and streamlined reporting as the basis for compliance and also as the basis for better marketing intelligence at the content owner. By doing so, it makes it easy to realign the connection between buyers and sellers of content. As you commentator points out: \”There's no ambiguity. It's clear to the content owner just what a distribution partner has agreed to and whether those agreements happen to be met.\”

Importantly, the brand new levels of trust that become possible are not equipped at a price in terms of administration. Quite the opposite, in fact: the entire process of demonstrating compliance is greatly streamlined, which is one of the key benefits outlined within the new report.

\”In legacy workflows there's a gap between your communications of contractual rights management (about the windows and geographies or level of security and commercial terms associated with the content) from back office systems down to the marketplace,\” the 16-page document explains. \”There is really a further gap in that the communications of these policies and rights right down to the operator has historically been by Excel or some of other form of written document.

\”Operators have to diligently apply those rights and distribution windows towards the end devices. However, the exchange of data is completely disjointed between parties in the logistics. Traditional rights systems cannot handle this operational flow without heavy 'hacks' and manual intervention.\”

With the brand new approach, content and repair providers can develop a common, consistent and automatic way of sending and viewing information to the information owner. Because the report makes clear, the complexities in the present rights management and compliance processes, as with the recording workflow, are limiting innovation and ultimately business opportunities.

Take video processing first. \”With thousands of licenses all over the world, the capacity of content providers to process and deliver content to distribution partners is squeezed. Imagine performing variants on every video in every market, and everyone expecting it tomorrow,\” the brand new report says.

\”Operators, consequently, are understandably dismayed when, on deal completion, they learn it could take eight or more months to really receive and activate the content. They want content to be fluid and manageable. Having the ability to easily curate and choose content and spontaneously react to the marketplace is important to operator success.\”

And on the question of rights: \”Operators need fast access to content and better rights usage so that you can scale. Content owners need to retain full control over rights usage with the agility to be able to change them on an ad-hoc basis and adapt to market forces.

\”Yet today, contractual content distribution rights are difficult to administer, measure and police. They aren't enforced in any digital or cryptographic way. They do not enable just-in-time adjustment to promote demand. Content providers cannot reach their full market potential due to the challenges to establish relationships with Tier-2 and Tier-3 operators.\”

As the report makes clear, we want a lot more than streamlined video workflows; the market needs to simplify business negotiations as well, which needs a more efficient marketplace for rights.

Key opportunities, when the legacy rights and distribution barriers are removed, will be to work with more partners and for them to monetise content more effectively. \”Operators can quickly find the assets they want and can push those assets into their interface. The user can purchase or view it, and payments and analytics data from the transaction usage are reported back to both the operator and content owner. Essentially the process could be seamless and in near real-time,\” the report makes clear.

It is noted that the road to success involves adaptive, Title=\”Twitter\” onclick='heateorSssPopup(\”http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Why%20the%20TV%20industry%20badly%20needs%20to%20modernise%20the%20content%20distribution%20workflow%20-%20and%20how%20to%20do%20it&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.v-net.tv%2F2021%2F11%2F26%2Fwhy-the-tv-industry-badly-needs-to-modernise-the-content-distribution-workflow%2F\”)'>