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Unlocking new opportunities with IMF for Advertising

The DPP, the media industry’s business network, recently announced the development of a proof of concept to demonstrate how component-based workflows using IMF (the Interoperable Master Format) can be applied to advertising use cases. A new report, The Business Benefits of IMF for Advertising, has been released to DPP members to provide a business-level overview of the aims of the work, and a common set of working practices for the delivery of adverts using IMF.

DPP member companies taking part in this work have two key aims – to deliver greater operational efficiency in advertising, and to unlock new commercial opportunities.

This work aligns to the DPP’s suite of IMF publications for programme content by using SMPTE TSP 2121-1 (IMF Application DPP ProRes) and SMPTE TSP 2121-4 (IMF Application Constraint DPP JPEG2000) as its foundation. Interoperability is at the heart of this initiative, enabling the development of automated supply chains compatible with both programming and advertising.

“Building on what has already been achieved by the DPP and their members around IMF adoption, we are extending the work to support advertising use cases through the development of a proof of concept,” said Michael Moorfield, Global Broadcast Services Manager, Adstream. “This is an ideal opportunity to showcase the potential business benefits for the whole supply chain. For me, one of the measures of success would be if the findings became an enabler towards standardising workflows for video advertising distribution and publishing.”

The proof of concept establishes how an IMF package can be exchanged internationally throughout the advertising ecosystem: from agency, to clearance bodies, to the distributor, through to broadcast transmission. The results of testing will be announced later this year.

“IMF offers great potential for scaling up versioning workflows effectively and efficiently,” said Rowan de Pomerai, head of Delivery and Growth, DPP. “We’ve been working for some time on enabling its use for broadcast and online programme content, yet advertisers also face huge versioning challenges. So, it’s extremely exciting to see so many companies in the advertising supply chain supporting this initiative, and we believe that IMF will offer them real operational benefits.”

The Business Benefits of IMF for Advertising document has been developed for potential implementers to start to understand how IMF could benefit their businesses through operational efficiencies, and to learn how shared, component-based workflows could drive yield.

“The convergence of advertising across Linear TV and Online brings with it a need to standardise, which could unlock significant benefits across the ecosystem.”, said James Morgan-Yates, CTO, Clearcast. “With collaboration across the industry, we can bring the ‘best of both worlds’ to all advertising, from traditional through to addressable and programmatic, by delivering multiple variants of ads in a single package with metadata; allowing compliance processes to scale up, minimising storage needs and reducing manual effort for operations teams. The results should be reduced cost, increased efficiency, fewer operational risks and more revenue opportunity for everyone involved.”

This work will be presented at a DPP event in February 2020. The DPP continues its work on IMF for Advertising by collaborating with its members to generate proof of concepts and investigate methods for streamlining, simplifying and automating the processes.

CES 2019 shows profound new trends for media says DPP

The DPP, the media industry’s business change network, published its annual report on the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to its member companies. This year’s report has been enabled by DPP member company Covatic.

CES 2019, is the most in-depth publication on the trends to emerge from the world’s biggest technology trade show. It highlights the arrival of voice-led content voice search as the most significant development at CES 2019.

“Google assistant integration into smart displays was widespread at CES 2019,” reports DPP managing director and author of the report, Mark Harrison, “In short, most smart TVs now work with some combination of Apple, Amazon or Google voice search, as well other proprietary voice solutions. This contextual voice-led content search takes consumers one step nearer publisher-agnostic content platforms of the kind we have seen in news and music.”

Voice content search wasn’t the only new trend at CES that could have profound implications for media. Among others was the emergence of out of home environments as technology rich spaces suited to ubiquitous media.

“There are a range of public spaces – from airports to shopping malls, leisure resorts to sports stadiums – that are really well suited to the introduction of the internet of things (IoT), AI, robotics and automation. And they will all need a supply of media,” says Harrison. “This is going to prove a very active market for technology and media companies over the next few years.”

The DPP has data on technologies and trends at CES going back to 2010, and the latest report sets the 2019 trends in a wider trends perspective. It is the first of a trio of reports from the DPP looking at key trends for media. The next will be the DPP’s 2019 Predictions, published in early February. This will be followed by a unique examination, called Blindsided, which looks at emerging trends that could prove highly disruptive for the professional media sector.

DPP launches AMWA AS-11 X1 specification for UHD programme delivery

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP), the media industry’s international business network, has announced the release of a new technical specification to support the business needs of global broadcasters delivering Ultra High Definition (UHD) programmes: AMWA AS-11 X1 – MXF Programme Contribution DPP UHD.

The DPP worked with the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) to build on the success of AMWA AS-11 UK DPP v1.1, the standardised delivery specification for air-ready masters which the DPP created and implemented across all of the major UK broadcasters. AMWA AS-11 X1 brings UHD delivery to the AMWA AS-11 family of air-ready master formats. It has been written with the DPP’s international membership in mind and is designed for global implementation.

“The publication of AS-11 X1 is a significant moment for the industry, showing that the DPP and its partners continue to be responsive to the industry’s developing needs”, says Rowan de Pomerai, DPP head of Delivery and Growth. “UHD is ready to become mainstream and its deployment is often being driven by online and OTT platforms first. We’ve worked closely with our Members to ensure that our new specification meets these needs, as well as those of linear broadcast.”

The AMWA AS-11 family of specifications define constrained media file formats for the delivery of finished media assets to a broadcaster or publisher. In order to facilitate automated workflows, AS-11 specifications have been developed as block based, machine readable specifications.

“We are delighted to continue our close working relationship with the DPP, providing specialist expertise on the use of technology standards to complement the DPP’s understanding of the business problem,” says Brad Gilmer, executive director of the AMWA. “It is very rewarding to see the early work on AS-11 for the UK being used as a basis for broader adoption across the industry.”

AMWA work closely with the DPP Compliance Lab as the sole body to run a compliance testing programme for all AMWA AS-11 specifications. The DPP Lab will accept products for AS-11 X1 conformance testing from early November this year.

Products that pass the test programme are eligible to apply for a compliance certificate from AMWA, which will provide buyers and sellers with the confidence that DPP tested tools are technically compliant and interoperable.

AMWA AS-11 X1 – MXF Programme Contribution DPP UHD specification is first targeted at UHD deliveries to the BBC iPlayer in 2019. The DPP will also work with its other Members to facilitate global implementation, providing support for the production and post-production communities as they migrate to UHD deliveries.

Major broadcasters reveal plans for IMF implementation to the DPP

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP), the media industry’s international business network, has recently released Meet the IMF Pioneers, a report that examines the steps being taken by major broadcasters to include SMPTE & DPP’s new IMF for Broadcast and Online specification, SMPTE TSP 2121:2018 IMF Application ProRes (DPP), in their workflows.

The modern media landscape requires content owners to produce multiple versions of their content, in different languages, for more markets, and for consumption on more devices. The DPP and its members are at the forefront of the technology and workflow developments making this process less complex and more cost effective, through the implementation of IMF for Broadcast and Online.

Meet the IMF Pioneers, enabled by DPP Member company Deluxe, summarises the discussion at a DPP Members’ briefing on IMF, held at this year’s IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam, and featuring speakers from Turner, A+E Networks, Vice, Sky and ITV.

“The range of content producers, broadcasters, and technology companies already showing their commitment to IMF for Broadcast and Online is truly impressive,” said Rowan de Pomerai, DPP head of Delivery and Growth, and author of the report. “Our speakers gave us privileged insight into their implementations, and demonstrated that IMF can deliver significant cost and time savings to companies of all shapes and sizes.”

The report discusses the business need for IMF, and examines the differing ways that DPP members are approaching implementation. The initiatives vary greatly – from a one-episode pilot to an organisation-wide transformation project to reinvent television. These varied approaches demonstrate that IMF is applicable to everyone in the content supply chain, providing a foundation for more efficient versioning and localisation, high quality archiving, and interoperability.

“Organised content enables automation, expedites time to market, and allows for monetisation in new ways across platforms,” said Stefanie Gamberg, vice president, Product Management at Deluxe. “With Deluxe One, we’re focused on connecting content and metadata to drive efficiencies, but interoperability between systems is essential to see benefits across the media supply chain. We support the DPP in furthering global adoption of IMF for Broadcast and Online.”

The IMF Breakfast Briefing was one of a number of IMF related events organised by the DPP at IBC, including the IMF Product Show Tour which demonstrated a real-world IMF workflow using products developed by DPP Member companies.

Meet the IMF Pioneers is available for DPP members to download here.

DPP releases ground-breaking report on how production really works

Digital Production Partnership (DPP), the media industry’s international business change network, recently released the findings of the first ever survey of how production companies produce – The Production Business 2018.

The survey, which was completed by 57 production companies of all sizes and kinds, provides unique insight into the business of production. The research project and report were made possible by DPP member companies Avid and Dropbox.

“The market for video content grows day by day; but the industry has a very poor understanding of how production actually works,” says DPP managing director and author of the report, Mark Harrison. “We wanted to provide the insight to help both producers and suppliers better understand how the business of content creation is evolving – and where the opportunities now are.”

One of the key findings in the report is the emergence of a large number of small independent production companies focused upon the creation of branded and promotional content. The DPP survey reveals these companies to have a fundamentally different culture from production companies focused on the broadcast sector.

“Each of these production communities has a distinctively different way of working, while still being united by the universal realities of content creation,” says Harrison. “Our survey explores these similarities and differences in detail.”

Among other topics examined by the report are:

  • The extraordinary range of content types made today, and the meteoric rise of shortform
  • The production community’s Top five favourite tools and services
  • Who loves connected working and the cloud – and who really doesn’t
  • Which type of companies show the greatest creative diversity
  • Who is taking production inhouse – and who still goes to market
  • Exclusive insight into which markets look set to grow

The Production Business Survey Report builds on previous, unique, research the DPP has undertaken into connectivity and production, and the emergence of new content creators.

DPP reveals what it takes to build the media cloud

Cloud-based working is transforming businesses the world over. But the cloud was never built to suit the needs of the media industry. So what would it take to create ideal cloud environments for media? In a ground-breaking new report, Building the Media Cloud the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has called upon the expertise of its membership to explore this fundamental question.

The report comes out of a DPP AT HOME event – the DPP’s special event series for creating reports about major industry issues. The event brought together over 20 subject matter experts to look at the core requirements for the media cloud. It was enabled by DPP member company Zayo.

“There are plenty of things the media industry does now for no good reason other than custom and practice,” says DPP managing director and author of the report, Mark Harrison. “In designing cloud based workflows we have an opportunity to start again, and to architect more elegant and efficient ways of working. But we won’t be able to do that unless we have an industry wide understanding of what good looks like.”

Building the Media Cloud is the starting point for that discussion. It explores four areas:

  • Characteristics: the fundamental principles and attributes that need to characterise successful cloud based environments for media
  • Services: the key media services that need to be performed in the cloud
  • Maturity: a maturity assessment of those services made against the required characteristics
  • Conflicts: an assessment of conflicts within media ecosystems caused by differing levels of maturity of different services

“At Zayo, we see a growing number of customers successfully rely on multiple cloud environments to run their media workflows to the cloud. Their experiences help us architect a media cloud that is effective and secure within the broader hybrid cloud environment.”, says Ravi Rabheru, director, Cloud & Security at Zayo, “This report will help customers and suppliers to share a common understanding of what the industry needs to achieve best practice in media cloud services.”

Building the Media Cloud is available for download for DPP members here. The next DPP AT HOME report will look at the monetisation of OTT content, and will be created out of a special session at IBC 2018.

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