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How to solve your video distribution challenge with media asset management

Wider ranges of source material, exponentially increased volume and a highly competitive market environment means that not all MAM systems are created equal.

By: Lydia Bird

Media organisations are coping with more content than ever before. The responsibility to get that content to the right distribution partner or OTT channel in the right format and with the correct metadata is becoming a huge juggling act.

There is a solution, however. It’s a media asset management system that will automate the creation and delivery of your video content in the format needed by your broadcast or distribution partner.

So, what is a media asset management (MAM) system?

It’s a unifying platform that performs multiple roles – from automated ingest, through to file delivery and analysis of content consumption. A robust, secure and end-to-end MAM (like Imagen) allows users total control and visibility over a video library.

Yes, it’s perfectly possible to construct a bespoke solution in-house or manage it manually. But this DIY approach inevitably leads to long-term problems, including scalability and redundancy, as well as exposing the business to unexpected maintenance costs and risk.

Flexibility and reliability

While many MAMs offer ingest, delivery and analysis, they don’t always offer it with flexibility. This is increasingly essential to enterprises and media companies alike, as they respond to the rapidly evolving media landscape. Being confident that your MAM provider is in step with your needs now (and in the future) is vital, and it’s one of the reasons why Imagen is particularly customisable – indeed, there is rarely a standard install done!

Why there is nothing typical about an Imagen install
What does an end-to-end video management solution look like?
See Imagen in action

For example, Imagen can be customised using a range of themes that change the page layout and styling of the web interface, with even standard themes being available in a range of colours and layouts. Usually customers have clear brand messages and functionality to deliver, which is where the commonly-used bespoke theme comes in.

Editable for uniqueness

It’s not just about set and forget either, as admin level users can use Imagen’s sophisticated content management tools to edit themes. By using a simple WYSIWYG (What-you-see-is-what-you-get) page editor, admins can change the look and feel of a basic theme by tweaking the Editable Zones. Additional textual content, new pages and menus can be added to these zones to create a rich, fully featured customer-facing website or media portal.

This type of flexibility allows detailed changes to be made to the look and feel of a MAM frontend, without incurring designer fees, or requiring ongoing integration work for new versions.

Workflow enhancement

Of course, any solid MAM solution also needs to deliver a clean workflow, allowing a business to seamlessly integrate the MAM into their existing processes. This can take many forms, such as automated metadata entry, tagging or import from an API. With Imagen, there are many ways to add descriptive, technical and time-based metadata to media so that it is catalogued and easy to find. These include an API to import data from files or external platforms, plus innovative tools to increase speed, efficiency and accuracy for professional logging teams.

Seamless data and metadata management

Another powerful attribute every good MAM should have is the ability to manage datasets within the system, which Imagen’s browser-based database management interface does with elegance – no prior knowledge of SQL required! The easy to use interface makes it simple to design & modify your database schema according to the specific range of database field types and labels required in the application.

This metadata and tagging element is often overlooked in traditional storage architectures, but the inability to immediately recover stored media, or enable a new user to easily discover closely related content with a simple search, reduces the utility of a MAM significantly.

So, one of Imagen’s most powerful features is the ability to search for specific moments within long form content. Where shot list or time-based metadata has been applied to the video content, users can jump straight to the most relevant moment in the video where the action takes place – directly from the search results. Find out more about Imagen’s powerful metadata creation tools here.

Overall, there are a series of vital attributes to any good MAM system, and a few enhancements and increased flexibility within those attributes that mark out a really great one.


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