TV in the FAST Lane – the new era of operational creativity

TV in the FAST Lane – the new era of operational creativity. In the face of unprecedented competition, media companies must find ways to innovate — but the cost of delivering content in an era of multiplying platforms is eating into their operations budget for trying new things.

FAST channels represent a significant new opportunity to test ideas, iterate —
and bring in extra revenue.

In fact, Digital TV Research reported the AVOD market FAST channels belong to represents the fastest-growing video segment over five years (2020–2024). But media companies can’t afford to
spend months and massive resources to take a channel from idea to launch.
Spinning up FAST channels using traditional TV workflows might mean months
of preparation, from defining system requirements to ordering hardware and
hiring additional staff. And, it requires significant capital outlay before the
concept has proven its worth.

Spinning up FAST channels using traditional TV workflows might mean months
of preparation. And, it requires significant capital outlay before the
concept has proven its worth.

Even once the channel is established, it may take days to move the finished
content through ingest, editing, encoding, dynamic ad insertion, content
management, traffic administration, and final distribution.
Indeed, a single piece of content might touch a dozen siloed workflows before
it reaches one consumer.
In a breakneck race for audience attention — and when a new OTT services
for FAST channel launches seemingly every week — media companies are
contorting themselves to deliver content how and where audiences want it. But
they can’t hire a new team and invest in new hardware systems for every new
channel and requirement.
Using existing workflows to get the right content to the right platform and
audience limits scalability, agility — and ultimately, revenue.
The competition is not going away, and it is not going to bend to media
companies’ needs. The traditional media organizations themselves must adapt

IP-powered automation: A new paradigm for content management
Traditional hardware- and staff-intensive workflows that use fiber and satellite
transport don’t allow the flexibility to quickly add FAST channels. With inherent
two-way data transfer capabilities and near-infinite scalability, IP represents a
natural progression from satellite and fiber transport.

But challenges from reliability to walled-garden technology have prevented IP from getting content —
especially high-value live content — everywhere content owners need it to go.

But there’s a solution that streamlines the distribution and processing: an ecosystem model that links upstream and downstream processes, with connectors between the various services.

The LTN Ecosystem, which has been built around this need for open access, connectors, and automation, is one example. The result will be that media companies can quickly take advantage of everchanging viewing trends while implementing networked distribution systems that reach the desired audience on every screen with 24/7 reliability anywhere in the world.

Evolving toward a virtualized global infrastructure

Media companies cannot simply transition to cloudbased workflows overnight. Many are skillfully navigating the transition by deploying hybrid cloud arrangements built on internet transport.

New FAST channels can use cloud-based storage and fulfillment services, as well as integrated media asset management systems, to easily repurpose content from existing libraries and create new types of programming for online and mobile SVOD, AVOD, or linear consumption.

The video chain stripped of inefficiencies

Systems engineers and operations teams need ways to manage a huge volume of metadata and content coming into their plants more efficiently, especially in the face of new opportunities and burgeoning complexity. Automating important functions like transcoding, commercial insertion, captioning, and multiplatform distribution saves significant time and effort. In addition, it allows content owners to take control of monetization by inserting technical triggers that tell the platform exactly when to insert a commercial or program within a channel. A fully managed network — with its low latency and high
reliability and scalability — enables seamless monetization.

The signaling information (“here’s break one, here’s spot one, spot two, spot three, and here’s the content it has to be — or cannot be — combined with”) traverses the entire platform, along with the related audio and video files. Automating this will also help ensure content rights agreements, country or regional compliance demands, and security requirements are met every single time.

Getting started

So, how do media companies deploy such a system? Most leverage what’s available now, like public or managed IP, and add new automated processing features on top. A virtualized network helps keep risk low and the possibility for experimentation high while doing all of the multi-stage heavy lifting involved with content playout. Increasing revenue and delivering a positive user experience to viewers means
driving value from any source to every screen. To achieve both, content must be processed quickly and distributed at high quality. Leveraging omnichannel, omniplatform partners and managed IP transmission offers the full package. From creation and acquisition through monetization and delivery, connecting the
world with transformative video experiences makes content more valuable and relevant. But navigating this sea of channel delivery options requires operational ingenuity. Integrated, highly intelligent content management and delivery platforms can significantly reduce the time it takes to serve up content to new
audiences. Faster time-to-market means everyone — media companies, distributors, and global audiences — wins.

News Source: LTN Global

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