November 28, 2021

Asset Management for OTT

Competition in the OTT space is at an all-time-high. Faced with an increasingly saturated market, OTT providers must innovate if they want to succeed, by offering more than the TV experience.

The challenge for OTT providers in particular is the multitude of different versions needed of every piece of content. This is because content needs to be distributed for multiple platforms and devices, which all have different formatting requirements. It is also because OTT platforms are in many cases being distributed outside of any previous geographic limitations. That means often a different language or localised version of the same content will be required.

Where that gets complicated is ensuring that the right piece of content goes to the right platform, region, and so on. It can be an extremely laborious process, and easy to get wrong. Using metadata, however, OTT providers can properly tag the different versions and even setup automated workflows to make sure that the right version always gets to the right place.

In response to this, the level of complexity of the metadata associated with the numerous versions of content can become a challenge to manage, thereby asking more from the solutions managing this media.


Personalisation of video content is a big talking point right now, with content being targeted based on a number of parameters, including location, user behaviour, gender, viewing habits, and so on. Statistics show that targeted video content is significantly more effective when it comes to engaging viewers and keeping their attention. It’s no coincidence that people will spend, on average, nearly three times longer on a webpage that features a video than on those that do not. In short, personalisation is a reaction to increasing competition for viewing time in almost every sector, especially marketing.

One of the biggest selling points of OTT is the fact that it can serve targeted and personalized recommendations to a user based on that user’s profile, preferences, viewing habits etc. It’s pretty much considered essential that OTT providers are able to dynamically insert ads which are relevant, both personally and geographically, and timely. Targeted advertising is an essential way of adding value to content in a competitive industry.

Of course, personalising video content does nothing to simplify workflows and usually presents a challenge for those managing it, along with its associated data. Automation is one solution, as is Artificial Intelligence. AI-based content discovery is the first step in making the content creation process as automated as possible. The next steps are automated scripting/storyboarding, as well as the discovery of the most suitable clips based on the purpose of the asset.

In the OTT space, AI could also enable the automated distribution of targeted content. If a certain actor or comedian suddenly becomes popular in a certain region, for example, a content provider’s media management solution could use AI to identify content featuring this actor and add these to the distribution line-up for a television channel, or OTT platform, and so on.

In the near future OTT providers should, if they want to innovate for success, look to a media management solution which can enable automated distribution using AI. Currently, some very agile solutions already provide AI capabilities and its these that will be able to offer more in the long run.

The Cloud

It can make sense in the scenarios mentioned above to move media workflows to the cloud. In fact, most broadcasters and OTT providers are adopting some level of cloud workflows already. The cloud is especially relevant for enabling users to collaborate on media wherever they are in the world. It is, however, difficult to imagine that most will move fully to the cloud, instead opting for hybrid workflows.

A hybrid approach maximises the best of both worlds, meaning you can move only the data to the cloud that makes sense for you, which of course means you are not having to pay for masses of cloud data storage unless you really need it. You can also continue to have instant access to all of your files. By automatically extracting metadata and generating proxies of your local hires files, you can reduce the amount of data in the cloud, whilst still being able to collaborate globally.

One of the many benefits of cloud setup is elasticity, primarily the freedom to scale up almost every module of the service during times of demand (including processing power, servers, storage etc.), and scale down when unnecessary. With a truly efficient media management solution, the management layer takes control of the storage and workflow between cloud and on-premise in such a way that the complex workflows are as transparent to the user as possible.

To conclude, let’s consider the three key elements for OTT providers that wish to be successful in the increasingly competitive world of content provision:

  • Use metadata correctly and manage it well
  • Automate, automate, automate
  • Consider moving some processes to the cloud

Cantemo is our flagship media management solution for the broadcast and entertainment industries. It comes complete with a dedicated metadata management tool offering users the ability to manage and create complex metadata descriptions with ease. Cantemo is currently used by some of the biggest content providers in the world, including ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, ITV, The Guardian and Disney.

Get in touch to request a demo or to find out more.

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