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Case Study: Simplifying Digital Asset Management

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Getty Images creates and distributes the world’s broadest image collection, making stock images available to customers for use in news, sports, entertainment, and archiving. Getty was founded in 1995 with the goal of modernizing the stock photography industry, and was the first company to license imagery via the web. Today, gettyimages.com serves an average of 4 million unique users in addition to an average of 175 million page views each month, delivering nearly 100% of the company’s visual content digitally.

Business Challenge
Getty Images’ Media Management Services (MMS) group offers solutions for customers in the media and corporate markets to enable users to store, manage, and share their digital assets in a secure, searchable, password-protected environment. Getty Images' MMS group serves more than 190 clients worldwide, including American Film Institute, BSkyB, Discovery Communications, and General Motors. A growing number of these customers were requesting support of video assets in addition to their still image collections and turned to Getty for an integrated solution. While Getty’s MMS solution offered rudimentary support for video, the MMS team knew a more sophisticated interface would be required as video usage by their customers continued to climb.

Nativ is a UK-based consulting, technology, and outsourcing company specializing in the design, delivery, and support of video-centric products and services. Founded in 2001, the company delivers videocentric strategy and technology solutions for clients including MTV Live, Sony, and BBC News. Their flagship product is Mio, a media management and workflow platform designed to automate the process of ingesting, validating, cataloging, re-purposing, and distributing digital media across any platform.

Telestream provides encoding-based media workflow solutions that allow customers like A&E Television Networks and Google to conveniently transform digital media on the desktop and across the enterprise. Founded in 1998, Telestream offers plug-in components, craft encoding applications, and workflow automation applications that enable content owners, creators, service providers, and enterprises to streamline their operations.

The Problem In Depth
Getty Images’ MMS team provides its corporate and media customers hosted solutions for managing and distributing digital image assets through two services, Media Manager and Image.net. Media Manager is a digital asset management service targeted at creative and marketing teams, enabling web-based access from across the enterprise to a company’s marketing materials to ensure consistency, security, and efficiency. Image.net is a subscription service used by PR departments to promote digital publicity and marketing materials to the media.

According to Tim Claxton, senior product manager for the MMS group, "MMS clients use our services to manage images licensed through Getty.com, but also to organize and share their own images. We noticed that clients had growing amounts of video as part of their digital assets; it’s being used increasingly in their marketing campaigns."

While MMS had the capability to handle video assets, its functionality was limited. "In the old system we could store video, but it had no intelligence," says Claxton. "There was no thumbnail view, no streaming preview, and no metadata, so it didn’t give users browsing the system a good video search experience." With the expectation that MMS customers would continue to enlarge their digital video asset base, Getty knew it had to get serious about upgrading support for video in both Media Manager and Image.net.

Claxton says that Getty very quickly turned to Nativ to help them design their solution. "We had a connection with Nativ because our development team is based in London and knew them already. There are just not a lot of consultants out there with specialist knowledge in video solutions, so it was a good fit."

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