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Video: SCTE 224 Primer, Part 2: Standardizing Linear Rights Metadata

Learn more about live linear channels at the next Live Streaming Summit.

Watch the complete video of this panel, LS105: Live Streaming Spotlight: Dead Air is Not an Option, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Stuart Kurkowski: The advantages then of having this construct out there for content providers is now I can match program information to audiences, right? And I can give you those very specific policies. Because it's the full gamut? It could be verbs. It could be ZIP codes. It could be addresses. It could be a particular device type, like only iOS devices or, for example, the NFL games where the football games can only be on a Verizon phone. I can convey that information to you now. Secondly, I can standardize that metadata format. If you've worked in the alternate content space, historically we were getting CSV files, emails, saying, "This program is now cleared. Shut this program off." I know we talked with one distribution partner that hired like 20 people just to manage spreadsheets they could email on a weekly basis to set up the schedule.

They can standardize all that which, obviously, simplifies operations. Again, it's multi-platform. I can set up this feed one time as a content provider and then send it out to all my distribution partners. The big one there too is that it's machine-to-machine. We don't have humans going in and blocking things, setting up IRD, commanding, and all that kind of stuff. This is all machine-to-machine in an automated format. Then the bottom one there is another key one, is auditing. As much as this is a positive this is also kind of the holy grail yet in this space: How do I audit this kind of thing? In the traditional IRD sense, if I had an IRD that was in New York and I had another IRD in Boston and all that, I could put something behind that IRD, check the IRD that I got the right commanding information, put something behind it and audit it. Say, "Okay, it's switched." So I know the 10,000 houses that are hooked to it are all switched and everybody's good.

When I get to this world where we're OTT and TVE and all that information, it becomes a pretty intractable problem to try and figure out all the different device combinations, the ZIP combinations, and all that stuff. I can't just sample anymore and come up with anything constructive. So it helps with auditing in the fact that right now if you have a standardized feed, I can run a decision engine over that and I can even say, "Next Saturday at 2:00 this device in this ZIP code, if I ask my decision manager what it's going to do, it'll tell me, 'You're going to get this feed,' or 'You're going to be on this feed.'" I can test it. I can audit it. That's one level of reassurance for those content providers that are used to have all the control coming off the satellite.

But likewise on the distribution partner side, those that are getting your streams and executing, I can reduce the workflow. I don't have this army of people now managing spreadsheets and trying to work through that stuff. Also, as we mentioned earlier, I can do an accurate and dynamic EPG. I could take that same schedule you sent me with all the execution rights for audiences, viewing policies, all that. I could play that out as far as you give me data. So if you give me data for two weeks, I can make a nice, accurate program guide now two weeks out so I won't ever tease my users or viewers into seeing something that I think they're going to get excited about, but then when it shows it they don't get it. I can make it very accurate. Likewise, if I know there's alternate content coming and there's a section where they're not going to get something, I can substitute something in for that. Keep eyeballs on my stream so I can sell more ads and do that kind of stuff.

So the EPG data work's been really exciting in this space. Likewise, it's machine-to-machine so, again, I don't have to have an army of folks doing that. And the blackout management kind of goes both ways. I don't show them something in the EPG that they're not going to get, so they don't have a bad user experience. Likewise, because it's automated I don't have any “gotchas” where I started it for a short ways and then I realized it was blacked out and I pulled them away.

Then ad schedules we'll talk about in a coming side and the ADI files I mentioned earlier. As content providers get sharper on this they're saying, "Well, hey, I have your attention, right? I told you when the start of the program was and I was telling you what the alternate is. While I'm telling you that I can also give you instructions on, if you can capture this and convert it to VOD then I can also give you the ADI files. I can give you all that information that goes with it, and so now I have a live to VOD capture and I've totally taken out the delivery that needs to be done when I pitch VOD assets separately." So that's added there, and then also the boundary management piece as well is another one, again, that has been exciting, especially in the EU.

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