The 100th NAB Show is still fresh in our minds (and our tired feet!), and a key topic that we kept hearing, both on the showfloor conversations and conference panels, was operational efficiency. Media companies need to focus on driving efficiencies and improve profit margins, with the ability to scale becoming a strategic priority, often forcing consolidation to better compete.
At Ateliere, we learned about the need for operational efficiency years ago, when our earlier business started with a direct-to-consumer focus. To solve the media supply chain pain points we were facing, we looked at multiple supplier platforms in the market, but they all required a considerable amount of coding, and a team of in-house engineers to configure and use.
This was not only costly, but also time-consuming and slow to scale. We opted for developing our own solution to package and distribute content with greater efficiency and speed. Taking a no-code/low-code approach - with pre-configured templates so that users didn’t need to spend hours writing scripts or customizing workflows. Today, Ateliere Connect, a cloud-native media supply chain solution and Ateliere Discover, a white label OTT solution for content monetization, are the outcome of that work.
Package Templates: Distribution Made Easy
For content owners and distributors, the need to deliver thousands, even millions, of files to a constantly increasing number of endpoints is not going away anytime soon. What’s more, for media companies to remain relevant, they have to be able to shift quickly based on audience demands, across more platforms and devices.
The Ateliere team realized soon enough that the key to delivering at scale was to automate as much as possible, so we started to build templates that contain crucial information about the most common delivery destinations. If you’re a content owner or distributor wanting to send content to well-known platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes or AppleTV, Ateliere Connect provides you with over a hundred pre-configured distribution templates that include these destinations, amongst many others.
Why do we think this is important? Because it will save you time, cost and effort.
Using our pre-built templates ensures:
- You will not require a team of engineers and / or developers to build these delivery profiles - we can import pre-built templates onto the platform with less than an hour needed to reconfigure a template for use with your title structures.
- You will not need to scour the internet for the many specs required to successfully deliver to those destinations: think metadata, file formats, resolutions, wrappers, subtitle requirements, preview images, etc. We have done all that work for you.
- You will not need to try and fail several times to see if you’ve got the right configuration and built a foolproof delivery profile.
- You will not need to waste money while testing your templates - usually you’d have to test transcoding, QC’ing, packaging… and with a media supply chain in the cloud, you’ll be billed for every one of those tests.
Unlike many other media supply chain offerings in the market, Ateliere Connect & Discover provide you with tried-and-tested, out-of-the-box packaging & delivery for endpoints for increased operational efficiency. With the industry shifting so quickly, and audiences demanding new ways of consuming content (think FAST now), businesses need to be able to respond quicker than their competitors.
Wait… No Code?
Right - the key here is to onboard new delivery partners quickly and streamline your media supply chain operations. A no-code/low-code approach, whereby your users can easily select preset configurations and build business logic without any programming or scripting knowledge, is ideal.
We had seen multiple orchestration solutions in the market that could execute very clever media workflows, but they all required spending a lot of time programming the building logic - something that demands technical expertise. Imagine having to deploy a complex media supply chain on a “blank canvas”: before the platform meets your business needs, you’ll need to spend weeks with the supplier to help them understand all your delivery requirements, they will then need to go fetch the right specs, and build those profiles for you. All in all, you could be waiting for six to twelve months before your solution brings you any useful value. And every time your business needs change, you need to engage with the vendor again - unless you have an in-house team of software engineers.
Now you can see why having a library of nearly two hundred pre-configured package templates that allow you to conform, transcode, localize (audio, subtitles, inserts) and deliver the correct files to the right partner makes operational sense. No coding required - just select the relevant template, fill in the specifics of your system and you could be delivering freshly-ingested content to a new partner within a few days.
Unlike other solutions, which manage workflows based on media files, we have built Ateliere Connect and Discover to work with titles. Our title structure knows that multiple pieces of media are needed to compose various versions for distribution. The platform then leverages a specific metadata type that we call “tag”, which defines the various files associated with that title, such as original master, international versions (each with their own local video inserts), trailer, subtitles, etc.
So if you want to deliver the latest Almodóvar movie to 200 partners, all with different compliance needs, languages, trailers, EPG information, etc, the templates use tags to deliver the right content package to the right destination. That’s hundreds of hours of manual work, and associated costs, that you won’t need to spend!
These tag-based packages are available to all Ateliere Connect clients, and if you have any specific needs that are not fully met, it is possible to further customize them in a low-code manner.
Package templates were created with accessibility in mind, so that day-to-day media operators can build their own delivery profiles without highly specialized engineering skills. Content operators, media managers and QC teams can customize package templates within Ateliere Connect with just a few hours of training.
If at any point there is a need to adjust any packages because the delivery specs have changed, this can be easily done in-house. Package templates are componentized - meaning that you don’t have to build a new package from scratch; rather just simply modify the required component(s). For example, if tomorrow you need to deliver 8K quality to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and AppleTV, you’ll only need to change the transcode profile once, and the change will be automatically applied to all the profiles that use that component.
Inherent to the platform, all Ateliere Connect and Discover customers can take advantage of tag-based templates. Amongst those clients are content owners such as Lionsgate and distributors such as Vubiquity.
More Efficiency on the Horizon
We are working to evolve package templates into an intuitive marketplace-like experience, also available on mobile devices. The idea is to provide our clients with an easy way to pick and choose from the nearly two hundred common delivery endpoints available on our templates, making it even faster to onboard new partners.
Our product strategy will continue to focus on streamlining distribution processes, and tag-based templates are one of the many tools that help Ateliere customers stay agile and competitive.
If you’re a content owner or distributor looking to increase operational efficiency across your media supply chain, contact Ateliere to discuss how to implement a modern media supply chain and benefit from package templates.
Ateliere Creative Technologies is a leading cloud-native media supply chain company that empowers media companies and content creators to reach consumers on a global scale. The Ateliere suite of SaaS solutions incorporates cutting-edge workflows and formats to make the vision for a studio in the cloud a reality. The nucleus of the Ateliere platform, Ateliere Connect™, delivers core competencies in IMF, parallel scaling, and geographically distributed workflows. Ateliere is built by a team of experts with decades of combined experience at companies such as Amazon, HBO, Netflix, and Microsoft.