January 18, 2023
Arjun Ramamurthy

Three Steps to Radically Simplify your Media Supply Chain Distribution Needs

The era of duplicating a media asset for delivery to every broadcast, OTT or exhibition partner in the modern media landscape needs to end.

Reproducing content over and over again for text or caption versions, different ratings or local languages results in unaccounted-for versions of assets everywhere, all costing money in storage and missed opportunities to further monetize them.

The challenge is to manage data transmission loads, use and extend today's (and tomorrow's) standards, deliver to multiple partner platforms and most of all, do it all using automation. You need to minimize your storage footprint and bring clarity to your library, but the way most players do so now makes content delivery feel like a never ending race with no finish line.

The answer is to componentize – content is far easier to wrangle when it's in more manageable parts. And the tool to do it is the Interoperable Mastering Format (IMF).

Step 1 – Store only the frames you need

Modern digital media files are big, and they’re getting bigger. A typical 90 minute uncompressed feature film uses around 1TB. 4K masters can be four times as big, and most global releases need as many as 14 major language versions.

That all means you can easily end up with over 200TB of data for a single asset.

The downside to storing two complete asset files (and thus doubling your storage costs) just to change a handful of frames or add a new language track are obvious.

To make cloud storage, management and delivery as efficient as possible, you need to only store new data, not endless copies of existing data.

That's where IMF comes in.

Step 2 - Adopt the cloud efficiently

The cloud has solved a lot of the pain points in the media and entertainment (M&E) sector, but simply moving your current content library to a cloud service will take forever to transport and cost even more if you continue to duplicate and store assets as inefficiently as before.

Sure, it'll make it easier for partners to work with you, but it is crucial to clean up your library and establish a single source of truth and an associated file hierarchy of content before you make the move.

Componentization gives you fine-grained version control. Storage costs won't blow out and delivery speeds won't slow to a crawl.

It systematizes changes, lets you keep track of them, lets you create and deploy them only where necessary without having to duplicate an entire file and gives you the means to monetize every kilobyte you manage.

Step 3 - Componentize your content

Because even though you might have 200TB worth of data, the differences between them might only amount to a few megabytes. Componentizing content means maintaining only those few megabytes with a single source of truth, instead of completely new copies of files with only negligible changes between them.

Ateliere workflow products are built from the ground up to make cloud-driven versioning leaner, cheaper and faster by letting you work with smaller, de-duplicated IMF components instead of complete assets.

Ateliere uses Deep Analysis and FrameDNA, an artificial intelligence-driven feature focused on analyzing content and identifying similarities and redundancies. In tandem with the Interoperable Master Format (IMF), this capability allows our clients to reduce the number of mezzanines and deliverables that need to be stored, usually by more than 70%.

How does it work?

FrameDNA works by fingerprinting every frame in the image track of a file upon ingest into Ateliere Connect, and based on structural similarities, identifies the scenes that are different, and allowing for easy comparison of those differences. Deep Analysis can then automatically extract the clips with the differences without having to manually scan through the entire file. Because FrameDNA engages this workflow in a parallel processing and auto-scaling way, the whole process of scanning and identifying the clips takes minutes.

The second key technology at work in Deep Analysis is our house specialty – IMF generation in the cloud. Deep Analysis can convert the results of its scan of that into a base Composition Playlist (CPL). This Original Version (OV) contains your original material as well as various supplemental CPLs that describe how to combine your original material and deltas together to compose your different versions.

A better pipeline

Deep Analysis and the IMF make speed and simplicity your new superpowers.

Removing the need to keep entire duplicates of files for action and delivery has saved our clients over 70% on their ongoing storage costs.

What's more, the process of scanning assets and identifying differences for CPLs is done at the speed of computing – minutes, in most cases.

And the product interface that lets you organize and work with changes also acts as your media management system, bringing the version chaos of old, bespoke and handmade methods under control and letting you extract the highest ROI from every byte of media you store.

Escape versioning chaos and you might just remember you're in content management, not data storage.

About Ateliere

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.

Find out more at www.ateliere.com, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.


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