Without a doubt, ensuring access to digital content is atop every enterprise’s priority list. The aim is simple-extending the reach of, monetizing and analyzing one’s content portfolio. This is, of course, common across a spectrum of enterprises, such as production houses, music studios, content distributors, broadcasters, digital right companies, celebrity management companies, et all.So, did you ever think what makes a platform ideal for this purpose? I think, providing a 360˚ industry agnostic experience, through cutting-edge technology and business intelligence is a must. Why? To help media and entertainment enterprises take content to untapped markets and end consumers digitally, naturally!
The purpose of this article, in a nutshell, is to identify critical criteria required from a carrier grade industry standard media platform. In my opinion, these include:
A Multitude of Options for Sourcing Content
The platform should be able to broadcast live feeds from satellites, events, user-generated content, et all. It should also be able to provide on-demand stored content.
Extensive Processing and Adaptation of Content
The idea is to make the required content available in multiple formats. A long-winded process, it includes uploading and managing the lifecycle of the content; management of multi-language metadata; transcoding of content to make content across various formats, etc. Equally important are management of digital rights for secure distribution of content; artificial intelligence-based transformation of metadata, including translation,transliteration, content curation and profiling for applications.
Multiple Models for Content Distribution
Next, the platform should be able to enable access to this content. This process may involve content availability on adaptive or non-adaptive streaming or progressive download; the ability to start a new channel, rapidly enable a live stream; etc. Equally important are content caching at edge locations for faster access through CDN; user authentication and authorization before accessing content; securing the content delivery channel, content delivery as per device capabilities etc.
A Feature Rich Presentation Layer for Enhanced User Experience
A complete portfolio of interfaces, such as mobile applications for various operating systems, smart TV, etc, ought to be available.
Security-related features needs to be in-built to safeguard the digital experience right from content sourcing to distribution. Some of the important aspects to be considered are content licensing; encrypted content storage on storage devices; DRM for restricting the unauthorized access of content; tokenization based authentication for content access; obfuscation to hide the location of content directly visible on the URL; time-to-Llve implementation in content URL; geo-fencing the content to honor content licensing terms; Protection against DDOS attack; AI/ML logic to enable blacklisting of users to deny access in case of malfunction are some of the measure must to ensure security.
To meet ever expanding business needs, this aspect entails multiple components, such as the number of live channels; the number of users accessing the service simultaneously; added geographies; technological upgrade, et all.
These increased demands result in increased capacity requirement of: computing resources; data storage; territories addition and making service available from edge locations; data rate capacities; and connectivity
In addition, the server should be able to augment the server capacity at run time automatically on the fly; auto increment of storage; distributed compute systems; content distribution using CDN; transcoding for live streams; publishing transcoded streams to CDNs; support of adaptive streaming; playing appropriate format/quality content on device; support of latest codes etc.
In nutshell, it is responsibility of the platform provider to provide a platform that is Built on innovation, Designed to deliver and Engineered to perform right from content acquisition to content availability on diverse channels, comprising requisite content processing, adaptation and distribution to exceed ever changing and ever demanding enterprise and consumer needs.
By Manish Jain, Assistant Vice-President and Head of Engineering and New Product Development