Jelmer Kleingeld, VP of Commercial Operations at Chello DMC, a global provider of advanced playout and content management solutions, on the advantages of tapeless asset management, and the steps needed to meet viewer demand for anytime, anywhere access to content.
Hi Jelmer, very recently you showed me around Chello DMC’s state-of-the-art tapeless facility in Amsterdam. What advantages has this tapeless approach brought Chello DMC in an increasingly multi-platform, on-demand world?
Being tapeless offers a number of crucial benefits. Not only does it provide a more efficient method for content delivery to us, but it means we can start tracking the media electronically from the moment it arrives.
As a file is received, its status and metadata can be updated and its progress tracked through to our archive. From there the selection and processing of the content for new platforms is relatively simple.
The appropriate metadata, processing path and delivery method are selected and the rest can happen in the background. Once the content is delivered onto the correct platform we receive confirmation of job done.
To accomplish the same in a tape-based world would not only take longer, but it would rely on numerous manual steps and manual update of status and this would inevitably lead to mistakes and higher cost.
How do you believe Eastern European broadcasters and operators can best prepare to meet demand for anytime, anywhere access to content?
Historically we have seen a slow migration of new features in broadcasting from west to east across Europe. However the demand for content anywhere is more about the devices, phones and tablets, and demand for content is arriving at the same time across Europe – it’s here now.
Also the infrastructure is in many cases being built from scratch, based on fibre rather than copper, and this means higher speeds and more accessibility to content compared to some of the areas that have been in the lead until now.
The basic requirements however are fairly universal. Keeping content in a readily accessible form with the tools to manage and move it quickly are very important, as is the rights information.
Operators need to deliver through existing or new networks and need to understand the benefits and pitfalls of setting up new content distribution paths. Security of content and delivery are important concerns, and the use of DRM or physically secure networks will ensure the delivery of the content can be properly monetised.
We believe that we are well placed to provide the support for broadcasters eager to provide their content in this way through our facilities in Budapest and Amsterdam.
What have you identified as some of the most significant needs of Eastern European TV audiences?
As I said earlier, the demand is here now, and if content doesn’t become available legitimately through the broadcasters and rights owners, consumers will be tempted to turn to pirate sources.
The specific needs of each country need to be met, and this means language versioning for each territory. Through our pan European broadcasting experience we can provide and manage the creation of country-specific versions, making content available to the widest possible audience.
What scope do you see for over-the-top services establishing a foothold in the region?
There is undoubtedly scope for OTT services, but there are also barriers. Rolling out the infrastructure is just one part of the story, but one where the OTT providers could be at a disadvantage, provided existing operators move to introduce services quickly.
The other barrier will be the localisation of international content, and this is comparatively expensive for on-demand in isolation, but less so in conjunction with a broadcast TV channel.