The use of OTT (Over-The-Top) streaming platforms has skyrocketed over the past decade. With the emergence of powerful cloud servers, broadband connections and Flash players, almost anyone could have access to some of the most popular movies and TV shows across the globe. And thus, streaming services were born, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video, HBO GO; while some other less known networks like Shudder, Mondo, Nerdist, 420TV also found their way to our homes. And now, Dan Goman and his team offer a solution to the media supply chain industry to deliver their content more efficiently.
This sudden and drastic change in the way we consume video content completely reshaped the OTT landscape and triggered numerous big updates and upgrades when it comes to how movie studios and streaming services store, process and deliver content to various end points.
Flexibility, accessibility and scalability became the most used buzzwords in the world of media supply chain and entertainment industry. Mainly because, with physical servers and on-prem infrastructures, achieving high levels of the aforementioned attributes was extremely hard and expensive for content creators, owners and distributors.
Dan Goman, The Cloud, and IMF To The Rescue
The team led by Dan Goman saw an opportunity to obviate the main pain points that envelope the use of on-prem servers within the media supply chain industry.
These pain points include:
- Physical servers require regular manual software updates
- Physical servers require hardware upgrades every 3 to 5 years in order to keep up with peak workloads
- The security issues with physical servers needs to be done manually by the in-house team
- Physical servers require regular and frequent maintenance and optimization in order to make way for uninterrupted workflows (also most typically done manually by the in-house staff)
- Physical servers are not scalable, which means they require huge CAPEX (capital expenditures) upfront in order to handle peak workloads
- Slow and inadequate quality control
All these overwhelming downsides are hindering studios and OTT services in their attempts to streamline their workflow and automate content delivery. This is where Dan Goman and his company saw an opportunity to implement cloud-native solutions and the IMF into the media supply chain industry and thus platforms like Connect and Discovery were born.
With cloud-native platforms, the companies have an opportunity to deploy a cost-efficient and scalable solution via which they can:
- Store content
- Manage content more easily the way they want
- Process content much more quickly and easily (up to 75% workflow boost) due to IMF
- Produce duplicate files but with different subtitles or metadata almost in real time
- Deliver content with substantially reduced TMM (time to market)
- Reduce overall costs due to the pay-as-you-go pricing model in which you pay only for the server instances you need at the time
- Automate workflow and quality control tasks through smart AI utilization
- Monetize content much faster
What is IMF and Why is it so Revolutionary?
With the evolution of content consumption, certain changes in how that content is managed and delivered must ensue as well. Perhaps the major breakthrough for content supply chains happened with the emergence of the IMF – the Interoperable Master Format.
The IMF – also known as one format to rule them all – is based on a technology that allows you to manage and process all the files that belong to a certain project/title in one single/master file, and then create additional assets that can be changed based on file’s final destination. It can also keep file losing related disasters at bay.
With Dan Goman and OWNZONES, the utilization of this ubiquitous media format really reaches its full potential.
Let’s take a look at this tangible case study:
Say you have 30 media files, each 1Tb heavy, that need to be delivered to a different destination. That makes for a media library that takes up 30Tb of your space. With IMF and cloud-based solutions and platforms, you have only 1 master media package alongside dozens of smaller files containing metadata files, and that would – for a project of this size – take up only 1.5Tb. What this means storage-wise is that you can effectively reduce the space required for this type of project almost 30 times, while the difference in terms of processing time, manpower needed, and server/storage costs is truly game-changing.
How IMF Works
Though it is one master package, IMF is actually comprised of multiple individual track file components that include:
- Subtitles and captioning data
- Dynamic metadata
- Packaging data
These components are then merged to make one CPL, or Composition Playlist, through which unique versions of one title are created for different geographic endpoints i.e. audience markets. So, instead of creating, for example, 3 separate packages of the same movie for, let’s say, the US market, Japan and France; processing files through IMF packages allows the studio to change only the elements they need, while the original master file remains unchanged.
It is almost as if you are simply using the cut-and-paste method.
Why Dan Goman & OWNZONES?
Dan Goman and his team found a way to perfectly implement this technology into their class-leading cloud-native platforms and thus help movie studios and OTT services like MGM, Netflix, Magnolia Selects, and 420TV store, manage, process, deliver and monetize content much more quickly, easily, and with far less hassle.
The company also partnered and integrated with some of the biggest OTT, entertainment industry and public cloud names in order to provide their current and future clients with the best and most scalable service possible. Some of these names include: AWS (Amazon Web Services), Dolby, Microsoft Azure, Netflix, GrayMeta, Fotokem, and Virtual Post.