Article

Parham Azimi
Parham Azimi 27 November 2019

The Challenges Facing Video Management Are Unique To Moving Content

Worldwide, marketers are seeing the value and power of video marketing. It’s unsurprising why; over 100 million hours of video are watched each day on Facebook alone. Video is now something that most consumers expect to see and interact with. So, we know video is an easy way of engaging with potential customers. But it also has the potential to be incredibly expensive. How can content creators avoid wasting their resources?

Studies have shown that people are more likely to spend time on a webpage if they see a video than any other type of post. This, of course, has resulted in a change in how we watch content on social media. Social media now utilises autoplay, meaning that consumers are viewing content as they scroll without even actively looking for it. Marketing is about telling the audience a story and video is a compelling way of conveying it. 

So, we know video is an easy way of engaging with potential customers. But it also has the potential to be incredibly expensive. Establishing a talented crew, using quality equipment and travelling to destinations all comes with a price tag. Once filmed, editing video is a complex and time-consuming task which must be completed to a high standard by professionals. Just 30 seconds of content could easily take four hours to edit. Streamlining the editing process, as well as making searching and reusing content easy, is an obvious way of maximising ROI. This of course delivers challenges such as:

  • The number of videos
  • Large file sizes
  • Complexity of workflows
  • Remote production teams
  • Finding relevant content

These are all considerations that creators must contemplate when maximising the value of their content. So how can content creators avoid wasting their resources?

Managing the volume of files and workflows 

The challenge of storing video content is so disruptive that it can often discourage brands from including video in their marketing strategies. If their video content management strategy isn’t up to scratch, could expensive content go missing? Will staff spend their time managing IT and not actually editing? 

Making sure you’re set up to search for content is an important first step in managing the volume of files available. Metadata is a great tool when managing content; it allows users to utilise a fully searchable media library. It can be inscribed within media assets to create searchable entries. A good media management platform will be able to pick out footage featuring a castle and either manually or automatically tag this footage accordingly. As a result, a user can type ‘castle’ into the search box and be presented with every piece of footage featuring a castle within the inventory. Not only does this save time, it also provides opportunities. Monetising archived assets is a huge revenue opportunity which could be missed; correct tagging can reduce the risk of losing track of content and it can help resurface content you’d forgotten you owned. 

Scalability and the cloud

Storing content must be done carefully in order to minimise costs and guarantee freedom to access content as and when required. When needed, a cloud-based media management solution can be expanded with no additional CAPEX investment, allowing businesses to flexibly expand storage capacities.  A purely on-premise solution requires far more forward planning due to the need for hardware. It reduces the need to purchase more hardware just in case you may need it in the future. A pay-as-you-go cloud system works best for teams with fluctuating libraries as it enables them to pay for what’s needed at that time.

Big files

Another challenge presented by video is the sheer size of the files, especially when we look to the future with 8K looming. Large files can make it difficult to share for collaboration, with uploading and downloading content potentially taking hours for large files. A clever media management system is the answer; placing files into the cloud in proxy form negates the need to send large files, meaning it is both cheaper and speeds up workflows. Users can edit content in proxy mode and return the content to the original user as a high-resolution copy. This cuts down on the time spent uploading/downloading files, meaning that collaboration can be quick and easy.

Security – what about protecting assets

Of course, it’s not always practical to migrate all video assets and processes to the cloud. While many cloud solutions continue to greatly increase their security, some organisations may choose to turn to a hybrid cloud approach to benefit from cloud working whilst also keeping top secret files on on-premise hardware for added security. Additionally, workflows can be embedded within hybrid workflows, meaning that content is automatically moved between the cloud and on-premise storage at certain stages of the process.  

Managing your team’s workflows

Today’s teams are global. Managing workflows needs to be done carefully to avoid editing mishaps, duplications and version issues. An intelligent media management system will work within set rules to ensure that content is saved and made available for review and approval. For example, this can include automatically downloading to on-premise hardware once the content has been marked as approved. Additionally, smart editing tools enable team members to edit content with an audit trail, allowing for edits to be approved, amended or undone.

With many editors potentially working on the same piece, this is a hugely valuable feature to utilise as it ensures that no edits are permanent. Creative directions and messaging do sometimes change mid-project, and a media asset management system provides teams with the flexibility to go back to a previous version.

Complexity is increasing 

We know video consumption is increasing, but how do brands make sure their content stands out? Many are turning to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to capture people’s attention. We’ve seen AR being embraced by brands on social media platforms and VR is being adopted on YouTube. Developing complex content often equates to massive files and needs media asset management to integrate with the complex editing applications required. Managing cloud egress is hugely important at this level of working. Of course, with the cost of production incredibly high for this tech, managing and maintaining the content efficiently is incredibly important when maximising ROI. Losing complex content can have serious financial ramifications!

Monetising your assets

The application of AI technology within media management systems really is the next evolution in the way content-heavy files are managed. AI frameworks integrated within media management systems can now recognise content, what is being depicted and what it represents, allowing it to tag the appropriate metadata with minimal human input. The tech is even becoming sophisticated enough to identify the difference between footage of a happy person and a sad person.

AI can also be used as a tool for filtering content, such as identifying content that is or isn’t appropriate for screening pre-watershed or certain demographics. Various versions of content are often created, sometimes for different social media platforms or to be distributed on television channels before and after the 9pm watershed. If a user creating content can disqualify any items which may contain inappropriate content for a certain region or age demographic with a simple search, then it is much easier and quicker to find the right content and assemble it into a usable ad. For example, AI technology makes it possible to identify content which contains profanities, preventing this from being served to the user. 

Automated storyboards could be the next step for AI; it could study similar content and identify the best footage available in the inventory to create a new ad or trailer. AI could quickly and simply utilise existing footage, automatically group content together and quickly deliver usable content. This is using AI to streamline processes and maximise the content available in the inventory.

Why video reigns

Video is here to stay, so brands must embrace the tech available to help enhance the effectiveness, as well as ROI, of video content. A smart media management tool will successfully manage huge numbers of videos, including large files. With clever use of metadata and AI content remains easily searchable, meaning that expensive content can be used and reused appropriately.

Pairing this with the use of the cloud and proxies, a media management system can ensure that workers can access content quickly, work in an audited fashion and move content accordingly when needing approval. Utilising media management systems allows content creators to monetise their inventories whilst intelligently delivering content quickly. 

Parham Azimi is the co-founder and CEO of two media management companies, Cantemo and iconik Media. 

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