by Dana Forte

Over the last decade, we have seen an explosion in consumer demand for content across an increasing array of platforms, territories and languages. This has led to content suppliers developing more movies and shows, and to localize regional titles for a worldwide audience, all while also making the most out of existing back-catalog libraries. The demand for high-quality metadata to go with every movie and every episode has also increased as users need greater information to be able to search, discover and understand more about what they are watching, and how it relates to their next title of interest. This can create a huge burden on time and resource for content suppliers and platform providers as they try to cater for the requirements of their end-users.

Vubiquity has been actively helping clients around the world navigate these increasing and evolving complexities around metadata management. We have also had to manage these complexities within our own business as volumes have grown exponentially for both the content we manage and the number of endpoints we distribute content to globally. This has involved considerable consolidation of various metadata processes and a commitment to make the process simpler and more efficient. Our journey has led us to the creation of MetaVU, a platform that allows our clients to better store, manage, augment, localize, and distribute metadata, so they can seamlessly create compelling experiences for their end-users, with considerably less hassle!

MetaVU is primarily built around two key elements:

  1. Metadata PaaS Management Module –
    Leveraging the powerful toolset we have built to solve ingest and normalization of metadata, from the diverse Content Suppliers we support, along with flexible hierarchical metadata management, and an industry-leading metadata distribution engine.
  2. Metadata Enrichment Module –
    Enabling access to a multitude of third-party enrichment sources, inclusive of audience and critics ratings, robust parental guidance ratings and advisories, social data, tags to power recommendations and marketing, originated metadata, access to localized metadata and machine learning derived tags to power search.

The key differentiator of MetaVU is that it can deliver to a multitude of different endpoints, supporting thousands of unique business rules for targeted transformations for our clients to ingest. This in turn supports the eyeballs of nearly 1 billion aggregated customers.

Our experienced product team, who have first-hand experience dealing with the complexities of metadata themselves, have based the solution around solving 4 major pain points:

#1 The Need to Increase Efficiency
Over years of interaction with our clients, we have found that many video distributors and content suppliers manage their metadata in Excel. These Excel sheets can have multiple different attributes and versions of this metadata, for example, languages or regions. This approach can be highly susceptible to human error thus causing corruption or gaps in data, resulting in the need to identify the gaps and then manually rectify them, which of course is time-consuming.
In order to increase efficiency in the delivery of metadata, MetaVU reduces the duplication of data entry from different entities while creating alternate versions of the metadata in different forms. For example, we can create auto-decorations for specific offer types, for the same title, at the click of a button. This eliminates the need to manually enter these attributes thereby saving time and labor.

#2 The Need to Improve User Experience
We often hear from our clients that their content titles or summaries are truncated, due to varying character limitations across platforms. This can lead to an inconsistent or frustrating user experience. MetaVU can improve this by making sure there are no gaps in data through the precise implementation of business rules and by reverting to various data sources. If the data doesn’t exist from one source versus another, it can be remedied through automated field prioritization. MetaVU also has the capacity to originate metadata by leveraging a vast enrichment partner network of different data sources.
MetaVU can also extract ML-derived tags by evaluating a movie file, which may not be obvious to the user, but it can be valuable in search and discovery use-cases. If you watch a particular title and like it, then all the attributes that apply to that title can be extracted to provide an optimal recommendation based on those tags. MetaVU does this by tapping into our robust data extraction, which is constantly enhanced with cutting-edge analytical services using machine learning and AI.

#3 The Need to Ease Marketing Burden
The use of tags also plays an important role in marketing to users. For example, if you are a marketer who wants to create an offer or promotion for a themed event like the Olympics, you may have limited access to a variety of Olympic themed content and associated metadata. With MetaVU, you can easily tap into the additional tags and perform deeper searches of that data in order to create more relevant promotions for your consumers. Additionally, MetaVU can better organize data through the concept of collections, like boxsets or perhaps a trilogy. The collections’ attributes consolidate titles and create a relationship between them, along with a robust tagging function that can be customized to your business goals.

#4 The Need for Seamless Migration
When it comes to metadata migration, what comes to mind is the  need to enable a hassle-free coexistence with your existing toolset. MetaVU creates value for a tenant to have their title metadata in our ecosystem. It eases metadata management, especially when it comes to bulk imports and updates via XLS, and provides access via UI and API. Furthermore, MetaVU can be exceptionally helpful when it comes to data enrichment scenarios. In order to achieve this we need to know a couple of attributes such as the name of the title, the release year and the length of the movie. These three attributes can help us to reach out to our third-party sources to enrich the data as per our clients’ needs.
When our clients store their content in our ecosystem, MetaVU can take each tenant’s unique external ID, and associate to MetaVU titles.  We also have the ability to sync data, based on real-time updates, back to the original source system, to ensure data stays in sync without duplications. For example, a client may have six different internal systems that store their metadata, but no common ID to connect the dots between them.  MetaVU can help them leverage an existing external ID for each one of these systems and then allow each unique system to communicate with the metadata object in a language that each one of those systems understands, without ever having to duplicate data.

The possibilities with MetaVU are endless and this is just the beginning of MetaVU’s capacity to manage, aggregate and enrich data. Watch this space for more information. If you want to know more about MetaVU visit HERE.