The media interoperability headache and Yangaroo’s pain relief

Media interoperability standards, and the lack of them, are a hot potato for broadcasters and the content production community as we head into NAB. The central issue is that there are too many standards and even variations within standards. Media management and distribution company Yangaroo explains the headache and puts forward its own solution to the impasse.

By necessity, the implementation of standards is driven by the equipment manufacturers while an end user typically chooses a video server or editing platform first and then choses the format,” says Michael S. Liebman, Director, Advertising Technology Operations, Yangaroo. “Broadcasters end up building a infrastructure around that and then worry about how they are going to get content.”

He adds, “Content producers find it difficult to keep track of the destination formats on top of everything else they have to do. They would need to be a codec expert, in addition to being an editor, artist or creative to keep track. Plus the fact that many are already dealing with mastering format interoperability headaches.”

All of which requires a lot of time to educate every content provider about a particular format.

“Broadcasters have to invest in additional transcode capabilities or editing software just to take in externally produced content,” says Liebman. “Even then incompatible files may not transcode and then may not air the spot.”

Content producers, meanwhile can spend resources without the economies of scale to deliver customised content to each broadcaster.

“Their time is taken away from doing their primary function,” says Liebman.

So what can be done?

The UK has successfully introduced file-based delivery standards to the major national broadcasters via the DPP but as Liebman points out “here are far fewer destinations involved.” He advocates support for open systems and vendors who encourage interoperability. “Standardise sensibly so that we don’t make things worse,” he advises. “Design for interoperability, facilities aren’t islands anymore. Work with partners like Yangaroo who have the scale, expertise and technology so you can focus on your core business.”

What makes Yangaroo's approach different according to Liebman is an approach to the workflow from both ends. There are over 400 unique formats that broadcast destinations in the US are using and without standards – Yangaroo is serving as the stop gap to transcode and get the content to the broadcaster in their required format.

“We like to think of it that we are the crème in the middle of the cookie – sandwiched between the two sides, media agencies and broadcasters,” he says.

“Media agencies are the customer for ad delivery vendors - the ones paying the bills if you will -, so often times the broadcast destination site gets what they get, because ad delivery companies are focused on what the media agency (aka paying customer) wants only.

“Yangaroo has assembled a team of experts who have a deep understanding of the media operational workflow,” he says. “They are focused on working with the destinations to know how best the commercial content should be delivered to them and in a way that enables them to maximise efficiencies. That is, delivering content right on through to automation via integration.”

Media agencies benefit from Yangaroo's approach from not having the broadcaster come back time and again asking for varying formats; they send their content to Yangaroo and its hands off from there.

“Broadcasters have reassurance the content will arrive where and how it is supposed to. They also have reassurance that the content is run through multiple quality control checks,” he says. “Overall, it's the leveraging of Yangaroo’s technology platform that provides the true value for both the media agency and the broadcaster.”

Yangaroo manages and distributes media content to over 16,000 destinations throughout North America through its cloud-based platform; including broadcast stations, cable networks, cable systems and syndication outlets.

It recently partnered with ad software platform Mediaocean where Mediaocean users have the option to select Yangaroo on an advertiser-by advertiser basis to deliver the media content in a fast and secure manner in Mediaocean’s Optica platform. Optica connects media buys to traffic instructions, talent usage, ad distribution, and broadcasters.

New York headquartered Mediaocean claims over 80,000 ad professionals conduct 7 million transactions daily across all media channels and manage $100 billion annually through its platforms.

Visit at Yangaroo at NAB Booth SU9125.

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