Media organizations are waking up to a new era of content supply chain management driven by metadata. David Fisher, Media & Entertainment Industry Principal, Snowflake makes the case for why the shift isn’t before time and explains the benefits for organizations and consumers alike—-including why it’s “win-win” for early adopters.

It’s no secret that content streaming has given media companies unparalleled access to consumer demographics, preferences, interests, and aspirations on a scale and depth we’ve never seen before. To put it in perspective, 82% of Americans pay for video streaming services, with consumers subscribing to four platforms simultaneously on average. 

3x2 David Fisher, EMEA Industry Principal, Advertising, Media & Entertainment at Snowflake

David Fisher, Snowflake

And all that streaming intelligence? Well, to put it in perspective, viewers in the United States alone stream nearly 170 billion minutes of content each week. That amounts to a lot of data. 

But for media organizations, therein lies the problem: how to make sense of countless data points and use actionable insights to open new revenue streams and further improve the customer experience. In other words, how they can further exploit the value of content. 

Despite its tech-centric nature, the media industry faces significant data challenges. From fragmented data to bloated IT estates that risk disconnected processes and duplication, many organizations lack the ability to track content assets through the entire supply chain from ideation to publication. 

And as media streaming continues to grow and consumers demand more content, more frequently, significant inefficiencies that stem from manual, fragmented processes and siloed data risk missed opportunities for everyone. 

So, what’s the answer? A new approach to metadata that promises to steal the show.  

Breaking down silos and boosting opportunities with metadata 

From video runtimes to potentially sensitive themes within the content itself, metadata holds the key to quickly tracking assets through a media supply chain. 

But while the benefits are wide-ranging, it’s helpful to understand exactly how a single source of truth for valuable asset metadata can benefit media organizations and consumers. 

Here are five ways metadata can help transform outcomes—ensuring people move towards the content rather than the other way around. 

  1. Reduce time of delivery 

As any media organization will attest to, the ability to go from initial idea to publication quickly and accurately is vitally important—and metadata holds the key to delivery acceleration. 

Similarly, offering the latest content to consumers can often hinge on the ability to access metadata throughout the supply chain, allowing multiple teams—from content validation to packaging and delivery scheduling—to work on content assets and push them to production efficiently. 

Having the right metadata available and searchable can also make all the difference when it comes to an organization’s ability to react to unplanned events. A good example of this is when something happens that merits raiding archives for programs on the subject (think, a major news event). In this instance, time is of the essence. Just 24 hours can make the difference between substantial revenues and missing out to competitors entirely. 

In fact, organizations that have easy access to quality metadata can achieve faster content delivery. 

  1. Increase productivity and optimize resources 

Think about the media industry in 2023. It’s fraught with writers’ and actors’ strikes that, even if they ended tomorrow, will still leave significant content pipeline gaps for the months ahead. 

And while media organizations hold vast catalogs of old shows and films to draw on, trawling through this amount of content can be painstaking without the right supporting metadata. This is where AI and machine learning come into their own, helping organizations reduce the manual burden of trawling through metadata by hand. 

By having a full understanding of the data, people working in the supply chain can gain greater focus, allowing organizations to move quicker. Far from replacing humans, de-siloed metadata can free them for more impactful activities—and create huge efficiency savings to boot. 

  1. Identify and action monetization opportunities

There’s little doubt that streaming has changed the game for advertisers. But with brands continually striving to discover unique customer insights for a competitive advantage, metadata, in particular, is becoming an increasingly critical tool. 

For example, with the right metadata that’s supported by AI and machine learning, media organizations can identify nuanced user insights to directly influence hyper-personalization, not just in advertising, but also the kinds of content in the pipeline. 

  1. Maximize content value 

Since the birth of modern streaming as we know it, brands have been locked into an intense battle for customers and healthy content pipelines. But while multiple platform subscriptions are commonplace for consumers today, the market will likely shift towards greater integration and omnichannel viewing. 

This means media organizations will need to embrace collaboration with competitors and data sharing. 

With a connected media supply chain, there’s far greater potential to maximize content value across platforms and devices, helping ensure that consumers get what they want on their terms, all while media organizations protect and even enhance their revenues by using data to their advantage—together. 

  1. Gain greater control 

Ultimately, having a media supply chain that’s supported by good-quality metadata gives you greater certainty of outcomes—enabling you to understand what you have at your disposal and what that means for your future. 

And in a future where consumers will expect content that appeals to them as individuals through a more fluid experience, having complete control over the media supply chain will be critical to delivering on these demands and keeping a competitive edge. 

Snowflake, AWS, and Slalom: A breakthrough partnership for the digital media supply chain

Unique in its ability to break down and remove media supply chain silos, the latest collaboration between Snowflake, AWS, and Slalom is a landmark development in creating a single source of truth for valuable asset metadata across content journeys, from ideation to playout and beyond. 

With a connected media supply chain—supported by new approaches to analytics, reporting, data science, and prediction—studios and streaming platforms can combine rights, production, configuration, distribution, playout, and archival workflows and management in the cloud. We’re finding that this approach is enabling customers to discover new revenue opportunities and giving consumers greater freedom, choice, and personalization. 

For more information about our partnership and the wide-ranging possibilities offered by this new approach to metadata, join our session at IBC2023 in Amsterdam—September 15th, Innovation Stage Hall 3, 13.15hrs.