The need to connect people with the shows and movies they want to watch is driving the frontiers of technology innovation in media. It is a subject of critical importance as the video industry moves to unite online and pay TV distribution into a single multiple screen experience. The fate of billions of dollars in revenue rest upon it.
A new, free nScreen nSights report shows how TV Metadata underpins all of the advances in content discovery. Though the core of TV metadata has remained essentially unchanged since the 1950s, fundamental shifts in the gathering, storage and distribution of metadata are underway. These changes are in response to the needs of a rapidly evolving, and expanding, industry.
One of the biggest new changes is how metadata is moving to capture how the way people think about the movies and shows changes over time. This is not simply percolating up the most popular content so that it is immediately available to watch, though this is one important benefit. How people think about a show or movie affects how they search for it. For example, when the Lawrence Welk show was originally broadcast in the 1950s people may have thought of it as a gay show. Today, of course, no-one would describe, or search for, the show using that term.
Capturing the temporal and ephemeral associations of media in the metadata is giving rise to some very sophisticated recommendation and search techniques. In the world of sports, Thuuz combines rich real-time metadata with complex algorithms to predict precisely which game a particular viewer should be watching at any given moment. This goes well beyond which team is in the red zone. Thuuz can take into account favorite teams and players to recommend, for example, a baseball game where a favorite player is stepping up to the plate.
The vagaries of human interpretation are one of the key inputs to Rovi’s Knowledge Graph. Leveraging this tool the company is able to bring context into the search process. For example, a user can ask “What was the TV show with the actor that just went into rehab?” and Mad Men (staring Jon Hamm) would be one of the shows returned.
Such sophisticated approaches to search and discovery are only possible because the metadata has expanded and changed to support them. Metadata is very far indeed from the concept of a single file or database.
To understand where TV metadata came from, what it is today and what it will become tomorrow, you need to download the new free report from nScreenMedia: nScreen nSights – TV Metadata in Transition.
The report explains:
- How TV metadata got its start with TV Guide Magazine
- How it evolved into the very definition of what we now call “big data”
- Why metadata must change to meet the needs of the 21st century media industry
- How metadata is in transition from a static database to a dynamic, distributed repository
- Why the inclusion of the ever-changing perception of media is essential.
It also discusses some outstanding challenges, include a lack of a common content ID system, keeping the data current, coping with content that changes in real-time, and what role social media should play.
Why it matters
Metadata is the foundation upon the TV and movie content industry is built.
It is changing from a static, contiguous database into a distributed, multi-facet repository of everything that is known about a show or movie.
This change is enabling new sophisticated recommendation and search techniques which allow consumers to find the right content in the ever-expanding universe of choices