More that ever, metadata and rich imagery accompanies the show’s description in the electronic programme guide, linking the audience with other shows that may be of interest. Broadband TV News speaks with Charles Dawes of TiVo, whose technology powers the data.
How have the demands increased on broadcasters in their provision of data to the consumer?
Over the last few years the requirements around the depth and detail of metadata has increased right across the industry. This is especially true for the broadcasters who now need to cater for many more types of distribution. No longer is their content just aired on broadcast TV and discovered using a basic EPG, or even a paper guide or TV magazine. Rich, immersive discovery experiences that go beyond browsing alphabetical lists for a title are now the norm. These new experiences are based around beautiful imagery with semantic search, where we understand the intent of the user and the context of the query to uncover the most relevant content for them at that moment in time.
Are broadcasters – who often have multiple channels or video libraries – becoming closer to platform operators?
In some cases, broadcasters – especially those who are part of a group of multiple channels – are, through the deployment of their own OTT streaming services, becoming much more like a platform operator. This brings with it new challenges for them, especially in the metadata world.
What new information now has to be included in the metadata that wouldn’t have been required five years ago?
The latest services require that content has a rich set of descriptors, multiple images and additional metadata that often sits ‘behind the scenes’. When consumers use the latest search and recommendation services, they expect to be able to do things they couldn’t do only a few years ago. From searching for ‘concepts’ or using a voice-based assistant that understands queries like ‘show me some ’80s comedy’ or ‘what’s the film with Tom Hanks and a volleyball?’ content owners and providers need to go beyond basic information and use systems like TiVo’s Knowledge Graph that applies machine-learning derived content to the existing editorial data.
How does this assist with content discovery?
This additional level of information helps in the content discovery process, but it also helps content providers to backfill their catalogue. Often, broadcasters might have the more limited datasets for their older content, which make it, by definition, less discoverable as more enhanced data is missing. TiVo can help to bring the back catalogue up to date with its new Studio, Broadcaster and Network metadata packages.
TiVo’s metadata is highly normalised, meaning it’s ID driven so every entertainment item and its metadata is interconnected. When coupled with the fact that TiVo continuously monitors thousands of online sources to assess the popularity and relevance of entertainment in different parts of the real world, discovery systems can now anticipate consumers’ interests and more effectively promote catalogues by parlaying newsworthy events into interest in all of the entertainment related to that trending content.
Can the process be automated and at what point is human intervention required?
Absolutely –TiVo is extremely proud of its Knowledge Graph and how it has transformed the automation of metadata collection and curation. With human editors still forming a key part of the metadata creation process, the advanced AI and machine learning of the Knowledge Graph amplifies the detail of the information it provides many times, and surfaces new connections between content in a more timely manner than before.
Is it possible to update the metadata in a back catalogue to bring it up to date with today’s requirements?
One of the most interesting parts of TiVo’s new packages is the ability for its customers to update the information on their back catalogue in an extremely cost effective manner. TiVo can take their content, match it against the company’s master database and provide the required level of detail to the customer. From attaching additional images to completing cast and crew information, to surfacing links to related content, TiVo can help make a broadcasters’ metadata “fit” enough to be used in the latest search and discovery experiences.
How close are TiVo’s Studio, Broadcaster and Network Packages to deployment?
TiVo’s Studio, Broadcaster and Network Metadata Packages are already in deployment. In fact, Turner is using TiVo’s Metadata Distribution Services to ensure their customers can access the richest, most accurate set of information available today.