The story behind Dalet StoreFront: open innovation, team collaboration and workflow expansion
January 28, 2020
Economists have an unusual word to describe the value in simple commodities like gold and platinum. It’s “fungible,” meaning that a substance is exchangeable. One piece of gold is the same as another piece. When you’re ordering gold, you don’t need to specify anything apart from how much of it you want to buy. You can split it up, mould it, melt it, recombine it and absolutely nothing has changed. You still only ever need to specify the weight of gold that you want to buy - or sell.
Most things are not like that. Cars aren’t fungible. Nor are houses. And nor is media. You can’t buy media by the ounce. Media has many more dimensions and characteristics, all of which affect its value. But that’s only part of the story, because any given piece of media will have a different value to different buyers. Wildlife footage has very little value to an organisation that specialises in motor racing.
Let’s look at this in more detail
The media landscape today is significantly different in almost every way to how it was thirty years ago. Films are now files. Negatives are numbers. Cupboards full of tapes and reels have migrated to the cloud. And “supervising” all of this is a Media Asset Management system (MAM). Files are not physical things, and that opens up an incredible range of possibilities, but, because you can’t store non-physical things on shelves, you need an all-embracing MAM system like Dalet to keep track of all the ephemeral properties of millions of blobs of data.
What is Dalet StoreFront?
Dalet StoreFront is a window into the hidden value of a media organisation's media assets. It allows existing Dalet users to display their content to other media organisations, safely and simply. Essentially, it uses Dalet’s ability to orchestrate content to provide a browsing and fulfillment back-end to Dalet StoreFront’s users.
The beauty of this arrangement is that there is virtually zero extra effort needed to prepare media. All the information - the metadata - about the media would have been input to the Dalet MAM as part of the normal process of onboarding media files. This is likely to include information about the title, authors, rights (including restrictions about usage) and also data about what’s contained within the clip, possibly including timecode references. There would also be information about format, resolution and whether or not the clip is in HDR, for example.
This metadata, which needs to be there anyway as part of the normal usage of a Dalet MAM system, is exactly what’s needed as the basis for a transaction with a potential buyer. And because of the richness of the metadata, Dalet StoreFront is able to make sure that a media purchaser only sees content that it is allowed to acquire.
Dalet StoreFront in Use
Imagine a subscription based television provider specialising in travel and wildlife programming. Their world-class media content – programs, trailers, and B-roll content – needs to be distributed to a global network of broadcasters and partners. In a traditional model, the broadcaster/partner would need to email a request for materials. This request could be for marketing material to promote a program, highlights or materials to create the highlights, or the program itself.
On the receiving end of the request – the television provider would need to check the rights of the content, the agreement with the partner, search the materials and send over a selection proxy assets. Once confirmed there is yet another step is to finalize the transaction and send assets, hopefully in the right format, via a file transfer service like Aspera. Every step requires manual interaction and investigation. When pressed for time, corners get cut and a sampling of what could be offered from the rich archives is shared for consideration. It’s a daunting process that affects the entire operation and more importantly, could shortchange the impact of the final material if a lesser quality asset was provided.
Marketers Love Self-Serve
Partners and broadcasters require marketing materials to promote programming. Eliminating the one-to-one requests, access to assets is predetermined, so only pre-approved marketing content is exposed to shoppers. Not only does this simplify the mass distribution of marketing material for new shows, it also makes it far more efficient to serve those broadcasters looking for a very specific asset...one that could promote the re-airing of an older program in a specific region.
Find that B-Roll!
Even a five-second shot used as B-roll can make all the difference to a producer looking for a specific shot to use in their highlight reel or production. Dalet StoreFront flips the traditional model and lets producers browse the catalog as opposed to an individual sending producers a handful of shots that may or may not be relevant. Dalet StoreFront broadens the selection to include ALL suitable content available for use. Requests for assets are sent to sales bringing the process down to a few simple steps.
Prep Your Content for Global Delivery
Much like marketing, handing localization of programming content under the traditional model involved many steps and efficiencies. New programs slated for worldwide distribution often need to be dubbed/subtitled in multiple languages. Dalet StoreFront presents localization entities (ex. companies like SDI Media, a Dalet customer) with the required proxy videos to begin their work. This eliminates the guesswork of who is to translate what along with the transfer back and forth of materials. The Dalet MAM back-end manages the delivery in the right file format, and delivers it to the relevant, pre-configured endpoint (e.g. a cloud secure storage location, a CMS, etc).
Add More Angles to Your Fast Breaking News
With news organizations constantly updating their catalog, Dalet StoreFront answers the call for immediacy and access to assets that will help journalists deliver hyper-local reporting. News organisations can share and deliver media as soon as content has been ingested and logged into the Dalet MAM. It doesn’t matter whether content has been on the system for years, or has just arrived. It’s all equally available giving newsrooms the material they need to build breaking stories and journalists the right media to localize their stories or bring in historical context.
Open Up Your Archives… Safely!
In the world of sports, archived content becomes even more valuable with time. Iconic plays and players are safely preserved in well-guarded content vaults. The sheer value of the material means no direct access for outside partners. Dalet StoreFront connects to the Dalet MAM archive, creating a separate security layer that tethers the archived assets in a safe manner. This allows clubs, leagues and other partners to browse the archives and select the materials they want to use in their productions whether it’s for highlights, programs or game recap. The Dalet back-end manages the entire process from presenting the materials, to requests for assets and delivery.
Running on Amazon Web Services, Dalet StoreFront makes these and many other workflow scenarios happen. Every shape and form of content becomes searchable, browsable - and obtainable. It’s safe, efficient, and is set to transform the way businesses find, acquire and incorporate content into their own productions.
Do You Need Dalet StoreFront?
If your organization needs to seamlessly connect and expose content inventory to your community, empowering discoverability of untapped content, ripe for monetization and licensing, then Dalet StoreFront is the right solution for you! A Cloud-native SaaS service running on Amazon Web Services, Dalet StoreFront brings in untapped revenues connecting content to clients.
Learn more and request a Dalet StoreFront demo at https://www.dalet.com/business-services/storefront.