Organizations are creating media and information at an ever increasing pace.
Traditionally, electronic media and related information has resided on widely disparate technologies, locations and represented only operational transactions. As organizations move operations to digital media and establish partnerships, via portals and extranets, with customers and suppliers, “digital media” becomes distributed among many parties.
This presents both opportunities and challenges in building media markets reflecting the information holdings of the organization.
Media storage and management are key components of an efficient media market. A digital asset manager is required to manage the main repository of an organization’s historical media. It would contain the raw online electronic media targeted for expanding distribution to new distribution channels. The critical factor leading to an efficient media market is the ability for media creators and consumers to perform complex searches and analysis without slowing down the media production operation systems. A media market is:
- Subject-organized – information describing media is stored in a database and is organized by subject so that all the references relating to the same media files are linked together;
- Time-stamped – changes to the descriptive data in the database are tracked and recorded so that reports can be produced showing changes over time;
- Non-volatile – data in the database is never over-written or deleted, once committed, the descriptive data is static, read-only, and retained or archived for future use; and
- Integrated – the database would contain information relating to most or all of an organization’s production media. Media information would be consistent.
For example, a media market could be used to search and find all audio, video and text media about elections in 2008, or all new medical research papers between December 24th – December 28th 2006.
A core goal of a media market is to integrate media and applications at the data level. Media and data would be extracted from production operations systems, cleansed, transformed, transcoded and placed into the media market according to organizational business rules. Although the notion of creating a centralized media warehouse is conceptually appealing, it is operationally infeasible in many environments. The size and localization of media may required a distributed, federated approach to be financially and technically practical. Departments within an organization should be encouraged to retain ownership of their media and assume responsibility to share and publish media according to well-defined sharing agreements.
Rather than spending a lot of money on a centralized media mart, implementing smaller federated local media marts, and integrating them organization wide through federated media sharing software is often a more practical approach.
Federated Media Market
Federated media markets include independent local media file stores within the organization. Local staff members would select and publish media into the media market, which would then be integrated into the federated media market model. In most current environments, media resides in local departmental storage, often implemented using differing closed system commercial products, localized terminology and query languages.
The federated media market approach involves the creation of an information hub containing descriptions of media of interest to the entire organization, while data of interest to the local department would remain in the local production file stores. The federated media market would be used to find internally published media anywhere in the organization. In addition, media markets for new vertical lines of business and distribution channels would be efficiently created by re-purposing accessible media. The federated approach is appealing in that small files containing text descriptions and file location references can reside in the federated media market hub, while the large media files can reside in local media markets. A federated media market positions organizations to efficiently enter e-Media markets.
e-Media is based on inter-company partnerships among media consumers and media creators. These partnerships are based on the requirement to share media, and related media information through inter-operable business processes, common media sharing protocols, and open standards such as the extensible markup language. e-Media partnerships require media distribution among specialized software applications for content management, application integration and back-end fulfillment systems such as media distribution and billing.
The dynamic nature of the inter-company relationships and the distributed media contained in existing proprietary systems requires new approaches to media storage and cataloging. The federated media market approach allows local staff members to manage locally relevant media while sharing portions of local production media with the federated media market. Specific agreements on how much media and data will be available, the protocols and standards to be used to access and share e-media, the security attributes and distribution permissions of shared media, and quality standards to which these partners must adhere should be carefully defined prior to implementing a federated media market.
A “web service” model to create dynamically configurable customizable data markets is recommended. Media market concepts and tools would include mechanisms to access the databases of these web services to obtain e-Media-specific data regarding those services, e.g., performance metrics, status information, and meta-data which would then be stored in the federated media market. The use of intelligent software agents interacting with hosted media to gather relevant information for the federated media market is recommended. A successful Federated Media Market can become a knowledge repository consisting of low resolution representations of the source media, the source media text information from the local data mart, company wide metadata, workflow patterns, and the company media dictionary.
A federated media market positions organizations to profitably enter e-Media markets.