DPP report exposes chaos in the supply of content for Video on Demand

The DPP, the media industry’s business network, has today published the results of an extensive new piece of research into the global supply of content to VOD platforms. Supplying the VOD Revolution defines a reference workflow for the supply of content from distributors and aggregators to platforms. It exposes the pain points felt by implementers of these workflows, and explores the web of standards and formats in use today. The report, enabled by Sony New Media Solutions, asks: What practical steps can be taken to reduce complexity and enhance efficiency in this vital artery of our industry?

“The dramatic rise in the number of VOD platforms, and the lack of commonality between their delivery requirements, has become a source of pain for many content owners.” says DPP Head of Delivery & Growth, and author of the report, Rowan de Pomerai. “It’s startling how chaotic and costly aspects of this process can be, not just for content suppliers, but for platforms too.”

The research team engaged with 59 individuals, from CTOs to operations staff, to gain a true understanding of what it means to supply content for video on demand. What emerged was a chaotic picture that frustrates both distributors and platform owners. Some of the key findings include:

• Many VOD supply chains are still dominated by manual processes, making them inefficient and susceptible to human error
• Onboarding processes routinely take months to complete, incurring significant costs for both distributors and platforms
• The top format challenges do not come from video, but from metadata and avails
• Custom formats and spreadsheets still dominate the exchange of this crucial information
• Organisations across the supply chain are keen to develop best practices for key processes, and reduce the number of formats used

“The rising number of global VOD platforms creates commercial opportunity for content providers, but with it comes technical and operational complexity”, explained Kunal Shah, Vice President, Software Engineering and Architecture at Sony New Media Solutions. “We’re thrilled to partner with the DPP on this ground-breaking research, and the insights from this report will benefit our customers around the world, both distributors and platforms alike.”

“Just as we did for broadcast delivery, the industry can work together to improve efficiency and reduce cost”, says de Pomerai. “Of all the problem areas we hear about at the DPP, this may be the one causing the most frustration on a daily basis. By sharing best practice and building on best-of-breed formats and workflows, we’ll work alongside our members to make practical improvements to these processes.”

Supplying the VOD Revolution offers a landmark view of the current state of our industry. But it also marks the starting point for a new programme of technical work for the DPP, to address the challenges raised by this research. In the coming months, best practice documentation will be generated, and the DPP will partner with MovieLabs on analysis of how their Digital Distribution Framework may be applied more widely to solve the problems of DPP members and the wider industry.

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