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Content metadata

What is content metadata?

Metadata can be defined as “data that provides information about other data.” Content metadata can include descriptive information about the content itself, how the content is structured, when the content was created or last modified, how the content must be decoded or rendered, or the legal ownership status of the content.

Content metadata may be generated using automated information processing technology, but it can also be created manually by the content owner or distributor.

Media companies generate metadata for their content asset to organize them and enable powerful workflows. Art galleries and museums use content metadata to store and maintain information about the art and artifacts in their collections. Search engine optimization (SEO) experts configure HTML web pages with descriptive meta tags (e.g. title, header, etc.) to help drive search rankings as part of their content marketing strategies.

What is video content metadata?

Video content metadata is data that provides information about a piece of video content. Video content metadata can be used by content sellers and Over-The-Top (OTT) video streaming providers to identify and categorize video content, accurately track video content ownership and legal rights, and enhance video content discoverability and revenue potential on OTT platforms.

4 types of video content metadata you should know

At least four different types of metadata can be implemented to provide information about a piece of video content:

Descriptive video metadata

Descriptive video metadata provides information that can be used to identify the video content or enhance its searchability and discoverability on OTT streaming platforms. Descriptive video metadata may include:

  • A Unique Identifier Code (UIC) or Asset ID that corresponds to one specific piece of video content
  • Descriptive Information about the video content, including its title, category (film, TV series, mini-series, etc.), genre, language, production company, a plot synopsis or description, names of the cast and crew members, and maturity rating.

Structural video metadata

Structural video metadata provides information about how a video asset is organized, including whether the asset is part of a collection, the relationships between the asset and other pieces of video content, and if/how the asset is divided into sections or chapters.

Structural video metadata makes it easier for audiences to understand the relationships between video assets and navigate video content more efficiently on OTT platforms.

Administrative video metadata

Administrative video metadata provides technical information about how to manage a piece of video content. Administrative video metadata can include:

  • Generic Information about the video content, such as its date of creation or the date it was last modified,
  • Physical or Technical Information, such as the video file type, dimensions, color codes, running time, etc., and
  • Preservation Data that describes properties of video assets in storage and records asset preservation or archiving activities.

Legal metadata

Legal video metadata provides information on the legal and ownership status of a piece of video content. Legal metadata provides the answers to questions like:

  • Who created this video content?
  • Who currently owns the copyright for this piece of video content?
  • Where and how is this video content licensed?
  • Who owns the licensing/distribution rights to this video content?
  • What are the terms of the licensing agreement for this video content?

How do media and entertainment companies use video content metadata?

As OTT video streaming has grown in popularity and market penetration over the past decade, media and entertainment companies have discovered and deployed a growing number of use cases for video content metadata.

Here are six ways that media and entertainment companies are currently putting video content metadata to use:

Categorizing and identifying digital content

OTT video streaming providers are categorizing and identifying content on their platforms using video content metadata.

Assigning each video asset a unique Asset ID or UIC helps ensure accurate content performance tracking over time. Some providers are shifting to using industry-standard universal identifiers like the one from the Entertainment Identifier Registry Association.

Video content metadata allows OTT video streaming providers to identify video assets by genre and group together videos of the same genre/category on their platforms. As a result, streaming providers can see which types of content are strongly represented in their libraries and where they might want to add more content through licensing or original production.

Enhancing discoverability and longevity of video content

Video content metadata helps enhance the findability of video content on OTT platforms. This is especially important on big platforms with large content libraries, where the latest-and-greatest video content releases are heavily promoted while older titles tend to fall into the background.

Adding descriptive metadata (e.g. title, genre, plot synopsis, cast and crew names, etc.) to video content allows audiences to search for the content in new ways and makes it easier for audiences to discover video content that matches their interests.

Powering content recommendation algorithms on OTT platforms

OTT video streaming platforms drive audience engagement and keep viewers watching by delivering relevant content recommendations. Descriptive video metadata enables OTT streaming providers to automate content recommendations by:

  • Recommending content in a similar genre to what the viewer recently watched
  • Recommending content with the same actors or director as a recently viewed piece of content
  • Recommending content with a similar title or descriptive keywords as a recently viewed piece of content

Enabling ad placements and personalization

Descriptive video content metadata (e.g. title, genre, plot description, keywords) can also enable more relevant, targeted, and personalized ad placements.

For example, a technology company that develops a food delivery app might want to advertise to audiences watching food documentaries, while a car company might want to advertise to audiences watching automotive television shows. More relevant advertising provides a better user experience for OTT streaming audiences.

Tracking media asset ownership and rights holders

OTT streaming platforms can use video content metadata to keep track of who owns the copyright for specific video assets, how those assets are licensed, and what types of usage are permitted as part of that licensing agreement.

Video content metadata standards you should know

One of the challenges for content owners monetizing video assets on multiple platforms is the lack of standardized data requirements. There are more than 300 OTT streaming providers operating today, and each one uses slightly different content management systems, data management techniques, and metadata models to organize and categorize content. Some of the most common standards include:

  • Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (ISO 15836), which establishes 15 core metadata elements for resource description across domains
  • The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), used to encode descriptive, structural, and administrative metadata for objects in a digital library
  • PREMIS Data Dictionary for Metadata Preservation, an international metadata standard that supports preservation and long-term usability of digital objects
  • EBUCore, which provides a common set of metadata for describing radio and TV media assets
  • PBCore, a metadata schema used to manage public media and audiovisual collections in the US
  • Adobe’s Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) allows you to embed information like titles and descriptions, searchable keywords, and copyright information into video files.

Maximize the utility of your video content metadata with SymphonyAI

SymphonyAI provides software technology that helps content sellers manage and use their video content metadata.

With Revedia, content sellers can aggregate and manage video content data from multiple distributor partners in a single platform. Using metadata, Revedia provides advanced reporting capabilities to support revenue management use cases like tracking content performance, content strategy development, distributor optimization, and forecasting future revenue.

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