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Digital Asset Management and Workflow Management in the Broadcast Industry: Industry Survey and Analysis Summary Document
Published by Multimedia Research Group, Inc. March 2004

2004 MRG, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide No Unauthorized Replication or Distribution Allowed.

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1. ENVIRONMENT USAGE PROFILE OF THE BROADCAST INDUSTRY ........................... 3 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................ 3 INTERVIEWEE CHARACTERISTICS ................................................................................................................. 4 DAM/WFM USAGE CHARACTERISTICS....................................................................................................... 6 2. TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................ 9 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................... 10 DAM AND WFM TECHNOLOGY BACKGROUNDER .................................................................................. 10 SYSTEM DESCRIPTION ................................................................................................................................ 11 VENDOR OVERVIEW................................................................................................................................... 12 3. LESSONS LEARNED/ FUTURE TRENDS .................................................................................. 13 LESSONS LEARNED .................................................................................................................................... 13 INDUSTRY TRENDS BUSINESS .................................................................................................................. 14 4. APPENDIX: TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR FULL REPORT............................................... 15-16

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1. Purpose/Scope/Participants
Introduction The purpose of this industry survey summary is to is to provide a quick overview of the results of the larger report Digital Asset Management and Workflow Management in the Broadcast Industry: Survey & Analysis, conducted by Multimedia Research Group in early 2004. The focus of the survey was on DAM/WFM (Digital Asset Management/ Work Flow Management) for production operations of primary assets, rather than on the ancillary assets such as marketing collateral DAM. The overall primary focus was to understand the extent and success of use of DAM systems and, where applicable, WFM systems. Through the use of profiles or case studies, the survey examines how these solutions are used by major broadcasters and media production centers, and what changes are needed to address the evolving needs of the end users. Four types of broadcasters were interviewed: News/Sports; Broadcast/Internet; Feature Film; and Episodic Television. Each of these types illustrates a different perspective on the broadcasters intentions and decision processes. With the use of in-depth, structured interviews of over one hour per broadcaster, extensive insight was gained into the operations of these facilities. This industry survey is differentiated by the breadth and depth of input provided by each of the respondents. Interviewee Characteristics Industry-leading broadcasters interviewed for this survey included most of the major networks in the US. This report aggregates the responses, in order to preserve the anonymity of the respondents. Selected broadcasters were interviewed in depth, while others have provided anecdotal and short answers to top-level questions taken from the interviews. All interviewees were at the corporate headquarters level. The broadcast operations in this industry survey include news, sports, serial/episodic television, feature film channels and the Internet. The content-delivery models include terrestrial, cable (primary models), satellite, and the Internet. The type of primary content was also an important driver of the business intent for using DAM and Workflow Management. Experience with DAM/WFM ranged from a just-installed system to over six years in addition, one facility was in the process of defining its system that will be in pilot in 2004, and one facility was interviewed that made a decision not to use DAM/WFM at this time. This range of experience gives an excellent sampling of the issues that occur at various points in system deployment, as well as a range of perspectives of the user experience and how the benefits of DAM/WFM change over time.

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Interviewee Selection Process The pool of targeted companies was chosen to include broadcasters at varying levels of company size, different corporate structures, and with business models for content delivery. Another goal was to select broadcasters with various levels of experience with DAM including at least one broadcaster who chose not to implement DAM at this time. A target list of candidate companies was contacted, and broadcasters that were interviewed were selected from respondents meeting the criteria given above. The original target list (Interviewee Pool) is shown below all interviewees came from this list. NETWORK BROADCAST ABC ABC O&Os CBS News CNN Fox Television MSNBC NBC News Archive NON-NEWS/SPORTS HBO National Geographic Paramount Showtime Tech TV STATION GROUPS Belo Clear Channel Hearst Lin Sinclair Tribune

Table 1: Broadcaster Interviewee Pool Detailed interviews were conducted with six primary broadcasters. Broadcaster 1: Broadcaster 2: Broadcaster 3: Broadcaster 4: Broadcaster 5: Broadcaster 6: Large terrestrial broadcast headquarters Large terrestrial broadcast headquarters Large cable broadcast news operation Medium-sized broadcast news operation Television operation of major film studio Major studio and on-demand provider

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Overview: Impact of DAM/WFM News: The greatest demand for production efficiency comes from news as the time-to-air is an essential competitive driver. News segments tend to have a short shelf life, in the range of several days to several weeks but major event stories tend to have important archival value. This leads to a storage model that separates online and archive. DAM and WFM tools accelerate the generation of content and enable more efficient use of both online and archive assets. News and sports have very similar asset lifecycle characteristics. Broadcast and Internet: Many broadcasters are adding Internet presence as a key part of their content delivery channels. As the Internet model increases in importance to broadcasters, there will be corresponding increases in the need for efficient multi-purposing. Format conversion and transcoding are being done simultaneously with ingest, all in an effort to get content out in a timely fashion. Fast search and retrieval is essential for multi-purposing. Production operation workflow tracking will become essential, as companies seek to understand the processes of generating and delivering content, to make the process more time and cost-effective. Feature Films: A broadcast facility with feature-length programs as its primary output has a very different production workflow from a news/sports broadcaster. A single asset is a lot longer in duration, and there are many ancillary assets that accompany the main asset items like production art, stills, multiple language, and promotional material. Production operations must support multi-purposing to a much greater degree of customization and many more people are involved in the workflow. Asset utilization timeframes are much longer, as is the shelf life of the asset. In general, many more departments are associated with a film many more associated assets, business units, and deployment models. All of these factors lead to a completely different architecture for both the DAM/WFM software model, but also the way in which the enterprise treats issues like federation of departmental DAMs to allow disparate systems to communicate with each other and access the asset bases. Television: Episodic television is most similar to feature films, but the number of assets is higher and the assets are shorter in duration. Production timelines are also much shorter than feature films, but longer than news/sports. Archive decisions are driven by the delivery timelines across the customer base and future syndication business needs.

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DAM/WFM Usage Characteristics This section investigates how broadcasters use Digital Asset Management in their operations. First, an overview of the value chain of DAM is presented in Figure 1: DAM and WFM Value Chain and Architecture (below). Figure 1 summarizes the analysis of how broadcasters use DAM in their operations to manage their digital assets. Not all broadcasters used each of the blocks (for example, contracts and rights management is a planned function, but is not generally implemented in current systems).


DAM Services Functional Block Diagram

Workflow Management Acquisition Content Processing Digital Asset Management Distribution Consumption

Digital Asset Management System


Camera Feeds CGI Other

FORMAT CONVERSION Digital Cinema MPEG4:2:2@HL MPEG2 ML@MP MPEG4, WMV Other Formats
Automatic Process


Headends Portals Air, Cable, DSL Direct Consumer

On-Line Near-Line




Manual Process





Figure 1: DAM and WFM Value Chain and Architecture

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Format Conversion Metadata Generation Multi-Level Storage Asset Management Security and Encryption Contracts and Rights Mgt Financial Integration Medium Use High Contextual search parameters Prod: 2 to 21 days Arch: 50K to 150K hr Heavy use by production ops Usually not implemented Not implemented, but planned in 2004-05 Minimal some WFM process tracking

Heavy Use Medium Contextual search parameters Prod: similar to news Arch: 10K to 50K hr Heavy use by prod ops, web ops Only for subscription based content Minimal use now, more planned in 2005 Minimal some WFM process tracking


Minimal Use Medium Mixed (technical, context) Prod: 2-10 titles Arch: 50-2000 titles Medium use by multiple departments Heavy use when assets sent external Current use of existing tools, want standards Some are coupled to subscriber mgt

Medium Use Medium Mixed (technical, context) Prod: Highly variable Arch: 1K-10K titles Medium use by multiple departments Medium use when assets sent external Current use of existing tools, want standards Minimal some WFM tracking

Table 2: Functional Block Usage by Broadcaster Type 1.1.1. RESPONDENT

Broadcaster with a mature, highly custom system Broadcaster planning to implement DAM and WFM Broadcaster with a multi-vendor system with custom pieces Broadcaster with strong Internet presence

Justification for Implementing Systems JUSTIFICATION FOR IMPLEMENTING SYSTEMS

We decided to build our own system after a three year (1996-1999) evaluation of alternatives. We then benchmarked 3 database technologies (SQL, Oracle, Sybase), 3 text indexes, and 3 analytical tools (Pictron, Convera, MediaSite). Started about 2 years ago with investigation of editing facilities. Wrote spec for vendor RFPs no response was fully satisfactory, but then RFPs were reissued about 1.5 yrs after. Justification initially was to get ahead of competitors, and achieve a competitive advantage. Now, the goals are to keep up with technology. Improve workflow processes and competitiveness by replacing vintage 1986 facilities that are approaching end-of-life. Beyond pure ROI, justification looked at infrastructure needs compared to routers/other infrastructure needs. Considered equipment replacement cycles and impact of savings of not buying tape stock. Not highly formalized. Case was made based on efficiency (time from news event to when posted on website; as a business/competitive goal). Investment would be needed anyway, which would either be buying more VTRs, or going digital its better to spend on DAM that has potential for ongoing efficiency improvements and extensibility digital also helps creativity and transformation of content (multi-purposing). The justification for not implementing DAM and WFM to manage video assets was discussed earlier. The trigger events that would be needed to swing the decision in favor of using DAM/WFM for video assets are: (a) reliability that can ensure uptime; (b) effective standards; (c) infrastructure costs low enough to justify; (d) adequate resolution Waited until a product requirement materialized (a sponsor). VOD was the impetus; the workflows of which forced a need to get out of tape and into the file-based world. Not playing in real-time, VOD has attributes and associations of multiple content streams in order to do this, an infrastructure that enables the asset hierarchy to deliver VOD solutions had to be

Broadcaster who chose not to implement DAM Broadcaster with long-form content

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Table 3: Justification for Implementing Systems

Summary of Justification Models: In all cases, the justification model went beyond a simple use of traditional ROI, but in all cases, the broadcasters chose to implement DAM/WFM instead of using budgeted dollars to invest in additional replacement VTRs. Arguments used to justify DAM/WFM installations fell into two main categories (1) savings would be generated by reducing labor costs and equipment/consumables replacement, (2) gains in competitive advantage would be achieved by faster time-to-story, driven by efficiency and flexibility gains. Most projects waited until there was a specific need, one in which the DAM would support a higher-level business need such as a new product offering (VOD in one case), equipment replacement, or multi-purposing of content for new business models or new media models. As earlier, justifications primarily focused on business reasons rather than technical need this is because these systems are only installed when they can clearly either drive savings or increase revenue. Key Observations: In no cases were the justifications a traditional ROI analysis, with specific goals for payback period and calculations like IRR. While these metrics may have been used as additional information to secure funding, the projects were justified based on necessity of installing a system to serve specific business needs falling into several key categories: Diversion of Infrastructure Replacement Funds: In several cases, a budget was already in place for replacing aging VTRs and infrastructure. The advantages of using digital filebased assets versus tape were highlighted. In these cases, money would have been spent anyway the justification and decision were based on why DAM/WFM was a better expenditure than tape deck replacement. Competitive Advantage: A business need to improve timeliness of getting stories on-air (or online) drove several justification models in one case, for a broadcaster who will be implementing a DAM/WFM system in 2004, in another case, for a company that has a major part of their business model tied to their online presence. Specific Business Model (VOD, in this case): The case for implementing DAM/WFM for the broadcaster with long-form content was driven by the business need to provide a VOD content delivery model. Role of WFM vs. DAM Of the interviewed facilities, DAM was the primary focus of the facility upgrades, with little serious consideration being given to WFM. Gains in productivity and WFM effectiveness, in other words, were made as an outgrowth of DAM upgrades, not as the result of rigorous early-stage WFM design. Although systems were not generally designed to include functionality or components specifically for WFM, improvements in WF have resulted.

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2. Technology Overview
The vendors used for DAM and WFM in the survey are covered in this section, which discusses technology trends in the industry and the future direction of broadcasters. Technology analysis was based on interview answers covering the system description, broadcaster DAM/WFM architectures, system capabilities, and vendors used. The remaining subsections review industry trends in DAM/WFM technology and the future technology directions of broadcasters. Data from the interviews is presented in aggregate form to derive an industrylevel perspective, with specific responses shown where appropriate.1

Sections 0,
System Description (Table 6)

Section 1
System Capabilities

Section 2
Vendor Overview

Section 3
Industry Trends and Future Broadcaster Direction

Figure 2: Technology Analysis - Broadcaster Interview Process Several key themes from the technology analysis are shown below: Online and Archive were always separated, usually with different DAM software Significant issues resulted from multi-vendor integration

Key system capability findings: Most broadcasters have not yet ingested most their assets targeted for archiving A large degree of customization is required to suit the needs of broadcasters Workflow tools capabilities frequently went unused this is changing slowly as users intend to use tracking data to quantify process improvement benefits

Vendor observations: Broadcast-specific vendors were always chosen as the DAM/WFM suppliers Storage and networking were provided by standard IT component suppliers Most broadcasters added specialized functions, like encoding, from specialist vendors

Industry level technology trends and future broadcaster direction Enterprise focus both broadcasters and vendors recognize the need to integrate DAM and workflow management across the broadcaster enterprise (usually by federating the multiple departmental systems by creating middleware connectors) Consolidation Vendor consolidation is natural in the industry. Broadcasters also want to reduce the number of vendors involved in implementing their systems

Note: Sections 0 and 3 are covered in this Summary; Sections 1 and 3 appear in the Full Report. 9

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DAM and WFM Technology Backgrounder Introduction Across the content creation, processing and distribution value chain, digital technology is used at all stages in the broadcast production workflow. This is driving adoption of two key technologies in the broadcast environment DAM and Workflow Management. The broadcast value chain and a representative generic architecture of DAM and WFM are shown below. DAM systems frequently also include the format conversion and metadata generation blocks the boundaries of what is considered DAM are not firm, and are viewed differently by the vendors and users. 2.1.1.DAM Components FEATURE
Content Repository (large, usually hierarchical storage of assets) Asset Management Metadata Generation and Metadata Management Format Conversion (usually an optional part of DAM systems) Rights and Contract Management (sometimes available as an optional module) Security and Encryption

Makes the enterprise digital assets available to facilitate faster content creation and multi-purposing using online, near-line, and off-line archive storage Search/Retrieval and Directory Management - Assets, in multiple formats, can be quickly identified and used for various purposes Provides search and retrieval capabilities based on attributes of assets, facilitates efficient asset utilization and tracking Sub-masters, clones and distribution assets in formats supporting all release windows can be quickly generated and moved along studio production workflow Tracking of rights and terms associated with asset use can be managed across studio properties, persistently protected across the distribution chain Can be added to digital masters/sub-masters to protect assets during workflow

Table 4: Key Components of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

2.1.2. Workflow Components FEATURE

Tracking workflow process steps throughout operations (status tracking and auditability) Workflow process automation Custom workflow process modification and tracking Integration of new workflows into the Workflow Management system

Supports process control by tracking and storing data on individual process steps throughout operational workflow (typically tracked: asset ID, process step owner, asset owner, process step identifier, process step start and end) Supports definition and execution of workflow processes by automatic assignment of tasks and steps according to pre-defined processes Supports custom workflows by allowing user input for each step of a task Supports evolution of workflow management by incorporating new workflows as facility operations change and grow

Table 5: Key Components of Workflow Management (WFM)

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System Description This subsection reviews the DAM/WFM systems of the broadcasters interviewed from a top-level technical perspective. The system specifics of individual respondents have been aggregated to preserve confidentiality and provide an over-arching industry perspective however key trends and observations in how these systems have been implemented are presented with specific examples to illustrate important points. First, the overall DAM and WFM systems used in the survey sample are reviewed, along with a discussion of the maturity of the installations. The next elements of this section review the cost profile of system installations, looking at the cost contributions of hardware, software, integration, and maintenance. PARAMETER
DAM System

Of the interviewed operations, News organizations tended to have two systems (Archive and Online). These were all evolving systems, both by internal and vendor customization. Vendors were divergent (Avid, IBM, Informix, Proximity, Masstech) but all were broadcast-centric. No traditional studio DAM vendors like North Plains or Adam Systems were selected. Also not chosen were Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors like EMC/Documentum or Web Content Management (WCM) companies like Webware. Rights and contracts are planned to be added in the near future. Most workflow is clip tracking, rather than sub-process tracking. Workflow tended to be short, with material going to air quickly in a straightforward story assembly process (as contrasted to DVD production, for example). Virtually all custom software. Variety of experience, ranging from over five years with a custom system to preimplementation planning.

Workflow Management System

Installation/Rollout Date

Hardware Cost Excluding cost of storage, HW = 20% to 40% of total system cost (often HW + embedded SW are merged). HW costs ranged from $2M to $12M, in systems costing $10M to $30M. The most mature system is nearing $40-50M total cost by 2006. Storage costs in archive systems can approach 60% or more of the total system cost. SW represents 25% to 50% of total system cost in more turnkey systems (less in more custom systems, which have higher costs for integration). This ranges from 15% to 40%, in some extreme cases over 60%. All underbudgeted this area. Integration cost is often built into the quotes for DAM system software. Tended to be quite low and was usually compared to VTR replacement and corresponding maintenance costs; one reported 1-20%.

Software Cost Integration Cost

Maintenance Cost

Table 6: Description of System Implementation

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Vendor Overview
This section is intended to describe a summary of the types of vendors considered by broadcasters and is not meant to be an exhaustive study of DAM/WFM tool vendors. Vendors of these systems tend to fall into several major categories: Broadcast-Specific Enterprise Content Management Storage-Centric Database Centric

Vendor Business Models







Figure 3: Vendor Focus - IT versus Broadcast Descriptions of the companies in these categories, tradeoffs associated with the category, and an overview of product offerings from a representative vendor in each of these categories are briefly described below. Broadcast-Specific Several representative companies in this group are Avid, Masstech, and Proximity. These companies product offerings tightly couple their DAM software products with hardware/software modular tools that offer production-specific functionality. Several examples are editing workstations, broadcast-tuned storage and networking, format conversion utilities and hardware, and specialized browsing tools. Siemens Business Services 2004.


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These companies are very familiar with video transport which differentiates them significantly from the other three vendor classes. With a singular focus on the broadcast industry, these companies have highly integrated products within their portfolio to service the needs of production and archive operations in a way that broadcasters can use without significant investments in complex system integration. The challenge is that many times, their interfaces and control protocol are proprietary and if a multi-vendor architecture is chosen, there will be competitive pressures between the vendors and a more difficult integration process will result.

3. Lessons Learned/ Future Trends

Lessons Learned Broadcaster experiences to date with DAM/WFM were summarized by answers to two openended questions about the lessons they learned: the first question focused on identifying their biggest deployment challenges; the second question asked respondents to identify what they learned from their project experiences and what they would do differently next time. Several key themes recurred while analyzing the results of the interviews. These points, summarized below, suggested areas where experience has taught some important lessons. Maximize stakeholder involvement from the beginning Spend more time in up-front planning this investment returns at least 10x in savings Consider implications of enterprise deployment up-front to ensure successful integration Plan for, and manage organizational change it affects adoption rate and ROI Assume a healthy budget for integration most cost-overruns came in this area Metrics are needed to identify and quantify the benefits and issues RESPONSE LESSONS LEARNED
Biggest issues were multi-vendor integration (technical and business/legal) and dealing with organizational change (adoption, workflow habits). In one case, the vendor environment consolidation drove costs higher when cost reductions were expected. Large scale projects need greater up-front planning, including needs analysis and requirements gathering, and installing financial team members from the beginning. Organizational issues need to be anticipated, like training and getting worker level buy-in. Phased staging of the projects would help. The biggest lessons were in two key areas: (1) planning more proactively; (2) organizational and human factors (like training and adoption rollout planning).

What was the biggest challenge in deployment (from a business/financial viewpoint e.g. project justification, organizational approvals, cost overruns) What are the most important lessons learned from deploying the system and what will you do differently next time (business and/or technical view e.g. budget to allocate for integration, application support and customization, cost benefit analysis, rollout planning)

Table 7: Lessons Learned

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Industry Trends Business This section reviews industry trends in DAM and Workflow Management, from an overall market perspective and how these trends apply to broadcasters. Interviewees reported that the primary trends they see in the marketplace that will affect their operations and use of DAM are: Increasingly tapeless environment Adoption of IT technologies in broadcast Cost reductions by using commodity components Evolving standards and interoperability in broadcast and DAM Evolution of broadcaster organizational structures to conform to tapeless environment Continuing of multiple approaches to DAM for broadcast

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4. Appendix: Table of Contents for Full Report

1. 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. 2. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 3. 3.1. 3.2. 3.2.1. 3.2.2. 3.2.3. 3.2.4. 3.3. 3.3.1. 3.3.2. 3.3.3. 3.4. 3.4.1. 3.4.2. 4. 4.1. 4.2. 4.2.1. 4.2.2. 4.3. 4.3.1. 4.3.2. 4.3.3. 4.3.4. 4.4. 4.4.1. 4.4.2. 4.5. 4.5.1. 4.5.2. 4.5.3. 4.5.4. 4.6. 5. 5.1. 5.2. 5.2.1. 5.2.2. 5.3. 5.3.1. 5.3.2. 5.3.3. 5.4. 5.5. 5.6. 6. 6.1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Introduction Usage Experience Technology Findings Business Findings Financial Findings ENVIRONMENT Usage Profile of the Broadcast Industry Introduction Interviewee Characteristics DAM/WFM Usage Characteristics USAGE EXPERIENCE DAM / WFM Goals and Satisfaction Introduction System Implementation Goals Summary System Implementation Goals Reasons for Implementing DAM and WFM Goals for System Implementation Justification for Implementing Systems Satisfaction Business Factors Introduction Digital Asset Management Workflow Management Satisfaction Technology Factors Digital Asset Management Workflow Management TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS Introduction DAM and WFM Technology Backgrounder DAM Components Workflow Components System Description DAM System Workflow Management System Installation and Rollout Timing Cost Profile System Characteristics DAM System Characteristics Workflow System Characteristics Vendor Overview Broadcast-Specific Enterprise Content Management Storage Centric Database Centric Industry Trends and Broadcaster Direction BUSINESS ANALYSIS Benefits, Challenges, Opportunities Business Overview Business Processes Production Archive Results Benefits Achieved and Not Achieved Summary Results (Goals Achieved and Not Achieved) Benefits: Expected, Achieved and Not Achieved Unanticipated Benefits Lessons Learned Industry Trends Business Future Broadcaster Direction Business FINANCIAL Getting a Handle on ROI Financial Overview

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