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The Importance of Metadata

Faced with increasing competition from free-to-air, advertising-funded digital TV and the internet, Pay TV operators around the world are continually looking at ways to enhance and differentiate the multi-channel viewing experience.

When asked to think about the future of Pay TV, we might start to think of graphically rich, high definition user interfaces with a 'Minority Report' design-ethic, but the foundations and usefulness of future content search and navigation will need to be based on the tagging of all content with rich and diverse metadata. 

New approaches to content search and navigation are being developed, but next generation user interfaces aren't much use to the consumer without an enhancement to the metadata that drives them. Today EPG's are driven by very rudimentary data such as time, title, synopsis, rating etc. But to deliver advanced features such as mood driven search or search for a particular scene within a programme, new methods and working practices are required.

 Sample Broadcast Metadata

Sample EPG metadata in XML Format

Broadcasters and Pay TV operators need to respond quickly to this challenge and PayMedia is providing assistance through strategic advice, workshops and custom projects in EPG workflows and advanced metadata.

We believe it is important to give consideration to this challenge now as the requirement for improved metadata is not uniquely driven by the ambition of the most technically advanced digital TV platforms, rather, it is being driven by the consumer and their evolving needs.

Increases in broadband internet and movements such as 'Web 2.0'  have redefined how consumers interact with and share content, and Pay TV operators need to respond to this. In addition, consumer expectations with regards to the search and presentation of video content are being defined not by the set-top-box but by YouTube, with consumers able to aggregate content and create their own play-lists and narrative.

Working with Broadcast Projects and other key partners, PayMedia is helping both broadcasters and Pay TV operators respond to the challenge of how to create and acquire metadata, and tag video content so that it is more discoverable and easier to navigate.

For more information on our work in this area, please contact either Janet Greco or Justin Hewelt -