Media | Distribute: A Single Solution for a Multi-Platform Problem

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The following is the fifth in a series of 10 blog posts in “Interplay Innovations”, part two of Avid’s Interplay blog series. In this series, we’ll discuss how the recent developments in Interplay Production 3.0 give modern workgroups the tools to overcome challenges in an era where media is created and consumed everywhere.

I’m not an international corporation. I’m not a national or local network. I’m not a trusted source for breaking news. I’m not a brand. I’m just a guy with a Facebook and Twitter account, who occasionally posts about the highs and lows of our sports teams in Boston and good places to find chicken parm in the city.

Still, even with just my friends and family following me, I would never give my social media account passwords out to just anyone. Heavens knows what my less-than-tactful and sometimes overly creative friends would post on my behalf. For better, or, too often, worse, you are responsible for whatever appears beside your name on Facebook or Twitter. And if an individual is this protective of his online presence, shouldn’t media organizations, where reputation is their most valuable asset, do the same?

It was with this in mind that we at Avid announced, alongside Interplay Production 3.0, the release of a new product called Media | Distribute. It runs as an option for Interplay Production and iNEWS workgroups, providing the ability to create and distribute stories to multiple platforms from a single creation space within our Interplay Central web-based client. With Interplay Central, staff members can leverage existing Interplay Production and iNEWS content, create and modify stories for various distribution endpoints and then automatically send those stories to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Web properties, or other online video platforms.

Over 1,000 broadcasters in over 100 countries were asked to rank these 16 challenges from most important to least important. Multi-platform content delivery came out on top. Courtesy Devoncroft Partners, LLC

Over the past three years, Devoncroft Partners, a broadcast market analysis firm, has confirmed that improving distribution to multiple platforms is the No. 1 issue for worldwide broadcasters. With Media | Distribute, Avid now has a product that can address these needs. More importantly, we have developed a platform that is highly scalable, extensible, and can be customized to meet the needs of most any broadcast organization. Media | Distribute has given Avid the opportunity to work in a whole new area—digital distribution. It is a real example of our Avid Everywhere vision and innovation.

Media | Distribute is designed to bridge the gap between an organization’s digital/interactive department and broadcast department. Instead of having a divided newsroom with two separated silos working on the same stories, Media | Distribute allows the work of the two departments to be unified, resulting in seamless, faster collaboration. This story centric approach will eliminate redundancy and inefficient operations, while increasing quality and productivity.

In today’s media, even local broadcasters who might only have a morning, afternoon and evening newscast are still expected to be a 24-hour news network on their digital platforms. When news breaks, journalists today only have a finite amount of time deliver content via these digital endpoints or else risk seeming out of touch and irrelevant. Media | Distribute is designed to speed this process up, keeping your newsroom connected to your viewers.

Media | Distribute provides news workgroups with the tools necessary to achieve a one multi-media workflow.

In many newsrooms today, the simple act of sending a post to Facebook can be a trial. For example, let’s say a journalist returns to the studio with a SOT (sound on tape) and needs to post a teaser about it on Facebook to attract viewers to a feature story in the late local newscast. In order to do this, the journalist has to seek out a craft editor who can edit, and then transcode the clip in a format ready for Facebook. This transcoded file is then sent to the digital department. Now the journalist must find a producer in the digital department who has access to the company’s social media accounts to receive the file from the craft editor, write the post and then upload the file to Facebook. This content then lands beside your network logo before any senior producer has the opportunity to review and approve it. It’s the corporate equivalent of giving your friends free reign of your Facebook timeline. With this tedious process, the time of the journalist, editor and digital producer is wasted or the SOT teaser is simply never posted.

A look at the Media | Distribute panes within the Interplay Central web-based client.

By comparison, Media | Distribute allows a journalist to create social media messages with video content, seamlessly, without any assistance from a craft editor or producer. Using the Media | Distribute pane in Interplay Central (I get a bonus for every time I use the word “Interplay” in this post) journalists can:

  • Upload their story from the iNEWS rundown,
  • Pull all the content into a message creation page,
  • Tweak the story to fit the social media endpoint (add hashtags and adjust for character counts), and then
  • Attach any video from Interplay Production.

In addition, the journalist can send the message to multiple house accounts (@WXYZnews, @WXYZsports, @WXYZbreakingnews) and personal accounts (@AvidSeanThorp). Finally, to avoid embarrassing, brand harming, factually inaccurate, damaging posts, everything goes though a review and approval process before it gets sent to any social media endpoint. A station would never run a story on the broadcast channel without a review and approval process, why allow mistakes in the online brand?

This is a list of current endpoints that Media | Distribute supports. The list is constantly growing, so even if your company’s CMS or transcoder isn’t listed here, it doesn’t mean it won’t be tomorrow. We can also work with you to build custom endpoints.

Social media was once just the most prominent source for documenting every action of newborns and felines, but when embraced by broadcasters, it is proving to be a powerful driver of ratings, brand and revenue. To execute on this goal, it is important to have a toolset as dynamic both as the media itself and as audience preferences for different platforms. Media | Distribute is that toolset. And its reach is beyond the newsroom. All branches of the media and entertainment are facing similar challenges in deploying multi-platform workflows. Media | Distribute will meet all of these challenges and more.

Stay tuned for our next entry where we will discuss improvements to Media Composer | Cloud and its migration to the Mac operating system.

As Senior Product Manager for Newsroom, I lead teams that develop Avid newsroom solutions. Previous to joining Avid, I was a producer with more than 10 years of experience in sports production for leading networks including NESN and WFXT.