The field of broadcasting is quite specialized. It differs from other industries as it uses a significant number of different systems and has extremely complex and collaborative workflows. A typical broadcast business consists of distinct operational islands with little to no integration. There are various management information systems and often multiple metadata repositories. 

Multiple systems frequently require human input of data, and media is transported on tape over a “sneaker net” within the facility and by FedEx to other, external parties. We have begun to observe a number of enterprises over the past few years making substantial efforts to change this by implementing “file-based” systems with media asset management (MAM) at their core. Both significant cost savings and more efficient operations are predicted.

With varying degrees of success, a number of broadcast organizations have implemented “MAM-centric, file-based” solutions. Several people have experienced extreme disappointment and failed to see a return on their investments (ROI)

Two important elements affect these projects’ success:

1 . The degree of integration between the new MAM solution and the existing technologies already in place within the broadcast operation

2. The organization’s awareness of its workflows


Any broadcast company contemplating MAM is strongly advised to begin by carefully examining the workflows.

You must first know the existing workflows. Most of the broadcast operations, wouldn’t fully understand their current procedures. Most operations think that they understand them, and they might grasp small details of some fragments, but it is important to understand the entire workflow. Without this, it is quite possible that any new solution you implement, or have implemented on your behalf, will fall short of your expectations for gains since some crucial components of your current workflow are not copied or replaced.

Second, create a model of the workflow you wish to achieve, again explicitly describing it and ideally drawing it. This is a crucial phase since it will guarantee that before you build a solution that successfully streamlines your operations and eliminates costs, you have replaced, duplicated, or upgraded all the current processes.

Why is it necessary for you to understand the workflows that have to be replaced?

The short answer is that some aspects of your operation will most likely rely on manual tasks, such as exchanging crucial information or managing exceptions. Furthermore, just one or two employees of the company are aware of them.


Integration is the second key component. A typical broadcast operation has a number of metadata repositories and management information systems. The same data must be manually input and updated in several systems because these systems rarely connect. It’s crucial to choose which systems will be replaced and which ones will remain in place when developing a new strategy, as well as which metadata system will serve as the “master.”

A channel management system is present in the majority of broadcast operations. This system is frequently in charge of commissioning, obtaining licenses for, and scheduling programs. It may also be in charge of marketing and placing sponsorship messages. This system might feature a tape library management module in addition to having, or integrating with, financial accounting systems. It is incredibly challenging to change this method because it affects so many aspects of the broadcaster’s business. Frequently, entire departments develop to support channel management.

Channel management data can be used to feed the MAM system and power any workflows. Make this a two-way link since it is possible that channel management users would find the data gathered in the MAM system beneficial. But in channel management, changes that affect business will almost always come first.

This feature might be offered by a point-to-point link between the production scheduling system and the edit system, but how would one go about planning resources or monitoring throughput? A connected MAM system can offer a portal in this additional scenario so that task lists can be distributed, workflows can be tracked, and throughput can be recorded.

Data model

A broadcast MAM solution’s optimal data model will include a wide range of metadata types. Metadata types include technical, descriptive, broadcast, usage, and rights metadata. It is necessary to manage each of these sorts of metadata and how they relate to the media asset. This shows that an entity-relationship model (ERM) database is necessary.

Certain failures might be avoided by being aware of existing and future workflows and by making sure that the solutions being installed will be completely connected with the rest of the broadcast infrastructure.

Are you someone looking to employ Media asset management? Workflowlabs have got you covered. Contact us on: [email protected]

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