What are You Searching For?

(Image credit: Adobe)

Consumers are spending more time streaming video content than ever before, and the volume of new content produced by media companies is expanding to feed this insatiable demand. According to a recent report, the SVoD market is projected to grow to $139.20B by 2027. 

In addition to producing huge amounts of new content, broadcasters and video service providers continue to look for ways to monetize existing media. All these assets, old and new, need to be managed efficiently so that they can be easily located. But, somewhat ironically, search capabilities are often overlooked within the media industry. Creating advanced search functionality, which allows users to intuitively locate content is crucial when developing workflows that offer a seamless experience. 

Locating content quickly and effectively is the backbone of broadcast, post-production, and media processes. To manage huge vaults of content, media companies are using increasingly sophisticated Media Asset Management (MAM) systems to maximize their archives. If the right tools are in place, it is possible to improve workflow efficiency with a more intuitive User Interface (UI). This in-turn, improves the  overall User Experience (UX) for media operators, making content search and media processing actions faster, and allowing companies to maximize their resources. 

The Impact of Search Behavior
When it comes to searching for data, humans are creatures of habit. This is not to say that the way humans search is always the same, or even straightforward. In fact, the requirements of an effective search interface tend to be multi-layered, to take into account the complexity of the human mind. However, as complex as humans are, search behavior tends to follow a limited number of recognizable patterns and is determined by a series of independent factors such as subject familiarity and expertise, search experience and cognitive style.

When it comes to searching for data, humans are creatures of habit.

A sophisticated MAM recognizes the fact that users will access the same content via multiple routes. It will also recognize that users search for content using different terms, depending on what they associate with that content. Metadata, such as format, series, season or episode, can help to create associations and relationships between items to improve search and discovery. But metadata needs a well-defined taxonomy, in order to ensure the best results.

Making Search and Discovery more Efficient
Basic searching where you enter search terms and quickly locate what you want from the content that matches your query, becomes more difficult as the volume of content being searched increases exponentially. Being able to refine and filter your search then becomes essential, as does the ability to save search queries to return to them later and manage repetitive tasks. 

An advanced search functionality that allows filtering, faceted search, and tailored searches, allows users to improve their workflows, and find what they need faster. There needs to be multiple paths to the same asset, and a MAM must connect to media processing tools seamlessly, to save time throughout the process. The ability to check the status of content assets and offer an overview, without too much additional navigation, is also important. Users need to confirm information in a high-level view, rather than the time-consuming process of looking through an audit trail. 

More Content – Better Management
With huge content libraries to manage, media businesses rely on advanced search capabilities to maximize efficiency. A well structured User Interface (UI) allows for a better overall User Experience (UX). This is critical because a poor UX is likely to make it difficult or time consuming to find what is being searched for, resulting in user frustration. Not only does improving the search UX prevent users becoming frustrated, but it also allows them to search more instinctively for assets. Next-generation MAM and media supply chain solutions are becoming more intuitive and are increasingly focused on actions from a user’s perspective.

The advantages of utilizing advanced search functionality are not just felt on an individual user level. The organization benefits as a whole because effective search functionality makes processes more efficient and optimizes workflows. After all, your team's time is your most precious resource, so it needs to be used effectively. Instead of organizing content solely by overarching topics such as media property, season or episode, metadata-driven workflows allow users to drill into more detail. 

One such use case could be a travel series wanting to find all content produced at beach locations containing a particular presenter, perhaps for an end of season special or for promotional purposes. In this instance metadata automates what would have been a hugely time-consuming manual process. 

By understanding search behavior, and adapting functionality to make searching more effective, media organizations can improve workflow efficiency, create better user experiences, as well as maximizing resources. Not only is an ability to easily find content that meets very specific requirements incredibly useful, but it also unlocks monetization opportunities. As the competition in the streaming sector increases, and consumer appetite grows, unlocking the archive will prove invaluable for media organizations.

Greg Cox

Gregory Cox is SVP, Business Solutions - Americas for Codemill.