Fisher Announces EMA Online Video Repository6 Oct, 2016 By: John Latchem
In his opening remarks at the 2016 Digital Media Pipeline confab in Los Angeles, Entertainment Merchants Association president and CEO Mark Fisher announced the EMA Online Video Repository to streamline video delivery services.
“Online video needs a cost-effective and scalable distribution servicing solution built around common specifications,” Fisher said. “Currently, the media file for each online video title is processed multiple times by multiple post houses for multiple retailers. There simply is no need for this redundancy. It’s costly, inefficient, slows flow of content, and leads to errors.“
The repository allows the file for each title to be prepared just once, providing benefits for retailers, content providers and the industry as a whole, Fisher said.
“Retailers would benefit from significantly lower costs for media file processing, more rapid onboarding of content, and fewer errors,” he said. “Content Providers would benefit from more rapid onboarding of content, greater access to and scalability of content, fewer errors, reduced barriers to new industry entrants, and — as a result — greater revenues. The industry as a whole would benefit from content being made available more rapidly to consumers, greater standardization of the digital supply chain, and a source of funds to support industry initiatives.”
The Repository will include all available video, audio, metadata, timed text, and artwork files and delivery packages for feature and episodic content in all available languages. Any retailer, either domestic or international, desiring to receive files from the Repository would be able to do so if they agree to the Repository’s conditions and have authorization to handle the title.
Each file, if not already compliant, would be standardized to standards and specifications established by participating retailers, though a limited amount of flexibility and customization of the files would be permitted. In addition, the Repository will perform quality control and audio/closed caption/subtitle conformance to standards established by the retailers.
Initially, and for a guaranteed number of years, the Repository will charge a flat price for delivery of a video file with one language and associated artwork, metadata, trailers, and other ancillary materials. Fisher said the cost would be less than half of current industry pricing. Additional languages, including associated ancillary files, would be available for an additional fee.
Fisher said several major online retailers have agreed to participated, with a phased rollout slated for the first half of 2017, and plans to offer content from all major providers within a year of launch. Premiere Digital Services will operate the Repository for EMA.
“Today, retailers spend more than three-quarters of a billion dollars alone acquiring varied and unique versions of mezzanine files each year for feature motion pictures alone. With the willingness to accept common standards and to work together as a collaborative, these costs can be cut by over two thirds — cutting file acquisition costs to retailers each year on features alone by $269 million,” Fisher said.