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Updated EMA Avails Aims to Increase Supply Chain Efficiency

12 Sep, 2017 By: John Latchem

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) Sept. 12 announced the EMA Avails Working Group has approved and made available the newest version of the EMA Avails schema.

“Avails” refers to metadata that provides information from content providers to retailers about when and where video titles will be available online. Prior to the development of EMA Avails, content availability metadata was communicated in a variety of different formats, leading to inconsistency and inaccuracies. The EMA Avails schema, first released in 2013, cleaned up many of those issues and has since become an industry standard.

The new EMA Avails version 1.7.2 enhances the schema in a manner that will enable greater automation of the communication and reduce exception handling for both retailers and content providers in the digital supply chain, and it will allow the industry to soon transition from Excel-based communication to an XML format. It also includes support for content bundles and bonus material as well as enhancements for international avails, such as currency and time-zones, for precise content windowing.

“EMA’s digital supply chain initiatives have a single purpose — to reduce friction points in the online video supply chain so that the supply chain is more efficient, more timely, more reliable, and less costly,” said Mark Fisher, EMA president and CEO. “The new version of EMA Avails is a significant enhancement in the communication of content availability metadata that should yield tremendous value for the industry.”

EMA Avails Version 1.7.2 was developed by the EMA Avails Working Group, which consists of supply chain professionals from some of the leading transactional online video on demand services. Technical support and guidance was provided by the Motion Picture Laboratories Inc. (MovieLabs).

“Both retailers and content providers will benefit from this new EMA Avails schema, making the delivery of content across different screens, platforms and territories much smoother,” said Craig Seidel, VP at MovieLabs. “One of our core objectives is to help develop and implement new standards that drive concrete benefits for the online video industry. We look forward to the improvements this will make in the digital supply chain.”

The latest version of the EMA Avails schema is available at http://tinyurl.com/EMAavails1-7-2.

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