DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and Motion Pictures Laboratories, Inc. (MovieLabs), together with member studios, retailers, and service providers, have approved and released four updated supply chain specifications for digital distribution of film and TV. The specifications were developed and reviewed jointly by the three organizations through the Digital Supply Chain Alliance announced earlier this year. The new updates are designed to expand support for international distribution to ensure all territories receive the right content and facilitate more sophisticated business engagement and improved automation among participants in the digital supply chain.
The updated documents include two comprehensive specifications developed over many years and two more targeted specifications for “core” requirements and use cases. The core specs enable content owners and distributors to start small with a simpler initial deployment, then grow the implementation as needed to meet requirements.
“The Digital Supply Chain Alliance was created to allow us as an industry to move faster and more efficiently towards standards adoption industrywide,” said John Powers, Executive Director, DEG. “We are happy to demonstrate, with the release of these first specs, that this is successfully happening. This is a meaningful step in keeping up with the pace of change in digital distribution.”
“As our members continue to expand the scope and scale of their content offerings, it’s important that our specifications adapt to support them,” noted Eric Hanson, Vice President of Industry Leadership, EMA. “It’s been great having such engaged support from retailers, service providers, studios and TV networks in agreeing on technical solutions to increasingly complex use cases.”
Craig Seidel, MovieLabs Vice President of Distribution Technology, said, “Working together with the DEG and EMA, we incorporated improvements into the specifications to make them complete enough and robust enough to handle a wide range of situations encountered by our members. We are very pleased to make these the first specs approved through the Digital Supply Chain Alliance.”
The updates that have been agreed include:
- Common Metadata 2.7 – Substantial new features have been added to the Common Metadata specification, including support for franchises and brands, related works, more sophisticated TV internationalization, and technical metadata improvements (e.g., dynamic metadata and additional encoding parameters). The new spec also includes general updates such as new codec controlled vocabularies, minor corrections, and clarifications. This is one of the most substantial Common Metadata updates.
- Media Entertainment Core 2.8 – The Media Entertainment Core Metadata spec defines the core requirements for transferring metadata from Publishers to Retailers. MEC has been updated to conform to Common Metadata 2.7.
- Media Manifest 1.8 – The Media Manifest spec has also been updated to follow Common Metadata 2.7, as well as adding data to support additional workflow use cases, ability to handle cards in playable sequence, and improved support for TV that reduces the need for territory-specific experiences.
- Media Manifest Core 2.0 – Media Manifest Core 2.0 is the targeted core specification based on Media Manifest 1.8 and Common Metadata 2.7. It includes all the improvements from those specifications and adds full support for episodic content (i.e., Television).
The latest specifications can be found on the MovieLabs website www.movielabs.com/md.
DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group advocates and promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels that support the movie, television, music, consumer electronics and IT industries.
DEG membership is comprised of: BBC AMERICA, bitMAX, Cinedigm Entertainment, Cinelytic, Comcast Cable, comScore, DTS, Inc., Deloitte, Deluxe Digital, DirecTV, Dolby Laboratories, Ericsson, Eurofins Digital Media Services, Fandango, Giant Interactive, GfK Entertainment, GoChip, Google Play, The Great Courses, HBO Home Entertainment, IMAX, Intel, Irdeto, LG Electronics USA, Lionsgate, MAI, Mediamorph, MGM, Microsoft, MovieLabs, MQA, Nielsen Entertainment, NPD Group, The Orchard, Panasonic, Paramount Home Media Distribution, PBS Distribution, Philips Electronics, Pioneer Onkyo, Pixelogic, Premiere Digital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Qobuz, Redbox, Samsung Electronics, Screen Engine/ASI, Sonopress, Sony DADC, Sony Electronics, Sony Music Entertainment, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Operations Group, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, V2Solutions, Verizon Digital Media Services, Vubiquity, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) is a not-for-profit international trade association for those engaged in the sale, rental, and/or commercial delivery of video or video game content to consumers through physical media or over-the-top Internet-based delivery.
EMA-member companies operate physical and digital retailing, digital platforms and streaming services around the world, offer content for retailers and streaming services, and provide service and technology for the industry. Membership comprises the full spectrum of retailers, distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture and television studios, video game publishers, and other related businesses that constitute and support the $40 billion home entertainment industry.
EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).
Motion Picture Laboratories, Inc. (MovieLabs) is a non-profit technology research lab jointly run by Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLLP, Walt Disney Pictures and Television, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. In addition to other research and initiatives, MovieLabs supports supply chain automation efforts through the MovieLabs Digital Distribution Framework (MDDF), a suite of compatible specifications and technologies covering core aspects of online distribution, including identification, metadata, avails, asset delivery, digital extras and reporting. Developed and delivered through industry collaboration, these specifications and technologies enable automation, cost reduction, and improved consumer experiences across the industry.
About the author : Kauser Kanji
I've been working in online video since 2005 and have held senior roles at NBC Universal, ITN and Virgin Media. I've also completed VOD projects for the BBC, Netflix, Sony Pictures and a host of broadcasters and service-providers all over the world. Catch me on our weekly debate show, OTT Question Time, or drop me a line on LinkedIn.