Video Essentials

What Video Metadata Does for Hearst, and What it Can Do for You

Do you create metadata for your online videos, either by hand or by an automated process? If not, you’re throwing search engine traffic away without ever realizing it.

Search engines can’t scan blocks of video, so they need metadata to help them out. Metadata are words or phrases associated with a video, letting search tools know the video’s contents.

Speaking at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Michael Dunn, chief technology officer for Hearst Interactive Media, told how his company succeeds with metadata. Hearst’s magazine and newspaper properties rely on Brightcove as an online video platform (OVP), which Dunn says handles player integration, CDN integration, and just about everything but content creation.

Hearst’s TV properties recently started employing a software-as-a-service content management system called CoreMedia, which integrates with the Kaltura platform Hearst also uses.

The reason for all this backstory on Hearst’s tools is because creating a reliable workflow is key to getting good results with metadata.

“Workflow is human process and systemic process, so the more you can standardize the better it is,” says Dunn. “If you use a software-as-a-service or a platform-as-a-service as part of an integrated whole, it’s more straightforward because you can duplicate it across your various entities and whatever team members are working on the end product.

“I’m a big believer in standardizing metadata, and leveraging metadata across each aspect of the workflow.”

Video, in it’s native form is “a blob of content,” says Dunn, and it’s hard to extract data from it. Metadata then, added during the ingest process or while editing, plays several critical roles. Inside your organization, it helps your team find video assets faster. For external-facing video, it does even more and can help with search engines, social media tools, and syndication arrangements.

“In the past, video probably suffered from lack of visibility or ability of audiences to reach the video they wanted without a lot of marketing spend,” says Dunn. “Now, with metadata you can do it in a semi-automated fashion more easily.”

For more from Dunn, watch the video interview below (used courtesy of Beet.TV).


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