The Value of Metadata for OTT

By Angie Johnston  |  December 21, 2017

Roger Franklin | New Bay Media Europe | January 2018 | p. 20

Common sense suggests that no business model would involve giving away an expensive product for free. But as we know, most content providers see the provision of non-subscription Video on Demand as a cost of doing business, a necessary evil as it were. Although it is challenging, VoD can, however, prove lucrative. The most effective way of ensuring this is through the correct use of metadata, which has become absolutely key to monetising content, if not the provision of OTT as a whole.

Big networks are doing exactly this. Crystal currently has OTT software enabling the distribution of content in 31 US stations. We’ve seen that no matter the size of the provider, metadata is still essential, as is a sophisticated system to manage it. If not, there is simply no way of getting the same value out of providing content Over the Top. One of our latest deployments was for a major US television network and station group with a reach of 50 million homes. Metadata is currently pioneering several value-generating operations for the organisation all centered upon increasing revenue, and providing better viewer experiences.


Successfully providing VoD content requires a number of processes and requirements, most of which rely on metadata. The provider in question has popular content and a well-designed platform, but this is only half the battle. It’s a well-known fact that monetising digital content is extremely difficult, generally due to consumers’ reluctance to pay for services and the time and effort involved in providing them. Services like Netflix charge what is considered a small fee for an SVoD service, but can do so due to the popularity of its content. Most providers, particularly those with smaller, niche audiences, must yield to consumer expectation and provide either a cheap, or free VoD service.

For that reason, the well-known station has invested heavily in metadata and its corresponding systems, to streamline the process of preparing OTT files and to take advantage of one of the most effective ways of generating revenue within a non-subscription service: Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI).


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