Using Metadata to Monetize and Enhance the User Experience

By Adam Sewall on Jan 31 2012 at 8:00 AM

Remember the DVD?

These days, you’re more likely to see the once-ubiquitous DVD and Blu-Ray at a Blockbuster liquidation sale than in a shopping cart. Physical media peaked in 2007, and sales have declined 45 to 50 percent since then.

"Digital file sales are not fully making up for that difference," said Christopher Carey, a former executive at Paramount, Technicolor and Disney, in an interview with Digital2Disc, an industry publication covering content creation and distribution. Carey believes the solution could lie in a next-gen Blu-Ray disc that lets users view additional content online, providing an on-demand experience via physical media. This "bridge[s] the digital-distribution world through a physical media supply chain that we already have."

Carey, who recently joined as one of Ooyala’s newest advisers, says the key to enhancing that online experience is rich metadata.

What we are seeing is a move toward ad-sponsorship and the concept of contextually relevant metadata. … Because of all this rich metadata we can supply as you watch movies or a TV program, we are going to be able to tell you who the actors are, deliver pop up synopses of biographies, what brand of shirts they are wearing, direct you to a local retail store selling those brands, and keep it totally relevant to the program you are watching.

Contextual information and limited product ads could be the key to creating higher levels of consumer engagement, he argues.

The ability to stream such rich, contextually relevant metadata in real time against the playback of a selected video will mean that consumers are far more engaged. We expect to see advertising revenues increasing to a point where there could be real promise in the future about ways to monetize a delivery mechanism that currently is seen as an otherwise bleak economic mode for subscription and ad-revenue strategies versus ownership, which was a much more margin-based business.

We have to agree with the guy (and not just because he’s an adviser to our parent company Ooyala). Metadata is what makes online video relevant. Tapping into it can give users a better viewing experience and content owners and publishers insight into how effective their videos are.

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