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Manager+Agents Use Cases Part 2: Content Contribution, Aggregation and Ingest

Aug 20, 2018 By Meg Cater

This blog is the second in a series covering the most common types use cases for Manager+Agents. Signiant’s flagship product, Manager+Agents is the gold standard for scheduled, lights-out, automated transfer of large files between geographically distributed locations. Forming the core transport backbone of most major media companies, this powerful, secure enterprise software helps studios, broadcasters, cable networks and sports organizations move petabytes of data every day throughout their global content supply chains.

The use cases covered in this series also include: Part 1 content distribution; coming soon, Part 3 creative workflows; Part 4 cloud workflows; Part 5 sports and Part 6 applications outside of Media & Entertainment. It’s important to note that all of these examples involve business-to-business media workflows; Signiant technology is not typically involved in delivery of content directly to the consumer.

Content Contribution, Aggregation and Ingest

A common workflow in the global media industry involves collecting content from disparate sources and bringing it to a central location for processing, packaging, and subsequent distribution to partners and/or internal facilities. These many-to-one use cases involve some of the same complexities as distribution; they are similarly global in scale and often have time-critical elements.

Contribution and distribution workflows are often interleaved or even interchangeable, with the control point determined by the commercial arrangements between the parties. For example, a major cable network that commissions content from many different producers may design a contribution workflow to ensure timely content submission and a uniform ingest process. The content producer will be provided with (or will need to purchase) an Agent that is controlled by the cable network’s Manager. In this case, the content producer is a participant in the cable net’s contribution workflow.

That same content-producing entity may also independently create video assets that are marketed and sold to other outlets around the world. Some of those contracts are likely to require that the producer deliver a finished asset to the buyer’s premises. In this situation the content producer will drive a distribution workflow from their own file transfer system. Because of these diverse needs, Manager+Agents deployments within large media enterprises are often correspondingly complex, involving the entity’s own M+A system, Agents from multiple partners, and various cross-trust arrangements. Signiant software is configurable enough to support whatever workflow is desired, the details of which are generally dictated by business model imperatives within the M&E industry.

These are some of the most common aggregation workflows that employ M+A to provide acceleration, security and central control:

  • Collect commissioned programs from many global producers (cable or broadcast network);
  • Ingest ads from agencies and production companies (ad distribution business);
  • Ingest packaged assets from various content producers (online platform);
  • Gather news content from global bureaus (cable of broadcast network).