Case Studies

Hearst Television Gains a “Tremendous Advantage” With Signiant’s Private Cloud Solution, Managers+Agents

A traffic light with a cloudy sky behind it.

Hearst Television logo

Private Cloud Solution Centralizes Ingest, Processing, Distribution; Speeds Time to Air, Time to Revenue

Hearst Television is a national multimedia company that owns and operates local television and radio stations. When various local TV ad spot ftp workflows began to burden station operations Hearst Television relied on Signiant’s Managers+Agents for an innovative solution that is simple, elegant, and paving the way for same-day ad delivery.

The Challenge

Hearst Television, a national multimedia company, owns and operates 29 local television stations and two local radio stations in 26 U.S. Markets. It has long been recognized as a leader in national advertising spot management and distribution across its station group.

In 2012, almost half of Hearst’s revenues were from local TV ad spot sources, yet ads were, and continue, to be sent in multiple ad formats and types. As a result, local station workflows for receiving ads, verifying their broadcast quality, transcoding, developing metadata, storing, and archiving them varied widely. The human oversight required to deal with different delivery methods and file formats was significant, and forced early ad closing deadlines that limited revenue potential. Hearst recognized that a more centralized and automated way to accelerate the digital ingest, processing, management and distribution of local and national TV spots could dramatically improve local station efficiency system-wide and ultimately increase revenue.

How They Did It

Hearst’s new system—called UploadSpot—leverages Managers+Agents from Signiant to deliver a private cloud solution that centralizes ingest processing, and distribution across the 29 Hearst US local stations. Using the UploadSpot system, local commercials to be aired on a particular station are delivered directly to the Centrally Hosted systems, instead of the local station.

Once received, spots are automatically routed via Signiant’s solution to Hearst’s Telestream transcoding platform, which is tightly integrated with its traffic system. During the process, the metadata for each ad is generated, logged and stored. Spots and associated metadata are then electronically delivered via Signiant to the appropriate local station for playout.

The Results

With the help of Signiant, Hearst can process ads at a rate of about 30 seconds per spot compared to the previous 5 to 10 minutes per spot. UploadSpot now provides one central hub for ingesting 5000- 6000 ads per week. The UploadSpot system enables them to:

  • Drill down to see what was delivered, when it was delivered and verify and track ad receipt.
  • Save local station resources, tape and shipping costs, and offer late selling of commercial time.
  • Avoid having their technical team create custom ingest processes.
  • Eliminate the use of custom FTP scripts which are cumbersome and not scalable.
  • Recover the time spent harvesting files from ftp sites and the Internet.
  • Provide a self-service solution making it easy for advertisers to do business with Hearst.
  • Spend more time monitoring of the off-air signal.

“In today’s 7×24 broadcast environment, we can gain a tremendous advantage by allowing advertisers to get their TV commercials on air anywhere in the Hearst TV Station Group faster than ever,” said Joe Addalia, Director of Technology Projects, Hearst Television.

Signiant Managers+Agents is a private cloud solution for sharing media assets that allows Hearst to rapidly exchange content and metadata files with other users, systems and applications faster than ever before. Agents installed on the sending and receiving end manage and track content movement to guarantee certified delivery. The Signiant- powered workflows also provide centralized management capabilities, including global audit and tracking of media movement from a single dashboard for unparalleled visibility and enterprise control.

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