SVG Europe Sit-Down: Imagen’s Kerry Freeman with future-proofing and data security insights
With over 20 years’ experience in media management, Imagen enables businesses, sports organisations and media companies to effectively archive, store, manage and distribute video content globally. This ensures fast, easy, secure and controlled access to content through a highly-customisable content portal. With data management being such a hot topic, our Sit Down interview with sales executive, Kerry Freeman is multi-faceted…
We all know that the days of tape archives are numbered. Tapes will degrade, machines will become obsolete. What is your message to those who are putting off digitisation – and what can you do to help?
Formats evolve over time, and in the consumer world we are used to having our precious assets protected and made available to us in any format we desire. Whether it’s the first LP you bought, your favourite film or the best sporting moment of all time – these moments live with us, we want access to them and they are often available at a click of a button.
How do we future-proof the content we create as a business, and why?
It’s common knowledge that physical formats are becoming obsolete, unsupported and the value of our content is degrading with each playback. Imagen’s technology offers the complete package for content owners and rights holders, allowing instant access to libraries of content that is often hard to find, let alone preview. This is just the first step in unlocking the potential of your assets.
Content is valuable from the moment it is created, but can also serve many purposes down the line. It is essential that we preserve legacy content and give it the best chance of returning revenue to the business.
Earlier this year you launched Imagen 5 – what makes it so special?
We are delighted to be consistently rolling out new features and updates to the technology. Imagen 5 addressed many needs that we have heard from our users and the market.
It is essential that any media management solution helps users to curate large quantities of content. Imagen now provides tools to add content quickly and attach meaningful metadata to it, utilising automated processes and accelerated file transfer technology. All of which is owned, developed, and supported right here in the UK.
We know that a solution for your assets should be flexible to work with your business processes and your workflows – we know that your requirement will be different to the next business.
The latest additions allow for smooth and secure playback around the world, reduced download times, visual timeline and audio wave form clipping, and a fantastic pre-populated metadata grid to allow loggers to quickly add metadata in almost real time. Almost, because loggers are not included, but can easily add metadata on your behalf!
Technology is ever progressing – so what is your biggest challenge for 2018?
Imagen has 21 years of project development and implementation experience, and has always been at the forefront of technology. The business has evolved alongside the technology and the solution is more robust and more secure for it.
Next year will see even more depletion of tape decks, more tape formats cast out of production, and libraries of content at risk of degrading beyond repair. I believe that we will see more rights holders taking action and addressing their need to digitise, and make their content available for online distribution.
Our biggest challenge will be to provide an all-encompassing solution for each customer and take them from a mixture of workflows / providers to a more flexible solution that can reduce costs in the future. Thankfully, our consultative approach allows us to guide each customer to a digital content portal that works for them.
How have client demands changed over, say, the last five years?
Client requirements evolve over time due to adoption of new technologies and increasing support for outdated solutions. It is our challenge to listen to the needs of our customers, to provide efficiency and to guide them through the transition of extinct technologies and cumbersome workflows.
Our fully managed service allows the solution to be configured to each business need – each account has a technical onboarding session and ongoing support. Imagen understand that a new solution is adopted for ongoing use and we aim to provide a helping hand at every step, as well as a secure and stable service.
Can you tell us more about the Imagen powered IMG Replay and how it provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for all non-live media licensing needs?
Imagen’s partnership with IMG is a fantastic example of how businesses can grow together to respond to market need. In this case, Imagen has provided a first-class technical solution to help automate and facilitate the IMG Replay business model. IMG Replay’s collections are outstanding, the range and depth of the content they represent speaks for itself. It is clear that IMG are ahead of the market curve, already offering unique collections that go above and beyond their extensive sport archive.
Imagen enables IMG to publish vast and diverse collections through IMG Replay, providing a solution that scales with the need of their business and their customers.
We work together to create new features that are relevant for other customers. Imagen’s software-as-a-service solution is consistently updated and developed with multiple new features released each year.
Security of data is on everyone’s mind. How do your solutions offer the protection that clients demand?
Imagen provides a secure and stable service, that can allow customers to publish content to their media portal, alternatively it is possible to restrict access and features for specific users. The granular permission structure provides roles and permissions that are easy to administrate, with additional integration to existing Single Sign On accounts for easy user management.
Automated workflows allow for visible and hidden watermarking, and automatic creation of an HLS web stream file. This provides a smoother playback experience and secure encryption, as standard.
Imagen as a business is ISO27001 certified, and has undertaken multiple customer Information Security audits from governing bodies, and pre-TX content owners.
We often see businesses use a variety of freemium services at an attractive price point to host or deliver files – but they are often much less secure. Imagen’s solution tightens these loopholes by offering one solution that can manage, archive and distribute large volumes of video content.
Have you a European sports related case study you can share with us?
The Premier League Archive is an enhanced self-serve content portal used to distribute the latest matchday action as well as providing access to over 5,000 matches – all through one highly secure, elegant web platform.
Powerful searches, online clipping and hassle-free credit-based consumption allow the Premier League’s clients to quickly locate the content they need from a large library of exclusive content. Individual players, greatest goals and matchday interviews can all be located in seconds thanks to Imagen’s ability to synchronise detailed shot list data with video playback.
With demand increasing, the Premier League enlisted Imagen to provide a cutting edge platform that would not only be the single point of distribution for its customers to retrieve the latest games, but could also make full use of its vast library of content from previous seasons. All of this takes place through a highly secure, automated, self-serve content portal, elegantly designed to maintain engagement with the brand.
With half a petabyte of premium content to choose from, the Premier League now offers its global broadcast partners a superior service; customers can quickly search, clip and download broadcast quality video, with rich, descriptive metadata – available throughout the archive – helping them to find the content they need with ease.
The result is a premium platform for premium content – optimised to facilitate discovery, offer enhanced choice and deliver broadcast ready video assets at blistering speeds to a global customer base.