Digitalsmiths is taking video metadata to the next level, unveiling its Unified Data Service, a one-stop shop for pay-TV providers to access multiple, pre-integrated data feeds.
Digitalsmiths CEO and co-founder Ben Weinberger explained to me last week that as pay-TV operators have rolled out their own on-demand services and video apps, they're striving to make them as rich as possible. This includes adding the kind of related data (e.g. actor, cast info, schedules, merchandise, etc.) and social tools (e.g. Twitter/Facebook feeds, etc.) that are commonly found in entertainment-oriented web sites and apps.
The challenge is that integrating numerous third-party data feeds is complex and time-consuming. Ben noted that data providers each use different formats, which the operator then needs to map together to achieve accuracy. And since there's a routine set of feeds most operators look to incorporate initially, the same workflow is being replicated over and over across the industry.
Unified Data Service addresses this problem by creating one index where various data sources are ingested and mapped properly. The index currently includes Digitalsmiths' own scene-level, time-based metadata and mood metadata plus the pay-TV operator's VOD, linear schedule and specific third-party data sources. It also includes third-party social networks, critics' ratings and reviews and video trailers, with other sources being added. In order to access the Unified Data Service, pay-TV operators use a single Digitalsmiths' API.
Related, Digitalsmiths has also launched Sports Discovery, an application that surfaces team and event information. With the Unified Data Service, multiple sports data sources and being incorporated, including from Thuuz, which provides excitement ratings.
As app developers keep raising the bar on online and second screen entertainment experiences, incumbent pay-TV operators will need to innovate as well. Doing so quickly and cost-effectively is the key, and Digitalsmiths' Unified Data Service looks like it could become a critical building block.