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New taskforce launched to improve data exchange for media

A new international taskforce has been launched to improve file formats and media interoperability.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) is being sponsored by a number of bodies including the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers (IABM), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA). The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is participating as an observer.

The NABA says that bringing together manufacturers, broadcasters, advertisers, ad agencies, and industry organisations (including standards bodies and trade associations) serving the professional media market, the task force’s goal is to create greater efficiencies and cost savings for the exchange of file-based content.

The group’s initial focus will be to gather and analyse requirements for a machine-generated and readable file interchange and delivery specification — including standardised and common structured metadata. Use case examples include promo, spot and program delivery from a provider to a broadcaster.

Mr Clyde Smith, Senior VP of New Technology at Fox Networks and a member of the NABA Technical Committee says: “We believe that, by improving the specification and exchange of professional media between organizations, we can enable new and more efficient file-based workflows.

“The JTF represents a diverse group of sponsor organizations with an extensive global reach, and together we will gather and analyse information not only about user requirements, but also about current standards and specifications. With this information we can rationalize the complexity of the current media landscape and make useful process and technology recommendations that improve workflow interoperability while reducing the attendant costs of file-based operations.”

As one of its first acts, the JTF has launched a survey designed to collect data on user requirements. Open to any member of the media industry, the survey asks participants to create a one-sentence “user story” by identifying the nature of their work, the specific function they seek and the business value that would be provided by that function.