Driving scale and ROI with powerful content versioning strategies

May 21, 2024 by Malik Khan, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder

In a rapidly evolving media landscape, streaming services, rights holders, and broadcasters face a major challenge: achieving unprecedented levels of scale in content distribution amid platform fragmentation and tightening budgets. This was a major discussion point at NAB Show 2024. Audience shifts toward digital platforms have not only diversified the ways in which content is consumed, but have also ushered in a proliferation of new business models, driving market complexity and new technology requirements.

Right now, the stakes are high for media businesses. Facing challenging market conditions and fierce competition, the ability to efficiently customize and version content for diverse platforms and audiences has never been more critical. The task at hand requires an overhaul of legacy content distribution methodologies to embrace flexibility, innovation, and efficiency at scale. A future-ready strategy is not just about increasing scale; it's about unlocking new revenue streams and engaging previously untapped audiences with tailored content that resonates on a deeper level. Robust, IP-powered foundations and next-generation content versioning tools are proving fundamental to long-term success.

IP-based foundations underpin global media delivery at scale

Business leaders understand achieving greater scale in a digital-first landscape requires the adoption of IP-based technologies. Embracing more flexible and intelligent IP foundations enables media companies to meet the requirements of modern content distribution across an array of digital platforms while simultaneously safeguarding their core linear revenue streams. Central to this transformative strategy are fully managed IP-based transmission solutions like LTN Wave, underpinned by LTN’s proprietary, multicast-enabled global IP network that delivers ultra-low latency and high SLAs.

Tier 1 media businesses and sports networks around the world are shifting to IP for a more cost-effective, scalable, and reliable alternative to legacy transport methodologies. While the core benefits of an IP transition are widely understood across the industry, forward-thinking players can look beyond phase one of an IP migration to harness new levels of business intelligence and efficiencies that were never previously possible. LTN’s unique combination of the world’s only managed global IP network married tightly with modular, API or policy driven in-network capabilities, creates possibilities that were never before possible. Advances in automation are helping tie together complex technologies and ecosystems, driving new operational efficiencies and simplifying disparate processes. An intelligent IP-based foundation allows media companies to manage complex business policy based workflows like blackout, rights management and content replacement directly within the transmission network, while supporting custom ad profiling and SCTE insertion for multi-platform distribution.

An integrated IP ecosystem approach also facilitates access to a suite of advanced content versioning capabilities. These tools empower content creators to customize live events and full-time channels for different regions, platforms, and audiences at scale. Whether it's tailoring live sports content with custom graphics and local language commentary, or spinning up new digital channels for FAST platforms, IP-based methodologies enable organizations to cost-efficiently deliver multiple versions of content to any platform worldwide — without heavy CapEx investment or increasing headcount.

Game-changing content versioning tools for linear channels and live events

Content owners face the dual challenge of scaling their distribution efforts globally while ensuring content is customized to meet the nuanced demands of diverse audiences. This challenge is magnified by the need to manage costs, all while enhancing control, visibility, and customization capabilities across all platforms. The goal is clear: to engage new audiences and unlock new revenue streams by delivering tailored content at a scale that was previously unimaginable.

The rise of new media business models and the rapid growth of FAST platforms underscore the need for a robust content versioning strategy. Businesses don’t have the time or the resources to invest heavily in creating and managing new channels and live event streams; media companies need cost-efficient ways of repurposing and decorating high value content for distribution across new digital frontiers.

Take live sports, for example. To provide tailored, culturally or demographically relevant experiences at a tremendous scale while meeting diverse global platform requirements, media companies need advanced production technologies to create multiple versions of live sports content with language-tailored audio, custom graphics, and ad insertion. Efficiently acquiring, normalizing, branding, versioning, monetizing, and delivering that content at scale while ensuring the best consumer experience is incredibly demanding — and many rights holders and sports streamers lack the infrastructure or in-house resources to manage this level of complexity. LTN Arc makes live event versioning simple, empowering content owners to transform live sports content into tailored streams for worldwide multi-platform distribution across digital, OTT, and FAST platforms — enabling seamless customization and regionalization on a global scale while maximizing monetization.

To engage younger digital audiences and capture growing revenue opportunities in the FAST market, organizations need efficient ways to deliver live and localized content on FAST platforms — all while managing operational costs. Today, major broadcasters are harnessing LTN Lift, a fully-supported playout solution for the automated creation of new linear channels — many with live news and sports which has proven to be challenging to do efficiently and reliably — to reach cross-platform audiences. LTN Lift enables media owners to scale and regionalize their content offering without investing in additional infrastructure, helping broadcasters maximize the yield from their primary content assets while bringing fresh and tailored streaming channels to markets across the country.

The business imperative of doing more with less

The age-old business imperative of doing more with less remains a key consideration for all content companies. The drive for scalability and cost-efficiency in technology has never been more vital as organizations strive to meet profitability targets while growing their audience share.

Media businesses are looking for technology partners to cost-efficiently drive scale and reach to bring their best content to digital and traditional platforms. While innovative technology is foundational to success, major media companies are looking for a deeper level of partnership that goes beyond technology provision, enabling them to scale their teams with the assurance of proven expertise, always-on support, and next generation visibility and monitoring. A managed services partner model combining proprietary technology with a best-in-class service layer is becoming mission-critical. LTN understands this. It’s precisely why we pride ourselves on our function as an extension of your operations team. Every service we deliver is underpinned by the LTN Network — and fully backed by always-on monitoring, superior support levels and our world-class LTN technical operations center (TOC).

Enable your next growth phase

Managing the convergence of the traditional media landscape and an evolving digital arena presents unique technology and business challenges. With a squeeze on revenues and rising costs, delivering maximum ROI on diverse content assets while serving audiences in more tailored ways is a top priority for all business leaders.

Driven by IP-based distribution foundations and breakthroughs in automation, powerful content versioning tools are critical enablers for media companies seeking to maximize reach and monetization potential. The shift towards IP-based workflows represents a fundamental starting point for media companies poised to tackle the challenges of scale and customization head-on.

Take the first step today. To discover how to take your media distribution strategy to the next level, schedule a demo with us here.