Limecraft offers Workflow Design and Automation, Media Asset Management and Content Delivery/supply chain solutions to producers and broadcasters alike. These are cloud-based, which is very convenient for remote ingest, online collaboration, remote editing, etc. The Delivery Workspace is a specific implementation, shared by producers and broadcasters, allowing them to manage the process of delivering content from the producer to the broadcaster (and the supply chain in general). This article explains the key concepts.

What is a Delivery Workspace?

A Delivery Workspace is distributed repository of media assets and metadata, shared by producers and broadcasters, allowing them to interact in real-time, to ensure secure and timely delivery of programme material, metadata, and ancillary media. It structures the content delivery process, thereby improving security and operational efficiency for both producers and broadcasters.

The typical scope of a Delivery Workspace is a season of a series. While arbitrary in principle, and to be agreed between the producer and the broadcaster, best practice is to use individual workspaces per logistic unit that requires tracking and that has deadlines to be met.

The Limecraft Delivery Workspace is used by producers and broadcasters to manage the Content Delivery Process. It is a real-time dashboard, showing the progress of media and metadata deliveries, and assuring quality control at the source.

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What is the purpose of a Delivery Workspace?

From the perspective of a broadcaster (using the word in the broadest sense to include streaming operators, FAST channels, etc), it is becoming harder to manage the process of receiving content from an increasing number of sources. The actual delivery of files is the simple part; agreeing on naming conventions and metadata with dozens of sources and producers is much more challenging.

If this process is not properly structured, good management of the supply chain may depend on excessive informal communication and manual intervention, which is inefficient and hampers the overall quality of the data. With a well set up supply chain, the quality of metadata and ancillary media are verified at the source, all relevant parties are kept updated in real-time and deadlines are controlled automatically. This improves the operational efficiency of both the producers and the broadcaster, leading to more scalable operations, improved quality control and security, and superior version control.

Limecraft screenshot of the Delivery Workspace, illustrating how the delivery of different components of series and episodes can be tracked and controlled in real time.

Limecraft implements Delivery Workspaces as a content delivery portal shared by producers, broadcasters, and any third party service providers and agencies that may interact during the course of the process.

  • The process starts by processing a delivery request issued by the broadcaster or the producer, usually coming from a planning system like Mediagenix or similar. The delivery request contains the Bill of Material of the series of episodes, including the full specification of the metadata, audio layouts, naming conventions, and collateral media such as posters and trailers.
  • Upon successful processing of the delivery request, Limecraft automatically deploys a dashboard, which is exposed to the producer, the broadcaster, and any relevant third party.
  • The dashboard shows the progress of the delivery process in real-time. It is used by producers to start the actual delivery of assets (using Aspera, Signiant or similar) and to input the metadata. Metadata is verified at the source.
  • The broadcaster is notified of any submission following a delivery request, and prompted to approve or reject the input.
  • Throughout the process, all involved parties are kept updated in real-time using built-in notifications.

How does it work?

The Delivery Workspace is a shared repository using the Limecraft Media Asset Management (MAM) and Workflow Automation platform at the core. It does not replace the MAM solutions of the producer or the broadcaster; it interacts with them in real-time. Also, it is intimately integrated with the planning system (operated by the producer or the broadcaster), receiving the content specification, and feeding back any any changes and the progress in real-time. Apart from the above, it may interact with the workflow systems of third party service providers like subtitling producers, promo departments, marketing agencies, etc. The initial setup may require a considerable engineering effort, but any costs are easily recovered via the improved operational efficiency upon activation.

Once deployed and activated, individual Delivery Workspaces per programme or season are brought to life without further customisation or software development. Triggered by a delivery request issued by the planning system of the producer or the broadcaster (A in the picture), a workspace is automatically created in seconds based on the template delivered with the delivery request. The template contains the full specification or Bill of Material of the items that need to be delivered, together with a specification of the allowed or mandatory metadata.

Schematic overview of the Limecraft Delivery Workspace, used by producers and broadcasters to manage the content delivery process or supply chain.

Subsequently, any producers or third parties are notified of the new delivery request (steps B and D in the picture). Next, the producer start delivering media and/or metadata, which are made available to the producer for verification and approval. Upon approval and acceptance by the broadcaster, media are released for distribution by ingesting them in the MAM system and by acknowledging this transaction to the planning system (step G in the overview).

It's important to reiterate that the Delivery Workspace, as proposed by Limecraft, does not replace any pre-existing MAM systems but rather integrates with them. It offers a simple solution to managing the complex content delivery process by structuring the different elements of the delivery through predefined requests. In doing so, each step of the delivery process can then be executed according to a well defined and organised protocol.