Metadata Becomes Micro-Personal

As Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) begin to capitalize on improvements in search, behavior prediction, and distributed computing, the importance of metadata – that is, data that describes other data- will become critical. According to TDG’s Program Guidesat the Crossroads: The IPG Gets Personal, as today’s grid-style EPGs evolve to multiplatform/multisystem Personal Entertainment Guides (PEGs), the form and amount of metadata provided byprogrammers will greatly influence the ease with which consumers search and identify entertainment content.

“In the ‘any time/any place’ world of on-demand video populated by millions of assets, metadata about those assets is critical in allowing a potential viewer to find something of interest to watch,” said Colin Dixon, senior analyst for The Diffusion Group. “The equation is simple: the less metadata about a show there is the less likely that show will be found.”

According to Dixon, one of the primary challenges facing guide data suppliers is lack of adherence to a common standard. In today’s EPG world, most guide data uses one (and only one) format that closely mirrors the data itself. When a new type of data comes along (say, on-demand), it is very difficult to integrate this new data into the general consumer experience. For example, consumers in most cases cannot simultaneously search both programmed and on-demand content. Imagine the difficulty consumers will face when new media outlets such as Internet-based and mobile content begin to feed content to both stationary and mobile devices.

Today’s metadata tends to be organized around three domains (that is, file format, schema, or language), but these three domains can encompass a plethora of individual specifications, including PSIP, DVD-SI, ADI 2.0, VOD Metadata 1.0 and 1.1, RDF, MPEG-7, Dublin Core, TV-Anytime, EBU/P-Meta, AAF, or MXF (among others). Multiply this across multiple networks and multiple viewing devices, says Dixon, and it becomes clear how important standardized metadata will become.

TDG’s latest report on trends in digital video, Program Guides at the Crossroads: The IPG Gets Personal, offers an examination of the various technological and economic trends underlying the move to PEGs (e.g. search, end-user behavior, multi-platform distribution); the impact of PEGs on video advertising; the importance of metadata in the PEG environment; profiles of leading EPG and emerging PEG players; global forecasts for broadband-enabled versus traditional set-top box deployments; and global forecasts for PEG licenses.

About The Diffusion Group ( TDG ) –

The Diffusion Group is a strategic research and consulting firm focused on the new media and digital home markets. Using a unique blend of consumer insights, executive-level consultants, and hands-on technical experts, we produce more than just research – we create Intelligence in Action?. TDG is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and forecasts grounded in consumer research.

For more information about The Diffusion Group, visit our website.

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