Content Management System

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Content Management System

Content Management System


Content management (CM) may be considered to be a collective term that incorporates at least three activities: acquisition, management and distribution (Gibb, 2005, pp. 37-42). Acquisition refers to the intake of content or material (e.g. pages, photographs, etc). It often includes the digitization of the content or material, as well as its indexing or cataloging for a reference and retrieval system. Management represents what may be considered to be the core of content management systems, the systems to support the searching for and selection of requested material. This can cover the storage of material and its indexing information. Distribution revolves around accessing stored content or material as well as delivering relevant or requested material to end-users (Goh, 2002, pp. 23-30).

Content management in the broadcast environment usually involves software and systems for all three of the above activities. Media assets in this context can be still images, audio clips, video footage and/or full programs (Gao, Li, and Nakamori, 2002, pp. 7-17). Additionally, assets may be either physical (e.g. tape-based) or digital (e.g. server-based), although CM more commonly involves the digital variety.

The BBC example

The BBC's multimedia archive is one of the world's largest and most diverse. The scale of the management required to control the BBC's archive is indicated by the sheer size of the current holdings:

1,500,000 items of film/videotapes (600,000 hours of content);

750,000 audio recordings (300,000 hours of content);

22 million newspaper cuttings;

250,000 phonetic pronunciations;

1.2 million commercial recordings;

4 million items of sheet music;

3 million photographs; and

500,000 paper files.

The archives currently issue over 1 million items per year and handle over 600,000 inquiries. It is a dynamic archive with new items arriving at a rate in excess of 180,000 items per year. The use of the archive is increasing to meet the demands for more program production. Therefore, if an increase in costs is to be avoided, then clearly there has to be a change in the way these media assets are managed (Davies and Smith, 2006, pp. 74-75). The continued pressure on production budgets puts a higher premium on the update of existing systems as opposed to starting from scratch with new equipment.

Why is CM relevant?

Most broadcasters have sizeable archives of previous programs or clips (audio and video). Increasingly, internal researches and production staff require more rapid access to these archives as part of the program making process. Additionally, broadcasters are increasingly sharing their assets and opening access to their archives on a commercial basis (Davenport, and Volpel, 2001, pp. 212-21). Key constraints upon such activities are the current complexities associated with manual, labor-intensive archive processes. Most broadcasters have severe problems supporting more than one user accessing the same asset simultaneously. Similarly, tracking and tracing physical assets (their movements, whereabouts and usage) is also a real problem.

The industry in also moving toward "Internet-speed" operations, which require faster access to the archive and faster deliveries of assets to end-users who may be located across different sites. Growth in channels, the hours of output and the number ...
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