Besides closer integrations between traffic and automation, stations are also looking to tie their media asset management (MAM) systems into traffic operations.
“There is a lot of focus on better integration with MAM to metadata to flows through the system,” says John Larrabee, VP of Americas at Pilat Media. “That can let the traffic operators see what promos are available and what content is ready to air.”
Other traffic vendor executives at Harris, Myers and WideOrbit agree, in part because such integrations can help streamline operations, make it easier to track content through the system and reduce the risk of errors in live log deployments.
“Stations are looking to find ways to better integrate traffic with automation and media asset management systems,” says Karyn Reid Bliss, U.S. director of product management at SintecMedia. “When the content is ingested into playout and the media asset management system is updated, the traffic operator can see if content is ready to go when changes are being made to the log.”
Without that information, a traffic operator might make a change to a live log shortly before airtime that would ask the playout server to air an ad or piece of content that might be missing or not properly prepared for broadcast.
The importance of tying all three systems together is boosting demand for SintecMedia’s enterprise system that includes traffic, MAM, rights management, sales and other systems into one package, Reid Bliss says. “The nice thing about having a single system is that you don’t have to go through all these different integrations,” she adds.
Closer ties between traffic, automation and MAM can also allow automated tracking of the use of encoders and other hardware, explains Ian Young, Snell automation product specialist. Such information lets service providers and other companies better share devices across their infrastructure. “It would maximize the usage of a device,” Young says. “You could see when the device is not being used and could be shared.”