NAB 2017

NAB Reflections: Arvato’s Joe Torelli on the Growth of MAM

MediaPortal for cross-platform asset management makes its NAB Show debut

Arvato Systems’ booth at NAB 2017 stayed plenty busy with pro franchises and college athletics video programs looking into media-asset management (MAM). The company demonstrated its new MediaPortal system (which debuted at IBC2016) for cross-platform searching, finding, collecting, and sharing assets across the media enterprise. In addition, Arvato rolled out the latest updates for its EditMate solution for managing Adobe Premiere Pro projects and related media files. Also on display was the Avatega system for managing contractual and intellectual-property (IP) rights and linear and non-linear content schedules.

SVG sat down with Broadcast Solutions Strategist Joe Torelli, a broadcast-tech veteran of Avid, Apple, SAM, and others who joined Arvato in January. He addressed the latest developments for MediaPortal and EditMate, sports-production market trends, and how Arvato is looking to grow its U.S. presence.

Joe Torelli, broadcast solutions strategist, Arvato Systems

What is the big news for Arvato here at NAB 2017?
Arvato MediaPortal aggregates the steps and processes of creating, researching, writing, and organizing content for editing into one simple-to-use interface. MediaPortal literally is one screen that delivers all of the information — almost as if you’re ordering from B&H: I need a lens, so I pull up brand as Canon, millimeter as 135, F-stop as 2.0. Gradually, as you’re doing that, the search engine will find anything that’s on the system. [Say it’s German Chancellor] Angela Merkel talking to [French former presidential candidate Marine] Le Pen about the election. I could put a couple words in there, and MediaPortal looks across everything. It will find any media — whether it’s video or stills — and deliver it to a unified panel that a producer or a journalist can drag to their watch box — effectively their own little collection — and that can be forwarded off to an editor or a production unit.

You can save searches as “frequently used.” You can be working on three storylines at the same time. Those searches are built, and, on those three tabs, [as] any new material comes in that meets the search parameters, it gives you an [alert] that there are three new pieces of content on Merkel and Le Pen.

We also have new developments for EditMate, which is the embedded panel within Adobe Premiere Pro. We’ve now made it so that EditMate doesn’t have to be attached to a big, physical VPMS system. We can literally take 15-20 Premiere clients and give them a full-blown asset-management system. We have a lot of very large Avid houses that have Premiere somewhere in the building: such as promotions departments using Premiere with After Effects and various other Adobe products. [Those departments] are often on an island and have no asset management whatsoever. This can fit in that small workgroup and provide a mini version of a world-class asset-management system. It’s inexpensive, and it is amazingly complete.

Anything in particular that your sports customers have been asking for recently?
The ability for us to partner closely with EVS and Harmonic and the simplicity of the flexibility of our engine working underneath either of those two recording platforms continue to be popular.

Arvato is already an established brand for M&E in Europe but is less well-known in North America. How are you looking to grow your business in the U.S.?
What we’re hoping to do is to get the Arvato brand in front of more people because we’re still a relative unknown quantity in this space in the United States. Back in my Avid days, we put Media Composers and News Cutters in Europe before it was ever popular in the United States, and we were able to come back to the United States in the mid ’90s and say BBC and YLE Finland are using this today. That created an immediate use case for U.S. [content creators] to see the power of the system. I see a strong similarity 20 years later in that Arvato’s so accepted in Europe. We can walk back to the United States and show some real-world scenarios playing out.

Leagues and broadcasters have been developing sophisticated MAM operations for several years, but now we’re seeing individual pro franchises and universities hop on the MAM train. How are you seeing this sector of the market evolve?
That’s exactly what’s going on. [Pro sports] teams are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of assets that they have, and they’re overwhelmed with the number of requests to deliver those assets out to clients. As they ingest a terabyte of data per game times many games, they need to have all that material readily available. They need somebody to be able to asset-tag each of the elements of the content and to be able to sort, search, find, create something, and then share it. To put it mildly, our booth has been very busy with teams looking for tools to accomplish that.