Finding something to watch used to be pretty simple. A limited number of channels, a limited number of shows (all airing at predetermined times) and simple, hand-held paper guides to plan out your viewing schedule.
Yeah, things have changed a little.
“Now we have hundreds, thousands of services, each of them with thousands of movies and TV show episodes,” said Tomas Gennari, founder and CEO of BB-Media and FlickShow, speaking April 13 at the EIDR Annual Participant Meeting. “How can we gather the data available through each and every one of them? Just imagine what we could do if we could gather the information for all of those titles, if we were to analyze the metadata for each one of them.”
At the event, the title of Gennari’s first presentation — “What’s on? 314,336 Films, 94,539 Shows & 3,100,354 Episodes” — proved what an enormous challenge the content metadata industry is facing, especially when he updated those numbers to 361,723 films and 143,588 midway through the slide deck, with those numbers being the totals in BB-Media’s database. “Just after two months of putting that title [out there] it was already outdated,” he said. That’s still a drop in the bucket to the estimates five million total titles Gennari estimates exists.
BB is in the midst of surveying more than 1,600 streaming services across nearly 140 countries, “and it’s really difficult to identify each one of these titles. That’s where EIDR and other universal identifyers come in, and do a hell of a job identifying each one of those titles,” Gennari said.
Organization is the key for how best to read — and make use — of all the data surrounding this universe of titles, he added, and that’s where research and marketing firms like BB can make their presence felt in the industry. Break titles down by locations where airing, the type of services they’re offered on, the origin of the production itself, and then by genre, and suddenly sifting through titles becomes less daunting.