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Inside Brightspot: Fueling the Evolution of Next-Gen Video Publishing

Image shows a time lapse of a woman jogging with long, efficient strides to illustrate a post on optimizing video publishing with Brightspot and AWS Elemental

Each week, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that’s filled with the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. It’s not just how Brightspot works but why its features were engineered the way they were. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a weekly column called “The Whys.” From creating vanity URLs to knowing the difference between a document and an attachment, these posts answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

In this week’s edition of “The Whys,” we welcome a special guest author, Chris Smith. A platform product manager for all-things-integrations, Chris walks us through the ins and outs of next-gen video publishing with Brightspot + AWS Elemental.

We designed Brightspot to empower editors and optimize the publishing workflows within our customers’ newsrooms. Brightspot has long played a central role in the publishing of articles and images across thousands of digital properties. As the landscape shifted to prioritize video content, we focused on our integration with AWS Elemental because we wanted video to be a star in Brightspot’s unified experience.

To understand this evolution, let’s first take a step back. In years prior, when customers needed to support video workflows, Brightspot would integrate with an online video platform (OVP) like Brightcove or Kaltura. These integrations would be somewhat bidirectional, allowing reporters and editors to perform some tasks in Brightspot and have those changes fed back to the OVP. However, the video production teams in these newsrooms still needed to operate within the OVP for uploading and managing video—a process that worked for the time. But with Brightspot 4.0, we wanted to make that process work differently and more efficiently.

Let’s unpack the workflow that was previously required to get a better sense of the challenges we set out to overcome. In the past, to create one single video, here’s a rundown of the steps involved:

  • In the OVP: First, a video producer would have to upload a raw video to the OVP for processing and transcoding. The video producer would also set metadata like a title or description. Then, that data would get fed back into Brightspot.
  • In Brightspot: When the CMS editor wanted to get the video live on the website, she would review the video. Let’s say she decided she wanted a new thumbnail, wanted the video length shortened, and wanted a version for social media. She would have then requested those, offline, from the video editor.
  • In the OVP: The video producer then needed to upload a new video into the OVP and send it to the CMS.
  • In Brightspot: The CMS editor would review the new video, approve it—or not—and this cycle would repeat … on and on.

In this use case, each editor was logging into a disparate system, multiple times, in order to get a single asset live on the website for consumers to view. And this example doesn’t take into account any other manual tasks such as video transcription or properly tagging the video.

Brightspot CMS + AWS Elemental

Fast-forward a few years to a time when video is no longer supporting content, but it’s a central source of revenue for many publishers. The clunky process outlined above was limiting, time-consuming and restricting new opportunities for advertising.

Those constraints are precisely what we set out to tackle with Brightspot 4.0 and the Amazon Elemental integration. What resulted—which we’ll detail below—is a solution where video assets can be centrally and wholly created and managed within one system.

So, What Is AWS Elemental?

AWS Elemental is a cloud and on-premise video processing, storage and monetization platform. It was designed to provide an affordable alternative to OVPs while still improving three key areas of the video workflow: content creation, flexibility and revenue generation. You can read more about that here.

There are several key building blocks of AWS Elemental that help it solve for our customers’ video use cases in Brightspot. First, let’s talk about MediaConvert and its tie-in to the AWS AI/ML services that are also integrated within Brightspot.

With the functionality of AWS MediaConvert, Brightspot gives the power of central video management to video producers within one platform. For example, all of the following functions can now be accomplished within Brightspot:

  • Uploading video.
  • Managing several transcoding profiles for multiscreen delivery.
  • Editing video.
  • Adding graphic overlays to videos.
  • Color correction on videos.
Brightspot CMS + AWS Elemental

Here are some of the ways MediaConvert bridges the gap between editorial and video production teams to operate and collaborate in one system:

Upload and Ingest Video Directly Into Brightspot
Video producers can ingest video directly into Brightspot and manage the associated metadata. When a producer uploads a video, it can be transcoded into multiple renditions for optimal playback across platforms like connected TVs, phones and tablets with MediaConvert.

Features that are necessary to video producers, such as adding a graphic overlay, trimming down a video, and making light adjustments like color correction, can be accomplished in Brightspot.

Now that video producers and editorial teams are working in the same tool, collaboration in the publishing workflow can be more instantaneous. Leveraging Brightspot’s built-in workflow and notification tools allows for instant updates, streamlined communication and much faster content creation.

Augment Video Workflows With AI/ML
Since the video management is now housed in Brightspot, this allows for easy integration with elements of the AWS machine learning services. Now manual or outsourced processes like transcribing video for closed captions or reviewing videos to tag contextually are alleviated with feature integrations like Amazon Transcribe and Amazon Rekognition.

The following videos offer a more in-depth look into how these integrations enhance video workflows: The Benefits of Amazon Rekognition and The Benefits of Amazon Transcribe.

The amazing part about all of these integrations is that Brightspot is extensible and can continuously evolve to meet customers’ needs. Want the ability to make a clip from a livestream in real time? That’s extending on the foundations of Brightspot’s functionality. Need to translate your video transcription to display on a video page for a different language? That, again, is simply extending on the foundations of Brightspot’s existing capabilities.

Here at Brightspot, we’re excited to help fuel the evolution of next-gen video publishing with Brightspot + AWS Elemental.

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