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Learnings from DAS: New York 2018

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Digital Asset Symposium (DAS) held at MoMA in New York. This meeting was put on by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), and included attendees and speakers from a variety of media-related entities.

Of course, for media to succeed with audiences, the story is still the “story”, but I was struck by how data, and manipulating and storing that data, has become such a large component of the story, too.

At Human Rights Watch, a non-profit that promotes global human rights and justice, collecting and preserving data in the form of reports and videos, is a primary function. HRW described how their videos, written reports, and associated metadata must be securely preserved, as they can be used as evidence for certain cases. The chain of custody for this media-based data needs to be absolutely trustworthy and traceable. Because of that, and because of the sensitive nature of much of their video, HRW leverages established procedures from across the spectrum, including preservationists, forensics, and digital security industries.

Data is also the lifeblood at Transform, a predictive data analytics platform for media companies, entertainment, and other brands. By collecting data, and applying machine learning-based analytics to that data, Transform helps media companies maximize revenue.

HBO generates massive amounts of data from their video programming across their media platforms—traditional cable, OTT, and HBO GO. The data science and taxonomy teams at HBO are working together to create metadata and semantics that are useful for both human and artificial intelligences to understand and use, in order to optimize their audience’s experience.

Generating new revenue streams from archives that have been gathering dust for a century was the focus for the NHL. In anticipation of the league’s November 2017 centennial celebration, troves of stills, films, video, and other artifacts were uncovered, categorized, and digitized. Once that task was completed, the NHL realized they had the potential to monetize those assets, and are now looking at those possibilities.

The amount of data that all of these presenters’ companies generate is impressive, and Wasabi’s hot cloud storage offers many cost and performance advantages for such large storage requirements. The story remains the “story”, but its telling is becoming increasingly dependent on storage. As we continue to tell stories, and tell them in more exciting and innovative ways, the need for a way to preserve them all will surely grow as well.

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