Digitally transform the capture, distribution and archiving of KM Media Group’s video content
A fully optimised video distribution network – from in-studio and live recordings to end user
KM Media Group is an organisation that can trace its origins back over three centuries – to 1717 in fact, when Kent’s first newspaper, the Kentish Post, was founded. Fast forward to the present day and the group has evolved into a full-scale multimedia company with a footprint in broadcasting, newspaper and online publishing, that serves the people of Kent with current affairs, sport and entertainment news.
But with growth comes the challenge of adapting operational systems to the growing ambitions of the organisation. In 2017, Publisher’s Toolbox began working with KMTV – the county of Kent’s first dedicated TV channel – to streamline the capture, processing, hosting and streaming of live video and on-demand video content.
Previously, field reporters who captured video were using different devices and uploading to different locations, while using varying codecs and resolutions. Communication within the news production process was also an issue. “There were several incidents where video editors were not being notified about good multimedia content and breaking-news opportunities were being missed as a result,” said KMTV news editor Andy Richards.
KMTV were also dissatisfied with the flexibility and cost of their existing video streaming provider – they did not have direct access to raw video files after the videos had been uploaded into their system. The channel broadcast live programmes at fixed times, and once these live broadcasts were complete, the editor had to pull the raw video file from the camera hardware and upload 4K video to the video streaming provider. Live streaming and dynamic advertising were also not commercially viable.
We implemented MojoReporter TEAM Edition across KM Media Group’s seven newsrooms, which gave KMTV’s mobile journalism teams their own private file sharing and collaboration platform. This allowed journalists to send secure packages containing video, audio, photos and GPS locations to multiple users for review, back-up or publication. A simple phone app interface makes it easy for the reporter to type copy and headlines, attach multimedia content and send to selected destinations.
‘The MojoReporter platform was created to help reporters feel part of a private, collaborative file-sharing network and know there’s a reliable service to distribute and centrally store their media files,” said Publisher’s Toolbox CEO Rich Cheary. “They could now work in the knowledge that the newsroom would be notified as soon as they broke a story and that the editing team could efficiently find and reuse the video, photos, audio and GPS location.”
We migrated Kent Media Group’s existing video files to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). Once all the files were migrated, we replaced the VOD (video on demand) solution that was in place with Amazon’s Elastic Transcoder. This formats the video to allow our adaptive bitstream video player to stream the video to web and mobile.
We then set up a streaming server and reconfigured KMTV’s studio hardware, which provided on-the-fly transcoding and streaming for live broadcasting. KMTV’s programmes are now automatically published to their website minutes after the live broadcast is complete without manual intervention.
Different video formats are served through our customised video player. Video assets are also served through CloudFront, leveraging AWS’ high-speed global infrastructure, and reducing bandwidth costs.
KM Media Group has seen a dramatic improvement in the quantity and quality of its stories. Mojo Reporter TEAM Edition has helped grow traffic considerably, with around a million views per month across all the publishing and broadcasting channels.
“There are stories being told now that wouldn’t have seen the light of day without Mojo Reporter,” according to Richards. “Interviewees open up to reporters because all they see is a mobile phone, not a load of intimidating camera equipment. We’ve gone from having around a dozen content packages filed each month by our video reporters to more than sixty after the first month of using MojoReporter. That’s now risen to 100.”
To facilitate this growth, KMTV now stream terabytes of video content per month through a fully optimised distribution network: from reporters in the field, to live studio production, into archives for further on-demand viewing across web, terrestrial TV and mobile app.
The KMTV Mobile App
The Publisher’s Toolbox team was tasked with configuring a white-label MobileAppSuite solution for KMTV that would allow users to easily access KMTV’s video content for live streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere.
Launched in April 2019, the KMTV mobile app allows personalised feed preferences, bookmarking of articles for offline reading, and access to breaking news stories, sport, entertainment, as well as the channel’s regular news programming on demand.
In a digital first for the UK, the app features the Publisher’s Toolbox Augmenta and MojoReporter modules, allowing for augmented reality experiences and citizen reporting. Augmenta, the Publisher’s Toolbox augmented reality platform, allows users to scan augmented images that bridge the gap between print and digital in new and exciting ways, while MojoReporter gives users a tool which allows them to capture and submit content for possible publication, thus becoming reporters for a day.