Approved supply chain specifications aim to make it easier to distribute content from studios to online platforms around the world

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The US-based Digital Supply Chain Alliance has approved four updated supply chain specifications for digital distribution of film and TV.

The specifications were developed jointly by the Alliance, which was launched earlier this year and comprises the The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and Motion Pictures Laboratories, Inc. (MovieLabs), together with member studios, retailers, and service providers.

The Alliance focuses on improving the digital supply chain from studios to online platforms, aiming to make it easier to distribute content around the world.

The new updates are designed to expand support for international distribution to ensure all territories receive the right content and to improve automation among participants in the digital supply chain.

“The Digital Supply Chain Alliance was created to allow us as an industry to move faster and more efficiently towards standards adoption industrywide,” said DEG executive director John Powers. “We are happy to demonstrate, with the release of these first specs, that this is successfully happening. This is a meaningful step in keeping up with the pace of change in digital distribution.”

The updates that have been agreed include:

Common Metadata 2.7 - New features have been added to the Common Metadata specification, including support for franchises and brands, related works, more sophisticated TV internationalization, and technical metadata improvements (e.g., dynamic metadata and additional encoding parameters). The new spec also includes general updates such as new codec controlled vocabularies, minor corrections, and clarifications.

Media Entertainment Core 2.8 – The Media Entertainment Core Metadata spec defines the core requirements for transferring metadata from Publishers to Retailers. MEC has been updated to conform to Common Metadata 2.7.

Media Manifest 1.8 - The Media Manifest spec has also been updated to follow Common Metadata 2.7, as well as adding data to support additional workflow use cases, ability to handle cards in playable sequence, and improved support for TV that reduces the need for territory-specific experiences.

Media Manifest Core 2.0 - Media Manifest Core 2.0 is the targeted core specification based on Media Manifest 1.8 and Common Metadata 2.7. It includes all the improvements from those specifications and adds full support for episodic content (i.e., Television).

DEG members comprise companies including BBC America, Comcast Cable, Deluxe Digital, DirecTV, Dolby Laboratories, Ericsson, Google Play, HBO Home Entertainment, IMAX, Intel, Lionsgate, MGM, Microsoft, Paramount Home Media Distribution, PBS Distribution, Samsung Electronics, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.