PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, just chose RAMP as its service of choice for video navigation and search. I hope RAMP gave them a good deal since public broadcasting is likely to lose much of its Federal Funding if certain members of the US Government have their way. The new service allows users to search transcriptions from PBS.org's 7,000 free videos, as well as text and other data.
RAMP's MediaCloud will definitely raise the accessibility and discovery rate of video over at PBS.org. It will basically give all users the ability to sort, navigate and share search results using a complete set of filters, including program title, producer, local PBS station, airdate and content format.
"PBS.org continues to experiment and enhance the user experience with over 2,000 hours of streaming video, new content verticals and themed channels, and a suite of features to help fans share and engage. The new search feature adds the unique ability to find and share resources, down to the exact second, within any program," said Jason Seiken, SVP, PBS Interactive and Product Development.
In the coming months, PBS.org will also deliver thousands of universal topic pages and allow users to track and stay up-to-date on key issues of interest. All topic pages will aggregate all formats of content (video, audio, text, images) on a given subject and include comprehensive social networking features, encouraging users to share and discover PBS content across Twitter, Facebook, RSS and more.
RAMP's MediaCloud basically ties into your CMS and publishing locations and pulls all the content together. I am guessing, as it wasn't explicitly stated, that these topic pages will also be generated by the MediaCloud technology because what it really does is ingests media, catalogs and helps organize it for easier discovery and accessibility. Here's a bit of copy from RAMP:
MediaCloud creates a "universal" set of metadata across all of your content — spanning video, audio, text and images. With video and audio files, MediaCloud produces time-stamped transcripts from the original files. Text articles, images and the transcripts are processed through our natural language processing technology to create a unified set of tags and categories for all of your content.
It can also do time-coded transcription of video and audio along with dynamic thumbnails for video.
While it's certainly a big win for RAMP, it's an even bigger one for PBS and more importantly for the users. With Federal funding on the chopping block, PBS is going to need to monetize their existing content as much as they can. By getting users to the content faster and easier it could mean far more views and sessions. More views and sessions means more potential for revenue through increased intent-to-purchase and actual sales.
What PBS will probably have to do, is start showing (gulp!) advertising! Something that it doesn't do now, not even on its website. The only thing close to ads are links to sponsoring firms and ads for its own shows. It's a sad day for America when the government chooses to cut funding to such a valuable resource.