DEG, EMA and MovieLabs Release Updated Specifications for Use by Studios, Retailers and Service Providers

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and Motion Pictures Laboratories, Inc. (MovieLabs), together with member studios, retailers, and service providers, have approved and released four updated supply chain specifications for digital distribution of film and TV. The specifications were developed and reviewed jointly by the three organizations through the Digital Supply Chain Alliance announced earlier this year. The new updates are designed to expand support for international distribution to ensure all territories receive the right content and facilitate more sophisticated business engagement and improved automation among participants in the digital supply chain.

The updated documents include two comprehensive specifications developed over many years and two more targeted specifications for “core” requirements and use cases. The core specs enable content owners and distributors to start small with a simpler initial deployment, then grow the implementation as needed to meet requirements.

“The Digital Supply Chain Alliance was created to allow us as an industry to move faster and more efficiently towards standards adoption industrywide,” said John Powers, Executive Director, DEG. “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.”

“As our members continue to expand the scope and scale of their content offerings, it’s important that our specifications adapt to support them,” noted Eric Hanson, Vice President of Industry Leadership, EMA. “It’s been great having such engaged support from retailers, service providers, studios and TV networks in agreeing on technical solutions to increasingly complex use cases.”

Craig Seidel, MovieLabs Vice President of Distribution Technology, said, “Working together with the DEG and EMA, we incorporated improvements into the specifications to make them complete enough and robust enough to handle a wide range of situations encountered by our members. We are very pleased to make these the first specs approved through the Digital Supply Chain Alliance.”

The updates that have been agreed include:

  • Common Metadata 2.7 – Substantial 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. This is one of the most substantial Common Metadata updates.
  • 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).  

The latest specifications can be found here.