Fuse TV: The Inside Track on Enterprise Media Management

For the last few years, Fuse television has delivered a new level of musical performance to fans the world over.  Now, they’re amping up their in-house performance with one of the most advanced workflows in the media industry based on an Enterprise Media Management framework powered by Avid Media Asset Management (MAM) technology.


The Advent of MAM

Prior to the advent of MAM, Fuse used Avid Interplay Production technology for broadcast while Final Cut handled the multi-platform distribution side. Linking with a separate Final Cut-based multi-platform distribution workflow was difficult, involving portable drive swapping and cumbersome file tracking. But the adoption of Avid Interplay Production created a smoother creative workflow.

When a three-phase implementation of Avid MAM technology is fully implemented, Fuse will be able to bring all its islands of pre-production, post-production, and distribution together into a unified database and repository that provides the ability to track any asset wherever it is.

Logical Extension of Interplay Production

Four years ago, Fuse began using Avid Interplay Production to help orchestrate its editing function.  Two years after that, Ed Russo, Vice President of Network Operations, realized he needed to do more than just manage that aspect of the operation.  Between what his group was delivering for both the broadcast side and the multi-platform group, he needed to go beyond the production asset management capability then in use.

Having gained previous insight into what media asset management technology could do, Ed knew a MAM solution could serve as a logical extension of what Fuse was already doing with Interplay Production.  Moreover, integration with the new MAM technology was bound to be a lot easier since Fuse was already working with Avid hardware and software as well as an Avid Professional Services team who understood their workflows and processes.

Of greatest importance to Fuse was that the solution encompass both pre- and post- production workflows.  One Avid competitor offered a great production tool, but lacked a desktop interface for people not in production.  Aside from that, no other competitor was able to offer a media management solution that encompassed the whole operation by integrating the production side with all of its distribution and business processes.

Multi-Phased Approach

Since Avid MAM was a comprehensive solution able to address the complete end-to-end workflow, both Fuse and Avid agreed that it would take a multi-phased approach to implement the solution correctly.

Initially, what Fuse needed most was the ability to transfer content digitally between Avid and Final Cut, a time code-accurate desktop solution for rough edits and viewing proxies, the ability to import data from an existing File Maker library database, and an archiving solution component.

“Let’s say we had a new employee who asked how we delivered a project last year or what we did with it,” Ed explains.  “We needed the ability to go in from the desktop, screen older media and make decisions about what to do going forward.”  Rolled out to a number of production groups, this first phase has provided that capability.

The second phase will provide the ability to incorporate non-media assets, along with the addition of a review/approval module.  From their desktops, producers and executives will be able to screen content within the system and directly embed comments that appear as markers on the timeline or as searchable metadata.

Following directly upon its heels, the third and final phase of MAM will provide delivery management and workflow orchestration for the multiplatform distribution group, managing their editing workflow, online, mobile, and VOD deliverables, as well as tracking of all their assets and activities.

Delivering on Target

Initial feedback on both the technology and evolving relationship between Fuse and Avid has been universally positive.  Creative services and the promotional department are excited and supportive, while, according to Ed, the multiplatform group can’t wait to start working with the solutions scheduled to be delivered in phase three.

Getting the Word Out

“I don’t think that everyone yet at Fuse fully grasps how is this going to make their job better, or how their lives are going to be changed by the Avid MAM system,” Ed acknowledges, “but we’re getting the word out there, and so far, people are liking what they hear.”