Telestream Vantage Expands Online Media Distribution for ‘The Young Turks’
The Young Turks is using Telestream’s Vantage Media Processing Platform to automate high-volume editing, transcoding and distribution of its programming, as well as publishing content to social media outlets.
Produced from its Los Angeles-based studio as a live, multi-camera HDTV show, TYT is the largest online news and politics show in the world. Started in 2002 as a Sirius satellite radio show, TYT migrated to YouTube in 2006. Now, with more than 25 channels in its network, TYT can be seen on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Pluto.TV, Roku, and many more platforms.
The flagship news show The Young Turks — co-hosted by The Young Turks Founder and CEO Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian — consistently ranks No. 1 among comScore rankings. As a pioneer of subscription-based membership, TYT Network currently provides special, exclusive content on TYTNetwork.com to its vast membership.
“Our goal is to continue expanding the scope of our programming and distribution channels, as well as finding more effective ways to monetize it. To accomplish this, we needed to stop relying on a hodge-podge of generic automation software that posed multiple points of failure across our system. We switched to Vantage because it’s purpose-built to support the needs of a high throughput media processing operation like ours,” says Jonny Greenwald, Post-production Technical Director for TYT Network.
Since this high-volume content must be edited, branded, and transcoded into numerous iterations for multi-platform distribution, TYT Network decided to migrate its operations to an automated, file-based workflow based on the Vantage Media Processing Platform from Telestream.
As part of its intensive, round-the-clock media operation, The Young Turks’ live two-hour newscast must be subsequently chunked and repackaged into video segments of varying lengths for on-demand viewing. Ten clips can easily become 30 clips with all the formats, versions and derivatives needed by their distribution platforms, which today include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Roku, Pluto.tv, Hulu, and Amazon. The same goes for the network’s numerous specialty channels, including sports, movies, technology, and pop culture, which must also be segmented into a variety of iterations and formats for on-demand viewing across the multiplatform ecosystem.
“Since this workflow largely involves repetitive tasks — such as editing, transcoding, branding, and conforming—it lends itself very easily to template-driven automation. Vantage puts all the tools and processes we need into one cohesive automated workflow that doesn’t require any manual oversight or intervention. Once we tell Vantage where a media file needs to go—whether it’s to YouTube, Facebook, Hulu or some other platform—it picks up the file, and conforms it to the specifications required for that destination, and sends it out with uncompromised quality,” says Greenwald.
Since the Vantage platform consists of a family of products and options, Greenwald has tailored the workflow using the following:
- Vantage Transcode Pro, which performs intelligent media processing and transcoding according to user-determined settings
- Lightspeed servers that provide hardware-based GPU acceleration to boost throughput
- Post Producer, which automates the editing, assembly, branding and captioning of video programs and segments
- Social Media Connector, which simultaneously publishes video and metadata to multiple social media channels.
- CaptionMaker and MacCaption desktop closed captioning software
“Vantage is at the center of our operation, virtually always processing media according to over a dozen different workflows we’ve set-up. It stands ready to pick up the next file and process it like clockwork. Without Vantage, we would not be able to manage the volume of media that’s required for the broad array of distribution outlets we serve,” says Greenwald.
Since uploading media to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is critical to the company’s business model, the Social Media Connector option was a key reason that TYT Network chose Vantage. Configured as an integrated component of the Vantage Media Processing Platform, the Social Media connector acts as a workflow portal, transcoding and uploading roughly 50 clips per day to each of the social media sites. While it currently uploads both media and metadata directly to YouTube, TYT Network is in the process of updating the system to allow it to handle direct uploads of video to Facebook, and videos over 30 seconds long to Twitter.
“The bottlenecks and system failures we used to have are now in the past. Our employees have less stress and don’t need to babysit the equipment. We spend less time fixing problems. There are fewer delays and missed deadlines. And we’ve been able to boost productivity without fear of losing quality or sanity. Vantage is a great solution for managing and expanding our media network operations in the most cost-effective way,” says Greenwald.