Delivery Workspace, Enterprise, Customer Case

Limecraft to Release the Delivery Workspace at IBC 2023

Maarten Verwaest
August 14, 2023

Right from the start, Limecraft has been delivering asset management services to producers on one hand, and broadcasters and distributors on the other. Privileged to sit in this front-row seat, we witnessed the huge effect of global online distribution replacing conventional broadcast early on.

Whereas producers used to create a programme for a single broadcaster, they now create output for tens if not hundreds of distribution channels. In the other direction, broadcasters now receive material from one hundred or more sources. Everyone involved faces massive challenges in terms of file format conversion, quality control, the ability to manage a distributed ledger of metadata, versioning and more. Producers and broadcasters have a common interest in standardising and structuring the delivery process to ensure quality, timely delivery, and to avoid rework. Both would therefore benefit from a content fabric that operates the business logic on behalf of them, based on pre-defined templates.

In this blog post, we explain in great detail how we solved the problem structurally by using a content fabric to manage assets and metadata end-to-end, helped by the invaluable insights and support of DPG Media as lead customer.

Key Take Aways.

  • Programme delivery is complex and the complexity is increasing.
  • This growing complexity is due to the increasing number of sources, the exploding number of output channels/distribution windows, and a growing number of parties that need to interact.
  • To ensure consistent and timely delivery, all parties involved share a common interest in standardising the delivery process
  • DPG Media and Limecraft joined forces and deployed an industry-first Delivery Workspace, offering unprecedented flexibility at configuration time, while at the same enabling enormous efficiency savings by automating execution at run time

What Is a Delivery Workspace or a Workspace for Delivery Processes?

A Delivery Workspace is a repository of media assets, operated jointly by a producer and a broadcaster, for the purpose of consistent, reliable and timely delivery of programme material, metadata and collateral media from the producer to the broadcaster. The Delivery Workspace replaces FTP and other methods of file transfer on the lower level, creates a distributed ledger of metadata and integrates quality control. It takes care of the dispatching of content and reports to the traffic management system (Mediagenix Whats’on or similar). Throughout the process, it manages overall version control and communication between stakeholders, including producers, broadcasters and any 3rd party service providers who interact.

💡 For the avoidance of doubt, “broadcaster” in this context refers to distributor in the broadest sense, including but not restricted to conventional television broadcast, streamers, FAST channel operators and any (combination of) vanilla flavour(s) in between.

The challenges of consistently managing content delivery are numerous. Shipping a series or a season of programmes is much more complex than delivering a single file, and it can take as long as the time for post-production itself. Apart from the actual assets, the broadcaster will ask for marketing collateral (posters, trailers and social media assets) and other deliverables (e.g. subtitle files, clean audio for localisation). In addition, parties have to consistently communicate about and deliver metadata, and, due to a lack of standards, ensure they are using a common nomenclature (producers, genres, etc.). In some cases, the workspace needs to be accessible by third-party service providers delivering subtitles or promo materials.

Why You Should Care About Delivery Processes.

In the rapidly changing landscape of content production and distribution, the delivery process has emerged as a critical focal point. This intricate process, through which producers deliver content to broadcasters, is fraught with new challenges due to the following factors, and needs careful consideration and strategic implementation.

  • Unprecedented complexity of sources and distribution windows: the industry has witnessed an explosion in the number of content sources on one side and an increasing array of distribution windows on the other. This surge in sources, coupled with a diverse range of distribution platforms and formats, has introduced a level of complexity previously unseen in the industry. With a complexity proportional to the multitude of incoming and outgoing file formats, encoding standards, metadata models and versions, the delivery process has become a daunting challenge. All involved stakeholders must be mindful of this complexity to ensure a seamless flow of content.
  • Series-centric approach and media asset management: The logical unit of work has shifted from individual episodes to entire series or seasons. This shift requires a complementary change in approach to Media Asset Management (MAM), as content now includes marketing collateral (posters and trailers) and ancillary files, as well as the actual shows. This highlights the need for meticulous organisation, efficient metadata management, and cohesive content packaging. Effective Media Asset Management is an imperative for both producers and broadcasters to streamline workflows and maintain a consistent brand presence.
  • Standardisation and efficiency through collaboration: The delivery process calls for seamless collaboration between producers and broadcasters, where a common understanding of file formats, naming conventions, metadata, and other technical aspects is essential. You cannot rely on ad-hoc meetings to align on standards or the exchange of files via fragmented methods like FTP and email – these will cause delay, quality issues and rework. All parties share a common interest in adopting a platform that enforces and manages standardised conventions. This creates a win-win for everyone involved; it places them on the same page without the need for time-consuming meetings, and it minimises the manual processing of unstructured data.

By embracing a joint Delivery Workspace, producers and broadcasters stand to reap significant benefits. The platform’s imposition and control of conventions leads to improved operational efficiency and the seamless exchange of content. More importantly, a standardised delivery process fosters an environment of trust and collaboration, where parties can focus on producing compelling content as they entrust the technical intricacies to a streamlined system.

Challenges Associated With the Management of the Delivery Process.

As suggested above, consistently delivering content from producers to broadcasters or streamers is a multifaceted challenge that includes a range of complexities.

  • File formats: The proliferation of content sources and distribution channels has led to a diverse array of file formats for video, audio, subtitles, and more. This explosion of formats requires rigorous compatibility checks, transcoding efforts, and conversion procedures to ensure that content is correctly ingested and played across various platforms.
  • Language-sensitive metadata: Metadata plays a critical role in content categorisation, discovery, and accessibility. However, metadata can be language-sensitive, especially descriptive metadata, requiring accurate translation and localisation to effectively target different regions and audiences.
  • Distributed ledger of metadata: Establishing a distributed ledger of metadata ensures consistency across the content delivery chain. This includes defining a comprehensive metadata model that includes various attributes like title, cast, genre, and more. Maintaining an agreed set of metadata values, particularly for fields like genre and category, is crucial to avoid inconsistencies and discrepancies.
  • Localisation and versioning: With the industry’s focus shifting from simple content packaging to re-use and versioning, it’s vitally important to manage different iterations of content for various regions. Changes may include language adaptations and manipulation of technical specifications, assuming robust version control mechanisms and coordination between all parties involved.
  • Real-time multilateral interaction: The involvement of multiple parties, including but not restricted to subtitling companies, promo producers, and localisation teams, requires a change from a simple serial to a real-time multi-lateral interaction model. Communication needs to be carefully orchestrated in order to ensure seamless handoffs and manange feedback and approvals among these diverse stakeholders.

Given the multifaceted challenges and the interdependencies among stakeholders, a common workspace for managing delivery processes has become a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’. Accessible through the cloud, it serves as a hub for collaboration and can be used by producers, broadcasters, and 3rd party service providers to communicate, share assets, track versions, and manage metadata in a standardised and efficient manner.

How Limecraft Solved the Problem for DPG Media

As these and other challenges surfaced at DPG Media, they decided to take advantage of Limecraft’s extensive track record in managing compound assets and distributed processes. DPG Media and Limecraft joined forces to implement the first iteration of a workspace dedicated to delivery processes. The resulting process is highly flexible and customisable at the time of configuration (enabling all sorts of formats, combinations of media types and collateral media, and metadata complications), while being tightly controlled at the time of execution.

Schematic overview of the Delivery Workspace, managing the complex workflow to deliver assets from the producers to the broadcaster


Here is what the different steps mean:

  • Before the process can be initiated, ingest/delivery templates are predefined. The definition comprises a Table of Content or Bill of Material including but not restricted to the actual content assets, visuals, press kits, subtitle files, their file format and content specification, as well as a metadata model supporting thesauri and mandatory fields.
  • As a starting point, DPG Media content managers use their scheduling system (Mediagenix Whatson, in this case) to create a ‘Delivery Request’ based on a given delivery template. The Delivery Request is processed by Limecraft (A), thereby creating an empty collection ready for upload and adding complementary metadata.
  • This collection is shared with a list of named users at the producer (B). As of this point, authorised crew from the producer can start delivering files, ancillary media and metadata (C). All stakeholders are kept updated in real-time. Content can be verified online and any feedback or comments are instantly exchanged.
  • If necessary and defined by the template, or if not a priori necessary but necessitated as a result of the verification process, the asset can be shared subsequently with any third party for further post-production (E). The same method applies for requesting complementary deliverables such as promo material or subtitle files. Any 3rd parties will also upload their deliverables to the already existing stack (F), whereby the completion of the delivery process is consistently managed and visualised to all involved stakeholders.
  • When the full collection is delivered, quality-controlled and approved by the receiving broadcaster, authorised staff instruct Limecraft to forward the collection to the respective delivery platforms, play out systems or archive repositories. Eventually the full transaction is committed to the scheduling system, thereby releasing the assets for distribution.


DPG Media is using Limecraft at the core of their delivery processes, consistently receiving material from over 50 producers. This replaces conventional ftp-style processes to pull media assets from the producer to the broadcaster, and it uses built-in quality control services. A highly-customisable template mechanism allows DPG Media to pre-define the content structure, including but not restricted to video, metadata, visuals, audio, extras and graphics. All relevant stakeholders use a real-time dashboard that indicates the progress of processes that can span weeks; they therefore all benefit from a highly standardised intake process, reducing manual work, time to deliver and improving the overall quality of service.

Screenshot of the Delivery Workspace deployed at DPG Media. The delivery Workspace consistently and holistically manages the supply chain.


As the content production and distribution landscape becomes increasingly intricate, with a multitude of sources and distribution windows, the delivery process has grown exponentially complex. The sheer diversity of file formats, metadata complications, and localisation demands underscore the need for a decentralised yet integrated approach.

The use of a Delivery Workspace (as implemented for DPG Media) is critical in the dynamic realm of content production and distribution. A collaborative repository, jointly operated by producers and broadcasters, serves as a catalyst for consistent, reliable, and timely delivery of program material, metadata, and collateral media. The evolution from traditional file transfer methods to a distributed ledger of content ushers in a new era of efficiency, standardisation, and seamless interaction.

The key success factor for successful implementation is standardised collaboration. Conventional methods of ad-hoc data transfer and disjointed metadata exchange are giving way to a shared platform that enforces conventions and streamlines communication. Such a platform not only optimises efficiency, but in turn cultivates an environment of trust and cooperation, where creative output can flourish, and no time is lost on technical considerations.

Like to Know More?

Limecraft unveiled the Delivery Workspace at IBC 2023. If you are interested to know more, feel free to ask for a demo or to leave your contact details. We will be delighted to discuss how it works, some of the benefits and the challenges, and how you can get the best from it.