Have you ever noticed how various top lists on your VOD platforms are surprisingly similar? No matter if you look at the top drama list or top comedy list, the same films seem to appear again and again. Except for the unlikely case that your VOD platform’s catalogue is so thin that every film has to be in every list, this is probably an effect of “selling by metadata” – a bad habit growing fast among distributors.

The amount of tv and movie content available to consumers is greater than ever before. In fact so great that it has become difficult to find the content you are interested in. Especially when you are not really sure what you’re looking for, you might end up spending more time browsing than watching

But if the platform can give you compelling recommendations based on genre, ratings, reviews, actors etc that you like, it is quite possible you’ll soon find another two hours of great content.

That’s why metadata has become so important to the platform owners. The richer information that comes with the content, the better are the chances that customers will stay (rich metadata is becoming more important also for linear tv, which you car read about here). Unfortunately metadata is also something that smart content owners and distributors have learned to manipulate.

A large platform owner recently told us they had problems with some content providers delivering metadata aimed at maximizing sales, and not the user experience. For example they noticed that there was an over-representation of movies in the action and comedy genres, not because the catalogue was tilted that way, but because these genres are more popular than for instance western or drama, which for some of the movies would have been a more accurate categorization.

This practice is not unique for the movie industry–book sellers have the same problem with too many novels being labeled as ‘crime’, because that’s what sells most. But it is a mischief that makes content discovery less reliable and annoys the consumers.

Clipsource has been hired by some of the entertainment industry’s largest companies to streamline and automate distribution of metadata. Contact us to learn more about how you can share more metadata, with higher quality to a broader range of recipients.