Changing weather conditions – and technology – are creating opportunities to produce more media content

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Media company executives almost unanimously agree on the most pressing challenge they will face in 2022: producing more content.

Faced with the need to adapt programming to the different needs of viewers connecting to streaming and other digital services while filling the gaps no longer filled by syndicated shows in their daytime programming, channel groups TV companies need cost-effective ways to expand the capacity of their content creation teams.

One opportunity lies in what one technology partner calls “changing weather.”

A dramatic increase in the number of extreme weather events in recent years has increased consumer demand for information. At the same time, new technologies allow meteorologists and their teams to produce more stories with less effort.

“It’s easy to see how extreme weather events have really come to the forefront of the conversation,” said meteorologist Pat Feldhausen, product manager for Max Alert Live, a solution recently unveiled by The Weather Company, a company IBM. “Clearly now is not the time to be complacent about how we keep the public informed.”

Feldhausen joined two other Weather Company product managers and Kathy Haley, co-founder and publisher of NewsCheckMedia, for a conversation about the ability of emerging technologies to help television stations produce more content across all platforms while capitalizing on one of their most important news franchises, the weather.

Boost collaboration in the cloud

Cloud technology gives weather teams the ability to collaborate like their news colleagues have done for years. It also allows news organizations to capitalize on the talents of individuals, whose work can be shared across media and markets to enhance storytelling.

“When we put weather data in the cloud, we can help manage it, we can have back-end apps that help you do your job better,” explained Bob Millis, product manager of the Max solution. Cloud from The Weather Company. “More content – ​​faster, easier – that’s what we want to do. We want to make it easier for the people who have to educate the public and get it out on all these platforms.”

Moving graphics and workflows to the cloud facilitates remote production and also allows colleagues at sister stations to step in and help – or completely take over – for a team overwhelmed or interrupted by a weather event. violent.

To accommodate rich weather graphics and provide emergency redundancy, Max Cloud is a hybrid solution, with some of its technology in the cloud and the rest on-premises. As technology advances, the footprint of equipment inside a TV station “will get thinner and smarter over time,” Millis said.

Democratize weather storytelling

While increasing access to collaboration, content sharing and remote working, technology can also make storytelling so easy that almost anyone can do it.

Max Velocity, the first major solution offered on Max Cloud, is designed to achieve this.

Max Velocity’s model-based solution facilitates storytelling and opens up opportunities for sponsored content

A template-based platform allowing users to quickly frame stories and produce high-quality videos, Max Velocity enables meteorologists to not only create more content, but also expand their teams to include news and digital staff members who can step in during peak periods.

Users can easily exchange information, while the background banner remains consistent. Themes can be quickly revised with just a few clicks, to make a new group of content look completely new.

“It’s really good if you’re producing content for the web, or TV versus OTT,” says Jim Politis, Weather Company product manager for Max Velocity. “If you have a dedicated program with a slightly different look, you don’t have to spend hours and hours pre-producing it. You can just go in and choose a different layout and a different theme and it’s a different experience for the content you create.

A video storytelling tool allows producers to send a link to a source and have them almost instantly on screen for an interview. The same tool can offer access to external content creators like viewers or even sponsors.

“Instead of having to go to another place to do an interview and coordinate all of this, just grab a link, text or email it,” Politis said. “The source then clicks the link and can join the session immediately.”

Because it’s so easy to use, Max Velocity can empower any member of the writing team to create content quickly and easily.

“We’ve all seen that news also needs maps,” Politis said. “You need to show where the fire is, and you can easily inject the video for that, put a location marker on the map to highlight the fire, or zoom in on the location.”

Max Velocity also tracks draft lines, which can be useful when discussing the home baseball team’s probability of winning.

“If there’s a sporting event where intense winds are affecting the game, you can merge the two stories into one,” Politis said, referring to weather and sports updates. “Zoom into the stadium and see which outfield the wind is blowing towards and gauge the likelihood of your hitter scoring a few runs for the team.”

Weather alerts with a difference

Democratizing weather storytelling is a critical step for media companies trying to produce more content for TV, web, streaming services and mobile. Another step is to increase the competitiveness of Weather Alerts with better graphics and a streamlined approach to production.

The Weather Company has responded to this need with Max Alert Live, a new, easier to use and more powerful solution.

Max Alert Live can access Max graphics and Max Earth environment can zoom to map area of ​​interest

Unveiled at the NAB Show, the new platform “will use the Max graphics engine and underlying tools and user interface,” explained Pat Feldhausen, Product Manager of Max Alert Live.

“It will be important for our users because instead of going to a completely different tool, whether it’s ours or another company’s, they’ll be in an interface that’s very familiar to them,” Feldhausen said. “This is important because often these critical alert systems go unreviewed for long periods of time, and by giving the user an interface they are familiar with will allow them to operate much more efficiently in times of crisis. .”

The Max graphics engine will allow for a much more refined and modern look, allowing the system to elegantly animate new information on the screen, give better graphics treatments to the various on-screen assets and use the Max environment Earth to dynamically zoom the map to areas of interest.

Watch the on-demand webinar here.

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