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MediaKind Hackathon 2021: A global collaboration

By Yifat Shalem, Head of Innovation, MediaKind and Yael Dvir, Senior Product Manager, MediaKind

Nov 1, 2021

Across all industries, but particularly for media, innovation is best realized within environments that encourage and inspire collaboration, share knowledge, and enable ideas to click together, regardless of geography or rank. Our CEO, Allen Broome, described the importance of agile thinking in a MediaKind blog last year, which he described as “enabling generative cultures with free-flowing information across the entire organization.” This agile methodology led the MediaKind team to participate in a global hackathon earlier this year.

The purpose and spirit of a Hackathon, however, goes a step further. We add time constraints to the equation. The former Yahoo CEO, Marissa Ann Mayer, once wrote: “Constraints shape and focus problems and provide clear challenges to overcome. Creativity thrives best when constrained. But constraints must be balanced with a healthy disregard for the impossible.” And for me, this is a fundamental detail. Throughout the MediaKind organization, we have a rich diversity of thought and expertise. Irrespective of their core focus, embracing these different perspectives is the key to working within these time constraints to solve problems and break down technology barriers at speed.

The MediaKind Hackathon

So how did the MediaKind Hackathon work? Over the three days, we oversaw a joint global MediaKind hackathon, incorporating 17 participating groups. 70 ideas were submitted over the 72 hours, culminating in two sessions of demo presentations of proof of concepts. They included:

  • In-band Metadata: from rule-based smart video clipping, ML-based audio description to search and adding information to video content
  • Operational improvements and enhancements: including our award-winning VSPP solution, machine learning processes and insertion for streaming
  • Improvements to the user experience: encompassing new opportunities for monetization and user interface
  • Optimization of codecs: from AV1, VVC and MPEG-DASH for use cases spanning live, VOD and games streaming
  • Enhancing ecological footprint: by decreasing playback latency and reducing carbon emission per household
  • Cost reduction: Lowering costs for our TV platform offerings
  • Tackling new market challenges: focus around client-side linear playout

Please reach out to me via LinkedIn if you would like to learn more!