Aggregation VOD Deliverables

The contents of this article pertain only to dotstudioPRO Aggregation clients: clients who deliver to VOD and Linear channels through an Aggregation/Distribution agreement. The information can be adopted by Enterprise/development teams, however Enterprise clients should develop a content plan/workflow with their DSP representative directly.

 

This article outlines the requirements for delivery for VOD/LiveLinear Aggregation through dotstudioPRO. If you are delivering a complete linear channel for distribution, our Fast Channel Specifications document can be found here.

This article is divided into two sections:

The Delivery Requirements section lists the required assets and their technical specifications and requirements, including video files, closed captions, and artwork.

The Dashboard Requirements section outlines the required information that must be completed on the dotstudioPRO Dashboard before content can be syndicated to our various platforms.

If you have any questions about our tech specs or the DSP dashboard, or if you are concerned that your title will be unable to fulfill the minimum requirements please reach out to your dotstudioPRO Client Representative.

 

Content Considerations

dotstudioPRO's platform partners with each have their own content guidelines, however there are some restrictions that are consistent for all of deliveries. Assets which do not conform to the the below risk rejection, and can frequently cause delays and aditional costs at the client’s expense.

 

Minimum Duration

Standalone titles (movies) should be a minimum of 45 minutes in duration. 

TV episodes should be at least 15 minutes in duration.

dotstudioPRO does not accept short films.

 

URL's/Date Tags/Calls to Action:

Assets containing date tags (including Coming Soon), URL’s, social media links, or calls to action, will be rejected. This includes trailers, closed captions, artwork, and video files. Please make sure these elements are removed prior to submission.

 

Trailers:

Any trailers submitted to dotstudioPRO must be greenbanned (free of offensive language, depictions of violence, drug use, or nudity).

 

Artwork and Imagery:

Artwork should not include any vulgar language or imagery. Artwork containing images or depictions of guns, drugs/drug use, graphic, violent, exploitative or sexual imagery, will be rejected by dotstudioPRO.

 

Interlaced Content:

DotstudioPRO does not accept interlaced content.

 

Ratings & Rating Reasons:

Ratings and Ratings Reasons are required for all content delivered to dotstudioPRO, and must be accurate per MPAA or US TV Parental Guidelines. Titles which are provided without ratings will be treated as “incomplete deliveries” and will not be forwarded to platforms until an accurate rating has been provided. Providing an inaccurate rating to dotstudioPRO can result in the removal of your content from our platform partners. More information about ratings can be found using the links below:

Caution
  • dotstudioPRO reserves the right to reject title any technical and content related reasons.
  • Adult films will be rejected.
  • Any content for which you are not the content owner hold content rights for will be rejected.

 

 

Delivery Requirements

The technical details outlined in these sections should be followed in order to ensure your materials are processed in a correct and timely manner.

When submitting assets it is important that all technical specifications are followed. Missing assets and assets that do not conform to our specifications can cause delays and content rejections for our partner platforms.

Required Assets for Feature Delivery Required Assets for Series Delivery
  • Feature File: H.264 Video (MP4)
  • Poster Artwork: 2000 x 3000px (JPG)
  • Key Art: 1920 x 1080px (JPG)
  • Wallpaper Art: 1920 x 1080px (JPG)
  • Closed Captions: SRT & VTT File
  • Avails: Completed AVOD Avails Form
  • Metadata: Dashboard Metadata
  • Episode Files: 1x H.264 Video (MP4) per ep.
  • Poster Artwork: 2000 x 3000px (JPG)
  • Key Art: 1920 x 1080px (JPG)
  • Wallpaper Art: 1920 x 1080px (JPG)
  • Closed Captions: 1x SRT  & VTT per ep.
  • Avails: Completed AVOD Avails Form
  • Metadata: Dashboard Metadata

 

 

Video Files

Technical Specifications
Video H.264/MPEG-4 high profile, progressive, MP4 container (.mp4)
Aspect Ratio Pixels: 1:1 (square), Container: 16:9
Bitrate 10 Mbps minimum, 25Mbps maximum
Resolution 1920x1080 (preferred), minimum 1280x720
Frame Rate 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, original frame rate is always preferred
Audio AAC, Stereo only, 320 kbps, 48 kHz
Head/Tail No head/tail elements.
Up to 2 seconds of black/silence allowed.
1 second of black/silence preferred (not mandatory).
Timecode Files must start at 00:00:00:00, continuous

 

Commercial Blacks:

Commercial blacks must be closed to 1 second, commercial bumpers between breaks must be removed.

 

Head & Tail Format:

Files should be ideally be delivered with 1 second of black/silence at head and tail, and no other head/tail elements. Titles containing bars and tone, textless elements at tail, slates or other head/tail media will be rejected and require resupply.  Files containing more than 2 seconds of black/silence will be rejected. For Television series, episode recaps and previews should be removed prior to delivery to dotstudioPRO.

 

Embedded Closed Captions:

Closed captions must be delivered as sidecar, embedded captions will not be accepted.

 

Titles Containing Non-English Dialogue:

Non-english titles must be approved by dotstudioPRO prior to delivery, and may require burned-in English subtitles and atmospheric closed captions.

English language titles containing scenes with non-primary dialogue (i.e. a scene where a character speaks Italian), must have burned-in subtitles which translate all non-primary dialogue into English.

 

Timecode:

The first frame of the file must correspond to TC 00:00:00:00 and runs continuously through the file. Files containing timecode that starts at any other value will be rejected (this includes 10-hour, 1-hour, and negative timecode). Timecode should match the framerate of the file and match the timecode of any closed captions files provided.

 

URL'S/Bumpers/Calls To Action:

Files must not contain URL’s or Calls to Action. This includes all non-diegetic social media links, hashtags, advertisements, and commercial bumpers.

 

Trailers:

Trailer files are optional, but when provided must conform to the same technical specifications as TV and Feature files. In addition to the above, trailers must not contain any date tags or “Coming Soon” tags. Trailer assets must be greenbanded and not include any nudity, drug use, graphic violence, and graphic language.

 

SD Content & Resolution:

SD content is not accepted. All files must be provided in a 16:9 container with minimum resolution of 1280x720. Letter-boxing or pillar-boxing are accepted. Files containing window-boxing (black bars on all four sides of the image) will be rejected.

SD content may be upressed to conform to the above specifications, however the upres should not be noticeable.  Upressed videos should be free of aliasing, artifacts, and should not stretch or squash the image.

 
 

Closed Captions

Closed captions must be provided for every feature and episode video file. The closed captions must conform to the timing of the corresponding video file exactly, and should consist of the best available source. dotstudioPRO requires that each video file be delivered with both an SRT and VTT file. VTT’s must be provided with positional information whenever possible. CC files that fail dotstudioPRO QC more than twice will be originated by DSP at the content owner’s expense.

Technical Specifications
Format SRT (sub-rip) and VTT (WebVTT)
Starting Timecode 00:00:00:00

 

Common Issues:

Missing words, paraphrasing, superfluous content are all issues that can cause delays and require redelivery. Keep in mind that if you removed commercial blacks from your video files, you may also need to adjust the timing of the CC files.

 

Subtitles vs Captions:

Closed captions are used to describe audible information to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They are a legal requirement for delivery to most platforms. Closed captions must include music cues, song lyrics, and descriptions of significant atmospheric audio in addition to all spoken dialogue in the video’s primary language. If the captions are simply a transcript of the spoken words, they may be rejected by some platforms.

 

Non-English Subtitles:

For titles containing scenes with non-English dialogue, burned-in subtitles must be included in addition to closed captions. Please speak with your dotstudioPRO representative if your title contains non-English dialogue.

 

Foreign Language Titles

Any titles that contain non-English dialogue are considered foreign language titles. Foreign language titles will require an English translation/version.

dotstudioPRO is able to accept foreign language titles in two formats, however each format has limitations.
When delivering foreign language titles, the best practice is to provide both of the below versions. If only one version is delivered, the platform offering may be limited:

1. English Burn-In Version:

For delivery to non-Roku platforms. 

  • Title Value should be: “Title (English Burn-In)” on both the video and channel
  • Language Value should be set to “English”
  • Burn-in should not cover any English dialogue
  • Sidecar Closed Captions covering music, sound effects, and English dialogue (SRT & VTT)
  • Titles supplied in this format cannot be availed for Roku

2. Clean Version in Original Language (sidecar subtitles)

Required for deliveries to The Roku Channel.

  • Title Value should be: “Title (Clean)” on both the video and channel
  • Language Value should be set to the original spoken language
  • Sidecar Subtitles in English (VTT & SRT)
  • Sidecar Closed Captions in English covering music, sound effects, and any English dialogue (VTT & SRT)
  • Sidecar Closed Captions in original language (VTT & SRT) (if available)

Artwork

Important
Artwork containing images or depictions of guns, drugs/drug use, graphic, violent, exploitative or sexual imagery, will be rejected by dotstudioPRO.

dotstudioPRO collects three types of artwork for all titles. Assets that are required for tv episodes must be uploaded for each episode. From time to time, dotstudioPRO may request other images in addition to those noted below.

Poster Artwork:

Required For Movies, TV Episodes, TV Season, TV Series

(each episode, season, series can use the same image)

Sample_PosterArt-scaled.jpg

An Example of Poster Art

File Format JPEG
Resolution 2000 x 3000px @ 72PPI
Orientation Portrait
Notes
  • Poster images must contain the title of the series/feature and promotional imagery.
  • Posters should not include company logos, billing blocks, dates, or other text.

 

Key Art/Thumbnail Image:

Required For Movies, TV Series
File Format JPEG
Resolution 1920 x 1080px @ 72PPI
Orientation

Landscape

Notes
  • Key images must contain the title of the series/feature and promotional imagery.
  • No other text should be present. Do not include company logos, billing blocks, credits, or dates.
 

 

Sample_KeyArtThumbnail.jpg

An Example of Key/Thumbnail Art

 

Episodic Thumbnail:

Required For TV Episodes only
File Format JPEG
Resolution 1920 x 1080px @ 72PPI
Orientation Landscape
Notes
  • Episodic thumbnails may be provided for each episode in a series,
    they should be unique to each episode and should not include text.
  • If the client is unable to source episodic thumbnails, they can be autogenerated from the video file on upload to dotstudioPRO.

 

Sample_EpisodicThumbnail.jpg

An Example of an Episodic Thumbnail

 

Wallpaper Image:

Required For Movies, TV Series
File Format JPEG
Resolution 1920 x 1080px @ 72PPI
Orientation Landscape
Notes
  • Wallpaper Art must contain promotional imagery only. No title or text should be present.

 

Sample_TubiHeroArt.jpg

Example of Wallpaper Art

 

 

Avails and Metadata

Avails:

On onboarding, dotstudioPRO clients will be provided access to a Google Drive document where territory and platform avails can be provided. This must be completed for each title. If the data is not provided, dotstudioPRO will be unable to review the content.

 

Metadata:

Additionally, metadata must be entered to the dotstudioPRO dashboard. Including video level, playlist, and channel metadata. If you have any questions about the dotstudioPRO dashboard, please connect with your dotstudioPRO representative.

 
 

Dashboard Requirements

In order for your titles to be delivered to our platform partners, your video files must be fully uploaded to your dotstudioPRO dashboard. Once the files have fully transcoded, you will need to update the metadata for each video and add image files as applicable. Ad breaks, episode playlists, and channels will also need to be created.

The platforms we deliver to populate their interfaces by pulling metadata directly from the dotstudioPRO dashboard, so it is important that all info is accurate and up to date. Each platform has slightly different requirements, however completing certain metadata fields are always required. Please see below for the mandatory info we need to deliver your titles.

Video Requirements

Required Metadata for All Videos

Additional Metadata for Episodic Content
  • Video Title
    (the name of the movie or TV Episode)
  • Short Description
    (200 characters max.,
    must be different from the description)
  • Description
    (500 characters max.)
  • Original Release Date
  • Genres (see approved genres)
  • Director
  • Actors
  • Tags
  • Country
  • Language
  • Video Type
  • Year
  • Rating
  • Rating Reasons
  • Studio/Content Owner
  • Series Titles
  • Season (the season number)
  • Episode (the episode number)

Channel Requirements

Required Metadata for All Channels

  • Channel Title
    (the name of the movie or TV Episode)
  • Description
    (500 characters max.)
  • Release Date
  • Genres
    (see approved genres)
  • Director
  • Actors
  • Tags
  • Country
  • Language
  • Rating
  • Rating Reasons
  • Poster
  • Key Art
  • Programming Type

List of Approved Genres:

  • action
  • adventure
  • animals
  • animated
  • anime
  • children
  • comedy
  • crime
  • documentary
  • drama
  • educational
  • fantasy
  • faith
  • food
  • fashion
  • gaming
  • health
  • history
  • horror
  • miniseries
  • mystery
  • nature
  • news
  • reality
  • romance
  • science
  • science fiction
  • sitcom
  • special
  • sports
  • thriller
  • technology

 

 

Ad Break Policies

Adbreaks are an important consideration to maximize the monetization of your titles. Adbreaks are required for all aggregation titles delivered through dotstudioPRO. It is the responsibility of the content owner to ensure that adbreaks are present on the dotstudioPRO dashboard, and that they comply with all below requirements.

As technologies change, and the requirements of our partner platforms become more sophisticated, our adbreak policies will be affected. Please refer to this section to ensure your titles meet our most up to date minimum requirements.

 

Pre-Roll Ads

Pre-roll markers are not required for aggregation at this time.

 

Mid-Rolls Ads

Mid-roll ads are required for all titles longer than 12 minutes. Adbreaks must occur at natural points in the video and conform to the timing requirements laid out below.

 

Post-Roll Ads

Post-roll markers are not required for aggregation at this time.

 

Natural Cue Points

Cue points must occur at natural seeming breaks in the content while still adhering to the timing requirements below. Natural points include fades to black, or transitions between shots or scenes. Cue points should not occur during lines of dialogue or in the middle of scenes as it causes users to feel frustrated and disrupts the viewing experience. Poorly placed ad markers can cause delays and rejection by our platform partners.

Timing Requirements
Movies & Standalone Videos
(20 Minutes +)
  • Earliest: No earlier than 10 minutes into playback of video.
  • Frequency: Minimum of 10 minutes between each adbreak.
  • Latest: 10 minutes or more before end credits.
Episodic Videos
(and Standalone Content
12-20 Minutes)
  • First Adbreak: No earlier than 5 minutes into playback of video.
  • Frequency: Minimum of 7 minutes between each adbreak.
  • Last Adbreak: 5 minutes or more before end credits.
Shortform Content
(Less than 12 Minutes)
  • No mid-rolls required.
  • Pre-roll ads will be added automatically by our systems.

 

 

Updated