Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Schema.org for TV and Radio markup

The new version of schema.org includes the TV and radio extension we have been working on with Jean-Pierre Evain (EBU) and Dan Brickley (for schema.org). This update offers improved support for describing TV and radio shows, for example:

  • 'The Hungry Earth' is the 8th episode of the 5th season of Doctor Who
  • It is broadcast on BBC One London at 18:15, on the 22nd of May 2010
  • It is available on BBC iPlayer for two weeks after that

Embedding such data in web pages means that it can be aggregated by search engines, which can then provide more information around TV and radio search results, as well as providing instant answers to queries such as 'when is the next Eastenders episode on?'. We built on previous efforts in modelling such information, such as TV Anytime, EBU Core and the BBC Programmes Ontology. The RDFa definition from which the extension was built in schema.org has equivalence links to concepts in these ontologies.

This update also maintains backwards-compatibility with previously existing concepts (e.g. TVEpisode, TVSeries and TVSeason) and properties.

The concepts related to this update are the following:

Of course, this extension is just the beginning at better support for broadcast and media-related data. We focused on basic information and fixing a few issues in the first schema.org release for the time being, but there are more areas to explore. As consensus builds around them, possible extensions could also be proposed to schema.org or published directly in RDFa as extension markup using existing vocabularies such as the ones published by the EBU or the BBC. This include for example support for segmentation (tracklists, chapters, etc.) and their links to media fragments, more detailed contributor/character information (e.g. 'David Tennant plays the Xth Doctor in this episode') and the description of multiple video, audio and data tracks (e.g. ‘This episode has two audio tracks, one in French and one in English’).

Regardless of any future improvements, schema.org's TV and Radio vocabulary now provides a stable basis for Web sites to share rich descriptions of TV/Radio content. See schema.org's full listing of vocabularies to see this work in its wider context.