Take control of your content. Courtesy of C21Media. Please see this link for their website and the source:

By William Linders

The chief commercial officer at ODMedia Group looks at the array of new challenges facing content owners in the streaming era.

No one would say the entertainment industry has not experienced a tsunami of change over the past decade. Entertainment companies have had to shift their paradigm and rethink their distribution strategies, and they are only just starting to realise the new ecosystem’s opportunities.

While traditional media will carry on providing the larger part of revenue, growth will come from digital. In the earlier stages of VoD, rights holders generally made limited or no money from sales to the digital sector, for various reasons.

Today, the proliferation of platforms worldwide – TVoD/EST, SVoD, AVoD – has opened up more distribution channels than ever before. It’s up to IP owners to maximise their revenues by exploiting every distribution opportunity available, not only to the mainstream players but also to look at local and thematic sites across the globe.

Another of the many positives of this new era is the multiplication and variety of content. While television series were once rated by viewership numbers, and often quickly cancelled when ratings did not satisfy the networks, VoD has allowed shows to find their audience organically and without the pressure of time constraints.

We are in an era of personalisation. It means consumers are using an expanding array of connected devices to organise, curate and discover their media’s unique worlds. In response, companies are designing their offerings to revolve around personal preferences. Using data and usage patterns to pitch their products, not at audiences of billions but separately, at billions of individuals. Nowadays, we can say there is a business model or exploitation option for every individual piece of content.

All players in the industry face the challenge of how to thrive in a digital world. To succeed in this extremely tailored world, entertainment companies must re-imagine every aspect of what they do and how they do it by ensuring their content is ready for digital exploitation. That means having control over their assets, being sufficiently agile, prepared to respond proactively, and quickly access the right technology and content to be delivered cost-effectively to the right audience. Control opens opportunities and minimises costs. Companies need to have the right creative strategies, with the operating and technical architecture to realise it.

With all of that in mind, content owners need to look at their content and assets and be ready to answer the following questions:

  • Is your content (really) ready for digital exploitation? Do you have control over it?
  • Where is your content stored?
  • Is it complete and good quality?
  • Do you have the metadata?
  • Do you have artwork?
  • Has it been localised? For which country or language? Do you have the localised versions on-hand for further distribution?
  • How quickly can you access and distribute your content?
  • Do you know which rights you have available precisely?

Suppose you can’t answer these questions promptly. In that case, you might want to review your digital content management strategy, because the chances are that you will not be making enough revenue in the digital space if you have to spend money on creating assets for your content every time you make a sale.

For example, a company with an extensive catalogue decides to launch its own OTT channel. They’ve been selling their library to broadcasters and platforms worldwide for many years. When the time comes to aggregate all this content under their brand, they realise they don’t know where the assets are. Where will they find the subtitles for that deal they made five years ago with that Spanish broadcaster? Who has the metadata on the hit show that was sold worldwide? Where is the artwork produced for the promotion of that long-running series?

Content management has a cost and if it had been strategically and appropriately managed at an early stage, a lot of time and expense to the company would have been saved.

A complete set of content assets is essential to maximising the benefit of the many opportunities in the digital space. Therefore, make sure you put value in content operations and keep control of its storage. Minimising the cost will allow you to make many more commercial deals and maximise your profits.

In the old world, owning content used to be sufficient. In today’s world, owning content AND its digital assets have become essential.

Companies are still deciding what they can and cannot do. But the most successful ones will base these decisions not on what they have done in the past but on what will make strategic sense in the future.

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