By Cory Sher, Vice President, Global Enterprise Solutions at Whip Media
This article was originally shared to LinkedIn on October 18, 2021.
The unprecedented rise in spending to license or produce content, media companies more relient more on centralized, consolidated data to properly value content and extract every drop of profit. While entertainment organizations have massive amounts of data at their disposal, more often than not business units and data sources are disconnected or rely on antiquated spreadsheet-based workflows. This can result in a shortfall in accurate and insightful metrics that can lead to money being left on the table.
In my recent webinar at OTT.X, I discussed the importance of cross-team collaboration and solid data-driven decisions to capitalize on content spend in the new age of dynamic and accelerated content consumption. Here are a few key points:
1. First, let’s talk about how data can be used to better inform spending decisions on what content to acquire or create and/or offer to drive competitive differentiation. And when I refer to data, it’s not about any data; it’s about the right data. In an ever-changing and fragmented environment, content spend has to be based on more than just traditional viewership numbers where two (2) minutes of viewership counts as true viewership with the perception of completion. The data must show engagement, sentiment analysis and why the audience is connecting to a storyline by episode. The data needs to be able to show affinity of both anticipated titles, and their conversion to viewership once they air. The right data can be the difference between spending your budget on a title that is “click and view” vs. one that is “click and stay.” These are all things we need to consider on a regional and global basis. With more than 18M users, TV Time is the most widely used app of its kind, where tens of thousands of shows are presented, and users can mark what interests them ahead of their debut, while keeping track of what they’re currently watching.
2. Assessment of the right data both guides decisions on which content to greenlight and what titles will optimize ROI. Your ability to analyze what audiences liked the most, and what they yearn for, has proven to drive greater success in capitalizing on the value of your content to attract and retain viewers. But how do you manage the process once the content is released, and track the financial success of a show to ensure profitability is maximized? That takes us to point number 3.
3. The accounting waterfall shows content revenues, costs and profit allocations are incredibly complex, especially on major theatrical films such as A Quiet Place. Not having systems in place that ensure how rights, costs and specific areas of agreements align properly with where revenue splits should take place, and how this should differ between provider and type of delivery (e.g., SVOD, TVOD, AVOD, EST), can affect profit outcomes. All of this is vital in the amount you can ultimately recoup in your costs. It also helps to answer how you ensure that you capture the most profits at the end of the waterfall, while reducing as much revenue leakage as possible.
With Whip Media’s Content Value Managements finance module, used by nearly every Hollywood studio, you can create automated workflows that start with the agreement, and then connects key terms within those agreements that determine your revenue shares, splits, and payment of fees and royalties before reaching your ERP (i.e., SAP, Oracle). Simultaneously, key business units are connected, giving them access to all of the information your sales, marketing, distribution, and key stakeholders need at any time. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the most when it comes to content value, and without the proper workflows in place, connecting the dots to an agreement is a minor problem compared to the overall lack of coordination between business units in knowing how to truly value your content.
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