The rights management landscape has always been a complicated place with availability restrictions based on language, territory, global currencies, and other variables. However, the advent of Streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services, digital stores, and new distribution channels has increased this complexity tremendously.
Issues With Managing Complexity
Modern day rights management possesses a depth and intricacy that media companies often ignore – until it's too late. As rights companies grow, they often struggle to invest in systems to manage the complexity. Systems that can be quite costly, adding extreme hardships on smaller companies with fewer resources. Too often, after buying a system that appears simple and easy, they end up realizing it doesn't do what they need it to. But at this point, it’s too late to walk away.
So how can you avoid this expensive mistake? How can you ensure that you end up with a system that's not only right for you, but one that can grow and flex with the complexities of an ever changing industry? To learn how to exploit your library to maximize revenue and avoid financial liability, you must understand your opportunities AND risks.
Understanding Content Rights Opportunities
The opportunities, and therefore the risks, to exploit content multiply exponentially, with far too many variables to manage in a spreadsheet.
Let's look at what's involved.
Let's say you have a modest library of 300 film titles across 80 major territories and 80 languages, and covering 30 major rights. This alone equates to over 76,800,000 combinations for a small film library.
When you consider TV series where each main series can have multiple seasons and each season multiple episodes, the project list easily exceeds 10,000 unique IP elements. Combinations can end up at 1,920,000,000! And this doesn't even account for different versions (which can add another multiplier of 2-10X) or channels (which can add another 7-10X).
The combinations on royalty rates are not typically as complex or narrow but the same rules of math apply.
If you haven't recently evaluated your system – or are utilizing the same process you used five years ago – it's time to take another look. You risk losing revenue and subjecting your organization to financial risk if you don't.
Part of Finding Opportunity is Reducing Liability
As these variables multiply like bunnies, they become more complex and harder to track, resulting in lost opportunity and increased financial risk for infringement. When you are not using robust rights management software, keeping track of all the finances within required timeframes and in respect to regions is an impossible task that can lead to:
- Sales reps selling what they don't have right to sell
- Sales reps not selling everything they do have available to exploit
- Incorrect calculations on Royalties In/Out
- Missed dates and timelines which are contractual obligations
What Prevents Companies from Reaching Opportunities?
Rights management involves designing a strategy for exploiting a film's rights across platforms to maximize, rather than weaken, all possible revenue streams. Yet many companies still try to manage their rights with spreadsheet programs like Excel or homegrown databases.
Unfortunately, Excel is not built to calculate all the variables of a title for a given territory and a given period. Consider historical licensing, for example. It's not a new title; instead, it's previously licensed for Spanish and English in North America. But who licensed it? Knowing the answer will determine your next move.
There's also the issue of granularity - the question of what is available that most people don't have. Sometimes it's not even a question of what's available or not, but WHY it’s not. For example, say you own the rights to a 30-minute piece of an episodic series, and you have it available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. However, you're probably not monetizing the Spanish and Portuguese versions unless you have a particularly hungry sales rep. So how can you make sure you’re fully exploiting those buried treasure chests to get more value from your library?
How Rights Management Software Helps You Avoid Missed Opportunities
Robust rights management software can manage all aspects of your library. It can optimize your revenue while reducing your risk of accidentally overlapping deals that may result in lawsuits and financial penalties. An agile and flexible rights management platform helps you:
- Identify titles when they are soon to be available and when they become available
- Calculate more complicated royalty payments
- Prevent over and under-reporting and payments
- Stay on top of other revenues and liabilities like advances, guarantees, and fees
We Can Help!
More and more enterprises are using FilmTrack's rights management system to monetize their rights – with excellent results. Almost every customer that switches from a manual process to FilmTrack sees an increase in their monetization, due to the increase in visibility and automation.
Do you like the feeling you get when you reach into a jacket pocket you haven't worn lately and pull out a $20 bill? So do we. If you're not currently monetizing your library to its fullest extent, FilmTrack can help you identify and maximize your hidden treasures. To find out more, request your free demo today.