FilmTrack CEO Jason Kassin shares his excitement about FilmTrack's direction heading into the new year. After profound investment throughout 2021-2022, we are focusing on scalability and performance by supporting a new user experience and providing advanced analytics and financial capabilities.
Where We're Heading in 2023
Jason says there was an exceptional amount of investment into our rights management platform over the last few years backed by our parent company City National Bank. This has translated into "tremendous growth in demand for our product." As things finish coming together this year, there are several features and tools that our clients (studios, networks, content managers, and distributors) will be able to access, including:
Robust APIs that improve system connections for integrations ands migrations
More configurable implementation, removing the requirement for engineer involvement for report and screen changes
The ability to calculate and run complex participation statements
Ingestion and calculation of royalties with explicit linkage to GL
A sleeker and more intuitive user experience (UX)
As new features are finalized in 2023, Jason says the pride of FilmTrack's platform—and a point of differentiation from other options on the market—is our financial functionality and related reporting. As we round the corner on getting our platform completely shifted to the new UX and sunsetting older applications, we are innovating further into some really interesting areas such as analytics.
For 2023, there are two initiatives Jason says we are most enthusiastic about. One is the evolution of our BI platform, where you'll have all the data from FilmTrack in a data warehouse, start to finish. This will reveal answers to questions you didn't know to ask and offer insight on trends you wouldn't otherwise see. Naturally, this includes more robust ways to report on financial and accounting activity for our clients.
Jason says FilmTrack will also increasingly have access to internal analytics to improve system fit based on real-time data. The collective data will give us insight into how we can better serve our clients. These analytics will give us an unprecedented metric-driven approach to product development going forward, which is very exciting.
Jason says we are also looking forward to some initiatives concerning how we get data into our system. He says we've always had APIs and partner portals to get client data into the system more efficiently. But now we're also exploring AI and machine learning tools via our banking support from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), which owns City National Bank. RBC has a center of excellence for AI based in Toronto, and our access to some of this technology will lead to some incredible tools for our clients.
Keeping Up With Industry Trends
Jason comments on how much viewing habits have changed our industry lately, with big blockbusters seeing much smaller numbers in the cinema and literally hundreds of VOD platforms vying for eyeballs like never before. He says the changes are great on some levels. There's demand for content, which puts people to work. Production is up, and that's always great.
He says the business of independent films seems extraordinarily healthy based on what's happening in the markets—recent MIPCOM, AFM, and upcoming Sundance activity seems to be flourishing.
On the distribution side, Jason says it is a much different game than it was a few years ago. The mechanics of distribution in terms of how deals are conducted, financed, and compensated have shifted. Fortunately for us, FilmTrack fits very nicely into the evolving distribution model.
Beyond tracking finances, our platform helps you evaluate a deal in the context of other relevant deals. We help you know if an agreement is truly profitable through all the information we can track. For example, you may sell a film to Brazil for a million dollars, but the compensation packages around it might cost $900K. So is it worth it to go through with the deal? You get that kind of assessment via FilmTrack.
A Solid Rights Management Partner
Jason concludes by noting there is a lot of strain on media companies right now. Margins are much smaller, and there are a lot of consolidations with big players buying out smaller ones. All in all, FilmTrack's recent updates and our roadmap into analytics and reporting will be incredibly impactful to our clients.
To see just how we help media companies manage brand licensing, check out our case studies detailing the tools we make available and the spectacular results possible.
*FilmTrack is an RBC Company and subsidiary of City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.