From Archives to Income: Leveraging Streaming Platforms for Your Content

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To say that managing the complexity of digital rights is challenging is an understatement. With multiple platforms, windows, exclusivity, domestic/foreign rights, and a long list of channel-specific guidelines, it’s no wonder many rights holders miss opportunities.

Among these challenges is managing legacy content, which often lacks adequate provisions for modern rights, such as offline downloading. This gap typically originates from agreements made before certain digital distribution methods existed. 

Another challenge in the streaming era is finding ways to recoup money lost with windowing. Windowing is a strategic tool that maximizes revenue by carefully orchestrating content release across various distribution channels. Streaming and FAST channels disrupted the traditional windowing model. The once-rigid framework of exclusive release windows no longer aligns seamlessly with the diverse ways audiences consume content.

Leveraging Streaming Channels

Rights holders must proactively and creatively prepare and use their libraries to profit the most in the digital distribution landscape—and a big part of that is leveraging streaming. 

Here are some critical tactics to employ to make the most of streaming platforms:

  • Review Contracts
    • Incorporate necessary rights and provisions for the digital age in all contracts (Libraries with legacy content lose untold potential revenue without updating to include modern distribution).
  • Optimization Content for Streaming:
    • Enhance video quality to meet or exceed platform standards.
    • Adapt content for multiple formats (i.e., Optimize for various devices, platforms, and smartphones).
    • Include accessibility features such as subtitles and audio descriptions.
    • Format content for binge-watching, considering episode lengths and story arcs.
  • Use Localization for a Global Digital Audience:
    • Implement strategic localization efforts to ensure content resonates with international audiences, including translating subtitles and incorporating cultural nuances.
    • Utilize advanced technologies for subtitling and translation, ensuring accuracy and relevance to specific markets.
  • Improve Metadata Management for Enhanced Discoverability:
    • Develop marketing style guides for branding and messaging. 
    • Develop metadata standards for cast, crew, and content descriptions to improve searchability. 
  • Adapt Artwork for Digital Display
    • Design visual assets specifically for digital platforms, considering the requirements of various devices and display environments.
    • Implement style guides for consistency and utilize a diverse range of imagery to support contextual discovery and ad targeting.
  • Improve Content Ratings and Cross-Border Compliance
    • Understand and adapt to different content rating systems and censorship laws in international markets.
    • Proactively manage compliance to minimize distribution risks and streamline the content supply chain with automated policy enforcement.
  • Stay On Top of Competitive Landscape 
    • Stay informed about trends and innovations in the streaming industry.
    • Monitor competitor activities to identify opportunities for differentiation and growth.

By implementing these, rights holders maximize their content's potential on streaming platforms and enable a more engaging and satisfying experience for viewers.

Monetizing Content in Ad-Supported Environments 

FAST streaming channels generate revenue primarily through advertising. Several key factors here help with potential returns across your titles:

  • Genre: Lean-back programming like reality shows, sitcoms, and drama series tend to over-index on FAST services, while lean-forward content like complex prestige series underperforms on ad-supported venues.
  • Format: FAST channels gravitate toward evergreen, high-volume content like procedural dramas or situational comedies offering hundreds of episodes. More episodic series allow for heavier ad loads and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Demographics: Advertising rates directly correspond with audience demographics. Content that indexes with key ad-friendly age brackets, such as 18–49-year-olds, generates greater revenue.
  • Watch time: Longer average view duration per title directly translates to increased ad servings and, consequently, higher potential earnings.

Additionally, opportunities exist to boost revenues beyond linear advertising spots. Strategic brand partnerships, sponsorships, and product placements complement ad returns, enabling additional content monetization.

By identifying the strongest performers within libraries and pairing them with complementary advertising strategies, you can maximize ROI within ad-supported streaming ecosystems.

The Intersection of Rights Management and Profitability

Powerful rights management software can provide automated, real-time contract and availabilities data across your entire catalog that simplifies the complexity of digital rights. 

The right kind of platform enhances your revenue streams while minimizing the potential for inadvertent deal overlaps that can lead to legal disputes and financial repercussions. 

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An adaptable and versatile entertainment rights management platform facilitates the following:

  • Timely Title Identification
    Identify titles as they approach availability and when they officially become accessible.
  • Accurate Royalty Calculations
    Calculate complex royalty payments with precision, ensuring fairness and transparency in compensation.
  • Prevention of Reporting Discrepancies
    Guard against over and under-reporting, ensuring accurate financial reporting and payments.
  • Comprehensive Revenue and Liability Management
    Stay informed about additional revenue streams and liabilities, including advances, guarantees, and fees, enabling a holistic and proactive approach to financial management.

Repurpose and Refresh Content Libraries for Streaming and FAST

Another way to maximize streaming profits with older content is with innovative post-production and marketing tactics that breathe new life into existing libraries without incurring the risks of new IP development. 

Modern editing techniques, interactive technologies, and bundling strategies expose titles to wider audiences and include:

  • Extended Cuts and Bonus Content: Longer runtimes, deleted scenes, blooper reels, and behind-the-scenes extras add value for fans, enabling franchise monetization beyond the initial release window.
  • Bundles: Curation around themes like 1980s comedies or holiday classics unify franchises into commercial viewing packages – revealing latent combinations based on data analytics.
  • Nostalgia and Comfort Viewing: Repackaging nostalgic favorites like coming-of-age comedies or family programming connects cultural touchstones with demographics primed for emotional resonance.
  • Diverse Perspectives: Spotlighting unheard narratives or adding modern sensibilities like inclusive casting or commentary introduces fresh viewpoints through a familiar lens.

The focus on niche audiences by many streaming and FAST channels, paves the way for more deals with refreshed content.  

Unlock Your Content's Revenue Potential

Boost your content's profitability with our guide, Exploiting Content Libraries for Streaming and FAST Channels!

Use our guide to learn how to: 

  • Enhance content discoverability  
  • Implement revenue-boosting strategies for ad-supported platforms 
  • Utilize software for strategic content distribution
  • And much more!

Discover how to refresh your library and unlock new revenue streams effectively.

FilmTrack is an RBC Company and subsidiary of City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.

This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and  friends of FilmTrack. FilmTrack does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy  or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of FilmTrack. Please cite source when quoting.

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