How To Track Your Rights When Excel Doesn't Cut It


If you're still managing your entertainment rights with Excel, you're letting a boatload of opportunities sail by while you struggle to keep your spreadsheets afloat. Not a great way to monetize your content library, drive new sources of revenue and get ahead of your competitors.

The Complexity of Rights Management 

If you're in the business of rights management, you know just how complex it has become.  

Monetizing your content used to be a relatively straightforward and simple process. However, trends have disrupted this fundamental simplicity in numerous ways. Now you must contend with:

  • An abundance of digital channels, vendors, formats, and product bundles to meet the flexibility demanded by digital consumers 
  • More complex deals due to restrictions, exclusions, window periods, expirations, multiple participants, different languages, territories, and currencies
  • Granular data below the title level, including segments, episodes, and clips
  • Subscription models that challenge the flexibility of legacy systems designed exclusively for purchasing
  • The need to license and administer diverse, global rights from a single source
  • An increase in transaction volumes as the scope and granularity of content becomes more advanced

Manual processes fall short in managing all the variables in today's digital landscape. However, automated rights management systems allow media and entertainment companies to transform their administrative pain points into revenue builders. These systems allow companies to associate licensing information with their assets, ensure that they are used appropriately, and reduce the financial and legal risks of inadvertently using assets that are no longer available. 

The Tipping Point for Media Companies

Often rights management companies start small but hit an inflection point where Excel no longer cuts it. A point where you are just leaving money on the table as you struggle to add headcount fast enough to manage the complexity and volume of titles. 

With so many variables, the time it takes to update spreadsheets and attempt to interpret the data to make decisions means you are not moving fast enough to make money ahead of competition.

Companies routinely miss out on profitable opportunities when they fail to streamline their rights management processes. Without a single source of information, it's incredibly challenging to reference VOD deals for multiple pieces of media around the world. For example, you might overlook licensing a film for two extra months in Europe simply because you could not incorporate up-to-date information.

The Challenges

Even if you have a system in place for financials, it likely wasn't built for today's distribution world. You may still be using Excel spreadsheets because your financial system doesn't account for the complexities of digital distribution. But when your distribution data is separate from your financial data, you need to cross-reference the two systems every time you want to make a deal, opening the door to costly human error and lost opportunities. 

To ensure full monetization of your library, you need to eliminate manual processes like Excel in favor of one single source of truth.

excel digital rights management


Serious legal issues also arise in handling any considerable portion of your enterprise in an Excel spreadsheet. With no actual financial process keeping you from being legally culpable, you continually expose your organization to liability. 

In theory, if the data and the contracts are put in place properly, everybody gets paid. However, because most legacy systems don't account for all the deal types that exist today, many rights management businesses are not properly protected. On this point, risk mitigation is not so much on the rights themselves but how to avoid serious lawsuits. 

A “single source of truth” system helps avoid costly errors by ensuring that everyone is working off the same data, whether negotiating deals or paying royalties. With rights management software, there’s no need to verify information between departments. 

The Solution

Do you have a single source of truth, or are you still cross-referencing spreadsheets to financial systems, trying to unscramble complicated equations with siloed information? At its core, FilmTrack allows you to solve these jigsaw puzzles at scale, something that Excel simply cannot do. 

Want to learn more? Contact us today. 

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