In this interview, we talk to Brandon Gilbert, FilmTrack's Vice President of Customer Success. Brandon's insights illuminate the pivotal role FilmTrack plays in the dynamic realm of rights management. Armed with cutting-edge tools and backed by a committed team, FilmTrack equips content owners, sellers and distributors with the resources to adeptly steer through the complexities of rights and royalties, paving the way for their triumph in this rapidly advancing industry.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to join FilmTrack.
BRANDON: Before joining FilmTrack seven years ago, I worked as a customer success manager for enterprise Content Management System (CMS) applications in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance sectors. FilmTrack recruited me when they were looking to strengthen customer programs, outreach, and engagement. I was new to the media and entertainment space, but I found it really interesting to see how art meets commerce in this industry by working closely with customers involved in creation, sales, acquisition and distribution.
It's fascinating to follow and track IP from the ideas of content creators that are eventually rolled out and monetized, and then, in the case of international well-recognized brands, weaved further into commercial product licensing. It's all a very cool thing to work with a technology that can track IP all the way through the value chain.
What are some of the main types of customers you work with at FilmTrack.
BRANDON: Most customers I work with are sales, distribution, networks and studios. Their users are deeply involved in tracking, managing and exploiting the terms of their contracts. So, when content is bought or sold, these folks are responsible for understanding those agreements and events, which is critical to the income for their media business.
What are the primary features of FilmTrack that customers find most useful?
BRANDON: Tracking rights and financials are the top FilmTrack features our customers use. This includes tracking availabilities, or avails, which allows them to use the data to see what titles (content) they have available to sell or resell in a specific language, territory, time window, and more. The Financials Manager allows our customers to track all the financial events related to those content events.
Can you shed light on the complexity of selling and managing rights in the entertainment industry?
BRANDON: The industry is evolving rapidly with the introduction of FAST channels and streaming services, and many people don’t realize how complex things can get when trying to exploit their IP effectively across all these areas. There is a bit of a scramble right now with content changing hands and new streaming services emerging, as well as various mergers and acquisitions—the business is just changing so fast, and our customers are figuring out how to monetize all these new ways for consumers to consume content.
And the business of managing rights is changing to keep up. What was once handled by teams of lawyers going through files and spreadsheets of contracts, FilmTrack has simplified and standardized that process. It's rewarding to see our customers capitalize on opportunities using FilmTrack's tools to navigate this complexity.
How has FilmTrack’s acquisition by City National Bank impacted the company?
BRANDON: I've been through acquisitions before and was glad to see City National Bank keep the core leadership team and culture of FilmTrack intact while integrating some of their own positive cultural elements, especially around risk management and standardized processes. This has fostered greater collaboration and direction within the company.
City National Bank has been supporting the entertainment business in film, TV, and music for years and has a strong presence in the industry. Their clients are our customers, so there's a terrific synergy between FilmTrack and the bank that benefits our customers.
What excites you about the future of FilmTrack?
BRANDON: We have a new UI version of FilmTrack coming up with a brand-new user interface and a host of new functionalities and features. I'm really excited by this rollout as it will significantly enhance the ease of using FilmTrack for our customers. Some of our customers have huge libraries of content with hundreds and thousands of titles. Being able to readily know what you can license and when and quickly report on your avails and opportunities is invaluable for them.
How has your experience been working at FilmTrack?
BRANDON: Working at FilmTrack has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s a true family environment where I am surrounded by industry experts who deeply understand our core competency: rights and financial management. The team is made up of incredibly intelligent and outstanding individuals, and it's a privilege to work alongside them.
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