Digital disruption is no longer “new news” to the media and entertainment industry.
Stories describing massive influx of new players on the scene, content catalogs quadrupling in size, and customer bases growing into the millions are quickly becoming predictable headlines as we settle into a new age of digital entertainment. Streaming and on-demand services have overtaken traditional distribution models, bringing with them a wealth of valuable new opportunities. But with those new opportunities have also come new challenges.
As rights contracts have become exponentially more complex, so has managing and exploiting intellectual property… especially when companies are still using yesterday’s tools.
Imagine if every email you and everyone in your company received in a typical work day had to be printed and mailed in an envelope to your physical mailbox because your company didn’t have a system to receive and process electronic mail. Imagine the time it would take to open and reply to each letter and the time and space it would require to organize and store them all.
On the surface, this example seems a bit silly. It’s nearly impossible to imagine not having email in this day and age, but the point that this example illustrates is not unlike what is happening today in the entertainment industry. As companies scramble to manage the overwhelming contracts and financials brought on seemingly overnight by streaming and on-demand deals, their systems are bogged down and struggling to keep up. No one saw it coming as fast as it did, and they simply were not prepared.
In order to keep up and remain competitive in today’s digital world, the entertainment industry is needing to adopt new tools that streamline the contract initiation process, minimize cumbersome manual tasks, and reduce administrative burden. They need to automate the complex processes that the new age of entertainment requires. They also need to future proof themselves for the next big change that will inevitably turn the industry on its head yet again.
Prior to the digital age, contract management was a much more straight forward process as entertainment companies were dealing with fewer delivery mediums and therefore much simpler contracts. With the rise of video-on-demand, however, distributors are faced with hundreds if not thousands of titles to manage at once, a faster time to market, and varying terms and exclusivity. Needless to say, there are a lot of moving parts.
With cloud technology, businesses are able to store, manage, and deliver volumes of contracts and content in a scalable and cost-effective digital environment. They are also able to access all of that content and information anytime anywhere from any device as long as they have an internet connection. This provides an unprecedented level of ease and convenience in a time where working remote has become more common and global business interactions require access to information at all hours of the day and night.
If we think back to our mail example from earlier, a cloud-based solution like FilmTrack does for contracts and rights management what email did for the overwhelming amount of written communication flooding into the physical mailbox. It simplifies processes, automates complex tasks, and maximizes efficiency for entertainment companies so they can not just survive, but thrive in the new digital age and beyond.
It’s typical to find producers, distributors, and sales agents operating across different countries and time zones. With an enterprise-level contract management solution like FilmTrack, you can rest assured knowing that separate teams are always armed with the information they need to operate more efficiently within global film markets.
Managing royalty revenue from subscription-based business models is complex. Deals can be structured so that payment is per price, per unit, per hour, or even per percent of an hour. Attempting to track this level of granularity via spreadsheets is not only taxing, but often prone to error. With FilmTrack, royalties and participations are automatically calculated and verified for discrepancies, saving valuable time, money, and resources.
Most media and entertainment organizations have too many contracts to manage manually. With a cloud-based contract management tool like FilmTrack, they can easily automate the complex contract creation process. FilmTrack’s easy-to-use, central repository gives you the ability to quickly find what you are looking for without having to dig through documents one by one. Furthermore, you can easily store, manage, and access your contracts, deal points, and associated documents all with the simple click of a button.
In recent years, the media & entertainment space has become particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. By working with a SOC 1 and SOC 2 certified contract management vendor such as FilmTrack, you can ensure that your intellectual properties are protected from internal mishaps and malicious external threats and securely accessible by all business departments.
It’s clear that the media and entertainment industry has changed for good, forcing the companies involved to change the way they handle contract and rights management. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that it’s simply not enough enough to adapt to the present, because the present will never stop changing.
As companies upgrade their outdated systems and processes to meet today’s new challenges, it’s important that they consider the challenges of tomorrow, the challenges that they may not even be able to predict. A contracts and rights management platform like FilmTrack that’s built with flexibility in mind will ensure that your company has the tools and foundation to adapt quickly and seamlessly to wherever the industry goes next.
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Enjoy the most robust financial tools in the industry, built to handle the most complex calculations. Whether it’s circular deductions, financial waterfalls, or royalties in/out, you can relax and know that everything is being split and paid accurately.
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In the world of business, partnerships are often the best recipe for success. Whether your business is looking to get off the ground, looking for new streams of revenue, or has hit a plateau and is looking to break through to that next level, teaming up with someone else who’s trying to do the same thing can be a win-win. One common way this is done is through brand and product licensing.
In the 2020 Winter edition of the MESA Journal, FilmTrack's current COO Michael McGuire explains how the pandemic has impacted the entertainment industry and how that impact may have fundamentally changed the industry moving forward. Most notably the halt of production and the shutdown of theaters has put tremendous value on existing libraries. Utilizing software such as FilmTrack to fully understand what is currently available for sale or distribution, as well as what will be coming available and when, has become imperative to not only conduct business as usual but thrive in the current economy.