The Business of SVOD: Navigating the Complexities of Digital Distribution

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The rapid expansion of the on-demand economy has made distribution more complicated than ever before. With SVOD deals moving at a quicker pace than anything previously seen in the industry, M&E businesses need to adapt their approach in order to better monetize content and improve ROI.

In today’s gadget-obsessed culture, it’s easy to see why more and more consumers are gravitating toward personalized entertainment experiences. The rapid rise of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and advanced mobile apps quickly untethered individuals from the immobility of traditional programming, empowering them to consume content whenever and wherever they want.

Because of this shift to a fast-paced, on-demand culture, SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and HBO GO have risen to the top, securing consumer trust by fulfilling a lifestyle promise of convenience.

The New Playbook for Distribution

Between the rise of cord-cutting and the stark decline in DVD/Blu-Ray sales, it’s easy to see why many established networks and studios are using SVOD disruption as an impetus for change — and a path for revenue and growth. Not only are Netflix and other SVOD streaming services observing a consistent hike in subscribers, they’re also changing the way content is marketed, produced, and distributed.

The adoption of SVOD, has made distribution deals more complicated than ever before. “In the old days, spreadsheets were the holy grail for managing assets, rights, availabilities –– you name it,” says Sam Straub, Senior Vice President of Product Management at FilmTrack. “But at this level of complexity, spreadsheets no longer cut it.” The traditional theatrical distribution model typically involves a single title, allowing for months of planning and preparation before it’s released. When it comes to SVOD, however, businesses are dealing with hundreds upon hundreds of titles at once, not to mention a faster time to market. As a result, contracts have to be serviced in a swift and timely manner.

Migrating to a Rights Management Platform

Given that SVOD deals move at a quicker pace than any other type of distribution channel out there, M&E businesses need to adapt their approach in order to reach more consumers and improve ROI. And it all starts with technology. In order to truly maximize workflow efficiencies, businesses need to make the shift to a third-party rights management software that’s purposefully built to manage the intricacies of the digital age.

As SVOD continues to expand and rights deals become more complex, M&E companies need to be able to effectively track and maximize the value of intellectual property. By working with an established rights management vendor, entertainment players can facilitate smart decisions, synchronize internal workflows, and stay one step ahead of the changing industry landscape.

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