Things M&E Executives Should do to Conquer Today’s Content Explosion (Part 2)
Last week we shared the first thing M&E executives should be doing today to conquer today’s content explosion. Today we share the last two action items.
2. Understand the business risks associated with Content Chaos and recognize, as a company, the critical imperative to evolve to the state of Content Unified.
The ramifications of mismanaging content can be material and result in huge losses and breach of contract. For example, when the new Walking Dead 9th season debuts again on AMC, it is immediately available on hundreds of different on-demand platforms. Imagine if that same VOD file—destined for those platforms—incorrectly found its way into a workflow that was posted prior to a local territory’s scheduled airing. Not only would the storyline be spoiled, but the advertising model (including fast forward disabled C3), upon which the network relies, would be jeopardized.
How about the new release of an EST studio title, incorrectly keyed in at $1.99 (which is a valid price point at CableCo, just not for an EST title) instead of the intended $19.99 retail price? Who pays the studio the whole- sale on a $1.99 retail transaction? What systems exist to track and manage this potential issue along the “multi-touch” content supply chain? Does the new Bambi title get mapped into the kids’ storefront, or does this version of Bambi belong in the mature-audience category, with parental controls?
The opportunity cost is equally confounding. When a new-release title misses its first airdate, the commercial impact is immediate, and in some cases devastating. By some estimates, 40-60% of the buys occur in just the first two days of a new-title release schedule, by which time your customer has already gone to a competitor.
Such errors persist because the editorial metadata is not linked to the technical metadata and the fulfillment workflow. Oftentimes, there is limited visibility into asset-status information, but global processing and data exchange issues occur regularly. They consume resources, create unneeded friction, and lead to dissatisfied customers.
Meanwhile, content catalogs continue to expand, and devices and platforms further grow in number. These problems can be further compounded if your company does business globally, across different languages, currencies and legal and regulatory requirements.
To move your company closer toward the state of Content Unified, it is crucial to bring together all your teams before formally exploring any automated platform options. This will ensure that every department that can benefit from having a fully automated and integrated system—finance, legal/contracts, sales, marketing, operations and IT leap to mind—is part of the process from the outset and can identify the problems, desired outcomes and priorities from their respective viewpoints.
3. Encourage deep-integration collaboration between partners and vendors, and promote smart adoption of industry standards.
How can your M&E company prepare for the titanic challenges caused by Content Chaos?
Just as you need to look inward and work across internal departments to learn what types of problems and issues you have with your systems, you must also work externally with vendors and industry bodies to raise all the boats in the harbor.
Why? The media and entertainment industry needs innovative leadership to bridge disparate content supply chains and enable data-driven management decisions. Companies that lead via integration and vendor collaboration across rights, financials, metadata, and supply chain management systems will ultimately best serve both the consumer and their own demands created by this content bonanza. Doing so will improve user experience, expedite time-to-market, reduce costs, smooth unnecessary friction in the content supply chain, enable merchandising and monetization opportunities, and help partners reduce execution risk.
The standards bodies also understand that even the best-designed standards and APIs require optimized integration with a host of vendors and partners. Integration does not just happen; it takes market insight, scoping expertise, purpose-built systems and, generally, a leap of imagination. It takes robust enterprise software solutions that can trigger content-processing events, enable metadata enrichment, and report on content status throughout the supply-chain fulfillment process.
It Involves unleashing usage data to feed into forecasting systems and marketing engines on both sides of the content value chain.
To bring about the change from Content Chaos to Content Unified, industry leaders must provide innovative solutions that bolster the leading standards bodies and drive more efficiency. The Entertainment Identifier Registry Association (EIDR), the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and other standards have reached a place in their evolution where adoption is thriving.
According to Mark Fisher, president of EMA, “One of the fundamental components of automating and streamlining the digital supply chain is consistent, structured and accurate metadata about rights, assets and titles.”
The disparate supply-chain workflows that were built for a bygone era must become smarter, faster, and optimized to support the growth in data, merchandising options and content fulfillment. These workflows often have no awareness of the rights that govern the content being managed; nor do they adapt to new platforms. To address that, powerful cloud-based enterprise software is being integrated deeply within MVPD, studio, and digital retailer platforms.
Intelligent orchestration layers are designed to interact with a multitude of ecosystem vendors in order to drive efficiencies, provide content supply chain visibility, and enable data-based marketing decisions. These next-gen software and data-service solutions are purpose-built, designed to manage complex multi-platform (multi-territory, multi-language, multi-currency, etc.) licensing and packaging arrangements.
They provide the means to not only validate accurate use of content, but apply massive computing scale and rights-aware logic throughout the content supply chain. When the state Content Unified is reached and fully functional, it will supercharge the interaction between best-of-breed ecosystem partners, streamline the processing of time-sensitive data and materials, and enable validating inventory and storefront accuracy.