"Ability will never catch up to the demand for it," – Confucius
While these words have never been truer – especially in the direct to consumer (DTC) economy – there is a tremendous amount of effort going into figuring out how to develop and distribute compelling content faster and engage directly with consumers to try to keep up with demand and outpace the competition.
Every day there’s a new story around the DTC strategies being rolled out by the studios and other players in the industry. And, in the center of all of it, sits content rights; the heart of the entire media and entertainment ecosystem.
The Evolution of Enterprise Rights
Understanding the enterprise rights picture can be difficult, however, especially if you look at how the industry has evolved over time with distinct and separate divisions catering to different segments of the population with completely unique formats.
Films were produced and distributed in theaters, television programming was accessed through your TV antenna and then cable operators, music was curated through labels and sold on tangible media, games were sold on gaming platforms, consumer products were available in brick and mortar stores, and more recently, streaming content was developed and made available on OTT platforms. Each set of rights associated with each asset type was held in a database, referenced exclusively by business unit.
Compound that with mergers and acquisitions that have seen the co-mingling of libraries and the challenge to identify rights becomes even harder – just at the time when content demand is at an all-time high across platforms and when enterprises are looking to repurpose their rich libraries of titles to propagate their brands across various channels.
Today’s Top Priority: Presenting Rights in Real Time
The need for industrial-strength content management systems presenting rights in real time has now become the #1 priority to address as companies gear up for battle over eyeballs and dollars around the globe. Part and parcel of seeing an accurate rights picture, is the need to actively license and clear multiple rights for usage across the enterprise so that their availability in territories, platforms, formats, et al, can be leveraged and monetized quickly.
The follow-on challenge is to track and analyze results just as efficiently as to not slow down the process of delivering, and having the opportunity to change course, where needed to realize the full value of IP. Having a dashboard that serves as a control center for monitoring the accelerated activity driven by consumer demand is critical to keeping track of usage and profitability – and ultimately liability to licensing partners.
We’ve arrived at a very exciting time in the history of media and entertainment. We may never fully catch up, as Confucius claimed, but those who leverage technology to its fullest will definitely have a running start.