Leveraging Data and Revenue Opportunities in Media Syndication
In the modern digital era where people are constantly bombarded by web and mobile content, any expectation of success for digital media creators requires advantageous placement of their content. In most cases, that means disseminating media across as many platforms as can conceivably host it. The benefits are innumerable, not the least of which is the expanded opportunities for scale and the considerable financial implications of an increase in revenue generation as a result of growing one’s audience. However, this process is not without its drawbacks. Our previous blog post delineates some key issues that creators are often forced to address once they decide to showcase their content through different online channels.
Building a brand by means of video content requires a close eye on the full range of analytics concerning one’s media. The reach and impact of one’s online presence is paramount to a creator’s ability to make strategic, data driven decisions. Though it might seem tempting, it is not strategic, nor is it actually feasible, to publish content on any platform indiscriminately. Some video content perform exponentially better in certain online environments and in some cases, its existence on a certain platform could prove to be detrimental to a creator’s overall brand, which makes its continued presence on that platform counterintuitive.
The key to combatting this scenario is for the supplier to maintain unhindered visibility into the data surrounding and generated by their content. Analytics on this scale, across different channels is understandably a massive feat. As a response to this challenge, media creators are exploring blockchain technologies (as we detail in a previous post) and leveraging its transparency feature in order to retain control of data tracking and reporting capabilities despite adopting a multi-channel distribution strategy.
Contract Compliance and Rights Management
Once a creator adopts a multi-platform syndication strategy, the increase in exposure is accompanied by the intensification of complexity in regards to contract agreements. There does exist a much simpler distribution strategy in which a creator simply sends the content files to a third party host and is then awarded a license fee, revenue share, or a combination of the two for their contribution. However, the tradeoff for the presumed ease of this distribution process is that the creator effectively loses control of their content. This concession of control does make a simple, cut-and-dry third party distribution less enticing for content suppliers and may deem the management of multifaceted contractual agreements worth it if it means that they retain the rights to their media.
EY astutely posits that “opportunities, across all sectors of the global economy, have at least one thing in common: they require multiple corporations to partner.” In adhering to that model, media syndication requires the interwoven partnerships between the content supplier, syndication partners, and advertising networks. The amount of involved parties can be daunting even from the beginning, as each one must find enough mutual benefit to forge on with an agreement. The resulting mass of contracts is irrefutably overwhelming. Establishing the contract will be inherently difficult with the sheer amount of parties and agents involved, but AdMonster suggests focusing on the terms of your syndication relationships, your business priorities, and the requirements of your advertisers when determining the terms of a syndication agreement.
Beyond the initial hurdle of contract creation lies the cumbersome task of enforcing the established contract. The agreement will cover everything from ad agency contract compliance to the rules of digital distribution as agreed upon by the content supplier and the platform that will host it. For many video creators, this is beyond what they are capable or willing to do, hence the common employment of syndication services such as Castfire or Grab Networks. Streaming Media reports that content suppliers value these services’ capability to manage relationships, especially with advertisers, and keep “track of advertising agreements and cross-promotion rules for the various sites that carry a video.” With the release of these video inventory and contract management systems, video creators are being spurred into creating more content and syndicating it to more platforms.
On a broader level, EY continues to laud the disruptive capabilities of blockchain technology, particularly in the media industry. The technology is brimming with potential as EY notes the advent of a blockchain-based music ecosystem “in which artists can place their songs and control song data and terms of usage, with transaction royalties distributed in real time to the artists, producers, writers and engineers involved in a song’s production.” Once this system is modified for video media, the means with which contracts and the terms regarding the rights to a piece of content are enforced will be conducted with significant ease and transparency.
Dealing with countless data repositories in a multitude of formats of structured and unstructured data can make the efforts not worth the ROI for many content suppliers. But True Interaction’s Synaptik platform has the ability to automate and aggregate your disparate structured and unstructured data across internal and external sources that will usher in a transformational return. It is becoming imperative for creators to learn more about the benefits of blockchain technology and the many ways it can be integrated into your business processes in order to steer your organization to success.
Joe Sticca, Chief Operating Officer of True Interaction, contributed to this post.