Originally published by TV NewsCheck, November 15, 2018
by Robin Melhuish, Director of Customer Solutions, Wazee Digital, a Veritone Company
For film and television production companies, the traditional way of making money is to produce the content and then license the rights to one of hundreds of distributors around the world, such as Warner Bros. in the U.S., Alibaba Pictures in China, or Rotana in the Middle East. Those distributors bill the production companies for the cost of international marketing. Such an arrangement gives the comparatively small production companies access to the much larger distribution companies’ infinite marketing resources, but it can also cost them millions of dollars per production. So, rather than paying a distributor for the marketing, some production companies have taken their marketing in house.
In doing so, they become responsible for distributing prerelease marketing assets internationally. Those assets could be things like approved movie trailers, trailers that have been customized by region, poster art, scripts, logos, legal documents — anything associated with the promotion of an upcoming feature film. They suddenly need a marketing-distribution workflow where none existed before.
The natural first step for most companies is to set up a “push” workflow that goes something like this: When the production company has a movie poster, trailer, or teaser ready for a particular territory, a company rep sends an email announcing that the material is available. Interested parties email back requesting what they want, and the company rep pushes the materials out to the given marketing teams by whatever means is most appropriate.
But as the amount of content, formats, distribution platforms, and markets grows almost exponentially, companies are finding that the push model is no longer sustainable or efficient.
That’s where dynamic cloud archives, enriched by intelligent metadata come in. Dynamic cloud archives allow you to store assets securely in the cloud and — through a branded online distribution hub — make them easily accessible to any permissioned user with an internet connection from anywhere in the world. Some production companies are already using dynamic cloud archives to store and share their creative assets. Anyone who needs assets from a show or film — whether it’s a stakeholder in the production or someone looking to license a clip — can log in and download what they need in a “pull” model. Such a model not only makes asset-sharing easier for people on both sides of the transaction, but it also ensures the production company won’t miss any revenue opportunities.
So, rather than keep marketing in a separate, inefficient workflow, why not use the dynamic cloud archive to store and distribute marketing assets as well?
Applying the dynamic archiving strategy to marketing means marketing materials are stored in the same central archive as the creative assets. The central archive is attached to a branded website on the front end, where authorized users go to view and pull the assets they want.
Instead of having to deal with the complexities of getting the right versions of the right marketing materials for the right productions to the right recipients in all the different territories, you simply put all the assets into your archive and make them available through the white-label website. Then, your various distribution and marketing partners around the world simply log in to the site and get what they need. Sophisticated security ensures that only agreed-upon recipients can use the site.
Moving from a push model to a pull model from a single dynamic archive is a huge time and energy saver for everyone involved. Production companies benefit in many ways, but one of the most important is the potential for greater revenue.
By making it easy for international marketing teams to get what they need, their jobs become easier to do, and that can only mean good things for your bottom line. When marketers see that your process is professional and straightforward, you’re likely to end up with a much better presentation of your brand, more engagement from downstream marketing people, and more attention for your shows or movies, which could translate to more viewers and higher sales.
Recently, a major Hollywood production company responsible for countless blockbusters over the years decided to upgrade how it stores and shares its prerelease assets. As part of the upgrade, the production company moved all those assets to its cloud-native, dynamic archive management system and then made them available to its hundreds of global partners through a centralized, cloud-native, white-label DAM portal. Instead of a push model, which is what the company was doing before, partners now go to one centralized location to search and download the content that’s right for their market.
The combination of a dynamic cloud archive and a sophisticated front-end distribution portal allows this Hollywood powerhouse to collect, store, and distribute its own marketing assets with the capability to license their own content through a full-fledged media asset management system rather than having to take them from a hierarchy of folders on the server. Even better, it’s the same system through which the company manages and distributes its creative assets, which streamlines the entire operation.
Content creation companies that develop and produce film and television programs are continually working to make sure their asset management and distribution processes are as simple as they can be — not only to manage the content more efficiently, but also to market and distribute it around the globe more easily. Having a global archive/marketing distribution platform can help them eliminate distribution complexity, unify and streamline operations, and maximize the revenue potential for each production.
It used to be that the computing resources required for such a workflow were so costly that only very large distribution companies or networks could afford them. Not so any longer. Cloud technology is now making distribution infrastructure cheaply available to intellectual property owners. So, the same technology that enables production companies to deliver their own marketing materials will allow content owners to take control over other parts of the workflow as well.