M+E Daily

Why Your CFO Is So Cranky: The Digital Sales Data Problem

By John Konczal

Digital distribution and sales models are top of mind for almost everyone in the media business. While I believe the potential for new business models enabled by digital media is real, I think there is real reason for concern that revolves around how your business is going to manage the potentially considerable growth in new sales partners and channels that can now be enabled through digital media.

Digital media simply makes it easier for new sales channels to integrate, market, sell your products. And this can create a potentially huge problem for your business: how do you manage all of these partners to ensure a positive impact on the top and bottom line.

Digital distribution brings with it the digital sales model, or more specifically, settling for sold digital media between an electronic retailer and a media publisher. So revenue only becomes recognized by the publisher when it understands what the e-retailer has sold and settles with the e-retailer for payment based on a pre-established royalty agreement.

Sounds easy enough — you send me your information and I will process it. Well, not so easy when you think of just how complicated the exchange and processing of digital sales data can get.

Think about exchanging data with potentially hundreds of partners sending you millions of transactions in a variety of data formats that must be collected, processed (meaning validated and interrogated), and routed to the proper accounting factory for managing the settlement process.

This issue is keeping the CFO up at night — and she is getting more irritable by the day from the lack of sleep — and no one wants that. She wants to know if this digital sales model is supported by an infrastructure that can scale to support the data volumes and the processes in place to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the digital sales data flow, to ensure settlements and associated payments are made accurately and on time.

Well, there’s good news for her, because today there are digital sales data exchange solutions in the marketplace that do exactly that through a single file gateway that manages all the sales data moving to and from those partners no matter what format they want to use. This means more revenue, more profit, and the fulfillment of that entire digital media potential. Read more about how to solve this challenge.