Rights Data Tips the Streaming War in Favor of Content Owners

By Richard Whittington, SVP, Media and Entertainment, SAP, and Amos Biegun, Global Head, Rights and Royalties, Vistex –

This is the third in a series of exclusive industry insights from SAP. You can read the previous stories here and here.

Rights management data – it’s not just about tracking permissions and monitoring revenue anymore. With the right predictive technology, content owners will soon turn that intelligence into the edge they need to win over subscription viewers.

The streaming wars are heating up. Every market player – from digital giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu to new TV studio entrants such as Disney+, Apple TV+, Google Play, and Peacock – is building up libraries of thousands of fresh, high-quality content and cultural favorites. But when it comes to capturing the hearts and minds of their subscribers, they will have to do much more than house thousands of films and TV episodes.

Vast content libraries may mean more choice. Yet finding something good to watch can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Recommendation engines are too simplistic to curate the right content in the new world. Streaming platforms do not detect unusual patterns to detect when a different person uses a family subscription. And perhaps more frustrating is gaining a clear understanding of viewer behavior to provide an appropriate mix of options across genres and interests.

How often do we quit watching a movie after only eight minutes, only for the streaming platform to recommend another one just like it? Let’s face it: streaming providers have an opportunity here to delight customers.

The platform needs to intelligently curate content to individual subscribers – intelligently removing options based on drop-off rates and licensing terms and matching material to viewing history and behavior.

Delivering experiences viewers value

For decades, content owners have been tracking where original programs run, how many times they’re watched, whether they’re viewed by a shared household or an individual, and which demographics demand the content. Such a static snapshot only worked well when TV executives controlled a limited portfolio of material from which consumers could choose.

Now, that traditional power structure of the relationship between content owners and viewers has flipped, thanks to the emergence of streaming providers.

Access to libraries comprising thousands of options allows viewers to watch anything their hearts desire anytime, anywhere, and on any device – a moment (whether it’s 20 minutes or 20 hours) made just for them.

This pervasive desire for personalized experiences is not going away. From luxury items to commodities, everything consumers purchase can be personalized to meet particular needs and whims. Brick-and-mortar stores are becoming more experiential and curated to suit shoppers’ style needs and past fashion choices. Shoe brands – such as Nike, Adidas, and Vans – allow buyers to create their unique sneakers from laces and upper to lining and sole.

Because personalization in both B2B and B2C interactions is becoming the norm, viewers expect the same from the content they watch. With technologies such as SAP S/4HANA for rights and royalty management by Vistex, media content providers can leverage a next-generation digital core to understand what individual viewers want to watch today, tomorrow, and six months from now.

By leveraging predictive analytics and artificial intelligence embedded in the technology, broadcasters and streaming providers can match demographic profiles to relevant content. They can track and analyze behavioral patterns and determine whether a viewer who, for example, finished watching a horror film wants to see a comedy or another scary movie.

More importantly, content owners can better manage their content library, removing unprofitable material, maintaining the rights of in-demand items, and adding new offerings that complement viewership trends.

A data-rich foundation for a new era of TV

The highly dynamic plays of the streaming providers are setting the stage for disruptive digital content that meets the needs of rapidly changing consumer viewing behaviors and preferences.

With the right technology generating real-time rights, broadcasters can compete as well – if not better. By knowing how to identify and limit the presence of low-demand items from their content library and exploit those that are in high demand, these players can run a streaming model that delivers a plausible future of substantial differentiation.

Find out how SAP S/4HANA for rights and royalty management by Vistex can help your business avoid the chaos of the streaming wars by creating experiences that wow your viewers every time.