This is a fun time for video content creators and publishers. The “content everywhere” trend has brought the industry into a time of ubiquitous distribution, and seemingly endless syndication potential. To that end, there’s been a perception that premium content is the golden nugget in this value-supply chain. However, what businesses like Jukin Media, Rumble and ZEFR have proven is that there’s a vast, undeveloped market for user-generated (UGC) video as well. This reality opens up a serious “loss prevention” hurdle that’s as complicated for average-Joe creators as well as major video publishers.
Estimates for VOD, SVOD, and OTT services (and excluding most mainstream web sourced broadcast models), vary from as much as $70BN to over $100BN (USD), ARR, for premium video services. These estimates discount subsidized distribution of UGC content, of which a fraction of this class of streaming is actually monetized and, which does contain protected content.
While ubiquitous distribution indicates there’s significant monetization potential cross-platform, there’s also significant wads of cash being lost, or left on the table, at the hand of messy, often non-existent rights management systems. And not having a strong handle on content and rights management, and IP valuations can cripple emerging and established is a business-crippling mistake many publishers. Like the music industry during its initial transformation, video is experiencing revenue leakage due to lax or non-existent rights enforcement across the spectrum. And video creators, like recording artists and songwriters, will bear the brunt of the lost opportunities.
At a recent conference held in New York (Rightstechsummit.com), creators, publishers, rights holders, and emerging and established rights tech companies met to discuss the major issues facing the industry. Participants discussed emerging solutions, including more intensive data management at the point of creation, robust passive monitoring of usage, and a variety of process oriented improvements, all designed to foster better rights management, and a safer ecosystem for creators.
Themes from this event, and industry players suggest, there are solutions to this problem, however, the ecosystem still has a lot of work to provide better content distribution models
3 Ways Negligent Rights Management is Crippling For Video Creators and Rightsholders
1. Overlooking assets — Rule #1 of loss prevention is being able to identify the assets, and the value of those assets in relation to the entire project. Often times, music rights, video clips, or other ancillary pieces of content require licensing. They contribute to the value of the final video, but the sum of the whole is only equal to the value of its parts. Most publishers overlook this small fact.
But, now that major platforms have invested significantly in content identification systems that can detect, with varying degrees of accuracy, content owned by known content owners, policies are in place to block content and/or produce multiple prospective claims for each asset identified. Some platforms track how often a creator does not have permission to make content available.
3. Relying on automated open platforms to do the work — Yes, open platforms have been actively working to set systems in place to capture unauthenticated use of content — both video and music. However, relying entirely on products like ContentID, bring a whole host of additional headaches and pain points into the mix. Various publishers have become frustrated by faulty flags. ContentID for instance, uses fingerprinting to identify matches but is not able to authenticate licenses. This causes significant friction for a content creator or publisher who has already followed proper licensing protocol. Other tech, like watermarking, has potential for more sophisticated tracking but has not yet been widely adopted. As such, content creators have lost not only money from content that isn’t being flagged but also in the hours upon hours of man-power required to stay on top of ContentID or Facebook Rights Manager, to ensure proper flagging.
These are common mistakes and while platforms like YouTube and Facebook are working to better tag and track pirated video content, these automated systems are imperfect solutions.
So, aside from being vigilant when it comes to managing syndication and second-window distribution strategies, what can publishers do to protect themselves and their wallets from leaky spots?
In addition to managing permissions on open platforms like YouTube and Facebook, publishers who are licensing video from others or syndicating their own content can activate rights technologies to add an additional layer of protection.
One such technology company, PluraVida, sits between the platform and all of the platform’s monetization partners, usually advertisers, publishers, and creators, in order to be able to measure and track monetization and content usage events, and enable efficiencies in determining payouts and providing reporting and analytics. They’ve been able to help publishers like Studio71 manage their revenues (http://bit.ly/pvs71) being generated by those videos so they can payout the appropriate creators.
When it comes to distributing payments to multiple parties, a rights tech like PluraVida, can ensure proper rev splits are accounted for automatically based on pre-set criteria. Keeping track of how a video travels, is shared, or even licensed on the internet, is no easy task, especially when you’re a publisher both ingesting content in and syndicating it out. But there are steps to be taken that can reduce revenue leakage and help maximize monetization.
*This is a sponsored post from PluraVida. For more information on rights tech, or PluraVida, visit www.pluravida.com.