How do content publishers source, process and re-purpose content in a world still hugely affected by delays to scripted shows? Masstech VP Product, Savva Mueller, has some thoughts.
According to research from the FX Network, in 2019 there were 532 scripted programs on US television channels and streaming services, an increase of 7% from 2018. The number has doubled in the last decade, and doesn’t even account for reality television, talk shows, news, documentary programming, daytime dramas and children’s series. As a consumer, I don’t know whether to love this because it gives me so much great stuff to watch or hate it because there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to all of my favorites.
With my Masstech Product Management hat on, I’m of course happy to see that content production is thriving. However, I also recognize the challenges that this diverse selection places on our customers, both those who are creating new content and those who are publishing it.
Increased competition means that content creators need to be more creative and adopt more aggressive marketing strategies to sell their programs. While there is a booming market already in place for “Friends” and “Game of Thrones”, it’s a much different challenge to promote new shows or programs that appeal to a niche audience. On the plus side, the available market for these programs is effectively the entire world.
For content creators, distributors and other rights holders, the challenge is how they can source all of their programming without creating a massive media management headache. In many facilities, the content ingest process was already pretty manual and labor-intensive, so how can they handle bringing in more programs from a wider variety of production houses?
Add to this the additional challenges brought on by COVID-19, where almost all productions came to halt for months (and may still be paused), causing delays to their availability and potentially frustrating consumers who have become used to the continuous flow of new programming. According to a report from Ampere Analysis, more than half of the scripted programs scheduled to be available later this year will be delayed, many of them until sometime in 2021 1 . In this environment, publishers may want to look farther afield to find already existing content from other countries that will resonate with their viewers. Netflix has had success with content crossing over to other markets, with the Spanish show “Money Heist” ranking as their 3rd most watched program of 2019. There’s no reason that other publishers and creators can’t replicate this model.
At Masstech, we are providing new tools to both streamline the content acquisition process and to provide a marketplace for their programs. Kumulate Gateway allows publishers to create placeholders for programs that need to be submitted and to define the parameters that the files need to meet. The content creators can then fulfill these requests from a web-based dashboard.
Kumulate Gallery provides a storefront for a media organization’s content, so that potential buyers can browse their catalog and purchase content directly from the website. Kumulate Gallery can be used for B2B sales in situations where complete programs are being sold to other publishers, or for B2C sales where the purchaser is a consumer, documentary filmmaker or corporate customer.
These new modules expand the Kumulate platform, bringing greater automation and flexibility to your media supply chain, and we have even more in the roadmap. As always, our ability to deliver solutions that address the challenges faced by every one of our customers is dependent on our close relationships with our partners and end users, and we’d love to hear your feedback on those modules in release, and suggestions for new features. Drop us an email and let us know your thoughts.