As the amount of content multiplies exponentially for viewers, in both what and where they can watch, vid- eo services and content distributors
have an even more pressing need to manage
the evolving global content licensing business.
In a few clicks, viewers have more video
choice than ever before, and the precise location of the viewer has serious implications.
Where previously geo-gating might have been
enough, now customers have many more locations and methods to view content. Buying
or renting? Mobile, desktop, or connected TV?
Streaming or downloadable? SD or HD? AVOD,
TVOD, or SVOD? Are there content blackout
rights? Subtitles or dubbed? Was a promotional
This is a story about how some video retail-
ers and content distributors use automation for
license management, as well as many who, as
of yet, don’t. Manual license management has
been the status quo, and that’s been fine with a
lot of video services. What is forcing change is
the challenge of tracking too many permuta-
tions of content licenses.
Nothing is straightforward or standardized in
the world of online video. The matrix of varying
delivery requirements is complicated by another business matrix of what legally can be consumed—by territory, device, subscription level,
promotional offers, and purchase type. “There
are very few standards, and the industry hasn’t
adopted a unique identifier yet for content,”
says Amos Biegun, managing director (UK),
global head of rights and royalties, Vistex. If
there’s no standard for something as simple
as a title-naming convention, it’s no wonder
this is a confusing market.
Who’s Minding the Store?
As the video ecosystem gets ever more complex,
publishers and broadcasters are
turning to automation to manage content licensing.
By Nadine Krefetz