Thursday, January 07, 2016

The End Of Rights

As we move into 2016 it's time to reflect. We've invested heavily in rights -TV Everywhere is the majority shareholder in leading rights management platform, Rights Tracker. We've also spent the past two years working with the RT team to develop a combined assets and rights management platform called Assetry.

Over the past century rights have become increasingly complex. A TV production will have rights in, which involve royalty and other payments to contributors ranging from musicians to financiers, and rights out, which are the rights for sale not just of the program or series, but also of the format and licensing rights.

At the same time, organizations such as broadcasters have gone from dealing with the acquisition of rights on a single linear channel to managing a multitude of services across many platforms and devices.

A spreadsheet can't cope any more, hence our very sophisticated software.

But the wind seems to be blowing in the opposite direction. Netflix is clearly buying global rights, otherwise it could not operate in over 150 countries. So will this become the norm ?

EU regulations are soon likely to prescribe all rights bought by consumers to be portable all over the continent. But rights holders will find other ways to slice and dice, I suspect. By creating language rights, for example. 

But still, is our investment going to be in vain ? I think not.

There will be more and more blanket rights agreements, but there are also more and more rights opportunities.

These range from extending rights, for example, turning a programme into a brand as Shine has done with Masterchef, or Astley Baker Davies' Peppa Pig, or by segmenting international markets for Scandie Noir or Downton Abbey.

As content and assets become virtualised rights become more important. And this now affects everyone from musicians to corporates. We're now working for broadcasters, ad agencies and even pharma companies as well as many if the UK's top TV producers and distribtors. And the opportunities beyond this to play matchmaker and create efficient marketplaces for brands, assets and content are manifold.