Calculations for royalties and participations have grown in complexity now that business models become more and more sophisticated as services try and monetize their content. Millions of consumption records a month need to be ingested for intricate revenue share calculations if distributors, platforms and talent are to get what is theirs by right.

The way revenue is shared between content providers, broadcasters, platforms and talent is defined in complex contracts, which are the result of detailed negotiations between the parties involved. With new players adding to the competitive clutter and the rise of digital platforms fed by the multiplatform expectations of the viewer, ever more business and revenue split models are popping up.

The basis for calculating revenue shares remains the same: you need to agree on the percentage split between beneficiaries, but you need to know how many people consumed your content and even possibly by how much time they viewed a particular programme.

For TVoD or EST you might say this is quite straightforward. Subscribers pay a specific amount to watch or buy a movie or a series. This money is to be distributed over platforms, licensors and licensees. But what if you have also paid a Minimum Guarantee? At what point do you begin to pay overages?

8 million consumption records a month

Take the case of RTL Netherlands. Their revenue system involves 435 companies, including studios, distributors, and production houses. Monique Slootbeek, Rights & Royalties manager at RTL NL: “We are working with more than 100 revenue split models —TVoD transaction based, SVoD viewing time based … — and have to deal with minimum guarantees that are far from straightforward, with different options based on title, package, period and/or box office category. We needed a system that was able to deal with 8 million consumption records a month. We also needed statements to report on the shares of the royalties and participations the beneficiaries get. MEDIAGENIX helped us with that.”

Flexible calculator

Peter-Jan Daems, functional analyst at MEDIAGENIX: “In WHATS’ON you configure which percentages distributors and platforms get. The consumption records from the platforms are ingested into WHATS’ON and based on that, WHATS’ON calculates how much money goes to which parties. These calculations also factor in things like minimum guarantees.”

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