News & Views

Royalty calculations at RTL Netherlands

As presented by Remco Petra, senior program manager RTL NL, Monique Slootbeek, Rights & Royalties manager RTL NL, and Peter-Jan Daems, functional analyst MEDIAGENIX, at MEDIAGENIX User Advisory Board 2018 in Brussels.

The situation

Remco Petra: “RTL Netherlands, RTL NL for short, is part of RTL, a pan-European media & broadcast company owning 45 channels across 11 countries in Europe. RTL NL serves the Netherlands and Belgium with 800 employees and has a revenue of 475 million euros. We offer Free TV, catch-up TV (RTLXL), SVoD (Videoland), AVoD and TVoD (Moviemax) as well as public content to 150 commercial outlets. We also do ad sales for external partners (telecom providers in the Netherlands). We produce content in-house and have a very significant multichannel network presence with the help of some influential vloggers.”

The challenge

Monique Slootbeek: “A key element in the implementation of WHATS’ON was the royalty module. We needed to combine two different systems, with completely different deals and system to calculate royalties, into a single system. MEDIAGENIX helped us with that.”

RTL NL had to deal with a whole lot of complexities and special needs:

  • there are 435 firms involved in the system (studios, distributors, production houses …);
  • they are working with more than 100 revenue split models (TVoD transaction based, SVoD viewing time based);
  • they also have to deal with minimum guarantees that are far from straightforward (different options based upon title, package, period and/or box office category);
  • they have 12 on-demand channels and 41 publication systems;
  • they needed a system that can deal with 8 million consumption records a month (still increasing);
  • they also needed statements to report on the shares of the royalties the beneficiaries get.

“100 revenue split models, millions of consumption records …”

For TVoD the revenue split is pretty straightforward. People who watch a title pay for that specific content. This money is to be distributed over music rights, platforms, licensors and licensees.

For SVoD it’s more complicated. Say you have 500,000 subscribers and they all pay 3 euros. This amounts to 1.5 million euros. You then have to figure out for every piece of content that has been watched, what percentage it represents in the total viewing figures of that month before assigning it to the different beneficiaries. The system has to deal with those complex calculations.

The solution

Peter-Jan Daems: “In WHATS’ON we need to configure which percentages distributors and platforms get (1). Secondly, we need data from the end users. We need to know how many people have watched the content on SVoD or TVoD. For that we get consumption records from the platforms (2). The records are imported into WHATS’ON and based on this input and the parameters that have been entered in WHATS’ON, the WHATS’ON calculator will figure out how much money goes to which parties (3&4). This rule calculator is very flexible, because all kinds of calculations are needed for all kinds of beneficiaries.”
Calculations are applied to a series of rules that come from WHATS’ON’s Royalty Calculation Rule Engine. These calculations also factor in things like minimum guarantees (the amount broadcasters have to pay irrespective of the viewing figures) and the minimum sum distributors want to get for their content.

“WHATS’ON gives you a month by month view on what the different parties are supposed to get from RTL NL”


Peter-Jan Daems: “WHATS’ON gives you a month by month view on what the different parties are supposed to get from RTL NL. You have a distributor view per title, another is the platform view, and everything can be easily put into a report.”

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