How the Finance Team show stakeholders the money
“Show me the money” is what content providers, distributors, platforms, broadcasters talent, and all other rights holders say.
When you ask management and shareholders what they dream of at night, they invariably speak the three magic words: return on investment (ROI). To achieve that they need to make decisions based on actionable insights and data. And at the end of the day, “show me the money” is also what the authorities say.
AUTOMATED CALCULATIONS, EASY INSIGHTS, INTEGRATED FOR REVIEWS AND REPORTING
The way revenue is shared 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 models and revenue split models are popping up. Calculations for royalties and participations have grown in complexity now that business models have become more and more sophisticated. Millions of consumption records a month need to be ingested for intricate revenue share calculations if each party is to get what is theirs by right. To get your calculations right, you have to agree on the percentage split between beneficiaries. You need to know how many people consumed your content and possibly even how long 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 across platforms, licensors and licensees. But what if you have also paid a minimum guarantee? At what point do you begin to pay overages? Matters get more complicated as soon as SVOD enters the equation, and when you start mixing business models you are in for a treat.
With WHATS’ON, MEDIAGENIX offers the functionality to automate these complex calculations, deal with millions of consumption records a month, and provide statements to report on the shares of the royalties and participations the beneficiaries get.
Managers and shareholders
Management wants to see the achieved ROI on different levels — transmission, day, channel, contract, …— to make informed decisions and make sure they hit the targets. They want to make — or at least see — simulations that show which schedules or release plans make the best use of the available content and generate the best return.
“A web app could give managers quick and easy overviews of the long-term schedule.”
A handy web app could be of great help. It could, for instance, take a snapshot of the long-term schedule, and give them quick and easy overviews of specific aspects of that schedule, based on the search criteria they select and combine with a click of the mouse. When taking decisions affecting long-term planning, acquisitions or productions, management will also want to do that based on a proper trend analysis of stock use in the past and on the — multicurrency — value of plans, schedules and stock at any moment in the past, present and future.
Ascertaining the value of plans, schedules and programmes in stock — down to programme segment level — is based on contract, run and amortization information that should be available in the Broadcast Management System. It should in fact be possible in that system to drill down to the actual cost, status and expected cost of each run, even for each episode of a series, and this cost should also cover programme-related costs, such as versioning, dubbing and subtitling costs. Any cost calculation considers initial cost, exchange rates and amortizations.
Amortizations can be date or run based; they can be nominal or in percentage, in straight line (fixed value) or accelerated, or in any combination imaginable. At all times you need an overview of accumulated amortizations. What every manager needs, is overview and control, starting from budgeting and acquisition down to the approval of related invoices and the creation of multicurrency payment schedules. They want budgets and cash flow to be monitored and predicted, and payments and invoicing to be accurate.
To make diverse calculations and report on all this and more, you need a comprehensive set of reporting tools, as well as integration of your content supply chain management platform with best-of-breed BI tools.
If tightly integrated with your financial ERP systems, the readily accessible, real-time data in your content supply chain management platform should also be of great help for the mandatory review of the company’s financial status at the end of a financial period. The system should support the monthly closings, for instance. Smart analytics and BI reporting are the ultimate way of ascertaining whether the company is running its media operations efficiently and squeezing maximum value from its content investments.