Is the TV & Film industry embracing ‘digital’ faster than sports?

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The good – changes in consumption, new media formats and platforms are expanding the market size of content globally. The bad – sports rights-holders and agencies are finding it more difficult and costly to manage, package, and distribute their content, and too many organizations in this space are squandering the opportunity to adapt their strategy and take advantage of the new opportunities by not adopting the right technology. The ugly – these old-fashioned processes are preventing them from gaining back-end efficiencies that would eventually lead to an improved bottom line.

Technology is similar to a train with an unlimited number of carriages that you must board sooner or later if you do not want to be stuck at the station. The sports media rights industry arguably lags behind other sectors in terms of integrating effective software systems that can assist stakeholders in many fundamental aspects of this business: taking business processes into the digital age, helping to increase sales and reduce time on low value tasks.

Let us look no further than our backyard to see how the film and entertainment industry is well ahead of us in terms of adopting ‘digital’ when it comes to business processes – namely software-as-a-service management systems, and B2B Marketplaces – which lead to previously uncaptured opportunities.

The film and entertainment industry has been among the most visibly affected by the digital transformation, with a significant shift from mass consumption of content dictated by the distributor to high personalization dictated by the consumer. According to data by Grand View Research, the global film and entertainment market was valued at $81 billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach $115 billion by 2025. Introduction to more modern marketing and distribution platforms such as rights marketplaces, digital marketing channels, and overall increased digital sales are projected to be among growth factors further boost the industry. 

High-quality, high-value content is in high demand, and there is an explosion of it, not only from the major players including Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Apple, or Warner Media, who each spend billions of dollars commissioning new content each year, but also niche new players. Industry marketplaces such as Vuulr as well as handful others support this expansion – overall, it serves a simple yet important purpose, enabling media production companies to sell their content to various buyers anywhere anytime. It opens up new opportunities for sellers – whether it’s developed markets or new territories, existing or specialized genres – to get your film and TV content discovered by buyers all over the globe. These marketplaces are used by industry’s best like Netflix, who can easily zero in on desired content and make a bid to the vendor on the platform directly, as well as the new breed content distributors, brought by the low barrier of entry for OTT. Meanwhile, web-based film licensing software such as MediaRights or FilmTrack is an everyday asset for content giants like Disney, CBS, Miramax or BBC, helping from project management to contract and sales, with all of these business “having outgrown Excel sheets, and offline data management”. 

While this surge in both demand, and content availability is resembled in the sports media industry too, the technology aspect is catching up slower. While certain rights-holders are reaping the benefits of adopting technology, a significant part of the sports market is still stuck in an ‘analogue environment’, and as long as it continues, it will be more complex than it should for them to grab these new opportunities. As such, sports rights-holders, agencies and broadcasters alike should embrace technology, that makes it easier to not only create, but also manage and sell content, and make a small investment now to reap the benefits in the long-run.

With exactly these issues and opportunities in mind we are continuously developing Content Arena Manager, designed for the sports industry by sports rights experts. In the following blog posts, we will zoom in on larger processes, as well as everyday industry problems, which can be streamlined and solved by our software.  

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