Global content companies already understand the value of exporting a winning format to new territories. Major brands such as Endemol Shine or Fremantle have built their success on the ability to sell successful formats into new global markets. Similarly, format sales have become a major revenue source for established producers like the BBC.
Already highly competitive, the format market is experiencing major changes, driven by new ways in which content is created, distributed and viewed. In some segments, major creators must compete with upstart productions, and even home-grown shows rising to fame via social channels.
For content producers of any size, a media asset management (MAM) or distribution platform can play a key role in getting the right content in front of the right buyers. Used to support format sales, such platforms make face-to-face meetings more productive, and increase the chances of success.
The right people - and only those people
In the past, content producers shared preview and screener content with potential customers via physical formats such as DVDs. Even today, many use low-cost and even free file transfer solutions. While it’s a step up from the sheer hassle of producing and distributing discs, a generic transfer service can represent a major risk to the security of the very IP you’re trying to monetise.
Even with a paid transfer solution, there’s usually no way to monitor how your content is used beyond a simple confirmation that it’s been downloaded. Sales teams often have multiple files, shared with multiple users via multiple accounts. It's just too easy to lose track of who has access, who’s watched the content, and who they might have shared it with.
Using a MAM like Imagen presents the most practical alternative. It’s a purpose-designed, secure, cloud-based distribution platform. Kirstie Malone, International Production Coordinator at BBC Studios, explains that Imagen has helped the corporation’s format sales teams take control of its vast catalogue.
“Our previous system was relatively inflexible,” Kirstie says. “As our content library grew, we were continually exceeding our storage limits. The whole process was very time consuming and we found it extremely difficult to search for records due to inconsistencies with the associated metadata.”
Distributing screeners through a platform like Imagen lets you specify - down to the individual - who has access to your content. Designed to handle large, broadcast-ready files, a distribution platform lets you get your content across the world at speed. And there’s no more chasing to see if buyers have viewed your screeners: built-in analytics tell you whether and when they did, and how many times.
Closer to the deal with data-led selling
But if this is increasingly how preview and screener content is distributed to buyers, where does that leave events like MIPTV, previously a nexus for screening as much as sales? Far from big events becoming less relevant, format sales teams who change their approach can optimise the time they spend there – and importantly close more business.
Smart teams understand that a content platform lets them streamline the sales process before, during and after events. With online distribution allowing the bulk of screenings to take place online and ahead of time, teams can focus their face-to-face efforts on selling and negotiation. With a proposition already well established and presented before the event, the team’s objectives can shift toward getting closer to the deal, and maximising the ROI from the event itself.
And using a smart distribution platform lets format sales teams go well beyond simply presenting buyers with a standard proposition. With built-in analytics, teams can use buyers’ past behaviour and preferences to tailor content, making it more bespoke for the customer, and more relevant to their target territories and audiences. This data-led selling helps format teams ensure that they’re presenting people with the right content and in the right formats. And it gives them the best possible footing for negotiation and deal-making when it comes to sales meetings.
Opening new markets
The smart use of a distribution platform doesn’t just give the advantage to major content producers. Having a secure platform on which to distribute content to global audiences democratises format distribution. This opens doors for smaller producers who might otherwise struggle to get their shows in front of the right people.
Take the example of LADbible, which has grown since 2012 to become one of the internet’s most recognised online-only publishers. By adopting Imagen as its video management platform, LADbible was able to solve multiple challenges around the organisation in terms of the retrieval and distribution of its video assets.
Imagen provides the business with a single, highly searchable content library, through which it can distribute clips to buyers across the globe. Customers with accounts can search 24/7 to find and preview the content they need. Critically, these interactions all take place through a branded portal, ensuring greater engagement with the brand throughout. According to Luke Smedley, submissions and acquisition manager of LADbible Group, using Imagen has “allowed us to really scale our content licensing business”.
Taking YouTube influencers to the next level
Major influencers and YouTubers looking to maximise their reach can use Imagen to open up new opportunities. A MAM makes it easier to search and manage an existing catalogue of work, while adding new levels of control and security. At the same time, the ability to distribute globally through a bespoke portal creates new opportunities to sell premium content, and to protect your IP while you pitch to new markets and distribution partners.
Imagen provides all content producers and aggregators with a global format-distribution interface, featuring secure screening and rich-client sales functionality. For anyone in the business of selling formats, content or licences to media partners, or seeking to grow their brand or business in new territories, Imagen can make the difference.
With the security, organisation and analytics to control and optimise your IP, and the global reach to get content to the right people, Imagen helps content owners increase their leverage, break new markets, and drive better deals with buyers.
Imagen gets your content to the right people, in the right places, at the right time. Secure, measurable and unbelievably quick, our platform supports format sales teams at major content producers including the BBC, and extends the reach of online-online publishers including LADbible.
Discover more about our features for media companies.