When New York-based Mediamorph first got off the ground in 2007, the company’s goal was straight-forward: meet the increasingly global content tracking needs of content providers starting with Studios, and help media and entertainment companies more-easily navigate rights management, accounting, contracts and royalty tracking demands necessitated by digital delivery.
A decade later, the technology behind Mediamorph’s solutions has adapted and “morphed” to also serve as a technology bridge between content providers and platforms, but the goal hasn’t changed one bit, according to Mediamorph CEO Rob Gardos.
“When Mediamorph started, it was about reaching out to the studios, helping them tackle a new challenge: ‘Digital is growing rapidly, we’re starting to do more and more deals, revenue is becoming more and more significant, and the scalability of the systems upon which that has been cobbled together over time is untenable,’” Gardos said, speaking to the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA).
“Mediamorph was built around helping the studios aggregate and bring together the data to track financials, the combination of contracts and rights, to better understand the licensing deals they’ve done.”
It’s worked: today every major Hollywood studio, the biggest broadcast TV networks, cable & satellite operators and OTT providers, all rely on Mediamorph’s platform to be sure every asset — and the data associated with that asset — is accurate, across every platform, in every language, by region and currency.
Seemingly simple tracking moves — say, a program’s pricing and its release date in an overseas market — were prone to costly errors using spreadsheets and the like, no matter how many more bodies they threw at the problem, according to Jim Riley, Mediamorph chief revenue officer. Mediamorph technology and deep system integration — and the automation of those manual tasks — has taken the processing time down “from days to hours,” he said.
Riley pointed to the work his company has done with international TV and broadband giant Liberty Global (a Mediamorph investor) which tasks Mediamorph to help manage everything from content rights and financials to metadata management and the orchestration of Liberty’s on demand asset packages to various platforms (covering content workflows that are tied to more than 2,000 contracts).
“They were heavily reliant on inflexible single-vendor solutions for content processing in the past, for over a dozen systems across 8 countries, several languages and currencies. So they needed something [where] they could tie these systems together and create efficiencies as they began making investments into new technologies, and new channels across multiple on and off network consumer platforms,” Riley said. “They needed a unified way to tie these all together. This is the role we’re playing for Liberty and others, where Mediamorph is connecting systems and optimizing workflows across their content supply chain.”
Bob Greene, managing director of online entertainment for Liberty Global, said in a statement that the sheer amount of markets the company covers (more than 30 across Europe and Latin America, with nearly 30 million customers) necessitated a tech solution that ensured “we’re maximizing the value of our content across our entire customer base. Mediamorph’s best-of-breed solutions are an essential component in making that happen, and their new orchestration technologies are quickly having an impact.”
Another recent win of note for Mediamorph: in February, Frontier Communications — one of the top multi-system operators (MSOs) in the U.S., with operations across nearly 30 states — tapped Mediamorph to help both manage its content offerings and streamline operations.
“They’re tying together a number of disparate systems, different, legacy hardware and software, and tying it together, in order to have visibility across all their platforms, and support their business in a much more automated way,” Gardos said. “It’s a highlight of our business: we’re able to enable new platforms and formats with our orchestration system.”
As for the start of his company’s second decade, Gardos sees Mediamorph expanding beyond its established presence in North America and Europe, and next see its solutions adopted by operators in Latin America. “Nothing specifically to report there, but suffice it to say: the partnerships we have with the studios and other content providers are putting us on the map for all these great distributors,” he added.
“And we’re coming to market with these solutions that tie everything together in the supply chain. Growth comes in many forms, not only in solutions, but also in partners, from the major studios, to networks, to OTT providers. We’ve nurtured great relationships,” Gardos said.