HITS Fall: Premiere Digital Looks at the Distribution Data Challenge

LOS ANGELES — Steve Rosenberg, chief commercial officer for Premiere Digital, looks at today’s worldwide digital distribution landscape for media and entertainment, and sees something that’s never happened before in the industry.

“You now have the opportunity to connect with the consumer directly, something the studios have never done before, because they put that in the hands of other people,” he said Oct. 18, speaking at the HITS Fall: Hollywood Innovation & Technology Summit.

But this is what’s in the way of content companies in order to make that a reality: inefficient workflows, tracking the data behind millions of availabilities, and a general lack of knowing what you have to sell and where. It already costs thousands to simply get your titles to a digital store, and that lack of data is hurting the bottom line, Rosenberg said.

“Everybody’s looking to make great content and get it to consumers, but that’s a lot harder than it seems,” he added.

Different formats of the same film, different titles of the film for different regions, various languages … all require having the correct data on hand, and organized. “There can’t be function without the data, and correlating the data is really important,” Rosenberg said. Missing data for some titles might not mean much — maybe a missing HD version in one region only results in the loss of a few dollars. But whether it’s $10 a year or $10,000 a day, “There’s money left on the table” due to these mistakes, Rosenberg said.

The proliferation of SVOD platforms hasn’t helped to push consumers to purchase digital content, but content companies are still shooting themselves in the collective foot by not making it easier for consumer to easily find what they want.

Yet, Rosenberg does see a way forward: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based product lifecycle management that’s applied to worldwide digital content sales solves these data challenges and supply chain inefficiencies. And again, does so by addressing the underlying need for data to get your content availability in hand.

“People will still collect movies if it’s at the right price point. The challenge: visibility isn’t really there, accuracy is extremely hard to achieve, and executing is difficult,” he said.

The 2017 edition of HITS Fall was presented by Cast & Crew, with sponsorship by Ooyala, Sohonet, Microsoft Azure, Premiere Digital, TiVo, LiveTiles and Veritone. Produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), the event’s association partners include the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), the Smart Content Council, Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH), the Los Angeles chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA).