In the modern media production and distribution industry, if you don’t have a solid plan for how to make money, you’re almost certainly going to be losing money—a lot of money. Even the world’s dominant streaming service, Netflix, is still struggling to turn a consistent profit. The company has reported positive free cash flow only very intermittently over the past decade. For example, the company finally reported positive free cash flow for three consecutive quarters in 2020—after a whopping six-year dry spell. For all of the smaller players in the industry, Netflix’s precious financial footing should serve as a sobering reminder of just how tough it is to remain financially competitive in this fast-changing, cutthroat industry.
One of the most important ways that media production and distribution companies can maintain a competitive financial standing is to embrace a multi-channel, all-digital approach to content distribution. Instead of allowing cacophonous, siloed, manual processes to all clash and impede the pace and process of content distribution, multi-channel digital distribution enables companies to unify around an integrated, end-to-end set of processes for producing and distributing content. These digital best practices are automated, scalable, and infused with AI, ensuring maximum speed to market, maximum content volume, and reduced operational costs. Let’s explore three reasons every media production and distribution company needs to be embracing multi-channel digital distribution to secure its long-term financial future:
Digital workplaces are replacing physical ones
Production and distribution of media and entertainment content was once a quaint operation managed out of physical offices with limited network infrastructure. When two teams wanted to collaborate, one of them would literally pick up the phone or walk down the hall. Those days are long gone; the COVID-19 pandemic put the final nail in the coffin of workflows tied to physical workspaces. Today, businesses must recognize that their single most important obligation is to help all of the partners in their ecosystem to embrace and become successful using cloud-based systems and digital workflows—and to make sure these systems and workflows are unified and firing on all cylinders.
The pandemic is constraining content production
In the golden age of TV and streaming services, content seemed to flow much more freely. There was not unyielding pressure to leverage, cross-promote, and monetize content—for the simple reason that there was enough of it to go around. In other words, if the content wasn’t translated into multiple languages or accompanied by targeted marketing ads, it wasn’t the end of the world. However, for the content production industry, the pandemic has, in many respects, felt like the end of the world. Budgets have been severely contracted, and competition for subscribers and audiences has become intense. As a result, content producers and distributors are demanding that this smaller content pool be much more effectively distributed and monetized. To achieve this leveraging at scale, businesses need to embrace multi-channel digital distribution systems and workflows. This approach is the only viable way for content to be automatically and intelligently packaged, repackaged, sorted, categorized, routed, and archived.
Manual intervention is not simply a distraction—it’s detrimental
When only part of the value chain has fully digitized and adopted cloud-based workflows, it’s easy to allow for individual processes to continue to be completed manually. But as more of the value chain is digitally transformed, manual processes become outliers that aren’t simply annoying distractions for everyone else to just ignore; the manual intervention becomes fundamentally detrimental to the entire value chain. In other words, any component of the value chain that is disconnected and siloed and still being done manually is going to have a disproportionately big impact on processes that are otherwise all digital and firing on all cylinders. Thus, the more of the value chain that becomes digitized, the less room there is for manual intervention to remain—which is exactly the desired outcome.
Multi-channel digital distribution is ushering in a wholesale transformation of content production and distribution processes. This transformation is being driven by digital workplaces replacing physical ones, reductions in content production due to the pandemic, and the increasing realization that manual intervention is detrimental to otherwise all-digital workflows.
To learn more about how to take advantage of multi-channel digital distribution systems and workflows to maintain revenue streams, please reach out to the digital transformation specialists at Simplus. We’d love to show you the strategic value and benefits that content production and distribution companies get out of investing in this type of digital transformation.