This new episode in our ongoing series on the Digital Solutions Economy (DSE) provides an overview of how DSE is impacting the Media and Entertainment industry. Previous episodes in this series include:
- DSE in the Semiconductor Industry
- DSE in the Medical Device industry
- DSE in Utilities industry
- DSE in the Energy Sector
- DSE in Transportation
In many ways, the media and entertainment industry pioneered the rise of online subscription-based offerings as streaming video burst on the scene in the early 2000s. The stage was set by new technologies such as MPEG-4, Windows Media Player, and Apple QuickTime between 1998 and 2000, which led to a series of ongoing improvements in the quality and responsiveness of on-demand and streaming video.
By 2005/2006, Apple, Microsoft and Google all were experimenting with various video offerings. YouTube launched in 2005 and quickly grew to 100 million video views per day by July of 2006. Then a flurry of game-changing events occurred over the course of just a few months. Amazon Video launched in September 2006, Google acquired YouTube in October 2006, and Netflix introduced streaming video in January 2007.
Over subsequent years, the global explosion of video streaming services fueled multi-billion dollar growth, while sending shockwaves through related industries. The DVD sales and rental segment effectively met its demise by 2015. Traditional television networks, cable and satellite providers needed to radically change their business models to compete, in some cases launching streaming services of their own.
With more demand for streaming, the content creation process radically shifted as well, with new major production studios springing up within Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu, Apple and other streaming giants. Also, established content production companies such as Paramount, Disney and Discovery+, started their own streaming services.
During the past decade, a rise of back-and-forth merger activity has consolidated some players and pushed others out of power. The two plus years of pandemic-driven changes keeping more people at home created a sudden growth peak in subscriber numbers, which has been followed in 2022 by a shift back toward fundamental bottom line issues such as containing costs and improving revenue per subscriber. Refocusing on profitability has incentivized several streaming companies, such as Netflix and Disney+, to create new ad-supported tiers that offer lower costs for subscribers but are intended to boost advertising revenue.
Some of the key challenges in the media and entertainment sector include:
- Navigating huge changes in the competitive landscape
- Driving new subscriber growth while reducing subscriber churn
- Boosting revenues with new advertising initiatives
- Continually offering fresh content while controlling production costs
- Dealing with increasingly complex cross-licensing relationships
How DSE and Digital Transformation Apply to the Media and Entertainment sector
Companies throughout the media industry are learning the lesson that the Digital Solutions Economy is about much more than just subscriptions.
While it is vitally important to provide easy-to-understand customer-facing subscription management interfaces, the back-end processes that are needed to manage end-to-end content delivery, support multiple service tiers, handle licensing contractual commitments, and assure proper accounting compliance are becoming increasingly complex.
For example, when Amazon Prime subscribers sign up for other services such as HBO, Showtime or Paramount+ through their Amazon account, there are significant cross-licensing and revenue sharing compliance requirements that must be handled behind the scenes. As some media companies turn to offering ad-supported tiers, the revenue-sharing challenges are becoming even more complex as content owners and other licensors want a portion of these new ad-based revenue opportunities.
At Bramasol, we have a long history of working with leading media companies such as Apple, Discovery, Google, Disney, AT&T, TiVo, and others. In many cases, these working relationships started with helping companies comply with increasingly complex revenue recognition and compliance issues using applications such as SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting (RAR).
As back-end processes and relationship management issues have become more important, Bramasol's leadership in tailoring the SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (BRIM) portfolio of applications to specific customer requirements is helping our clients adapt to the dynamically changing media business landscape. The flexibility to integrate BRIM portfolio applications with legacy customer-facing subscription processes is also very helpful to support integration of M&A acquired entities as well as complex cross-licensing arrangements.
Looking ahead, the combination of SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP S/4HANA will enable better visibility across the whole end-to-end process along with a unified single-source-of-truth for management of the disparate elements, scaling to meet demand, and optimizing profitability for streaming media offerings.
For more information, check out these resources:
- Forecasting and Planning for the Digital Solutions Economy
- DSE and RevRec Compliance,
- DSE Data Volume, Velocity, Density and Complexity
- Embedded Analytics for DSE