16.07.2012 Explosion in consumer media products creates new specialist role for content negotiators
> Short-term need to negotiate initial content agreements means specialists work on an interim basis.
Explosive growth in new consumer media products and channels has led to a new specialist role for content negotiators who can hammer out agreements between the provider and the film and music giants, says Interim Partners, the leading provider of interim management solutions.
New consumer media platforms such as internet TV, smart phones and tablet computers are rushing to secure content whilst the established media giants are looking to exploit their back catalogue of music and films in the most profitable way possible.
According to Interim Partners, the new role of “content commercialisation director” earns £800-£1,000 per day and their rates are increasing rapidly as global demand outstrips the supply of experienced talent.
Steve Blake, Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, comments: “Technology companies are competing fiercely to bring new consumer media products to market, and securing content deals is a key part of that process.”
“A lot of work goes into negotiating content deals for the new products with the media giants of the film, music and games worlds. Content commercialisation directors who can bring in the right content for the right price in time for a launch are highly sought after by the technology companies.”
“Content commercialisation directors are also highly sought after by telecoms operators who use fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to sell subscription packages for mobile, video on demand (VoD) and over-the-top (OTT) TV services. A good content line-up makes is essential to market the subscription service successfully.”
“Another big area of demand is the new media channels – success stories like Spotify are built on extremely complex negotiations with the big media companies.”
“The media giants are out to squeeze every single pound of revenue they can from their content, so they make for formidable sparring partners at the negotiating table.”
“These products are also launching in markets around the world, with each market needing relevant content and different content agreements with the big media companies, creating high demand for these specialists. A content commercialisation director has to be as comfortable dealing with a Bollywood Studio as a US music giant.”
Interim Partners says that new media products and channels need a full roster of content when they launch to attract consumers but once the initial content agreements are in place, the specialist is no longer required so they work on an interim basis.
Steve Blake continues: “The successful launch of something like an internet TV box really depends upon the quality of content that consumers can access with it, so setting up agreements with the film and music giants is absolutely vital to the technology companies. That makes effective content commercialisation directors extremely valuable, which is why they are paid so well.”
“Content is now exploited through a very complex maze of agreements. For example, a song can be used for everything from a ringtone to a videogame.”
Interim Partners points out that revenue sharing agreements between the rights holder, intermediaries and the technology company have become extremely complex, meaning that specialist negotiators are necessary.
Steve Blake adds: “The deals being made by these experts are far from straightforward: a lot of different businesses are involved in the chain and each one wants their cut to be as high as possible. Balancing out these competing interests and reaching a profitable deal is not an easy job.”