We are at the conclusion of this six part series on designing, implementing and measuring a licensing strategy. The key steps we have explored include assessing and organizing your catalog into categories of expected volume of usage and/or sales. We also discussed techniques for establishing a comprehensive view on possible channel partners and available business models to maximize return across your content catalog. We considered the possibility of gaining a high-value exclusive distribution deal. Finally, we detailed the steps in defining your lifecycle distribution strategy for your catalog, from new releases to the longtail and the evergreen and all the valuable content in the middle of your uniquely constructed demand curve. The final step then is to create a visual model for tracking and evaluating the performance of your licensing strategy.
Key Elements of a Content Licensing Tracking Template
I will present a model as an example that you can adapt and modify as you need. The key elements, however, can be organized as serves your organization and its unique context; they are:
- Title/Release Year
- Agreement End Date
- Demand: NRHP (New Release/High Potential), LPLT (Low Potential/Longtail), MHP (Medium to High Potential)
- Business Models
- Trigger to Change Business Model
- Units Sold or Units Viewed
- Revenue Projected
- Revenue Generated
The regular interval of analysis is up to you and your organization, but I recommend six months. The majority of distribution partners you work with will employ either quarterly or bi-annual royalty reporting. Create a tracking template unique to each partner if your catalog is large (100+ titles).
Sample Tracking Template
Implementation, Measurement and Final Considerations
This is work and this requires diligence and attention to detail. The effort required is, of course, multiplied by the size of the catalog, the annual publishing output and the number of partners engaged. The effort will be rewarded. You will develop a keen understanding of your partners’ potential and reach, not to mention their self-understanding and organizational integrity. You will come to know how the various business models perform across vendor partners and you will become ever more expert in predicting the performance of your new releases.
The implementation of this model and its predictive capacity for your business will require regular in-depth reviews with your primary distribution partners. Here I suggest you follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your distribution revenue will come from 20% of your partners. Schedule regular business reviews with these key distribution partners supporting your business and maintain the expectation that this is an ongoing practice you have for the business relationship.
A final consideration that this series did not touch on is negotiating the terms of the deal. The variables are many: term of license, royalty rate, advances, inclusion or exclusion of specific access models, and more. Suffice to say this is a skill you must hire for and cultivate in your licensing lead. I do believe that each negotiation must be approached with good will and on the assumption that the pie is not fixed but rather can be expanded through creative discussion of the business needs of the publisher and distribution partner. Let me know if you think I should write a future blog post on negotiation strategy!
If you want to work together on your licensing strategy, contact me directly.
Photo Credit: maarten-van-den-heuvel – unsplash