Driving Revenue Insights for STX Films
SymphonyAI Media enables data-driven content and revenue optimization
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STX Films is a recognized global media organization, delivering star-driven film content worldwide via traditional television, OTT streaming, and PVOD. Their vast library is available on nearly every popular streaming platform today.
Tracking consumption and revenue – and reconciling the many agreements that support content distribution across these platforms – is no small feat. For many years, STX was challenged to efficiently manage the data associated with its multi-platform distribution strategy. Thanks to their decision to partner with SymphonyAI Media, STX is now able to leverage their data and is poised to respond nimbly to a rapidly shifting marketplace.
For many studios and media companies like STX Films, great content is only the start of the journey. Make no mistake, the process of acquiring and producing compelling content with recognizable talent is essential to their business. But so is finding the right audience, distributing to the appropriate platform, and measuring content affinity and profitability.
Alex Keyes, vice president of content finance and deal analysis at STX Films, faces these challenges every day. With dozens of titles available for purchase across more than ten platforms, it’s critical for Alex and her staff to track purchases, performance, and profitability with full confidence in the accuracy of their data.
Given the reach that STX Films has achieved through its array of delivery platforms – from OTT services like Amazon Prime, Apple, Vudu, and Redbox to traditional MVPDs such as Comcast – each report, and its hundreds of thousands of lines of data, differs in frequency and format.
Initially, STX Films was using a SymphonyAI Media competitor solution to manage data. Over time, the STX Films finance team’s analysis revealed inaccuracies in revenue tracking and calculations. Too often, Alex and her finance team found themselves revisiting their spreadsheets, consuming precious time and resources, only to confirm their suspicions. Alex says:
“Another big pain point was the inflexibility of the product we previously used. SymphonyAI Media has been great about building in logic that meets our needs more specifically based on the letter of our agreements.”
It quickly became clear that STX Films needed a more reliable and accurate solution.
Upgrading to SymphonyAI Media
Normalization of large, disparate data sets is computationally and operationally complex, but mission-critical for organizations like STX Films that are monetizing content through a variety of platforms.
With STX Films rapidly expanding, each new distribution partner introduces untold numbers of new data points and unique elements. Common fields, such as the title of a film, are represented differently from report to report.
Seeking to enforce normality in a world of data chaos, Alex and her team engaged with SymphonyAI Media’s managed services team. The STX Films finance team was able to compare the reports generated by SymphonyAI Media with its previous vendor’s reports. In some cases, previous reports were missing entire days’ worth of data – causing consternation for Alex and her team. While missing data did not drag revenue down, Alex and staff needed reliable performance metrics in order to map their trajectory and make forward-thinking decisions.
In addition to restoring data integrity, the SymphonyAI Media team worked directly with Alex and staff to incorporate additional business logic to account for special situations and promotional requirements based on rules defined by STX Films. In a hierarchy where royalties vary on a file-by-file basis, SymphonyAI Media enabled STX Films to maintain accurate, timely, sophisticated reporting based on POS (point of sale) data, bringing order to enable better decisioning-making around the release of new titles and their performance windows.
As STX Films scales its business and diversifies its distribution strategy, SymphonyAI Media ensures that the resulting data sets are normalized into standard formats for continuous real-time analysis – a critical component of the organization’s digital evolution.
For STX Films and other media organizations like them, the evolution has just begun. SymphonyAI Media’s suite of revenue optimization solutions leverage powerful data intelligence technologies that position media organizations to optimize content, ensure optimal audience engagement, and maximize revenue despite the inevitable data complexity sure to come in the future.
It’s only a solution if it solves the problem
Alex and her team now run their business with confidence in the accuracy of their data, and the reliability of SymphonyAI Media’s solutions. No longer do they have to take a second look at long-form spreadsheets, just to ensure the data is present. STX Films has also achieved measurable gains in operational efficiency. Alex says, “We no longer feel the need to audit our data on a weekly basis, which is hugely time-saving in terms of labor costs.” She adds:
“Checking and patching our database used to be a major task requiring a significant investment of time and resources. With SymphonyAI Media, those concerns are gone, and we’re able to focus on leveraging (and not fixing) our data.”
As STX Films and similar businesses wrestle with viewing environments where complexity continues its march daily, the media industry will benefit from normalized data that organizations can trust, from solution partners they can trust.