5 Data-Driven Ways to Optimize Your Next OTT Distribution Deal

03.06.2023 | Ray Gilmartin

In the world of content licensing, data sharing between content sellers and distributors is often limited and rarely consistent. Organizations that license video assets to OTT platform distributors typically receive reports with information on content asset performance and revenue, whereas traditional MVPDs reported on monthly subscriber counts per market.

Content sellers overwhelmingly report that they would benefit from greater data visibility from distribution partners. But even the data available today, which is highly complex and non-standard among distributors, can only yield valuable insight when it is effectively analyzed and understood. Organizations that leverage tools such as automated analysis gain a critical and immediate advantage when it comes to optimizing distribution decisions and negotiating deal terms.

In this blog, we share five data-driven strategies content sellers use to optimize decision-making and negotiate mutually beneficial licensing agreements with distribution partners.


What data can content sellers access?

OTT platform distributors report on three primary categories — sometimes, but not always, monthly (depending on deal terms and revenue model).

Person reviewing analytics1) Content performance data

Content performance data indicates how much or how frequently a video asset was streamed on an OTT platform during the month. That might include total number of minutes streamed, unique views, or EST/DTR transactions for each video asset.

2) Earnings and payments data

OTT platforms may report to content sellers on earnings (revenue generated on the platform by each video asset), payments (to the content seller by the OTT distributor), or both.

3) OTT content metadata

Distributor reports may include metadata that provides descriptive information about a video asset such as its title, unique identification code/number, genre, maturity rating, release date, and running time.


Data sharing benefits content sellers and OTT platforms

OTT video streaming service providers often collect huge quantities of information beyond what they share with content sellers, including data points like total audience numbers, churn rate, demographics, relative engagement, and more. More often than not, content sellers only see a subset of the total data collected. But data sharing between OTT platforms and content sellers can be mutually beneficial. After all, content sellers and OTT distributors essentially have the same goals: to deliver high-performing content that keeps audiences engaged and coming back for more. If OTT distributors and content sellers have collective insight into the data that helps them provide the most engaging content and target the best audiences, it’s a win for both (not to mention the viewers).


Five ways content sellers can use data to optimize OTT distribution deals

Content sellers in 2023 are more widely deploying cloud-based technologies to aggregate, normalize, and analyze OTT platform data from multiple distributors, gaining insight that drives smarter, faster distribution strategy decisions.

Here are the five ways that we see content sellers leverage OTT platform data to improve their distribution strategy.


1) Identify key assets and distribution partners

Content sellers need to understand which of their video assets are generating the most revenue and which distributors are most important to the bottom line.

Accessing source data needed to draw those conclusions isn’t always easy, especially for large content sellers who work with multiple OTT streaming platforms and/or distribute the same video assets across different OTT platforms. By aggregating OTT platform data, content sellers can rapidly compare video assets and distribution partners to identify the areas of greatest opportunity and monitor performance trends for lengthier periods of time.

From there, content sellers can shift their distribution strategies to optimize OTT content monetization for their most valuable assets or strengthen their most successful distributor relationships.


2) Measure the value of content

Content valuation is the practice of treating every title in your content library like a financial asset and understanding its monetary value. Content sellers can use data from OTT platforms to value their video assets in terms of how much revenue they produce across platforms on a monthly or annual basis.

As an example, content sellers with access to historical OTT performance and revenue data for their content libraries can analyze the effects of seasonality and predict how revenue and valuations will change over time.

A data-driven approach to content valuation helps content sellers recognize which of their video assets have the strongest revenue performance and the biggest lifetime revenue potential. From there, content sellers can shift their distribution strategies to maximize overall long-term revenue from the asset.


3) Identify the best audiences

Content sellers that license video assets to multiple OTT video platforms can use data from their distribution partners to track differences in content performance between OTT platforms by title or genre and identify the best audiences for specific types of content.

For example, a content seller might find that its library of outdoor recreation TV shows generates a wide viewership and strong revenue performance on an AVOD platform that boasts a younger audience. At the same time, the seller may determine that their classic nature movies perform best on FAST platforms with more diverse audience demographics.

Comparing content performance between platforms helps content sellers determine which platforms provide the best audiences and highest revenue potential for specific video assets.


4) Model content performance and distributor revenue across OTT platforms

Content sellers can use revenue and content performance data from OTT platforms to create models of content performance and distributor revenue for different platforms and business models.

For example, a content seller with performance and revenue data for a specific title licensed to an AVOD streaming service over the past six months might ask questions like:

  • How much revenue would I expect this title to generate on a different OTT streaming service?
  • How much revenue would I expect this content to generate under a different business model (e.g. SVOD, TVOD, FAST, etc.)?
  • How much revenue would I expect this content to generate under different licensing terms (e.g. fixed-fee licensing vs. revenue sharing vs. rate-per-hour-streamed)

The ability to model content performance under different conditions helps content sellers understand what a successful licensing deal looks like and find the right distribution partner that can deliver maximum value on each asset.


5) Forecast how distribution strategy changes will impact revenue

Another possibility for content sellers is using OTT platform data to forecast how changes in distribution strategy or content mix could impact future revenue. Content sellers can ask questions like:

  • How would my revenue change if I added 30% more Home Renovation titles to my content library?
  • Which distributors would be most important for my bottom line if I shifted my content mix to include 25% more Outdoor Recreation shows?
  • Which OTT platforms are poised for growth, what type of content is propelling that growth, and how can I shift my content mix to drive that growth and capture more revenue?
  • How could an emerging OTT video trend impact my revenue?


The ability to forecast how distribution strategy changes will impact revenue gives content sellers the intelligence they need to optimize content acquisition, production, and licensing activities in a way that maximizes value for both audiences and distribution partners.


Operationalize your OTT platform data with Revedia Digital

the datasheetRevedia Digital empowers content sellers to manage, optimize, and predict content revenue from OTT licensing agreements through automated data ingestion and normalization, real-time analysis, and AI-driven insights.

With Revedia, content sellers can efficiently leverage the data they receive from OTT streaming platforms to value their content, identify high-performing video assets and distributors, compare content and revenue performance across OTT platforms by title or genre, model revenue under changing conditions, and forecast how distribution strategy changes could impact revenue.

Ready to learn more? View our on-demand webinar to discover Revedia Digital’s full data intelligence capabilities.

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