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Getting to grips with digital trends in the media: Disruptive change has swept through the media industry in recent years. It’s a familiar story, digital technology has merged with access to faster Internet and more sophisticated mobile devices. CDs have been replaced by Spotify and BBC, ITV and C4 have been joined by multiple streaming channels. Our choice of TV, music, games, audio books and podcasts has never been greater. In fact with so much content and so many different services vying for our attention, we are getting picky. With finite resources for multiple subscriptions, we are increasingly opting for just two or three.

This makes the market very tough

These conditions are driving media companies to sharpen up their capabilities with new business strategies and operating models. Until recently when distribution outlets were limited, content could be created and made available for a very short period of time. This would drive maximum traffic before it was withdrawn.

Now, with so much quality content everywhere, the media and entertainment industry is trying out new approaches to content development. At the forefront of this change are technology companies – like Amazon – who just announced a huge deal to buy MGM for $8.45 billion. It will surely be the first of many moves from large technology companies to acquire legacy media studios with rich back catalogues and production capabilities.

Data Driven Future

The industry is being re-shaped as we watch and like the rest of the entertainment sector its future is being driven by data. High volumes of the stuff, keeping a record of every movie we watch and every song we listen to. Its hugely important because it helps companies give us what we want – like playlist and movie suggestions, as well as being a means to pay the creators. Yes – let’s not forget them!

Royalties are still used to pay media creators for their work according to how much of it has been read, downloaded and listened to. According to Richard Whittington SAP’s head of media business transformation, one global record company currently processes up to 300 million transactions a day in royalty payments – so the volumes are huge and the calculation can be complex.

“Where Royalties used to be a relatively simple process – you are now looking at a huge number of micro payments – to Ed Sheeran or Cardi B for example – these all have to be aggregated and calculated accurately.  We need to find a way to manage the financial complexity of all these shifts in consumer behaviour and consumer content consumption.” Richard Whittington SAP Head of Media Business Transformation.

Complex Environment

From the contracts companies must draw up to acquire the content, to the distribution channels which make it available to consumers, the entire environment has become hugely complex.

With large volumes of data involved, there’s no time to keep moving it from one system to another to carry out a specific calculation or process. In order to manage all this real time data efficiently you need a single integrated system which can calculate the vast volume of small payments automatically. This is essentially how artists and authors and composers are getting paid, so it raises the stakes. You need to be swift and accurate to maintain trust.

Royalty Management Inside your Finance System

Rights and royalty functionality which lives inside your core finance system is the answer to this problem. Royalty Management software streamlines the complex calculation process and provides you with a statement of payments to keep you and your stakeholders up to date and informed. It saves you days of data manipulation and payment calculations.

Digital natives like Amazon and Spotify get this – they understand that they need one system – but older companies, struggling to keep up, need to get on top of this now.

To sum up, the great experiences we have as consumers – watching movies whenever we want, tuning in to sports events all over the world – this is only possible because of complex licensing and royalty deals. Without the right back-office software, processing all this will become an overwhelming admin task.

It’s time to think of investing in technology that will manage your royalties from the inside. And every pound you save in reducing back-office complexity is a pound you can spend on signing up new talent or commissioning new content to drive engagement.

Process Flow

Our solution – Royalty Management for SAP Business ByDesign

Our rights and royalty management software streamlines the complex calculation process and provides you with statements of payments to ensure you keep up to date and informed. Royalty Management is a digital solution for intellectual property holders in the music, games, film and media publishing industries for managing royalties and content rights which sits INSIDE your finance system. You can find out more in the SAP Store here.


  • Brings new levels of efficiency to a complex environment

  • Eliminates the need for costly manual reconciliation

  • Creates an auditable record of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors in an efficient manner

  • Scalable across thousands of royalties and content partners

  • Manages high volumes

  • Automates processes

  • Improves stakeholder satisfaction and enhances compliance, transparency and payment accuracy

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