Investing in the Future State of Media Revenue Strategy

BlogOct 05, 2020

Mark Moeder


Managing media revenue streams for 30 years gives you unique insight. It’s why over 90% of the industry counts on SymphonyAI Media. The pace of change has never been faster or more dramatic than it is now. As our customers adapt, we too have needed to radically evolve to provide transformational value as a partner.

The world’s largest media brands have given us a front row seat to the industry’s many transformations: globalization, digitization, cord-cutting, consumerization, the subscription economy, market fragmentation, consolidation, and all that is both unfolding and accelerating in 2020.

COVID was an unforeseen accelerant that put an exclamation point behind the need for flexibility and adaptability of critical tools and process.

The challenges these disruptions create were never in question; for us, the only question was how to ensure that our clients emerged as winners in a competitive game with ever-changing rules. The plethora of media players today (content owners, aggregators, distributors, hybrids) need new tools to grow business, retain subscribers, and thrive.

Here’s the playbook that’s shaping their success and, ultimately, our own company transformation.

First, Get Hyper-efficient

If you’re going to deliver value at scale, you need streamlined processes. Auditing and managing a massive volume of licensing, transaction, and subscription fees exposed us to every scenario, workflow, and stakeholder there is.

With that data in hand, we were able to identify patterns. What common processes could we automate? What reports could be templatized? What governance principles could be most broadly applied? Just as importantly, which aspects of revenue management were nonstandard and needed to be customized for each revenue team?

Next, Innovate

Of course, the solutions we created had to change as quickly as the media industry itself. As businesses increasingly relied on cloud for flexibility and efficiency, it became clear that revenue teams needed new tools to digitize paper workflows and accommodate altogether new ones

Unfortunately, the tools historically available to the industry came up short. Our clients needed a user-friendly, secure, scalable, cloud solution that could handle storage, analysis, and reporting of complex financial data.

So we built Revedia – first as an internal tool, then as a commercial SaaS solution for media revenue teams frustrated by the limitations of available platforms.

Recognize the Limits

With new software and experienced media finance experts at their disposal, our clients were well positioned to manage revenue in the evolving media landscape. One problem: managing revenue isn’t enough.

Today’s most competitive media brands recognize the need for a sophisticated licensing revenue strategy. If management enables you to reconcile the balance sheet (which will forever remain a critical business function), strategy enables you to shape it.

For all the value that automation software brings, there’s even greater value in the data it aggregates. How can media organizations use that wealth of information to understand, predict, and act on rapidly shifting customer behavior and market conditions?

What Comes Next?

After launching the Revedia SaaS platform, we knew that the technology our customers would need was going to require significant R&D resources to deliver maximum value.

At the same time, SymphonyAI – a global leader in artificial intelligence – saw the same potential to revolutionize the media industry. In 2019, we joined their mission and became SymphonyAI Media.

Media brands now stand to gain unprecedented value from AI-powered software that can not only answer their critical questions about the past (Does revenue accurately reflect distribution agreements?), but also the present (Which customers are churning, and why?) and future (Which offer will improve engagement for which subscribers? What content is resonating with the consumers, why, and does that means for future content creation and distribution?).

Perhaps most exciting of all, our customers will have access to technology that can reveal “unknown unknowns.” It asks the questions we haven’t even thought to ask. It detects, surfaces, and predicts business risks and opportunities that would go otherwise unrecognized.

Having been in the game this long, we know it’s never over. The rules don’t stop changing. But by meeting radical industry transformation with radical business transformation, we know how to ensure that our clients keep winning.