Forging a New M&E Landscape Through Predictable Pricing Models

Studios and distributors are reinventing themselves and will continue to create change in the media and entertainment landscape, forging a new path for industry vendors and suppliers to change with them. With viewers jumping on the newest trends and forcing studios and distributors to constantly play catchup, this is the time to cultivate an approach to pricing that enables predictability across all stakeholders.

To combat the influx of new and original content and the added pressure on partners, distributors need to turn to predictable subscription pricing models. This type of pricing model focuses on what or how much content owners and distributors are willing to invest in services such as localization, transcription and other services, versus the traditional cost-based transactional pricing model in which pricing is based on manufacturing or production costs. As the industry shifts towards a subscription model and away from a-la-carte pricing, there are several factors impacting these changes.

Just as the music industry shifted its approach, going from single downloads and purchases to subscriptions, studios and creators are now offered this luxury. Instead of paying per service, whether it’s reformatting for OTT and mobile or dubbing for languages and subtitles, now studios can have access to these services without being limited by cost.

Cost-Based Pricing Isn’t Cost-Effective

With studios needing to constantly deliver high-quality content at faster rates, it’s no longer beneficial to only work with partners on ad-hoc projects. By embracing predictable subscription pricing, studios and OTTs will see huge time savings by not having to weigh individual transactional costs for services such as transcoding to spec that would historically be charged as cost per minute calculations based on content runtime. As workflows move to the cloud, those variables are no longer limitations and now through a predictable fee, vendors can provide additional freedom and unlimited capacity for studios and OTT’s when creating content or expanding to new territories because they will be incentivized to get more value from vendors with the more content they generate.

Mapping Out Content and Right-Sizing Efforts

Studios are taking more ownership of the process by looking further into the future and viewing their content pipeline more holistically. As studios map out their content, they must reassess current processes and workflows, positioning themselves to anticipate market shifts and needs.

This new pricing format enables predictability, allows for flexible scaling and provides stability for all parties involved as they continue to adjust to preferences in consumption that are always changing. Forecasting these additional needs to have viewer-ready content helps studios and distributors right size their efforts, ensuring they are spending less and not bogged down by resource constraints.

Refocusing Time on Creative

Another benefit of the predictable pricing model is that the recurring and consistent price eliminates back and forth between tech providers and studios. No longer will billing departments be locked in a game of phone tag trying to sort out payments, which get even more complex as projects become more last-minute. By streamlining communication and administrative processes, studios can dedicate these resources to content ideation and innovative experiences, which are invaluable when attracting more viewers.

The media and entertainment industry has a tendency to be hyper-focused on catering to the trends that viewers latch on to, rather than thinking long-term. The key to keeping up with consumers is by getting ahead of them – reinventing and positioning ourselves as industry innovators. By pivoting to predictable pricing, studios and distributors are making their teams nimbler and creating change from within. As this strategy is more widely adopted, the industry can expect to see more efficient workflows and use of resources, allowing studios to focus on future strategies.

Deluxe is the world’s leading video creation to distribution company offering global, end-to-end services and technology.