Weekly Column: Creative-Driven Content Distribution

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the changing tides of content creation and distribution in Hollywood and beyond.  

You can read the full column below.

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The future of content has its promise in creatives who can control the input (e.g., the content itself) and possibly the output (distribution) as well.  Social media and self-uploaded content platforms like YouTube essentially began the content-driven distribution opportunity.  Streaming platforms contain most of the scripted and unscripted content for Hollywood and beyond, but there is an increasing call and interest for creative-driven platform distribution.

In many ways, content has always been driven by creatives, those who write, direct, and act on the frontline and those behind the line that handle everything else.  However, the creative process has almost always been overseen or controlled by the studios or streamers.  Studios and streamers have also controlled the distribution of content.  At least, that has been the historical model.  

Today, creatives are garnering much more control over the process.  Even in sports, there seems to be industry-wide push to give talent more control over their name, image, and likeness.  This is shown by athletes producing more content and becoming investors in themselves, products, and services.  Creatives simply have more avenues and choice in content creation and distribution.  Competition among platforms creates opportunities for streamers to fight for content on their platforms, which often means a better price or position for the creative talent and consumers.

While streamers like Amazon Prime, AppleTV+, and Netflix are unlikely to allow posting directly to their closed platforms, places like the metaverse will be driven by creatives.  Creatives and participants will be both the entertainers and consumer of entertainment.  The question remains, what will be the price of admission, if any, to engage with content in the metaverse?  

The one thing about sports that entertainment and media lack is the significant use of analytics and particularly in the space of monetary value.  Baseball players and all athletes alike can utilize statistics and salary numbers to determine their next salary by comparing to comparable players who are or were similarly situated.  In entertainment, contracts are much more private and of course where Nielsen can provide guesstimated ratings and viewership numbers, there has been less transparency when it comes to streaming viewers and profitability.  WIOpro is trying to the change that by launching a platform that tracks the airing of film and television content by comparing data to payments.  In other words, analytics or tools to be determine the proper compensation based on output.  

With a significant amount of content being distributed on multiple platforms across the globe, having the ability to track consumption data will help even the playing field for creatives and frankly make for a more competitive market for all.  Places like Spotify and Peacock can now be more accountable as to creative impact showing true value.  Nielsen is also expanding its services in the streaming space to monitor and capture data as well.  These same tracking tools could also be used in the metaverse on a point or coin system.  It is also true that block chain technology may one day track entertainment transactions to help get studios and creatives paid directly from the source (the listener or viewer) without the need for additional accounting.

The entertainment, media, and sports industries are on the precipice of change.  One where technology can help guide and determine the outcome of transactions.  One where technology can hopefully increase safety and transparency.    

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About Jeremy M. Evans:  

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele and is licensed to practice law in California.