Deal Sealed, But at What Cost? Unraveling the Challenges of Modern Content Delivery

For film distributors, getting from acquisition to final delivery is a multi-step process filled with complexities. After acquiring a title, executing marketing strategies, and finally sealing a deal, you'd think the hardest part is over. But, in reality, there's still a significant challenge ahead - and it's an expensive one: 

Content delivery.

The task of delivering content today is wrought with challenges and costs.

  • Hours upon hours are dedicated to tasks like encoding and monitoring.
  • Resources are consistently used up for software licenses, hardware setups, and data storage.
  • Whether it's high bandwidth costs or the price of shipping hard drives, expenses add up quickly.
  • Delivery errors? They can send you back to square one, with added costs for fixes.

Sandro Gohoho, President of Licensing and Logistics at Echelon Studios, emphasizes the weight of this challenge, in the time before MOLTEN: "Every delivery was expensive. Sometimes, it made us reconsider if some deals were even worth pursuing."

How did film distribution, an industry whose entire purpose is to bring stories to audiences, get bogged down by so many hurdles? 

There was a time when the film industry operated primarily on physical media. Paper files documented transactions, and reels of tapes and films carried stories from producers to theaters. Progressively, as the world embraced digital technology, physical reels and tapes gave way to drives—compact, efficient, and easier to store and send. Eventually, the cloud introduced a way to store and transfer vast amounts of data without the need for physical media. Distributors could now send content globally without shipping a single drive, or risking the loss of their assets to fire or flood. In theory, the cloud could pave the way to an infinitely more efficient landscape. However, with the rise of streaming platforms, new challenges surfaced. Platforms have democratized content consumption, leading to an explosion in audience size and a surge in demand for diverse content. Today distributors find themselves in a vast ocean of avenues for monetization. Each streaming platform, with its own unique cloud providers, and delivery specifications. The sheer volume of content and data distributors find themselves managing today is unprecedented, adding layers of complexity to the task of distributing content. 

Today, content delivery is a maze. Each buyer in a distributor's network may use separate cloud providers, transfer protocols, and their formatting requirements are often both relentlessly strict and entirely unique. For distributors this translates to many hundreds of hours dedicated to this complex process, spent going back and forth on formatting mistakes, monitoring lengthy uploads, or essentially acting as a cloud engineer - all in service of getting their content into the hands of a buyer. Sometimes it takes months. Some companies have thrown in the towel altogether, and have returned to physical storage for the sheer ease of use. Labs offer storage, but are often so expensive that the ROI of a deal is in question. 

What if you didn't have to navigate the maze at all? 

On MOLTEN, sending content to your buyer is as simple as the click of a button. How do we do this? Well that's our secret sauce - and in all honesty our answer would be full of technical jargon. What we can tell you is this, our team of engineers have been working tirelessly to bring the cutting edge of technological advancements into the film distribution chain. With MOLTEN CLOUD, we've managed to pull all of the technical work of film distribution into the back end, and off your plate.

And it works. Today, Echelon has the capacity to deliver 1000+ films in a single delivery. Deliveries have increased not only in size, but in speed as well, with delivery speeds 3-5x faster with the exact same human resource capacity. Sandro Gohoho shares:

"We became more aggressive in our expansion strategy. There is a higher demand for content especially in the VOD/OTT/FAST industry and MOLTEN empowers us technologically to tap into those opportunities. Our content ingestion and delivery cost has undoubtedly been reduced…enabling us to boost our sales and acquisitions."

Where once distributors grappled with skyrocketing costs, tedious technical processes, and seemingly insurmountable delivery challenges, there's now a beacon of efficiency and effectiveness. Echelon Studios' success in scaling business is a testament to the power of technological innovation and the hope that exists for a challenging landscape. By streamlining and simplifying the delivery process, distributors can focus on what truly matters: sharing compelling stories with eager audiences.

Interested in learning more? Meet MOLTEN.