Jon White, VP of Sales & Marketing at PageMajik, talks to Jane Tappuni, IPR’s General Manager about why rights and licensing automation is essential to a publisher’s bottom line.  This interview first appeared on PageMajik.

PageMajik Jon White photoThe rights department is not an area in which publishers tend to invest, and yet, it’s one of the key areas of the industry with untapped revenue opportunities. With most rights deals still handled via paper contracts and one-to-one communication between editors and rights holders, it can be a slow process. Furthermore, it’s hard for publishers to have an accurate accounting of what rights they hold (and sometimes when a license runs out or rights revert to another party), how to monetise those rights against current market trends, and even more difficult to generate a quick deal in order to free up time for more complicated rights deals that may require more thoughtful consideration.

Enter technology. By automating systems in the rights department, using tools which generate smart contracts that can be resolved and signed in a matter of moments, a publisher can not only increase their revenue but also have a better understanding of the marketplace to make better acquisitions in the future. So, why are publishers so hesitant to adopt technology into the rights department?

Jane Tappuni, an expert on the frontlines of the rights and licensing industry, and General Manager of IPR License, deals with publishers and rights every day. As a platform built to discover, buy, and sell international rights online, IPR License deals daily with the challenges publishers face in this brave new technological world. We asked her to weigh in on how technology can help publishers…or not.

PageMajik: How will smart contracts help publishers?

Jane Tappuni: The smart contract can be built onto the blockchain and allow for the IP Jane Tappuni 2018to be transacted or in simple terms for the creator to make money. Smart contracts help you exchange something of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman. In publishing, this could mean a better way to transact rights by taking the information out of the publishing organisations and into a blockchain with smart contracts attached that allow for the rights sale to take place.

PM: Do you see smart contracts significantly changing the way publishers handle rights and licensing in the future or will it be a slow adoption over many years in particular sectors?

JT: Yes, I think there is an opportunity to change and improve the way rights and licensing is handled via a blockchain and smart contract solution. This is a massive behavioural shift from using internal, siloed systems into a shared verifiable database of sorts. This change in behaviour could take a long time.

PM: When you work with publishers, what have been their biggest concerns about adopting technological improvements in their business?

JT: Their biggest concern is value for money, return on investment is always the number one concern.

PM: Do you see any downside to publishers relying on technology to help improve their business?

JT: Not as long as publishers choose the right technology tools for the problem they want to solve. All too often organisations implement new software to repeat the processes they already have in place. New technology implementations are a good time to really think about process improvement.

PM: With the adoption of smart contracts to secure rights transactions and track royalties, providing more revenue for publishers and freeing up staff to focus on other work, how do you see the international rights and licensing industry changing? Will there be additional challenges to overcome?

JT: I see this as a possible solution to a huge problem of rights tracking. At the moment publishers use a variety of rights solutions to store their rights data some good and some not so good. This would take the rights storage data out of the silo publishing systems owned by IT and into a secure, accessible arena. The day-to-day role of a rights professional would not change as they would still be performing a rights sales role but using a global blockchain solution as a positive tool to give rights ownership data.

More about PageMajik

PageMajik is a Content Management System specifically tailored to the needs of publishers and content creators.

By bringing together the work of authors, editors, and designers on one intuitive platform, PageMajik streamlines the publishing process and enables effortless collaboration.

All the data submitted are stored in secure servers on the cloud, ensuring constant access to all your content. The platform’s robust version control features minimise human error and enable members of your team to work together smoothly, increasing productivity and reducing cost.

For more information visit http://www.pagemajik.com

 

If you are interested in becoming a publisher member of the IPR platform, and using our automation tools to identify untapped revenue opportunities, please contact Jane Tappuni on jane.tappuni@iprlicense.com

Join the conversation about rights and licenses by following us on Twitter @IPRLicense