Rights holders with large catalogs of entertainment assets face the daunting prospect of asset management, revenue maximization, and collecting fully on royalties, often measured in penny fractions. The scale is huge, the data messy, the payments complex.
Rights users, on the other hand, face enormous compliance challenges when licensing content for use in production. Challenges that are further exacerbated by the ever-growing content landscape and the sheer volume of licenses required, pushing many major systems to breaking point. Synchtank has spent the past decade creating cloud-based software to tackle the specific needs of entertainment companies, untangling the threads of metadata and money.
Its customers are divided into supply-side cases (rights owners like record labels and music publishers) and demand-side cases (rights users such as studios, brands, broadcasters and networks). Whether the focus is sync pitching, royalty administration or compliance management, the platform supports the specialized workflows required in each case.
“Our customers are confronting the dilemma of build or buy,” says Synchtank CBO Chris Cass. “They may believe their problems or processes are unique, but they are often dealing with the same challenges as other companies in the entertainment space.” Synchtank finds these common bottlenecks and roadblocks, and has built a platform that eliminates them.
“As we work with clients, we help them see that the solutions they have been considering piecemeal–metadata matching, say–are already running on our platform,” explains Synchtank CEO Rory Bernard. “The flashy feature sets smaller startups offer are often just new names for old tech. We can do all that, and more. Synchtank offer comprehensive solutions with excellent reliability and security,” in an industry rife with vapourware.
Synchtank’s name speaks to its origins, though the company has morphed and grown considerably. When Joel Jordan founded the company, his main goal was maximizing his labels’ recording and publishing revenue by getting his catalog up online in an attractive format and finding efficient ways to reach music supervisors and showrunners. He decided to build his own way, and Synchtank was born.
The company has evolved rapidly in the decade that followed, expanding its solutions from sync into other key entertainment business processes. “When you work with huge catalogs, lots of issues come into play,” notes Bernard. “Most of your task as a software provider to a large entertainment company is to assure them that your service is reliable, your customer support is excellent, and that you have appropriate security protocols. These aspects are essential.”
As Synchtank turned from slick catalog presentation to a full-blown SaaS company, it attracted a notable customer base that helped define what the company developed next. “We sit down with a client and do a lot of diligence,” Cass says. “We’ll see what we can already provide, what is in the lab that we could accelerate. We see what we can build that can be used elsewhere.”
Today, Synchtank is used primarily for IP and metadata management integrated with rights clearance, royalty, and financial systems, by some of the biggest media companies in the world, including British Telecom TV and Sport, CD Baby, ClicknClear, peermusic, Sony, Unilever, Universal, Vice Media, WarnerMedia and Warner Music Group. Through its work with both rights owners and rights users, Synchtank is creating efficiencies for the entire music and entertainment ecosystem, helping all parties work together more cohesively.