For 15 years, Shout! Factory has redefined what it means to be an entertainment company for fans, by fans. Through its beginnings lovingly releasing and reviving beloved cult films and classic TV series, Shout! cultivated an uncanny ability to rediscover great content and applied these skills to producing and distributing fan-driven new releases that set the bar for independent entertainment. Shout! Factory’s extensive experience in a diverse array of genres has led to the launch of several well-respected properties, including Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Shout Kids, Shout Select and the streaming service Shout! Factory TV. Capitalizing on both traditional and emerging digital platforms, Shout! Factory is a media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture.
What were the challenges you faced in your licensing operation that led you to consider an automated solution?
Initially, we relied on our distribution partner at the time to handle royalties. As an outsourced service, we found communication was limited, and nuances of contracts were often missed. To give us more precision on royalty calculations, we decided to bring these functions inside Shout! Factory to gain more control over obligations to licensors of film & TV shows, music publishers, labels and sound recording owners. We also wanted to distribute this information across our larger workforce and our ever growing roster of new content.
How long have you been using DSI’s products, and why did you decide to go with DSI?
Shout! Factory has worked with the DSI music and media team since 2004. We were looking for a robust way, to do all royalty accounting to licensors, master use and song reporting for master rights holders and publishers. Today, we issue four different royalty statements types. Our principal licensors receive statements across overarching rights such as for film, TV & album licensing. Where applicable, for our audio and video releases, we produce royalty statements on licensed sound recordings to major record labels and media owners. For music publishers we issue mechanical copyright statements for audio releases and synchronization statements for music used in film, video and other media. We found DSI personnel knew the challenges of the music and media industries and stay on top of new developments such as streaming royalties.
How do you use DSI’s products in your business?
The volume and complexity of our data has grown considerably, helping us justify our decision to put our RTS system in place. Over the last few years, we have tested it at every turn and run agreements from simple statements to complex calculations. Agreements can be managed easily, helping us streamline processes and development has made the system very reliable and preferable to other business partners. “RTS is a valuable tool to help us run our business operations”, says Arlene Shapiro, VP Royalties at Shout! Factory. “This has been exceptionally helpful particularly as we have recently transitioned to remote working due to COVID-19 conditions and yet still run thousands of statements each period.”
What have been the key benefits to your company of using RTS?
We explored other systems and kept coming back to RTS. DSI level of support has increased and they treat us more as a partner than just a client. We look forward to utilizing future enhancements in the RTS system, such as sending electronic statements via email or through a system portal rather than mailing out statements manually. We have found DSI welcomes our feedback to create tailored solutions to Shout! Factory’s specific requirements.