What is Content Acquisition and Why Does it Matter?

The OTT market has literally exploded over the last decade. In most sectors, OTT platforms continue to be the primary choice of users looking for videos to watch. What does that mean for media and entertainment companies? It means that the number of platforms and subscribers are constantly growing, making it the right time to invest in content acquisition strategies. Acquiring content has become easier than ever; it just makes sense to refine and optimize the content acquisition process.

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Content Acquisition Definition

Providing a content acquisition definition is essential for understanding how it works

The simplest explanation is that it is the task of gathering content from a variety of resources, aggregators, or networks. Once the content has been acquired, it is adapted to the platform on which it will be made available. Then, it is stored in a management system until it is distributed to consumers. 

For those looking to grow in the CTV space, it’s essential to dedicate adequate time and energy to the content acquisition process. In previous years, achieving the perfect balance between weighing costs and audience desires was difficult. But today, there is an increased demand for content across all platforms. While media production and licensing have increased in price, the payoff from successful content acquisition strategies is extremely high. Why? Subscribers want content availability at a price they can afford. 

The Role of Content Acquisition

A content acquisition strategy includes strategically sourcing and identifying program opportunities with the goal of providing diverse content to audiences. The challenge is acquiring content that meets consumers’ needs. The streaming media landscape is a bit fragmented, which makes achieving a balance between reaching a large-scale audience as well as those with niche interests. It’s essential to acquire content that is able to retain a loyal audience and meet their forward-leaning tendencies at the same time. That means constantly acquiring content with continued episodes and finding sources to obtain binge-able content.

As more platforms become available, content procurers must keep up with the demand for content. It’s become more complex to manage rights and availability internationally, changing how buyers and sellers negotiate value. Buyers now have to find, negotiate, and acquire content much faster than ever. They also have to reach further in their search for content. Deals must be completed in days or weeks instead of months. The role of content acquisition includes looking for fresh content available from new sources on every level. 

Benefits of Content Acquisition

In today’s digital world, visibility is vital. Businesses cannot grow unless consumers are aware they exist. Having access to an established content platform means you also have access to a preexisting customer base. While there is still room to grow, you have access to a larger audience quickly. 

Unlike traditional cable TC, OTT content is delivered via the Internet. Any modern device with internet capabilities can view content that is delivered through streaming devices. Consumers have a variety of ways to view content on a number of platforms. They can use a mobile device, connected or smart TV, laptops, game consoles, and more. OTT content has evolved so that it bypasses traditional television outlets and cable providers. That is important since, for many years, they had a tight grip used to control media distribution. 

A solid content acquisition strategy allows you to reach your audiences directly at scale. It’s no longer subjected or constrained to predetermined broadcast schedules, specific time slots, or geographic locations. Consumers are choosing subscription-based streaming services, allowing content creators and media companies to leverage predictable, recurring business models designed to engage their viewership. This supports the continuous production of high-quality, engaging content. 

What is the Content Acquisition Process? 

The content acquisition process for linear television relied on luck rather than real data. Much of the process was left up to instincts and a glance toward focus group data if available. Cable TV was much the same, except they could check the Neilsen ratings after the fact. There still weren’t a lot of content acquisition decisions to be made. With the move to streaming and OTT, everything has changed.

Now that content is not bound to the constraints of a linear schedule; platforms need well-stocked libraries. They need thousands of titles and resources. When looking at that type of volume, relying on instinct to make content acquisition decisions is impossible. There are many decisions that factor into content acquisition due to the variations in content delivery models and monetization possibilities. Today’s competitive landscape has changed. How has it changed? And why must content acquisition strategies rely on more than a gut feeling? 

Today’s market:

  • Relies on subscription support
  • No longer “linear” but on-demand
  • Has a wide appeal instead of a niche appeal
  • Is rich in original rather than curated titles

Content acquisition involves building a library for an SVOD model where the audience tends to expect more current content. They also want content that correlates to their tastes since they are paying directly for the experience.

Instead of content procurers just taking a hopeful shot in the dark, they now have real-time and historical data on which to base their decisions. Streaming behaviors are observed, cataloged, and then correlated in ways traditional linear broadcasting never dreamed possible. This allows platforms to use laser-like precision to acquire content. Libraries are built around what attracts and retains their audience. Today’s content acquisition process has evolved into a science backed by real numbers.

As more consumers become streaming-only users, content acquisition strategies become more important. They are essential for attracting viewers as well as helping keep costs reasonable. It also puts pressure on procurers to develop data-driven content acquisition strategies. Procuring content with a view toward growth requires a lot of time and energy. You have to be “always on.” That’s why you need to partner with a company that understands best practices and strategies when procuring content and knows what distributors and creators are looking for in a partnership.  

TVIQ helps ensure your content is seen by the largest audience possible. Book a free consultation today to learn how TVIQ can help propel your growth.