Carson Entertainment Group increases licensing revenue by 23% with Veritone Digital Media Hub
Carson Entertainment Group (CEG) controls the rights to 30-years’ worth of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Every episode recorded from 1962 through 1992 is available for licensing through CEG.
Even after being off the air for three decades, there’s still tremendous demand for the content, especially from broadcasters and filmmakers — CNN is currently working on a documentary, The Story of Late Night.
As the industry evolves, CEG knows it must adapt. Its older licensing website was dated, cumbersome to use, and not accessible across platforms.
CEG also found the search capabilities on its old site fell short. Users had trouble finding particular air dates of shows or specific guests, so staff ended up manually responding to phone calls and emails to locate footage — which was time-consuming and defeated the purpose of having a licensing site.
CEG needed a way to enable automation for updating its content library and better search capabilities for its clients as it impacted their ability to generate and maximize licensing revenue.
To make its trove of content (75 terabytes worth) available to a larger audience and improve its searchability, CEG migrated its entire catalog to Veritone Digital Media Hub.
“We wanted to improve the user experience for our audience, and Digital Media Hub does that,” says Jonathan Sotzing, Director of Sales and Marketing for CEG. “Users can access the site, search and watch clips, make selections, and request pricing. The whole experience is much smoother, more modern, and highly intuitive.”
Digital Media Hub takes large television libraries and film libraries, such as CEG’s (which totals nearly 4,000 hours), and makes them accessible to broadcasters, filmmakers, and content creators.
“Digital Media Hub is the best option for our customers. In addition to being easy to navigate, it provides more visibility and exposure to the content, which leads to more licensing deals,” Sotzing says. “Our licensing revenues are up 23% since the switch.”
With a simple user interface backed by a powerful search engine, customers can quickly find and license the content they want.
“Now, with Digital Media Hub, our users can search for guests, or even phrases, in transcripts across our entire library and find the clips that are most valuable to them,” Sotzing explains.
High quality. Secure access.
In addition to the improved customer experience, the quality of the video content is vastly superior with Digital Media Hub.
“This is important when you’re licensing video,” Sotzing notes. “Someone looking for a particular clip will mark start and end points, and if the video is choppy, they can’t get precisely what they want. That used to be an issue for our users. But with Digital Media Hub, we don’t have that problem any longer. The playback is smooth and constant. The site looks and feels professional and worthy of our brand.”
Customers can browse clips and quickly download high-quality “screener” samples watermarked with CEG’s copyright information. “This is also an improvement,” Sotzing says, because with the old site, the watermark was small and almost indistinguishable. CEG was concerned people might download the samples without licensing them. Also, many screeners were of low quality, even for samples, so staff would need to create new ones in response to customer requests.
“Using Digital Media Hub, we’ve gained high-quality screeners with a prominent watermark,” adds Sotzing. “Our customers get what they need more quickly — and we feel confident we’re protecting the brand.”
Digital Media Hub’s search capabilities extend to the shows’ transcriptions. “So, if a client is doing a story about Michael Jackson, they not only can find the segments of the show that Michael Jackson performed on, but they can also go into the transcription and find out what people said about him during the show,” Sotzing explains. “For producers and researchers, that’s an invaluable tool.”
Preserve and promote
CEG staff spend as much time in Digital Media Hub as customers do, and they appreciate its speed in locating specific assets. Sotzing says finding a particular clip is easily twice as fast as with their old site, saving them considerable time and increasing productivity by as much as 100%. He also likes that he has full site functionality on his mobile devices, enabling him to keep business going — whenever and wherever he travels.
“Digital Media Hub is a great asset to CEG,” Sotzing concludes. “Our library is priceless and remains in high demand. Digital Media Hub helps us manage this asset better than ever before, making it available to more projects, and in doing so, preserving and promoting one of best-loved shows in American television.”
“As a result, we’re licensing 23% more content, getting great feedback from customers and spending less time manually searching the archives.”