NEW REPORT: The State of CLM and AI-Powered Contract Intelligence

What the Oscars Taught Us About Contract Management

It's not often that contract clause language makes it into an Oscar speech, but that's what happened this year when Best Actress winner Frances McDormand used her acceptance to beseech the stars in the audience to demand "inclusion riders" in their contracts. 

Her comment led many to look up what an inclusion rider even is. According to The Guardian, the concept was devised in 2014 by Stacy Smith, a professor and founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California. With the rider, A-listers can require a certain percentage of a film's speaking parts are given to actors that "reflect the demography of where the story is taking place."

Simple enough. But the next question, which fewer people have asked, is this: How will film studios keep track of such inclusion riders—which actors have demanded them, what sort of talent diversity is required, etc.– and ensure whether they are meeting their obligations? The answer there is enterprise contract management software.

Enterprise Contract Management in the Entertainment Industry

Leading firms in every industry—including the entertainment industry—have turned to contract management software make their contract management processes less manual.

Traditionally, contracts are forgotten as soon as they are executed, with little attention paid to performance (until problems arise like a lawsuit). This may work for simple contracts, but more complex agreements can put organizations at significant risk if obligations are not properly tracked.

The concept of an inclusion rider illustrates the risk well. With a manual contract process, it will be left to a studio's legal department to track which contracts have the riders, what exactly the riders stipulate, and whether the casting department is meeting the requirements. The room for human error is immense.

Conversely, enterprise contract management systems can automatically track contract obligations by integrating with other systems in a company. So, studios could tie the software into their Human Resources systems, which allows for real-time tracking of whether the inclusion rider is being met. It also gives executives high-level views of contract obligations, so they can track emerging risks or trends and respond accordingly. Alerts can be set-up to notify users when obligations have been fulfilled or if certain thresholds are not being met.

And this is just one example. Contract management software can integrate with a wide range of other systems to track contract obligations and entitlements across an organization. This includes distribution agreements, talent agreements, and artist compensation tracking.

The Icertis Solution

When A&E TV was looking for a system to track its broadcast and agent agreements, it chose the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform. ICM's easy-to-use solution ensured adoption by all departments, including business affairs and creative, and the highly configurable platform enabled configuration of complex data models.

What's more, ICM allows enterprises to remain agile in changing business climates, meaning that they can react to new contract challenges. In other words, if inclusion riders take off, companies with ICM will be able to react quickly to stay competitive and complaint.

To learn more about how Icertis can optimize your company's contract processes, reserve a seat for a live demo today.