Emerging Tech Firm Molten Cloud Sets Pact With The CW For Rights Management

Molten, a cloud technology firm backed by a number of Hollywood and tech luminaries, has set a deal to provide rights management services to The CW.

The multi-year pact comes three years after Molten raised $7 million in seed funding from investors including actor, producer and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher, former Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz. The company’s integrated offering spans rights, content and royalties management.

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In reaching terms with Molten, The CW was looking for a more efficient way to determine every type of right or license the network had available or sold for all titles in all time periods. Such diligence would need to encompass every global territory and every language across the past, present and future. Rights management, traditionally an analog process that has progressed to spreadsheets, is undergoing a transformation due to the advent of artificial intelligence tools. As all networks look to eliminate waste and optimize their full portfolios, the urgency around rights management has increased.

The variables create “a complex interdependent web of data,” Molten founder and CEO Arjun Mendhi said. “The only reliable source of truth of this data are the original deal memos or contracts, which are written plain English, with tables and charts galore.”

Given the need to wade through such a volume of sources, both visual and text-based, “most companies resort to copies of data maintained internally in Excel or databases, which are often iterated upon for decades. To The CW Network’s credit, they decided to go to the source and do it the right way, and read each deal memo/contract for the truth.”

Molten’s AI-based rights management system reads paper contracts and deal memos, from Word, PDF and .txt files as well as images and scans like JPGs. It then applies certain filters to extract information that is relevant to the rights, metadata or financials of a deal, along with all film/TV titles in the scope of the deal.

Jack Paschal, VP of Business Affairs for The CW, said Molten emerged from a crowded field during the network’s evaluation of its options. “Their attention to streamlining media operations in the cloud and using AI to simplify data ingestion is exciting and is already saving us time and resources during onboarding,” he said in a statement provided to Deadline.

Mendhi said Molten’s offerings address a core issue faced by many companies. Legacy infrastructure of media and entertainment businesses including producers, broadcasters and distributors, he said, “doesn’t work for the streaming era. They need to move back-office operations to the cloud. They have two bad choices: build everything in-house, or buy and connect over two dozen enterprise tools.”

Along with The CW, Molten’s customer list includes STX Entertainment, Black Bear, Highland Films, Revolution Studios, Angel Studios, Nikkatsu and Urban One along with a host of independent players.

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