SMR: United Against a Global Media Giant
In 2014, recognizing that their leadership in the online media market was weakening, eight Korean television broadcasters severed their ties with YouTube and formed Smart Media Representative Co. Ltd. (SMR), an alliance to collectively distribute online television content and advertising on behalf of the broadcasters. SMR changed the nature of the online video market in Korea. The rights to advertising sales, programming, and distribution that were previously transferred to the platforms were retained by the broadcasters. The nature of distribution also changed to use a format that allowed the broadcasters to package their content and advertisements as one. The profit sharing from advertisements also changed, with broadcasters realizing a substantial increase. The structure had worked well and had been lucrative for the broadcasters and the Korean platform companies that partnered with SMR; however, in 2016, as SMR prepared to re-contract with the stakeholders, the varying goals of the stakeholders threatened to disrupt the structure. What did SMR need to do to maintain these fragile relationships and continue to grow?