As the digital era accelerates, it’s no secret that software is having a profound impact on the entertainment industry. Studios and production companies are increasingly turning to new technologies and applications to streamline their operations.

But the production industry is complicated. With dozens of different business functions to manage—onboarding, payroll, accounting, scheduling, and more—most productions are stuck using different apps for each facet of their business. These elaborate and complicated tech stacks are inefficient and often not well integrated.

That’s why a new approach to software is emerging in the entertainment industry: the vertical operating system, or VOS. A vertical operating system is an operating system that solves for multiple business functions within a single industry.

Conventional operating systems that combine all the necessary tools for a specific function—say, accounting—into one package that can serve a wide variety of industries. A classic example of this would be Salesforce, which manages customer information across sales, marketing, and customer service departments, facilitating a unified approach to handling customer interactions. Salesforce is a broad tool—many different kinds of businesses can use it.

Vertical operating systems, on the other hand, aim to be far more specific, combining every tool a specific industry would need into a single system. For a film or television production, that would mean things like payroll, accounting, onboarding, and more. Rather than using different tools for each of these functions, an entertainment-industry VOS would combine them all into a single, easy-to-use package that was already optimized for the production business.

It might sound like a subtle shift, but the VOS represents a sea change in the way technology can serve the entertainment industry, transforming efficiency and promoting better organization.

Entertainment’s Operating System - Wrapbook - Vertical OS

A VOS is thoughtfully designed to meet the specific needs of a particular sector, ensuring deep process integration and heightened operational efficiency. The entertainment industry, with its unique challenges—fragmented payroll systems, intricate labor regulations agreements, short production timelines—stands to benefit immensely from such a system. 

And for productions, adopting a VOS—like Wrapbook, for example—can be transformative. It doesn't just streamline processes like production management and financial oversight; it reimagines the way information moves across a production. It becomes a single source of truth for the entire production.

This concentrated approach enables Wrapbook to enhance a wide array of functions, from hiring, to payroll processing, to production accounting, to compliance.

Entertainment’s Operating System - Wrapbook - Thriving Vertical OS

A vertical operating system serves as the foundational layer of technology that underpins a production. It integrates and manages key data within a company, acting as the single source of truth and the main interface for daily activities. For production companies, who for decades have dealt with PDFs flying back and forth and timecards being shuttled from set to the production office, this kind of data centralization can be transformational. It cuts down on busywork, and reduces the frequency of errors.

Importantly, though, Wrapbook is more than just another piece of software. Where traditional entertainment payroll providers attempt to embed technology into their financial services, Wrapbook is a technology company that embeds entertainment payroll. The difference may sound subtle, but the impact on production is profound. Technology transformation for the entertainment industry is finally here with Wrapbook.

Addressing the industry’s challenges

Fragmented production workflows affect both producers and production accountants. What’s more, disjointed software not only hinders productivity, it also compromises transparency, accountability, and importantly, security.

In this context, the call for a VOS-style approach to entertainment tech is not just about keeping pace with digital trends; it's about keeping productions safe and secure.

Advantages of a vertical operating system for production companies:

  • A Single Source of Truth: By consolidating data across various production facets, Wrapbook ensures that all stakeholders have access to consistent, real-time information, enhancing decision-making and operational transparency.
  • Streamlined Production & Accounting Workflows: By consolidating different tools and processes into a single platform, a VOS like Wrapbook simplifies the management of complex production workflows. This consolidation allows for smoother operations, freeing up time for creative and strategic tasks.
  • Enhanced Data Security: In the realm of production, where sensitive financial and personal information is handled regularly, the importance of robust security protocols cannot be overstated. Wrapbook's focus on best-in-class data security, including SOC 2 Type 2 compliance and strict access controls, ensures that all data is managed securely within a controlled environment.
  • Improved Decision Making: With real-time access to financial data and comprehensive reporting capabilities, decision-makers are equipped with the insights needed to make informed choices. Our advanced general ledger system allows for detailed tracking and management of financial transactions, offering unmatched accuracy and ease of use for production accountants and financial managers. 
  • Customizable Solutions: Recognizing that no two productions are the same, Wrapbook offers customizable features that cater to the specific needs of each project. This flexibility ensures that our platform can adapt to various production scales and requirements.

Embracing a vertical operating system is more than a technological upgrade; it's a strategic decision that positions production companies for success. Wrapbook's platform is designed to be the operating system for the entertainment industry, providing a cohesive and intuitive environment for managing your entire production. It is designed to be the backbone of your production company's ecosystem.

Expanding the ecosystem with fintech solutions

The power of a VOS like Wrapbook extends beyond traditional operational management to include fintech solutions that streamline financial transactions, enhance compliance, and provide financial transparency. This integration of financial technology elevates Wrapbook from a system of record to a comprehensive operating system—one that can manage all the business processes associated with production.

Our platform demonstrates the transformative power of fintech in addressing specific challenges. Says Richard Kerby, co-founder of Equal Ventures, an investor in Wrapbook,

“Customers love that the Wrapbook team has combined its deep knowledge of the creative industry with an impressive technical stack to completely reimagine the tedious process of setting up distributed teams.”

Venture capital sees an opportunity in entertainment fintech

Increasingly, venture capitalists have seen the upside of entertainment VOS-style solutions like Wrapbook, noting their potential to transform the way productions manage their operations and their finances. Their interest has been followed with investment in startups and new solutions to age-old entertainment industry problems. Says Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of Hollywood Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and the VC firm WndrCo,

“It’s time we bring production financial services into the 21st century.”

The potential upside is obvious. With billions of dollars flowing through the entertainment sector each year, any opportunity to streamline operations and cut back on inefficiency has the potential to prove highly lucrative. And new VOS’s are already attracting serious investment.

Investing in Wrapbook

But while many fintech solutions are aiming to be the VOS for entertainment, few are closer to actually achieving it than Wrapbook. Says Katzenberg,

“We need a technology solution that will address the increasing complexities of production onboarding, pay, and insuring cast and crew…I believe that Wrapbook delivers.”

Of course, Katzenberg isn’t Wrapbook’s only investor. Nor is he the only one with deep experience in the entertainment sector. Michael Ovitz, co-founder of CAA has also backed the company, as have Institutional Technology Investors, Tiger Global, and Andreesen Horowitz.

For Kristina Shen, General Partner at Andreesen Horowitz, it’s Wrapbook’s extensive knowledge of the entertainment sector that makes them a strong candidate to become the industry’s go-to VOS. Says Shen,

“The Wrapbook team has prior experience in both the entertainment industry and in software businesses. They are uniquely positioned to understand how to leverage software to address the pain points in the industry." 

Wrapping up

Wrapbook is an all-in-one hub that brings every function a production needs into one platform. This makes life easier for industry workers from producers to accountants. It makes productions more efficient—not by adding another piece of software to their operation, but by reimagining that operation entirely— as something easier, faster and more secure, with automated payroll, real-time financial transparency, and built-in compliance for both unions and taxes.

Wrapbook's role as a bespoke VOS for the entertainment industry underscores its potential to not only meet current demands but also anticipate and adapt to the evolving landscape of production management.

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Last Updated 
April 2, 2024


At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

About the author
The Wrapbook Team

The Wrapbook Team consists of individuals who are thrilled about building modern software tools for creators. We’re a team of compassionate and curious people dedicated to solving complex problems with sophisticated solutions. You can find us across the U.S. and Canada.

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