It is very well known to all of us, blockchain was the most fashionable word of 2017, and subsequently, it gained grip. The question here emerges what exactly does it intend and in what terms does it affect studios, new media companies, and networks?
Before 20 years media industry was revolutionized by the internet. Similarly, blockchain technology is here to revive the entertainment industry. In an apparent expression, blockchain technology, first of all, encrypts the information in an unblocked and unsecured “decentralized ledger” environment. This further reduces the gap between the end users by removing the centralized system. Most popular variety of blockchain, Bitcoin, takes in the proper use of “cryptocurrency” to start financial dealings. On the contrary “ethereum” utilizes various exchange methods, which includes bitcoin, but it also offers “smart contracts” which allows one to extend the application of blockchain past just financial dealings. It’s worth noting that only with the help of rapid digitalization, transforming the way entirely how content is generated and delivered, one thing to note here, is that M&E businesses are required to handle their intellectual property carefully. Blockchain exactly comes to scenario right here. The exquisiteness of this technology is that it offers a distinct way to store content and similar assets and establishing faith as well.
The television industry is the significant stakeholders which ought to get benefitted by way of availing blockchain technology in different ways such as – by advertising, distribution, content formation and authentication. It hardly matters whether the ultimate objective is stronger security and consumer privacy or additional flexibility; the result ought to be the same that is eradicating, if not eradicating at least diminishing the effect of – the “middleman” for sure.
It’s better if we now have an insight into few ways of how blockchain technology has significantly contributed in impacting management of content rights concerning entertainment industry:
Rightly starting from Sony to HBO, Hollywood has witnessed the act of data being hacked and data leak as well in the recent years. This makes sense that the higher authority and the members of this industry are not alert. The fact that blockchain includes decentralized structure, cryptography, and sequential hashing: lands up making the deals highly secure and virtually inaccessible for hackers.
Also read: Why Our World Would End If Cyber Security Disappeared?
It is worth noting that in case of blockchain technology the prerequisite condition for a large distribution unit is terminated. One of the most beneficial things to note here is that content creators have the discretion to set free their task directly to customers without having an opportunity to deal with a massive organization or media house institution that will eventually take a major part of the profits. Ultimately reducing the distribution network, and benefiting the creators and end users.
Well, coming down to the media industry, being paid is not a straightforward process. The primary thing to note is here is that blockchain technology permits the creator to let them distribute the content and get paid instantaneously. Moreover, the foundation is based on smart contracts which later on end up using blockchain based cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. Something worth noting is that self-accomplishing intelligent deals can pave the way to prompt royalty remittance at a near-zero cost.
Digital rights management also known as the cousin of micropayments, blockchain holds a high share in it. Upon unraveling the past, it has been noted that producing and selling content had always been a long scuffle concerning who owns the rights to these content. Right starting from Britain, who ended up enacting the world’s first copyright law in 1709 to Napster and BitTorrent in the recent past. It is creditworthy noting that Blockchain comes up with a solution, with its immutable record-keeping and decentralized nature. All the big players must have noticed and analyzed Spotify, which ultimately had to come up with a decision of settling a lawsuit over unpaid royalties last year, recently acquired Mediachain, a digital rights management startup. Now, Mediachain combines all the blockchain infrastructure with content ID tech similar to that of which is found in a Google image search. To create a “universal media library,” in which one can identify the “author and story” behind a piece of content.
In distribution terms, few priests were predicting as if blockchain technology might be considered as the termination for what many call the “ultimate middleman,” the pay-TV (satellite and cable) institutions. Whether this will take place or not is a question for debate, but as far as immediate future is concerned, it has been observed that media companies are willing to look for some protocol which would ultimately end up helping fight the problem of never-ending piracy which arrives with the digital distribution. Phil Gomes (Blockchain expert at Edelman) says, “Due to rough patches in legal dissemination system there are more chances of privacy leak. Blockchain technology will assist in the smoother generation of money from content by minimizing pirates.” Widely observed, throughout the world that these days media organizations are looking forward to the blockchain technology to implement safer rights payments. An apt example of this would be Open Music Initiative, which involves Warner, YouTube, Spotify, Sony Music, and Netflix, with an objective of improvising royalty payment dealings. OMI recently ended up disclosing that it will keep in mind the utilization of blockchain “to fundamentally clarify the way music rights owners are recognized and compensated, ultimately allowing a reasonable business version for the artists.”
So, there is no doubt that blockchain technology offers many exciting applications which aid in solving problems that have plagued the entertainment industry for decades. Ultimately, effective utilization of blockchain technology could make the entertainment industry fairer and more equitable. These days, the immediate and sudden effect of blockchain technology can be felt at the more significant corporate levels of media.
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