Blockchain in M&E: Future Decoded

By Pickle  November 24, 2018

Along with innovations like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain has a huge potential to transform the Media and Entertainment industry. Here is what entails once the technology is adopted by the creative industry   

In his book titled Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, says that blockchain has the potential to become a powerful disruptive force. The advantages of adopting this new technology for the creative economy, he says, possess transformatory powers. “The blockchain is a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by anyone,” argues Schwab in his book.

In essence, blockchain is the technology of future, believe 58 percent of the 800 executives surveyed in the book. Up to 10 percent of global GDP will be stored using blockchain technology, they suggest.

The advantages of using the technology goes far beyond financial transactions. Any transaction, product life cycle, workflow, or supply chain could, in theory, can use blockchains.

Among numerous advantages of using blockchain technology features for creative industry include keeping a check on frauds as transactions are verified and approved by consensus among participants in the network. Anyone can trace or audit prior transactions due to the tracking feature which allows better insights into the full chronology of events that take place.

Since the blockchain technology operates on a distributed, rather than a centralized platform, each participant has access to exactly the same ledger records, providing resilience against attacks.

In the creative economy, blockchain can redefine how artists are remunerated. For example, if when anyone wants to pay for the right to play a song at a concert or the right to play a song in a movie, it causes quite a lot of transaction friction and becomes a time taking process. In such cases, blockchain can act as a platform for creators of intellectual property to receive value for their work.

Blockchains can host “smart contracts” to help artists manage digital rights and allocate revenue shares to contributors to the creative process. Such smart contracts have the potential to replace conventional contracts, which can be esoteric and leave some artists with little power over the terms for the content they generate.

Royalties could be designed to be more inclusive, offering fairer terms for composers, lyricists, and musicians—all stakeholders involved in the creative process.

One of the most useful feature of blockchain is that the transactions for a creative work could be seen and validated, including who accessed the work and how much revenue the work is generating at any point in time. This will allow stakeholders to have a better sense of the overall value of the creative work that is being produced, all in the form of a digital ledger provided in the blockchain. Furthermore, blockchain will make it transparent who the owner of the creative material is.

Prices for creative content could fluctuate according to supply and demand. Blokchain allows artists to control prices and have the ability to set prices themselves without having to go through a complex web of intermediaries.

Digital music stores such as iTunes allow consumers to purchase individual song tracks. Using blockchain, snippets of creative works could be made available for a price, for example, a few seconds of a song for use in a movie trailer. This kind of “micrometering” works by having the blockchain record the precise components of the creative work that were used, defining the smallest consumable unit of creative content.

Blockchain can also help link reputations to specific “addresses” on the blockchain, thus allowing both producers and consumers of creative content to verify one another. This could encourage stronger collaboration and better behavior, by promoting cooperative terms for content creators and consumers alike.

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