The blockchain technology is a much hyped technology which has got most industries losing their sleep over it. This is because this disruptive technology has the potential to change existing business models to bring in newer business models. Paid content will get an encouragement from micropayment-based pricing systems, and advertising budgets will be able to target audiences more accurately as media usage will be linked directly to content, copyright infringements will be practically impossible etc. But, the question is, how soon can this happen?
Can the blockchain impact the media and entertainment industry?
The technology is evolving and systems are still in a nascent stage. So industry-wide adoption may still be a few years away; most media users have got used to enjoying free access to different types of content. They remain reluctant to pay for subscription. Because of digitalization, content can be easily copied and distributed, without any compromise of quality. So, copyright infringements are rampant. This is why as the distributed ledger technology keeps gaining ground, one industry that stands to gain a lot from the blockchain-guaranteed traceability and transparency is the media and entertainment industry.
- This industry is essentially relationship-based, and creators are usually at a disadvantage because of margins they must give to middlemen. This usually happens because most artists have never learnt the intricacies of law or business while pursuing their creativity. But the blockchain technology will change all of this as it will cut down costs and eliminate frauds through better transparency.
- Perhaps the biggest problem in this industry is right management over content. The issues surfacing on who owns the audio, video, or written content has given rise to hundreds of lawsuits. Blockchain will allow you to track IP over multiple channels. Intellectual Property Rights can be tracked and digital management firms will get access to all records of transactions.
- With DLT, both investors and creators can enjoy timely access to the profits. Earlier, profits were typically held by music labels and artists were left waiting for long periods to receive their compensation. The blockchain technology will guarantee liquidity for its stakeholders.
- One of the biggest issues that new musicians face is getting funds for making their first album. While artists put in relentless efforts to develop a song, the labels usually retain ownership. But, streaming services now allow artists to track streams and launch their own songs even without a label. This trend is something that the blockchain technology will seek to support to establish a more direct connection between fans and music-makers. For instance, Vezt that is supported by BMG and Sony is a music rights marketplace allowing fans to share in royalties of recordings and songs they like. Fans are given a portion of the music rights; so, they can be part of the success that they have helped their favorite musicians to get. In the film industry, the Ethereum-based Film Chain allocates, collects, and analyzes profits made in films, television and various digital media. It aims to encourage transparency so that stakeholders can be duly compensated without need for any intermediaries.
Blockchain and the Cryptocurrency industry now has several products and services attached to it. Many, may be put off using Bitcoin for their entertainment needs with the constant worry the value of their currency can go up and down almost at will. Many Bitcoin software programs have been released to allow a complete beginner to ease their way into the world of Blockchain. For example, Bitcoin Pro has a low initial deposit requirement and then it’s clever algorithm makes all the difficult investment and calculations on your behalf. Many others exist as well not to mention other tools to help a beginner gradually enter the world of Blockchain. Once, Joe Blogs has Bitcoin and the rest figured out then the days of paying for your Netflix subscription or Cinema tickets online are not far behind.
In June 2016, BerkleeICE started the Open Music Initiative comprising of 200 members including Times Warner Group, Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify, for boosting transactions of royalty payments for artists and businessmen in the industry, based upon this technology.