With Blockchain solutions revolutionizing the cryptocurrency and financial markets, it is set to mark its footprint in other industry verticals. Global spends on Blockchain solutions have shown more than 100% year over year growth from $945 million in 2017 to $2.1 billion in 2018. It is expected to provide a business value-add of $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030 across various industries.
What is Blockchain?
The blockchain is simply a data store that is distributed across multiple network channels. By design, it is a decentralized technology where a network of computers together manages the validity of transactions.
Originally devised for secure digital currency (Bitcoin) transactions, it uses a ‘block-based’ model that operates across a peer-to-peer network with no single authority. Participants can see the transactional data and verify or reject it using consensual algorithms.
Benefits of Blockchain solutions in industry applications
Faster and secure transactions – With no central authority or middlemen to take care of, Blockchain can speed up the transactions and makes sure that the data is incorruptible and secure.
Transparency – Data in the Blockchain can be publicly accessed by all participants and hence cannot be altered or deleted.
Cost-effective – Online payment portals like PayPal charge around 2-5% as transaction fees depending upon the geography. Blockchain technology can eliminate these third-party risks by helping you do direct transactions.
Simplified transaction ecosystem – With a single public network taking care of all the transactions, it reduces the clutter and complexity of multiple ledgers.
Traceability – One can exactly track the location of items and their displacement can be easily followed up and communicated for further actions.
Cryptographically sealed data – Using cryptography to protect the user’s data, it ensures that all the transactions are safely executed by securing even minute details.
Real-time data management – Blockchain technology’s peer-peer operation renders real-time data processing, resulting in faster communication and easier coordination.
Automated actions – Blockchain is programmable, helping you to automatically trigger actions once the conditions are met.
Blockchain’s take on the future of Media and OTT industry
With such numerous advantages, the Blockchain model had already started to revolutionize the digital finance market with flexibility and secured transactions. On the other hand, a sophistication of internet has led to the evolution of OTT industry. From a video series on YouTube to a proper third screen experience, it has attracted millions of users towards its ecosystem. As the industry matures, it is starting to face problems and let us see how the use of Blockchain technology can make the OTT industry more stable and convenient than ever.
Empowering the online content creators through smart contracts
What if the digital content creators like online musicians can get directly paid by their fans without having to give out large percentages of their sales to third-party intermediaries? This barrier-less communication system is possible through Blockchain, removing any hidden intermediary costs and helps artists establish a direct customer relationship with their fans.
Blockchain also helps them to automatically take care of the license and contract related issues in the form of smart contracts.
Decentralised Content distribution models
Blockchain enables each party to verify their transaction records directly without any intermediaries. It also eliminates the need of any central authority to approve the transactions through its peer-to-peer network, making way for agile and smooth transactions.
Accessibility and ownership
One of the long-standing issues in the online media and OTT industry is the ownership and access to the content. Consider a video subscription service, where you pay for gaining access to the platform and the videos cannot be accessed anywhere outside the platform. There is hence, a lack of transparency unlike buying a traditional cassette or a CD which you actually own it.
By leveraging Blockchain technology, the issue of music ownership and sharing can be tackled at an infrastructure and protocol level. It encrypts the video and music tracks, and stores these permanently through the interplanetary file system (IPFS) swarm. And the tracks can be accessed from anywhere with decryption keys through smart contracts.
Advertising analytics and targeted marketing
Worldwide spends on digital advertising is $200 billion in 2017 and expected to reach the $350 billion mark by 2020. Digital advertising is highly advantageous to marketers as they can track the consumer’s behavioral data. But, more than 60% of digital video advertisers lack adequate tools that can analyze this data, to measure and effectively improve the digital campaign’s performance.
According to Visa’s report, Blockchain has a capacity to pull out more than 24,000 transactions per second. It also makes the marketing investments targeted, helping the advertisers to measure the efficient platforms and add more value to their marketing efforts.
Media royalty payments
Payment of royalties to the artists and copyright owners has been a long-unsolved problem in the online media industry. Spotify was dragged into a $30 million settlement by National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) over unpaid song royalties, and other several legal cases were also raised against similar streaming services. The payments weren’t received because Shopify couldn’t identify its publishers.
Blockchain can bring these issues to rest by using a Cryptographic Hash file to store the original music track. With each Hash file associating the address of the creator, the artists and the copyright owners can be compensated in the form of smart contracts.
Easy transactions and micropayments
Blockchain helps to facilitate the micropayments online within the user and content creator without any transaction costs or service charges. By using a Blockchain enabled browser, the user can monetize their monthly spends using a cryptocurrency wallet. The browser can then request the public Blockchain for license information, and scan the loaded content through content identifiers. Accordingly, it facilitates the transaction between the user and the content owner via on-chain payment.
With terabytes of content consumed in the online media every day, optimizing the storage space is essential. A Blockchain-powered Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to utilize the collective unused space from the users worldwide by building decentralized applications. Using Blockchain as a decentralized management system can help the users exploit this collective unused space, by converting it into a peer-to-peer cloud storage and data delivery network.
Content licensing and effective monetization
Online content creators are very much aware of the extent of protection the Intellectual Property Laws give and how easily their content can be stolen. When someone is using your Intellectual property for commercial purposes, you can claim the ownership compensation. But, when you are dealing with a larger organization, the burden is entirely yours. You may have to hire a lawyer to prove the ownership and then enforce your rights where you might still lose!
Adopting Blockchain technology can help you to easily defend your Intellectual property rights. The ‘blocks’, which are located on a variety of servers around the world cannot be altered once they are created. Hence, content owners will have complete control of their work, and the transactions are automated whenever the content is accessed by viewers.
With the online media and OTT space growing more competitive than ever, it is set to be the future of the broadcasting industry. Adapting the Blockchain technology to OTT and online media can definitely make this billion dollar industry much more accessible, leading to an uprise in digital space like never before!