Blockchain in Media – Reconstructing Content Distribution System

“Blockchain Media Content Management – Reinventing Content Consumption and Tracking”

Though blockchain came into the existence as a digital currency in the financial sector, every industry is experimenting with the capability of blockchain to manage digital assets in a secure and decentralized way. The decentralized technology is all set to disrupt various industries like healthcare, supply chain management, retail, aviation and so on.

Media industry also needs an innovative change as it has been profoundly affected by widespread piracy of intellectual property and content. Since there are limited mechanisms for protecting rich free media content, blockchain could transform media rights and introduce a new mechanism for monetization.

A romantic indie comedy film, “No Postage Necessary”, will be the first film to be released in the coming June with the help of blockchain technology. Viewers can buy the movie via the blockchain-based movie streaming app, Vevue and pay for the film with app’s cryptocurrency.

By defining specific rights to the stakeholders involved in the media industry through smart contracts, blockchain technology ensures the content’s ownership and fair evaluation.

The introduction of blockchain offers possibilities for registration, licensing and distribution of media content without the involvement of intermediaries.

The article focuses on how blockchain media content management and smart contracts can bring transformation in the traditional copyright management system.

The problems in the traditional media content management system

Every time we hear a song or watch a video, the owner or copyright holder should get some royalty payment for the work they own. But, billions of instances of digital music or videos are played each day on radio stations, in clubs, bars, parties and other areas.

The media content played each day is sampled for remakes or other uses.

Also, there are many online platforms and sites which share pirated copies of media contents like videos and audio files. The report submitted by Digital TV Research says that the cost of online piracy is expected to hit $52 billion by 2022.

Artist or Copyright Holders are also affected by the lack of sales transparency while digital service providers report a high volume of streaming transactions. As a result, artists end up getting only 20 to 40 percent of these transactions.

That is the reason why some artists have chosen to keep their media content off from on-demand streaming services, which leads to gaps in the libraries of popular services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Google Play Music.

With the ability of blockchain to bring transparency and trust, the media content management can witness an innovative transformation.

We are considering the case of video content creation and distribution to explain the impact of blockchain media content management system in our article.

Read further to understand how blockchain can work in video content creation and management.

How can Blockchain Media Content Management Systsem can disrupt Video Content Distribution?

Stakeholders that can be involved in the blockchain media (video) content management ecosystem

  • Content Developers/Creators – who create, manage and add the content to the marketplace.
  • Contributors – who contribute in the creation of media content.
  • End Users – who buy the license to get access to content and its rights.

Let’s discuss the roles of different stakeholders in the system.

Content Developers/Creators

The role of content developers is to add the video content to the application either by capturing it live with the camera or uploading it from phones or other devices.

A content creator can set the start/end time and set the contributor scope to enable specific individuals to serve as a contributor. Also, they add metadata (film title, film description, category tags) about the video content.

Once the video is created and added to the platform, the creators get a digital certificate that ensures the authorship of their work.

The video content added by the developers can have a unique ID, EIDR which is linked to the blockchain.

EIDR is a unique universal identifier for movie/television assets that offers uniqueness to all media contents.

Linking EIDR to the blockchain platform can ensure all transactions related to the content would be traceable and transparent.

Content creators can also manage the media content by editing the content, pricing or deleting it. Every time a creator will make changes to the content, end users can get a notification and trace back the amendments made by them at different intervals of time.

If someone wants to access any video content on the platform, the request would be sent to the developers. The blockchain-enabled system can allow viewers to pay in micropayments to the content creators.

When the payment is made successfully, the smart contracts can trigger to allow viewers to access the requested content.

Contributor

After getting the invite request from the content developer, the contributor can contribute to the video content and earn a certain percentage of the total value of the content.

Once the contributor completes the contribution scope set by the content developer, they can mark their task as done and notification is sent to the creators.

If the contribution work meets the requirements of a content creator/developer, the contributor is paid automatically via smart contracts.

Also, they get the ownership as a contributor for the content.

The transaction id corresponding to the contribution task would also be stored on the blockchain media platform to solve the disputes related to content rights in the future.

End Users

End users can sign up on the platform to view the available content in the system.

After registering, they can log in to the system to access the list of contents.

They can search for their favorite video content and view their details such as owner’s and contributor’s info and pricing.

Users can request to buy the license for accessing the media content by making a bid to negotiate the deal with sellers/content creators.

While negotiating the deal, buyers can add the license region and period, type of rights they want to hold and the number of runs(unlimited or 3-4times).

Once buyers agree with terms and conditions, the offer request is sent to the content developers/creators.

Content creators can view the offer sent by buyers and approve their request after negotiating the deal. Smart contracts would trigger and the access will be provided to end users for a specific period as mentioned in the offer contract.

Payment will be made automatically from the buyer’s end and sent to the wallet of creators.

As blockchain allows micropayments, users can also have a pay per view option to make payments.

Once the payment is made, the smart contracts can trigger and transfer of license and access to the content take place in the back-end. The transaction details would be saved on the blockchain.

Since the transactions would be stored on the blockchain, users can trace back the history of records and view the content they had bought in the past. Also, they can view records of payment transactions in case of any disputes or issues.

Bringing media content value chain to the blockchain can make the processes more transparent and secure. The records added to the blockchain can never be altered or deleted, therefore, ensuring auditability and traceability.

Here are the benefits of Blockchain in Media Content Management

  • New Pricing Options for Paid Content
    Nowadays, users demand a personalized content experience- they like to consume pictures, videos, blogs or other media contents from their preferred sources. With the increasing demand for digital business models, consumers expert “per-use” payment methods, rather than paying monthly/annual fee to buy a subscription.Blockchain-based micropayments can help content creators monetize the group of customers seeking expectations. With blockchain, individual pieces of content can be sold for “pay per use” prices without disproportionate costs.
  • Less involvement of intermediaries
    Though paid content is gaining traction significantly, the monetization heavily relies on advertising. Currently, the digital advertising ecosystem is complicated and there are multiple stakeholders between content creator and the potential advertiser.Monetization for the actual creator becomes smaller with every additional stakeholder involved. With the help of blockchain, artists can directly sell content to their followers without the involvement of intermediaries/middlemen.
    Content creators can market their content independently of platform providers as blockchain allows quick and efficient tracking of usage.
  • Transparent and Secure C2C Sales
    With blockchain, content owners can have full visibility and control of the number of uses of songs or other media content and its consumption. Therefore, there are no chances of piracy and copyright infringements. The transparency feature allows content creators to manage content distribution in a peer-to-peer way.For example, a subscriber can share the content with a friend and then he will be paid with the fee for the content they shared. In this way, the blockchain media content management allows legal and quick sharing of paid content among different users and offers an additional source of revenue for copyright holders and aggregators.
  • Content Consumption without limits
    Usually, subscribers of paid content cannot access the contents they subscribed when they were in another country.The reason is that licenses for media content are sold country by country. But with the blockchain-based media content management, access to content cannot be restricted to specific countries.Since every transaction/content consumption can be tracked with the blockchain and linked to a user’s account, the Digital Rights Management system can be handled without any hassles. Also, the payment can be made automatically with smart contract terms for the specific content.

Blockchain’s capability for media content management provides us with opportunities for seamless payment transactions and content copyright tracking. Therefore, companies should identify the blockchain use cases as a fundamental solution to their business strategy.

Talk to the team of our blockchain development experts who can help you explore the various applications of blockchain in media content management ecosystem.

Author’s Bio

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Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the author of Blockchain Technology and Business book. He is the co-founder of LeewayHertz and is a consultant to fortune 500 companies including Siemens, 3M, Hershey’s and others. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Akash’s experience of building over 100+ apps allows him to rapidly architect and design solutions. His ability to explain complex technologies in simple and practical ways has resulted in him becoming a popular speaker at colleges, universities, and conferences.
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