Blockchain Technology Solves Some Of The Biggest Key Challenges Faced By Media And Entertainment Companies

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Blockchain technology has often been compared to the internet for its disruptive potential. Although blockchain was originally leveraged for financial transactions, it has quickly spread to just about every other sector—including the media and entertainment industries.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen media and entertainment companies begin to leverage blockchain technology to change how they develop and distribute content. Disney was a very early mover, developing a private blockchain platform all the way back in 2014 to make transactions more reliable and transparent. More recently media outlets including The New York Times NYT -4.1% have announced that they are leveraging the blockchain to combat fake news. In March, TIME even released the first fully decentralized magazine available as an NFT on the blockchain.

We are only just beginning to unlock the full potential of blockchain technology and there are several persistent challenges media and entertainment companies face that blockchain can help solve.

Protecting IP

Intellectual property issues and violations are pervasive in the media and entertainment industries. Musicians, artists, and other entertainers have long struggled to maintain ownership over their work, which means they are not often fairly compensated. This is especially true for musicians and many artists have advocated for higher royalty payouts from streaming platforms.

Artists like Taylor Swift have also faced uphill battles to maintain control and ownership over their IP.

Research by Middlesex University professors has found that IP issues in the music industry are fueled by a lack of transparency. Artists often do not fully understand the terms of contracts and copyrights, which limits their ability to ensure they are fairly compensated. The authors explain how: “The specific details of many streaming deals are currently hidden behind non-disclosure agreements, so that artists and songwriters may not know the terms under which copyrights are being used.” The result is that the majority of funds are often distributed to middlemen and not artists.

Enter blockchain. Using blockchain technology, musicians (and other creators) can register their IP and then link lyrics, videos, and even a bio to the blockchain, by embedding it as metadata in digital recordings. This would all be transparent and publicly available—a sharp contrast from today’s reality. Creators can also use blockchain-enabled “smart contracts” to stipulate who is able to download and interact with their content—and, critically, how they, as creators, will be compensated. When a consumer downloads a song, album, or other work, the smart contract would be triggered and, in turn, automatically charge the buyer and compensate the creator appropriately.

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