Blockchain @ Media

A new Game Changer for the Media Industry?

The media industry has been heavily affected by the ubiquitous availability and the subsequent “commoditization” of content and been undermined by widespread piracy of intellectual property. Blockchain-based technologies have the potential to resolve some of the current challenges: Paid content can receive a boost from new, micropayment-based pricing models and monetization options emerge for an increasingly fragmented content inventory. And copyright infringements would be nearly impossible.

While some applications of blockchain technology may still seem farfetched and require further technological advancements, payment-focused use cases have already been proved to work. Parts of the media value chain are therefore already endangered by new blockchain-based payment and contract options. These can fundamentally reset pricing, advertising, revenue sharing, and royalty payment processes. Payments or advertising revenues no longer need to be centrally collected. Payment transactions become less costly and the distribution of revenues is automated, based on predefined smart contracts.

A blockchain`s key characteristics

Figure 1: A blockchain's key characteristics

Use Cases

  1. New pricing options for paid content
    Consumers demand an individual content experience – they want to consume (video) blogs, pictures, single articles, news bites or short form videos from their preferred sources to complement the established content portfolio (TV, Newspapers, Radio etc.), and the success of music and video streaming services has even intensified this trend.
  2. Content bypassing aggregators
    Paid content is increasingly gaining traction, but the monetization of online media still heavily depends on advertising. As there is no overall willingness to pay for digital content, ad-based distribution models will remain important in the next decade. So far, the digital adverting ecosystem is complex and involves numerous stakeholders. There are several intermediaries between the content creator and the potential advertiser. The slice of the monetization cake for the initial creator of digital content becomes smaller with every additional party involved. For emerging media assets such as blogs or usergenerated content, the complexity of established advertising processes can even generally impede ad-based monetization.
  3. Distribution of royalty payments
    Today, the distribution of royalty payments builds on multiple contracts between artists, producers, and music publishing houses. For instance whenever a song is played on TV, radio, at events or is streamed online, the rights holders should receive a royalty payment in a contractually defined split. In order to ensure that this is happening, the national copyright collection bodies act as a collection platform for copyright holders and compensate the eligible parties.
  4. Secure and transparent C2C sales
    Blockchain has the potential for content rights owners to enable additional revenue streams by leveraging consumer-toconsumer sales. Thus while the idea of peer-to-peer content sharing is not new, it is and has been a serious threat to music creatives and movie / TV producers in the past. Peerto- peer networks and the respective exchange of(media) files is almost impossible to control due to the sheer number of exchanges and of users exchanging files.
  5. Consumption of paid content without boundaries
    The last use case deals with a situation that many subscribers of paid content subscriptions (e.g. for pay TV, VoD, streaming services) have witnessed in the past. They cannot access the contents they subscribed to once they are in another country / region, for example during business travel or on vacation.

To find out more about the Use Cases download the full report. 

Blockchain Institute

The Deloitte Blockchain Institute provides our customers with experts on the subject of blockchain and supports them in dealing with the pressing questions and business challenges arising from the emergence of blockchain technology.