How Blockchain is Transforming Media and Entertainment

Published : Mar 03, 2021

blockchain in media and entertainment

  • Blockchain technology has caught the attention across various sectors, from finance and healthcare to automotive and retail. But what do blockchain solutions mean for the media and entertainment industries? What benefits would blockchain bring to current media value chains, systems, and costs? Can it aid in the development of new services and ways to raise more revenue?

    Blockchain technology has the potential to help the media and entertainment (M&E) industry significantly. For instance, businesses are exploring blockchain development for streaming services. The core characteristics of blockchain's shared ledger approach can establish transparency, trust, reliability, speed, protection, and control at all points in a transaction process across the media supply chain.

    Media and Blockchain

    Blockchain can change how media content distribution, consumption, and payment for music, video, and other means happen. Customized multi-content service packages are beyond the capabilities of current systems. Managing digital rights, royalty collections, and transactions among various intermediaries is extremely difficult in today's digital ecosystems.

    By bringing accountability, protection, and control to the media supply chain, blockchain, with its shared ledger approach, will help to enhance the media supply chain and reduce copyright infringements. It might, for example, reduce copyright infringements in music streaming, where publishers and songwriters frequently accuse music streaming services like Spotify, Napster, and Pandora of not paying them anything they are owed, losing up to 25% of streaming royalties.

    Also, Read | Blockchain's Impact in the Media and Entertainment Industry

    Blockchain's Notable Development Elements

    Shared Ledger

    It is a digital ledger, an append-only system of records shared across a business network to provide transaction access to all participants.

    Smart contract

    It is a collection of business terms stored in a transaction database. Its implementation occurs in conjunction with their respective transactions.


    Transactions are trustworthy, authenticated, and verifiable.


    Transactions get approval by relevant parties, which builds trust.


    All network members are aware of all transactions related to them.

    Also, Read | What is Blockchain Technology and How Does it work

    Applications of Blockchain Technology in Media and Entertainment

    Advertisers, publishers, and agencies are among the participants in M&E business networks with cross-geographic and regulatory boundaries, and their partnerships have become increasingly complex. An exponential and flow of transactions and contracts for goods and services through these networks generates value. The sheer scale of operation necessitates greater accountability and confidence. They are crucial for establishing new standards for data exchange and access permissions and calculate costs and benefits.

    This simple example of advertisement message distribution to customers explains how blockchain will help all involved parties. Consider an advertiser, an ad agency, a demand-side distributor, an ad-exchange, a supply-side provider, and a publisher in a simplified digital advertising value chain. Each participant maintains one or more ledgers. They manually update it to reflect business transactions, and then reconciliation happens. It often leads to duplication of effort, contracts, and costs due to intermediaries used for services. It is neither cost-effective nor reliable. This system is often prone to flaws. A compromised central system, as a result of an event –like fraud or an anomaly – may affect the entire business network.

    Also, Read | Blockchain-Based Social Media Platform Development

    Blockchain-based Process

    Consider the same network, but this time with blockchain, as seen in the following figure. Via peer-to-peer replication, the blockchain architecture enables users to access a shared and updated ledger in real-time any time a transaction occurs. Cryptography further ensures that only the parts of the database that are important to them are visible to network users. Also, it validates that transactions are trustworthy, authentic, and verifiable.


    Blockchain-based media and entertainment network

    Source IBM Blockchain

    The asset transfer contract can remain embedded in the transaction database, defining the conditions under which the transaction takes place. Via consensus or similar processes, network members agree on transaction authentication processes. Oversight, compliance, and auditing can all operate under one network. Unnecessary members or transactions remain out of the system with complete blockchain implementation.

    Also, Read | Developing a Blockchain-Powered Media Streaming Platform

    Blockchain Use Case in the Media and Entertainment Industry

    Improving the media supply chain's processes

    The conventional media supply chains have evolved into dynamic environments. It often includes new entrants as the M&E industry moves toward digitization.

    On the one hand, trust, accountability, reliability, consistency, quality control, and protection are becoming priorities. On the other, it is getting difficult for content owners to determine a reasonable distribution of royalties. They wait for months or even years for payments to arrive. Brands and advertisers also have a difficult time assessing if financial transactions are reasonable and correct. They need to make sure, for instance, if advertising budgets are not vulnerable to threats and whether their paid ads are appearing only in their respective locations.

    Smart contracts on the blockchain automate a lot of processes of M&E companies' operations. They make them more cost-effective, quicker, stable, scalable, and transparent Blockchain-based smart contract applications can streamline processes across the media supply chain variably. Audit, payment settlements, discrepancy management, tax rules, campaign-level reporting, fraud prevention, copyright clearance, and royalty management are likely to be the areas where they can have the most impact.

    Also, Read | Decentralized Live Streaming Solutions with Blockchain

    Developing blockchain-based applications and revenue streams

    Blockchain can provide new features and differentiate value-added digital services. It can enable services that meet the increasing demands of both clients (such as content creators and advertisers) and consumers. It does so along with process improvements for establishing more trust, quality, and protection into existing media supply chains.

    Consumers don't have to pay disproportional transaction fees to third-party payment apps like PayPal. Blockchain-enabled micropayments raise revenue from low-priced content like individual song tracks, posts, or pictures.

    Also, blockchain enables better targeting of audiences. It delivers fewer but more timely and appropriate content and advertisements to consumers. It further improves the customer experience when used with artificial intelligence.

    Blockchain can also aid in lowering the overall campaign's overall expense. Content delivery, content revenue assurance, and consumer personal data handling are all possible fields.

    In terms of the latter, blockchain technology is crucial for data protection. Given the GDPR's far-reaching personal data privacy regulation, it provides more efficient compliance.

    To know more about how blockchain and its application can play a crucial role in the growth and excellence of your M&E business, connect with our blockchain development experts.

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