What Role Can Blockchain Play In Digital Content Management

Published : Dec 16, 2019

blockchain in digital content management

  • Blockchain became a buzzword in the financial services industry due to being the underlying infrastructure behind digital currencies (cryptocurrencies). Subsequently, other industries started exploring blockchain technology’s potential to optimize traditional systems, as well as manage digital assets securely. The industries include healthcare, real estate, education, aviation, hospitality, travel and tourism, and whatnot. Now, key digital content management players are looking for inventive solutions to address challenges like widespread piracy of intellectual property and content. In the digital space, there are limited mechanisms to protect rich media content. Blockchain can provide solutions to manage digital content securely while enabling new monetization models. Let’s take a deeper look into the potential of blockchain in enhancing traditional content management systems. 

    Blockchain in Digital Content Management  

    With specific rights attribution to the stakeholders involved in the digital content (media) through smart contracts, blockchain can ensure appropriate ownership and fair evaluation. It provides solutions to strengthen registration, licensing, and distribution of digital media without any dependence on intermediaries. In the following sections, we have described how blockchain and smart contracts can transform the traditional digital content and copyright management system. 

    Challenges in the Traditional Content Management System

    Whenever we play a song or watch a video or refer a published study for research, the person who holds its ownership or copyright should be rewarded with royalty for the work they own. However, for instance, we can observe the unauthentic use of digital music or videos every day in clubs, bars, parties, radio stations, and other areas. There are no stringent mechanisms for royalty management, which makes original content owners get little to no royalty for their creation. Not only this, but people also remake, refurbish, or use digital content for other purposes. Not to mention, there are numerous online platforms that pirate copies of diverse media content like videos and music files. According to a report published by Digital TV Research, online piracy can cost up to $52 billion by 2022. 

    Additionally, content creators and copyright holders get affected due to sales opacity, whereas distributors mention a high volume of media usage transactions. Consequently, creators end up receiving approximately 20 to 40 percent of these transactions. Given the situation, some music creators choose to keep their content off from the on-demand streaming services. It leads to creating gaps in the libraries of platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. 

    Blockchain can address these challenges by fostering trust, security, and transparency in the ecosystem of digital content management. 

    Now, we will be considering the case of video content creation, distribution, and management with blockchain.

    How Blockchain Transforms Video Content Distribution

    In a hypothetical case, the following can be the stakeholders involved in the blockchain video content management ecosystem

    Content Developers/Creators – Those who create and manage content. 

    Contributors – Those who contribute to the media content creation.

    End Users – Those who purchase the license to access content and its rights.

    Let’s discuss what roles each stakeholder in the system play. 

    Content Creators

    Content developers create and add video content to the application. They define the start/end time of the video while also leaving scope for contributors. Also, they define metadata such as video title, description, category tags, etc.

    Once they have created and added the video to the platform, they get a certified digital certificate ensuring the ownership of their work.

    In this case, the video will carry a unique ID, EIDR, which will be linked to the blockchain. EIDR will act as a unique universal identifier for content assets and provide uniqueness to all media contents.

    Linking EIDR to the blockchain platform will enable traceability and transparency to all transactions related to the content. 

    Content creators can also edit, change price, or delete the media content. However, whenever they will make any changes to the content, end-users will receive a notification. End users can trace back the amendments made by content developers at different intervals of time.

    The video developer will receive a request when users want to access any video content available on the platform. Subsequently, the blockchain-powered system will enable viewers to pay in micropayments to the content creators.

    Upon successful payment, the integrated smart contract will enable viewers to access the requested content.

    Also Read: Blockchain in Intellectual Property | Making IP Rights Management ‘Smarter’


    A contributor can contribute to the video content after receiving invite requests from the content developers. The contributor will earn a certain percentage of the total content’s value by making a contribution to it. Once the contributor achieves the scope set by the content developer, they can consider their tasks as done. Content creators will receive a notification for the same. 

    If the contribution fulfills the content developer’s requirements, a smart contract will automatically make payment to the contributor. Also, they will have ownership of the content as a contributor. 

    Blockchain-powered content management platforms will store the corresponding transaction Id for the contribution task. It will solve as well as avoid disputes related to content rights.


    End users will sign up on the platform to access the content available in the system. 

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

    They can search for video content and access their details like the owner’s and contributor’s info and pricing. Users can purchase the access license of the media content by bidding to negotiate the deal with content creators.

    During the negotiation, users can define different parameters related to the content such as the region, the number of runs (unlimited to 3-4times), and the types of rights they want to hold. After coming into an agreement with terms and conditions, the content developer receives the request. He can view the offer sent by users and approve the request after the successful negotiation of the deal.

    Here, a smart contract solution will come into play that enables content access to end-users for a specific period mentioned in the offer contract. The smart contracts will automatically execute the payment from the buyer’s end and sent it to the developer’s wallet. Blockchain also has provisions to enable micropayments. It means users can avail the option of pay per view while making payments. After successful payment, the smart contract will enable the transferring of license and access to the content to take place in the back-end. All this while, blockchain will have an unalterable record of each transaction’s details from the beginning. It will enable users to trace back transactions’ history of the content they have purchased. Users can also view payment transactions’ records for any disputes or issues.

    Strengthening the digital content management's value chain with blockchain car formulate more transparent and secure processes. The records stored on the blockchain in an unalterable way will manifest auditability and traceability.


    We are a blockchain app development company with experience of more than 4 years in blockchain development. Talk to our team of our blockchain development experts to find out how blockchain is creating a myriad of opportunities in the digital content management space. 


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