Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, it’s likely you will have heard of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The digital currency has risen in value and popularity over the past few years, causing many people to consider whether it could be the future of the economy. In the media, Bitcoin has been the centre of many scandals and has attracted a lot of negative press attention. For this reason, many people now associate Bitcoin with criminal activity or as something that is not trustworthy which could limit its potential to be used as a mainstream currency. However, the technology behind Bitcoin has the potential to dramatically change the media industry.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is commonly mistaken for being the same as Bitcoin, it’s actually the technology which makes transactions using Bitcoin possible. Think of blockchain technology as a huge Excel spreadsheet which is decentralised, meaning that anyone within the secure network can view the data stored in the blockchain. The technology is highly secure as any alterations which are made are visible to everyone in network, which means that individuals can’t manipulate the information stored or destroy the database. The blockchain Bitcoin operates on was designed specifically for Bitcoin, which is why other uses for the technology were only implemented later. It’s uncertain how successful Bitcoin will be in the future but there are a number of alternative uses for blockchain technology; blockchain can be used for any form of record keeping, such as medical records, and makes transactions much faster and more efficient.
How Can It Influence The Media?
Some people believe that every industry and business should be adopting Bitcoin and the technology behind it. One of the alternative uses for blockchain is within the media industry. The media industry has been heavily influenced by recent developments in technology. The rising popularity of online and mobile news websites has rendered printed media almost obsolete. This is because people have a wealth of information at their fingertips for free, so they don’t need to purchase magazines or newspapers. This trend has made it very difficult for new print magazines and newspapers to establish themselves. Even more recently, video and social media sharing have had an impact on the way we receive news and information online. We are seeing an increasing number of social media sites transforming into video sharing platforms, instead of places to share written content.
So, what role is blockchain technology playing in the media?
Blockchain is making it easier for freelance writers to get paid. New content distribution platforms which are operating using blockchain have appeared across the internet. Some of these blockchain outlets are offering content writers the chance to be paid for their work as soon as it is uploaded. This is possible because blockchain technology makes transactions much faster because it removes the need for a ‘middleman’, such as a bank, and allows the transactions to be made directly.
Advanced TV Advertisements
One of the major new technologies being developed by the advanced advertising group Comcast will allow brands to use blockchain technology to make advertisement purchases. The group has currently got huge names such as Disney, Atlice USA and Channel Four on board to share data. The idea behind this is that marketers could use the data provided by content producers and TV channels, such as audience demographics, to help them target their adverts better.
At the moment, most creators of mass media and entertainment such as television shows, music and films have to go through extensive processes to have their work published and sold online. They rely upon popular platform to handle transactions for them. Online platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon are currently profiting considerably from this process. However, in the future blockchain technology could empower creators by allowing them to directly upload and receive payment for their content without the need of a streaming platform or online store operating as the middleman.
These are just some of the potential uses for blockchain technology and how it could influence the media industry to become a better place for creators- allowing them to receive payments quickly and efficiently and giving them the chance to manage their own transactions. In the future, it’s highly likely we will see more industries transforming because of blockchain technology. Collaborative work and data sharing are just some of the ways in which blockchain technology can be used in the future.