Which case of use is there for a gigantic spreadsheet that can run on millions of computers? One that can guarantee the IP participation of a rights holder and can confirm who gets paid for what and when without relying on a central authority such as a bank, a rights broker or a broadcaster.
The same distributed database can then automatically create and track these transactions, creating a ledger that can not be tampered with, making it perfect for generating smart contracts.
For those involved in the monetization of content, the tangible advantage of this technology will be immediately clear. But the mere mention of his name, blockchain, will cause some to run through the hills, especially following the wild speculations and fluctuations in the price of the bitcoin cryptocurrency in the last year.
Because blockchain is a digital ledger technology (DLT) that has come to prominence as a privileged means of allocating and distributing cryptocurrency, it is seen by many as unstable technology, inaccessible to the vast majority of people who do not have the Coinbase app on their phones, or a digital wallet full of Bitcoin, Ether or Litecoin.
But early supporters of the blockchain emphasize that there are many good uses for technology, which are helping to remodel some companies and launch others.
"Rather than executives who care about where to put Bitcoin on their balance sheet they should start by asking" What can he do? "" What problems can he solve? ", Says Nick Moreno, Director of Strategies for Satellite and Media at Arqiva.  Put the blockchain in use
Arqiva is currently investigating blockchain from a commercial point of view, although Moreno points out that it is still very early days.There are, however, several examples of businesses using blockchain to take advantage of the efficiencies that has to offer.
Four years ago, the British group Big Couch paved the way for a model of film finance that allows crews to reduce their daily rates for profitable shares and postponed payments.
-up counts the production supported by BFI Tell it to the Bees among its first users, what was missing from the service was a clear and transparent way to pay all its stakeholders efficiently and keep track of
Working with Imperial College and Innovate UK, Big Couch founders Maria Tanjala and Irina Albita launched Filmchain, a blockchain venture that exploits the ability of the network to create automated payment mechanisms and smart contracts for both address and, in some cases, automate these problems.
It is interesting to note that Filmchain does not deal with cryptocurrency – it is strictly an "Euros coming in Euros going out" operation. "It's not a risk we're willing to take right now, we're committed to project security, so we want it to be protected from volatility and trade," says Tanjala.
Another company that uses blockchain to improve its existing business is Hearo, headquartered in the United States, which aims to become Spotify decentralized when it re-launches at the beginning of next year as "Tuned Out FM".
Founded seven years ago by brothers Brian and Andrew Antar, the social networking and streaming platform had already attracted investments from the co-creator of Macintosh Andy Hertzfelt and has amassed thousands of artists.
Its purpose was to pay the artists directly streaming in streaming through automatic micropayments, but this proved problematic. Huge volumes of micropayments are difficult to manage via credit card and PayPal payment networks, which require a large commission for processing. And, from the point of view of artists, when payments have been made to intermediaries, rights holders, streaming and distribution platforms, there is still little room for cutting.
The Antar have now switched to a digital ledger technology such as blockchain (the Hedera Hashgraph platform) that can handle tens of thousands of micropayments a second from anywhere in the world to create a streaming a la carte service which eliminates these intermediaries and pays the artists instantly (they get 90% of the payment, while Hearo takes the remaining 10%).
The brothers are currently snatching the fiat currency (money) from the platform and have created their cryptographic currency, the token Jam, which is on top of the blockchain.
These tokens allow payment and allow the network to create incentives for their users. For example, users could also earn tokens by writing reviews of songs on the website and using these tokens to listen to other streams.
The brothers point out, however, that users do not have to be cryptic enthusiasts to use the platform – they just need to download an app to buy or earn tokens. "It will be like entering a casino and playing games and using chips that you can cash in later and fix," says Andrew Antar.
"Rather than executives who care about where to put Bitcoin in their budget they should start asking" What can he do "?" What problems can he solve? "" Nick Moreno, Arqiva
It's not hard understand how this type of model can translate into a scenario of streaming video and start-ups such as Flixxo, LiveTree ADEPT and Treeti is using the blockchain to launch content projects that rethink the way content is financed and distributed.
Flixxo aims to become a decentralized YouTube by paying its users in cryptographic tokens to be part of a new style, a peer-to-peer ecosystem for video content and advertising.
Film and TV crowdfunding group LiveTree, meanwhile, has created a blockchain-based financing and distribution platform aimed at content creators. The platform also includes a Netflix style subscription service, Blossom, which allows manufacturers to upload their back catalog and provide new content. The founder of LiveTree, Ashley Turing, points out that, unlike Netflix, Amazon or other SVoD services, content creators on a VoD blockchain are also able to access real-time behavioral analysis to see who he is watching their contents and understanding what works.
Testing the water
Speaking of "ecosystems", "token" and even the phrase "peer to peer" is understandably foreign to the traditional world of transmissions. And with many of these companies – particularly peer-to-peer models – there will inevitably be a bit of a progressive introduction of cryptocurrency, so that they can finance their activities and provide incentives and tokens to grow their own community.
Arqiva, however, believes he has identified an unencrypted use case that claims to be a low-risk way for broadcasters to venture into this new brave world.
The infrastructure and media service provider has partnered with blockchain music to launch JAAK to organize a decentralized TV rights database to which users can connect via a & # 39; micro licensing app.
This live pilot exploits the ability of the blockchain to offer its users a consent mechanism, which means that each user who participates must demonstrate proof of participation in the IP to ensure that all parties are legitimate. And who can define this pole test? Because the blockchain is set by its members, it is collaboratively defined by the participants rather than through a central authority.
While this may seem very worthy, Millennial and software-based, Moreno claims that it addresses one of the key challenges facing many of its traditional transmission and telecommunications customers: maximizing the return on investment in content.
"Everyone in the video industry is increasingly spending the original rights – so once you've shown a property as a first run on your own network you want to be able to maximize property rights globally," explains Moreno.
"In the past, people may have overlooked some of these lower value offers while pursuing major syndication agreements at shows like MIPCOM – but now they need to maximize their earnings – and a decentralized rights database can help them do that. online automatically. "
" It will be like entering a casino and playing the gam and using chips that you can cash in later and settle down, "Andrew Antar, Hearo
JAAK created a pilot last year similar, KORD, in the music industry, which is already somehow experimenting with the blockchain in the hope that it will simplify the labyrinthine labyrinth of canons and rights it needs to navigate daily.
The JAAK television pilot, to be launched in the second half of 2019, will initially double its participants to ten companies and each company will have to make a small payment and offer part of its content for the database. The scheme is still looking for more participants and there is no need to prove any previous association with Arqiva to take part.
According to Moreno, who admit it or not, all broadcasters and their CTOs are looking at this year's blockchain, "Although some find it difficult to go beyond the existing business models they have been exploiting for years," he adds.
But is there any advantage of the first mover or broadcasters should sit, see where the land is a couple of years, and then trigger the start-ups with more potential? Moreno for one thinks that for the small amount that companies have to put in the pilot, the benefits are enormous.
"We are piloting a case of use – but look at the potential size of the prize: a small bet for a great reward, and are involved in the front line on how to define rights metadata: it is much better to be involved in # 39; beginning of this journey, "he says.