Smart Content Keynoter: Blockchain Can Empower Artists

Content creators face all sorts of challenges today, including a loss of control over their IP, a lack of a sustained income stream, little transparency in the financial reporting of what they create, and often no direct connection with their audience.

“More and more, content providers are losing the opportunity to benefit [from their content], not just with the revenue, but the ability to connect with their audience,” said Kim Jackson, founder and president of entertainment for SingularDTV, a blockchain application company geared toward media and entertainment.

“Over the years we’ve seen artists speaking out about this … artists who are making content for television and film,” she said, speaking July 24 during a keynote presentation at the Smart Content Summit East event, part of the Media & Entertainment (M&E) Day at the Microsoft Conference Center.

But the underlying blockchain technology of cryptocurrencies has the ability to change how entertainment content is created, managed and distributed, Jackson said.

Artists and other content creators are seeing how tokens can be used to manage rights and revenue automatically, using smart contracts, and discovering that blockchain removes the need for an intermediary, offers transparency and provides a peer-to-peer exchange among individuals. “It gives us an instantaneous value exchange,” Jackson said. “If Bitcoin has done anything, it’s shown that you and I can decide what has value.”

She said the writing is on the wall for distributors: “If you don’t have control and the ability to distribute your IP, there’s really less opportunity to have a business model.” Taking that concept, artists can use blockchain to control their own IP.

“It’s your blood, sweat and tears — I’d argue it’s part of your soul — that has created this content, and all these other individuals are benefiting from it,” she added. “There’s a lack of access to content utilization data, and no direct relationship with your audience. With blockchain technology, we’re aiming to solve these problems.”

Blockchain can be used to creating a digital supply chain directly from creators to consumers, and provides content creators with all the data they need to reach their audience, Jackson said.

The 2018 M&E Day also included Content Protection Summit East and Entertainment Production in the Cloud (EPIC) conference tracks, providing M&E technology teams insights into the creation, production, distribution, security and analysis of content.

The 2018 Media & Entertainment Day was presented by Microsoft, with sponsorship from IBM Watson Media, Amazon Web Services, IBM, LiveTiles, Microsoft Azure, NAGRA, NeuLion, Ooyala, EIDR, GrayMeta, MarkLogic, Qumulo, Avid, Cloudian, SoftServe and TiVo. The event was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council.