By: Nicole Garrison
Blockchain technology seems to be taking the world by storm,
the content creation industry included. The effects it will be having on the
day-to-day life of every individual is often compared to the one the internet
had back at its beginning.
The blockchain aims to disrupt almost every industry,
claiming to be the solution to many unresolved issues that now, tens of years
later, the internet still has. Those issues include infrastructure, security,
and transparency. Content creators are battling those issues on a daily basis,
given the fact that most of their business is handled online. But how exactly
is blockchain technology going to benefit the content creation industry and
what will be the benefits of those who choose to embrace change?
One of the issues that content creators are faced with the
most is the security of their collaboration with clients. The majority of
content creators are freelancing their work, meaning that, oftentimes,
communication only happens online and they can’t always be sure who is hiding
behind that chain on emails.
With blockchain technology comes the implementation of smart
contacts aim to be a replacement of traditional contracts and provide a
more secure way to ensure both parts of the contract are fulfilling their
obligations. A smart contract eliminates the need for a third party to mediate
the arrangement and works by securing the deal for both parts.
For example, let’s say a content creator has to deliver a
project on a certain date, for which the client will pay them a certain amount
of money. If they secured the deal with a smart contract, it means that the
content creator has the obligation to deliver the project on said date, in
order to receive compensation, and the client can not receive the project until
payment is made.
Piracy is amongst the biggest problems for all creative
minds. No matter if you are a music producer, a content creator or a
photographer. Through blockchain technology, content creators can not only
ensure that their work does not get on the wrong hands, but they can also time
and person stamp it, which is far more effective than other methods, such as
watermarks. With these stamps, the work can be traced back to the owner, no
matter how many hands it has passed through.
“People are not always aware of the amount of work content
creators go have to do, from developing new and original ideas, to bringing
them to life. Piracy and intellectual property stealing have been an ongoing
concern, with people attributing the works of others to themselves and taking
credit for it. Blockchain technology could be the solution we were all waiting
for.” says Georgia Heid, content creator for Best Essay Education.
Remuneration is another hot topic for content creators,
especially those who are doing collaborations with big brands. Take YouTube and
Instagram content creators, for example. They are contacted by companies to
promote their products in return for money, publicity or other goods.
Through the implementation of blockchain technology, artists
could be compensated in various different ways, not only by the companies that
they collaborate with but by fans also. Take YouTubers for example. Their
content is monetized through an intermediary, in this case, the YouTube platform,
who monetizes content creators based on their views, likes, and subscribers.
Through a blockchain-based platform, artists can communicate directly with
their fanbase and receive compensation directly.
Steemit, a blockchain-based
social media platform, for example, is aiming to return much of the profit to
the content creators who contribute to the platform, in the form of virtual
currency. Gifto, another decentralized
platform, allows fans to reward their favorite artists with gifts that can be
turned into tokens. As opposed to Steemit, which only allows remuneration to
those contributing to their platform, Gifto allows people to do this for
artists that share their content on any social media platform.
Aiming to, once again, benefit creators, the integration of
blockchain technology in the content creation industry will allow all
stakeholders in a project to receive equal profit. This can, again, be done
through the implementation of smart contracts.
Take writing tools and services, for example, such as WowGrade, Grammarly, Studicus, and
Pro Writing Aid. People can use those
services to check, correct and edit their written content based on a
pay-per-service or monthly subscription. How would it be for those platform
owners to earn revenue based on their contribution to the final product? This
way, the hard work of those designing the tool or doing the editing will be
Transparency between each part of the contract is paramount.
Blockchain technology provides each and every individual taking part in a
contract with a cryptographic ID, making it easier to trace who the creator of
the material is, who the owner is and who the contractor is.
Transparency also comes in the form of genuine reviews that
can not be altered in any form. If the artist, for example, does not hold on to
his part of the deal, it will forever be listed under their profile. Think of
Airbnb and how, when you are looking under someone’s profile, the app shows if
the host has canceled last-minute in the past. Sure, one such cancelation does
not show any issue, but if this is an ongoing situation, it can be quite
damaging to their reputation. The same goes with blockchain-based
collaboration. Participants who repeatedly have trouble fulfilling their
obligations will be flagged and their credibility will start going down.
Transparency is also brought by the existence if ICO Whitepapers.
These Whitepapers serve as a means to inform a potential investor about a
project they wish to invest in. The reason why it is so credible is that 90% of
the paper is fact-based and includes scientific content, rather than the
writer’s opinion, which means it can not be used as a marketing strategy.
Micromonetizing is something that started to gain quite some
popularity, as people get to pay for exactly what they need. Take iTunes for
example. Instead of purchasing an entire album, consumers can purchase an
individual song if they want to. Why couldn’t that be implemented
in content creation as well?
The blockchain could record the creative work of an artist
and divide it into blocks or snippets that can then be purchased as units. This
way, individuals can purchase only the necessary part of creative material and
leave the rest available for others. Take photographers, for example. Why
purchase an entire collection of stock photography, when you can only purchase
those you need? These benefits both the artist, who receives remuneration for
each individual piece of their work, but also clients, who pay only for want
they need to use.
Making everything as fair and transparent as possible seems
to be the number one focus of blockchain technology development and
implementation. Because the blockchain acts as a completely impartial third
party, it does not benefit one side or the other, but rather provides the
perfect environment for collaborations to be as clear as possible. Artists sell
their work and clients pay for it. No more looking for fine prints and not more
unfair contract terms. Once the smart contract is up in the blockchain, it can
not be altered at all.
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