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How Could Blockchain Change Social MediaBy Swati Keswani | April 6, 2018, 7:04 a.m. GMT
Looking back at 2017, if there is one thing that made as much news as Donald Trump did, it is Blockchain. Sadly, Syria did not. Anyway, we are good at talking about Blockchain and that’s what we will stick to.
By now, we know Blockchain will do everything for us other than help us watch and share cute kitten videos. Or, will it?
Introducing Blockchain for Social Media
The entertainment consumption industry is dominated by a handful- Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, YouTube, Netflix and others control a bulk of the viewership (and viewers, maybe?). These companies have hit a massive scale and have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives to an extent where privacy concerns have become very real. More on that later.
These are some of the networks that work on ad-based business models where users, content creators, and platforms are not paid for their participation on the platform equally.
By utilizing the private ledger in Blockchain, the companies can efficiently track the user’s interaction with the content that can help quantify the worth of user’s work and hence can be rewarded for the same
Platforms such as Medium and YouTube have already granted publishing access to the consumers and knocked out gate-keeping middlemen like PR people.
This revolution has done a lot for increasing access and visibility for artists and authors but has failed to adequately adjust to the times in a few crucial areas.
For example, YouTube declared that they will only allow users to earn any money once they reach 10 thousand views. And there it’s not hidden from anyone that iTunes and Amazon take a very considerable amount out of authors’ and artists’ earnings. iTunes currently takes somewhat around 30 percent of profits and Amazon anywhere between 30–75 percent.
Blockchain could help in making micropayments a reality.
As media consumption has gone digital, a cost-effective way to charge per article or per song has been a limiting factor. A lot of platforms are adopting subscription-based charging because high transaction costs make pay-per-use charging impossible.
Blockchain allows n number of transactions to be processed at very low cost. The decentralized ledgers of Blockchain help in distributing the collective payment records across the nodes in the network and does not favor any single “auditor.”
A newspaper in Canada has already started using micropayments. They charge per article for its news content and projects worth over $100,000 in digital revenue.
Now, freelancers, authors, and artists who work with publishing platforms are made to wait a couple of months to receive their payments for their work. For popular artists, this must be the part of the business. But for unrecognized artists, it could be difficult to wait for their payments without having any idea on how much they will ultimately be paid. Long waiting periods, lack of transparency and irregular payments in present digital content sharing platforms are really discouraging for potential artists from seeing content creation as a potential source of income. This system is encouraging content writers to seek payment by-product sponsorships, PR, ad-based media and not for the quality of the content they create.
With Blockchain-based systems, content creators could be paid within seconds of a content consumer paying for a download. Consumers will also be aware of their purchase that it is directly supporting the content creators they enjoy and effectively eliminate the need for publishing middlemen who eats the content creator’s profits.
The bottom line is content creators, who work so hard and make good quality content that people love and are willing to pay for deserve a simple and transparent digital media sharing platform that fairly rewards them according to the consumer demand for their work.