By: Jessica Crandall
“Blockchain” has become a flashy buzzword in the modern global vocabulary, especially in the financial sector. Most will recognize the word “blockchain” from discussions about the rise of cryptocurrency markets such as Bitcoin and the like. However, trends in the global market are indicating that blockchain technology will become relevant in a wide array of fields, including the massively influential video advertising field. In February of 2018, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a Whitepaper about the market effects of blockchain technology in digital advertising, and the possible future benefits it offers to the video advertising market, primarily increasing efficiency for both ad agencies and content creators. Blockchain will be an intriguing trend to follow in the video advertising industry, and its usage signals an important development in the industry toward more efficient markets, which will have global ramifications.
What Is Blockchain?
Before I go any further in examining blockchain technology’s role in video advertising, it is necessary to explain what blockchain actually is and provide a basic outline of how it functions. Blockchain is a network-based ledger of transactions between users, who have permission to enter data, which permanently becomes a part of the blockchain. The network is a decentralized database of information entered by its users, and all of the data can be made visible for each user. Below is a handy graphic that walks through the basic steps of the technology (Source).
Blockchain in Video Advertising: What We’ve Seen So Far
One of the first signifiers of this growing trend occurred in July of 2017 when DECENT, a blockchain-based content distribution platform launched PUBLIQ, a free application that is built onto DECENT’s existing blockchain network, which allows content creators to post their work onto the blockchain, and develop a “reputation score” based off the number of views and viewer feedback. DECENT claims that this will give ad agencies “frictionless access” to uncensored content, and the “reputation score” ensures that content creators will be more fairly compensated for their work.The network claims to facilitate free and safe distribution between the artist and the buyer. The lexical repository of the brand launch statement includes many buzzwords that often enter into the blockchain conversation, i.e. its efficiency, ease of use, and its safeguarded transaction ledger. Other corporations seeking to take advantage of these same conveniences have rolled out services of a similar model, most notably, Comcast’s advanced advertising group has developed a blockchain method for brands to buy ad space on broadcast or OTT television. This means that marketing agencies and programmers receive data from content publishers that will instruct them on how to target their ad buys, without revealing to them all of the content publisher’s actual data. (Source).
While this service unites global media brands including Comcast, Disney, and Altice, even larger global networks are being formed to integrate such services. 2018 will see the launch of New York Interactive Advertising Exchange, which, in partnership with Nasdaq, will become a marketplace for the buying and selling of future ad inventory by automated contracts for digital ad buys. (Source).
Forecasting the Future
While it seems certain that blockchain technology will be a growing part of the video advertising conversation in the years to come, there remain some stumbling blocks in the way of its large scale usage. There will be some time before ad agencies get on board, and the whole industry can be streamlined. Issues also exist in terms of scale and adaptability to the premium video market, however most professionals in the industry seem to be optimistic about the future efficacy of the blockchain model. Content creators and ad agencies alike should be on the watch for shifting trends in the video content market, especially the effects of the blockchain phenomena that has already taken the financial world by storm, and is showing promise in a diverse array of industries.