Distributed Ledger technology also known as blockchain is slowly immersing itself into the marketing industry. Blockchain has become popular as a tool for Comcast’s plans for an efficient premium advertising and audience data platform, in Tegna’s implementation for its over-the-top ventures, in Dish’s use of Bitcoin for subscribers’ crypto payments, and as journalistic tool to negate fake news. This Ledger technology has many opportunities within the media industry including payments and ad contracts.
Steve Goeringer, principal security architect at CableLabs, expects “a lot of blockchain-related project debuts in 2018” in cable and broadcast but they are “likely to be subtle.” He also sees blockchain being used in ways “that generate new revenue, lower costs in service delivery and billing, and improve user experiences.”
Blockchain’s activity will be subtle, Goeringer said. However it is slowly gaining popularity as more companies including IBM, Microsoft and Oracle (all of which have sizeable media practices) Walmart, nVidia and Merrill Lynch continue to test out ways to bring it into operations.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to transform media as the internet did two decades ago,” said Barbara Bellafiore, principal consultant at Bell Communications, a Connecticut firm that advises media, ecommerce and technology clients about use of the technology. “Blockchain promises the media ecosystem increased accuracy and immediacy in counting viewers and users, added efficiency to payments, better tracking of the conversion of advertising into product sales, and most importantly, fuller value of a viewer’s attention.”
Many marketing executives are hopeful about this new technology.
“Blockchain has opportunity written all over it for the advertising industry,” veteran ad executive Tim Hanlon, founder/CEO of the Vertere Group in Chicago, said.
“Blockchain can resolve a lot of issues that bedevil the media and ad industries, including fraud,” Hanlon said, but he added, “Blockchain in advertising is still an aspirational concept, by no means near a mainstream activity.”