Use Case 1: Media Content

How can we create an “Economy of Letters”?

User generated content and news, sharing, copyrighting and monetizing through social media and blockchains

Tl;DR: Explore how blockchain technology could help to manage pictures and other news media content.

Introduction: This  use case starts with a question:  How can we use blockchains to create an “economy of letters“?  An economy of news content where creative writers, photographers, graphic editors who create excellent research and writing on whatever topic are paid through micropayments, not from one publisher, but from social media re-use, e.g. based on quotes and positive feedback. That is a quest worth pursuing, don’t you agree? A model where an outstanding news writer could either work alone or team up with larger brands, either commercial or public to reach large audiences.

This Bloomen Media Content case aims to tackle the (many) questions and (equally many) challenges of this idea.

Content creators need a better model

The creation of relevant, timely, informative and insightful content has both economical and cultural implications. We do need informative content, but the business model for newspapers, magazines and other traditional forms of content is crumbling. With blockchain technology an entirely new approach to content distribution is possible. At the core the distribution of rights and income generated through news media content could be approached differently. Today, the business of content is usually benefitting very few well known stars – in movies, in music and similarly in book publishing and other forms of writing.

Overcoming barriers to adoption

The key idea of this use case is to create a demonstrator showing the potential and addressing some of the main barriers to adoption. As of today, content creators and users are publishing and sharing content on social network/media but without effective control over who is going to reuse this content. Watermarking techniques are sometimes deployed but with less usability and transparency, or even effectiveness on how the content is further tracked.

Monetizing relevant content

Moreover, social networks / media users cannot monetize directly on their content. The Bloomen business- focused use case will study and deliver methods on allowing media content together with IPR protection, distribution and monetization through blockchains. It will help to identify the provenance of content, while maintaining a seamless, transparent, privacy & identity preserving technique. For example, a content creator should be able to upload content by registering it in the blockchain, and set specific rules for access by third parties.

This will allow direct monetization for the content creator and will can be a starting point to increase security and – over time – trust between the participants.

Decentralized database of copyrights

In the Bloomen business use case the core idea is to demonstrate how digital news content could be distributed, tracked and paid for in a decentralized manner. Our vision is to create a platform where all content creators (authors, photographers, Radio and video reporters, data visualizers, etc.) can sent pieces of content into the internet, to be rewarded by payments based on a number of factors – such as popularity, number of references to the content, etc. Payments can come from various sources, such as the publisher, or advertisers, or by teaming up with bigger, branded platforms such as the BBC, The Guardian, Le Monde or any other news outlet.

Focus on media content

This use case will focus on the news media content, such as articles, photos, audio, video, data visualizations a d o i atio s e.g. ulti edia sto telli g ). Finally the use case will cover functional, news-driven, mini-applications designed to help users get individualized answers for important real live decisions – in the sense of high relevancy of the content for individuals (location, renting or buying property, education, insurances). The goal of the use case is to demonstrate the potential,  multiple points of innovation when combining news content with blockchains.

  • Networked content database: The use of blockchain technologies for a database of content, down to single elements (photo in an article, data visualization in an article). The demonstration of securing the rights of usage and new aspects such as level of participation.
  • Novel payment concepts for news media content: The goal is to demonstrate models where single creators (or groups) can publish content using blockchain technologies to secure royalty payments, either from budgets of single users or by teaming up with large aggregator brands who then publish the content under their brand, resulting in higher reach to potentially millions of users.
  • New content contracts for proof of ownership: The idea here is to use blockchains to ensure that all participants who created a piece of content (including code) have a contract of ownership before the content enters the value chain. Specifically successful content would then pay gradually more than content which has not many viewers. (e.g. a training on how to learn to code, a video with health work-out instructions, an article listing the best ways to get fit through running and so on)
  • New ways to value content based on quality: How can we ensure that a connection of blockchains with news content does not result in purely attention grabbing, shallow content? This could be achieved by layers of quality indicators, similar to indicators used by Google to identify certain forms of content and find the presumably best content for a certain question/topic. Elements that could go into scoring could be: Direct feedback (from users who can only give feedback once), shares, likes and a combination of other measures to ensure that highly relevant, in-depth content wins over content designed just to get attention but with no real intention to distribute information.

This Bloomen use case will be managed by partner Deutsche Welle