Experts, including facilitators at the third edition of the SBI Media Workshop, believe the adoption of blockchain technologies in media sector is a top forecast for 2023, especially in Africa.
According to a report by Chainanalysis, Africa is home to some of the most well developed markets for the penetration and integration of financial transactions for many users, but beyond the payment for goods and services, blockchain technology is being considered for the opportunities it holds for the media and creative industries.
At the workshop, which held in Ikeja, Lagos, speakers explored possibility of helping young Nigerians capitalise on cutting-edge media opportunities on the blockchain.
With critical concerns such as, how to determine and transfer ownership of media assets, the ease of payments, fraud protection and much more, blockchain offers the capacity to diminish existing challenges, if not, make them disappear completely.
Participants, comprising mostly students, young media professionals and creatives, were taught by a panel of facilitators who shared little-known industry knowledge on how solutions powered by blockchain technology – including Web3 applications – could empower creators to monetise their art better or apply smart contracts to profit from the sales of such pieces of art in perpetuity.
Some of the facilitators include, Opeyemi Awoyemi, the co-founder of Fast Forward Venture Studio, the job-listing site Jobberman, and native Nigerian webhost Whogohost. Also on the dais were Nsikan Benjamin, Blockchain Community and Events lead at Binance Africa; Emmanuel Ebanehita, marketing director at Binance West Africa; Chris Ani, CEO, Digital Abundance Holdings Limited; and Ugochukwu Obi, partner at Perchstone & Graeys.
According to the Founder of SBI Media Workshop, Rotimi Bankole, “opportunities that blockchain provides for the media and creative industry are best suited for young professionals and entrepreneurs in the sector. It is fast becoming the single, most critical enabler and edge they have over legacy businesses and players in the industry. As the facilitators emphasised in their insightful sessions throughout the workshop, the blockchain is a foundation upon which a truly innovative and encompassing industry can be built and we wanted this edition of our workshop to not only equip young Nigerians for the immediate future in the industry, but also prepare them for the coming decades.”
As explained by facilitators during the workshop, the ways that young Nigerians could benefit from blockchain technology in media include: Disintermediation, Immutable Ad Metrics, Peer-to-peer transactions, Royalty payments, Fraud and Privacy Protection and Micropayments.
Speaking on disintermediation, Opeyemi Awoyemi said cutting out the middleman is one of the benefits that the technology holds for media industry and professionals.
This means that the middlemen are removed from the supply chain, therefore, allowing sellers and buyers to make direct connections, save money, and make more profit for products or services delivered.
Blockchain features such as tokenisation, smart contracts, and verified identities can bring accountability to this decentralisation.
And then there is the perpetual concern of ad fraud for the media and creative industries. It is estimated that by 2023, ad fraud will cost consumers and brands $100 billion.
Practices such as bot traffic, hidden and deceptive ads, and bad players impact negatively on user experience as well as reduce trust of ad buyers which could reduce budget spends significantly.
However, blockchain technology has features that guarantee the elimination of click fraud, while efficiently tracking spend and rewarding verified ad viewers.
For peer-to-peer transactions, Benjamin expressed the belief that blockchain technology would allow creators and consumers to collaborate on monitoring the integrity of transactions. “It will allow the consumer to also act as a merchant to curtail the loose, free sharing of stolen or unauthorised use of art, content or media assets,” he said.
He added that the applications of micropayments via the blockchain are a way to empower consumers and directly compensate creators without the fees and hassles that come with the options available through the traditional channels. Blockchain technology has advanced to the point where payment wallets are now being embedded in smart devices and TV broadcasting systems now make it possible for users to pay for only the content they consume.
Currently, royalty splits and payments pose huge problems for all stakeholders, and are a leading cause of conflicts in the media and creative industry.
However, Obi stated, “by implementing smart contracts with distributed ledgers, creators, publishers and other stakeholders can replace today’s inefficient processes for handling payments, billings, statements and reports with one that is fast, reliable and transparent.”
Ultimately, one significant value that blockchain technology provides is a verifiable ownership of an asset. A clear chain-of-custody and immutable record keeping will eliminate theft, waste, fraud and corruption. And the anonymity that blockchain technology provides guarantees privacy protection at such a high level.
“Blockchain technology finally presents an opportunity to realign the industry the way it’s supposed to be, putting power back in the hands of creators and consumers,” said Bankole. “With this workshop we are keen on helping the next generation of media professionals and entrepreneurs make the most of this new movement.”