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Old And New: Here's What Blockchain Has In Store For The Creative Industry

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Old And New: Here's What Blockchain Has In Store For The Creative Industry

By 2018, nearly everyone has heard about (and witnessed) the disruptive nature of blockchain technology. Whether the new tech is being used in the financial industry for remittances and cross-border payment processing or is being put to work in manufacturing to aid in supply chain management, it’s clear to many that the movement is here to stay. Regardless of the unknown future of cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class, the underlying technology is driving many industries in a new direction. Certain sectors of the economy like finance and manufacturing are places where there’s an obvious use-case involved; however, there are other industries that may not seem to be likely candidates at first that are in for big disruptions coming from the same distributed ledger technology.

The rapidly-expanding creative industry is one scene likely to be transformed by the new technology, and that’s good for anticipated growth. The creative space is not only growing quickly, but it’s one of the select industries that was able to steadily maintain growth during the Great Recession while industries like manufacturing, high tech, and construction all suffered significant downturns. For countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, the creative industry plays a major role in the national economy. In the United Kingdom, creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the national economy. Maria Miller, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport spoke highly about the growth, noting the impressive numbers from the country’s economic reports.

These incredible statistics are confirmation that the creative industries consistently punch well above their weight, outperforming all other main industry sectors, and are a powerhouse within the UK economy.

Though creative industries continue to grow at striking rates, growing pains start becoming more significant with expansion. Concerns about protecting intellectual property, funding new creative projects, and scaling creative enterprises make their way to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Fortunately, the same powerful technology that’s had a major impact on every other industry is coming to the creative space as well.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Since much of the work in creative industries results in less tangible products in the realms of audio, video, and mixed-media products, theft is a serious concern for many creators. Unlike physical products that can be managed and inventoried, practices for monitoring usage rights and copyright are more complex and inefficient. Blockchain is changing that.

There are multiple blockchain-based projects working on solving these issues in the creative industry by developing platforms that empower creatives and content creators. Perhaps most notably, Kodak announced plans for their own blockchain platform called Kodak One. Referring to the new project as an “image rights management platform,” Kodak is building a system for photographers and designers to upload their content and manage usage rights by accepting payment and recording which outlets and businesses have rights to use the intellectual property, all maintained on the distributed ledger. Other projects with similar aspirations include Zeepin, Proofstack, and Binded.  

Funding New Creative Projects

Value of funds raised through crowdfunding worldwide from 2014-2016, Statistica

With the Medici family no longer around, one of the growing concerns for many in the creative industry is finding appropriate funding for new projects. In recent years, the crowdfunding movement has swept across a multitude of industries, especially creative ones. However, centralized platforms like KickStarter and IndieGoGo are still limited with what projects users are allowed to crowdfund and take a cut of the funding raised. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have completely changed the crowdfunding industry. Creative groups can have ultimate freedom in their projects without losing part of their funding to fees or being forced into a position where they’re beholden to a small group of investors. Blockchain projects have already started this initiative in creative industries with platforms like Zeepin and StreamSpace where filmmakers can launch their own crowdsourcing campaign to fund a new project.

Scaling Creative Enterprise

The last aspect of the creative industry that stands to experience major improvement from the blockchain revolution is the scaling of current creative enterprises. Because the first movers in the cryptocurrency space relied on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism (like Bitcoin), a robust infrastructure is already put in place to offer tremendous amount of mining power. When mining for cryptocurrencies with a PoW consensus protocol, vast networks of computing power are connected to “mine” new bitcoins.

However, there are startups in the blockchain space now looking at the computing power of mining operations and are seeing other ways it can be put to use. Leonardo Render and Render Token are two such projects looking to make scaling easier for creatives focusing on visualization and animation. Leonardo Render is at the final stages of its ICO and is already testing rendering capabilities that outperform the majority of its competition with 3x-6x the speed of others, while Render Network is focusing on utilizing idle GPUs not currently in use. Render Network estimates that with only 1 percent of the GPUs in the RNDR Network, the company will be adding the equivalent of $21 billion worth of GPU infrastructure with a total of $0 in capital expenditure: two different approaches to solving similar pain points for creatives.

With the creative industry boom and consistent growth, MarketsInsider projects the total size of the animations market to grow to $270 billion by 2020. As animation and new areas in the creative industry like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) grow, so too will the industry’s needs for rendering content.

The Takeaway

Through all the different ways blockchain technology can help the growing creative industry, one thing only looks clearer and clearer: blockchain is here to stay. While blockchain is bringing innovation to more traditional sectors of the economy like finance and manufacturing, it’s also clearly stirring things up in newer industries like entertainment and media (E&M) and the latest generation of products it’s offering. For investors, that means keep an eye on those innovative companies leveraging the new technology to facilitate the rapidly-growing industry.

Posted-In: BlockchainCryptocurrency Fintech Markets

 

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