Date
21 October 2018
EY and Microsoft will initially apply the blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management in the media and entertainment industry. Photo: Xinhua/Bloomberg
EY and Microsoft will initially apply the blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management in the media and entertainment industry. Photo: Xinhua/Bloomberg

Microsoft, EY launch blockchain solution for royalty management

Multinational professional services firm EY and tech giant Microsoft have joined hands to launch a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management.

The solution is being deployed initially in the media and entertainment industry. It is currently being tested by top gaming publisher Ubisoft.

Microsoft and game publishers will be the first to use the solution, CNN reported.

The blockchain solution is aimed at speeding up the oftentimes costly and time-consuming processes in managing entertainment rights and royalties for authors, songwriters, production houses, game developers, etc.

But it can be applied in any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed.

The solution can also allow “increased trust and transparency between industry players”, hugely lessening “operational inefficiencies” in the process of rights and royalties management, and get rid of expensive “manual reconciliation” and “partner reviews”, according to a statement issued by EY.

The architecture of an embedded smart contract can contribute to “accurate and real-time calculation of each participant’s royalty position”, offering increased visibility for “recording and reconciling of royalty transactions”, the statement said.

When the blockchain project is fully implemented, the companies expect to be able to process millions of transactions in one day, and supersede a royalty distribution process that originally takes 45 days with one with “daily payouts”, according to Fortune.

Apart from making use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies, the solution also employs another species of blockchain technology called Quorum. All these technologies can protect the confidentiality of business agreements.

“The scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions make this a perfect application for blockchains. A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants,” Paul Brody, EY’s global innovation leader for blockchain, said in the statement. 

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 26

Translation by Jonathan Chong 

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/CG

Hong Kong Economic Journal

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