Blockchain technology is rapidly entering all sectors of business and development. The music industry has already witnessed numerous artists release their songs and albums for sale on platforms running on the blockchain. Currently, there are several platforms like Choon, where customers can also stream their music. In the same vein, it seems that the world of publishing isn’t much behind in the race to embrace the tremendously malleable technology.
Blockchain Enters The World of Publishing
The versatility of applications that blockchain provides has made it a desirable technology used for the management and optimization of publishing processes.
Publishers handle an array of activities related to the pre and post-production of text into a finished piece of work. Simply put, publishers are the people who organize and prepare everything after the first draft of a text is completed by the author. In essence, their job is crucial for the successful release of written information in the form of articles, studies, reports, thesis, and books in the market.
Blockchain can be used in several aspects of publishing in order to boost productivity, limit costs and improve security. Efficiency is a key factor in the publishing world, and blockchain may be the next big revolution in the industry. The way the decentralized ledger works allow for numerous people to input their work, while all the information stays protected because of the numerous validations and storage performed across the network.
Benefits Of Blockchain in Publishing
One area where the blockchain technology can be very beneficial is contract preparation.
Blockchain operates with smart contracts, which are faster to put together, significantly more secure and easily accessible for all sides of the agreement. The ledger ensures that such contracts are authentic, as they are validated by nodes throughout the whole network.
Once two parties reach an agreement, it is recorded in the ledger and becomes binding. Many publishers and authors find this additional level of security tempting, as it can also be the key to reducing piracy. Piracy is one of the significant problems publishers and authors face, as it deprives them of earnings which should legally be theirs.
Smart contracts also make clearing transactions easier, as they provide the opportunity for automated payments when certain conditions and project milestones are reached. For example, when an editor submits the corrected text, the payment for this work can be automatically released, even if the publisher is not available to check the content at the exact same moment. This versatility of distributed ledger technology (DLT) based payment systems is a big selling point for publishers looking to maximize productivity.
Other than smart contracts, blockchain brings innovation with the way an author reaches the public and collects earnings. As blockchain-based platforms are global, an author can reach a significantly larger amount of potential buyers, than relying simply on the distribution of their works in physical copies. Giving buyers the opportunity to purchase work with cryptocurrencies is an additional incentive. Cryptocurrencies also offer a potential increase ( and decrease) in earnings for the author as values fluctuate.
Companies and Tokens Supporting Blockchain Publishing
Companies offering blockchain-based publishing are emerging rapidly, as the trend gains momentum all over the industry.
Scenarex is one of the leading names when it comes to blockchain technology and publishing. The Montreal-based company was founded in 2015 and provides one of the most diverse ledger-based services. Their latest project Bookchain runs on the Ethereum network. It offers authors and publishers the ability to directly upload digital files to their accounts, create smart contracts by entering parameters and prices, and sell their finished books all in one place. The platform offers comprehensive options for professionals of all parts of the publishing industry. It can be used by authors, including self-published ones, publishing houses, and readers.
Another rising name in the blockchain publishing sphere is Po.et, which aims to record metadata using ledgers and also provide a functional environment for developers to create publishing-focused apps. Judging by the company’s latest media update form February 28, 2019, they are especially dedicated to answering customer needs and requirements in their updates.
A good example of the way blockchain and marketing can be combined is the Basic Attention Token (BAT).
What BAT brings to the table is a secure, decentralized token that can be used by publishers and people in digital advertising to “obtain a variety of advertising and attention-based services.”
During an “Ask me anything” session BAT’s founder Brendan Eich, who is also the co-founder of Mozilla, said the token’s mission is to ensure that “no fraud actor or sloppy client gets in and befouls the pool.” In November 2018, Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide decided to list BAT, which significantly improved the token’s performance.
Last, but not least, one of the biggest platforms concentrated on supporting blockchain-enabled publishing services is Publica.
Their mission is to make it easier for authors to get the initial funding they need to publish their work by hosting Book ICOs on the Publica platform. Book ICOs work much like traditional coin offerings, however, instead of tokens, investors receive preferential access to the author’s future publication. The Publica platform has become one of the pioneer services in the sector and it has been developing continuously ever since its’ establishment in 2017.
What Does The Future Hold?
Blockchain technology is a relatively novel one, however, it has the potential to transform the way many industries handle digital transactions and services. According to a markets prediction piece, published on Forbes, blockchain will bring significant improvement to time and cost management for a wide array of businesses in the future.
Communication is essential for any successful business arrangement, and the security and swiftness blockchain can offer have not been fully explored yet. This is why many companies in the publishing industry are looking to introduce this innovative technology to their services. There is no doubt that blockchain will transform the world of words fundamentally in the future.