People are only interested in something when it’s cool. It’s interest that makes the work sell, after all, and sales keep publishers in business.
“User empowerment” — the perception that a customer is a business’s primary concern — is all the rage in most industries, publishing included. Attentive executives are crafting their works and operations to reflect this trend.
One way to empower readers is to grant them an actual stake in the content. Equity tokens could let outsiders invest in a publication, exchanging fiat currency for a percentage of the publication’s earnings. This would create unrivaled engagement by readers, who’d have a direct stake in the integrity and readability of a book, magazine, or article.
Another disruptive publishing concept is creators owning the rights to their work. Rights distribution and royalty payments are often murky, causing unfair revenue splits. The blockchain can trace works from creation and let owners set variable usage rights. This sort of transparency isn’t limited to creators, either.
Publishing should embrace the customer-first paradigm that’s emerged as a reaction to data overreach. Empowering users to control records of their own reading habits and browsing data could be a draw for publishers that deploy blockchain technology.
1. Rob Giometti, CTO of Sapien
“The biggest trend that will shape blockchain in publishing in the near future is the creation of new incentive models for content creators. The free flow of value enabled by blockchain will create new economies to capture significant value that goes unrecognized on many existing platforms. In addition, blockchain based content licensing solutions will help content creators receive fair compensation for their work.”
2. David Brierley, Founder of Howdoo
“More and more users of online publishing are demanding greater control of their identities and their content. Damning revelations about data harvesting and hacks have made the general population more aware about how centralised platforms use, abuse and profit from their personal data. Millennials and Generation Z are turning away from these established platforms and they are searching for alternatives that will offer a fairer and more rewarding experience . Over the next 12 months, we will see many more decentralised platforms not only being launched but being adopted by the general public and not simply blockchain enthusiasts.”
3. Arjun Mendhi, CEO at MTonomy
“Getting real: The next year will be defined by the rise of real products, based on real innovation, delivering real value to consumers, and fueled by real regulated capital. Regardless of architectural differences, companies are optimizing their systems for value created for consumers, and that is changing the game.”
4. Richard Skidmore, Head of Business Development at Dot Blockchain Media
“Visibility and accountability. Across the world we are seeing corporations and individuals asking ‘where does my data go?' If they own the data they should be able to track and manage it. A songwriter should have visibility of their works data and be able to track it from their studio to a DSP and beyond. I see this as the next battleground where traditional barriers will lower and the artist/rights holder will have more power.”
5. Barbara Bickham, Founder of Trailyn Ventures, LLC
“The number one trend that will shape blockchain in publishing is the ability to own your rights, distribute them and monetize them as you like. In all industries where there is a copyright or a right attached to content, this can then be shared and monetized by the right holder. The concept of fractional rights, everyone that contributed, can then be applied to a piece of content.”
6. Valerian Bennett, Founder and CEO of The POP Network
“It’s all about usability. dApps (decentralized applications) which provide consumer value in an easy-to-use experience will find success. The best blockchain apps will be the ones where you don’t realize you are using a blockchain at all.”
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