EY Launches Blockchain Content Rights Platform in Partnership with Microsoft

EY Launches Blockchain Content Rights Platform in Partnership with Microsoft

Global leader in advisory services, EY, in partnership with Microsoft announced a blockchain based solution which facilitates content rights and royalties management.

To start things off, Microsoft and affiliated game publishers will be using the solution in the gaming industry, although this sort of a solution can be used in multiple industries where intellectual property(IP) or assets are licensed. Gaming happens to be a huge and impulsive market which serves a good case for testing the waters.

The solution aims to have a real-time visibility of transactions that will hopefully give market participants an insight into the market and better understand the dynamics that underlie the industry. Apart from this, one of the major issues they solve by utilizing blockchain technology is overcoming operational inefficiencies and eliminate manual reconciliation. This speeds up the overall process and polishes the workflow. This new blockchain based solution helps Microsoft’s affiliates gain insights into the transactions much quicker, as compared to 45 days or more on legacy systems.

Loic Amans, Senior Vice President of Finance & Strategic Planning at Ubisoft said:

”We are always looking at how to leverage emerging technologies in all facets of our business. The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting.”

On the technical front, the project is built on the Quorum blockchain platform coupled with Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure.

Currently, the team is exploring opening up the solution to partners in terms of infrastructure that could potentially underpin royalties and intellectual property(IP) related transactions in industries such as software and digital media.

Deep Ghumman, EY Global and EY Americas Blockchain Finance Lead, Advisory Services, said:

“Enterprises are looking to use blockchain technology to solve their business challenges. They are especially looking for scalable blockchain products that can easily plug into their existing processes and systems(…)”

Utilizing blockchain technology, their system is expected to speeded up processing times and superior tracking. As compared to legacy systems, this saves a lot of time and provides data for forecasting.

The announcement follows EY’s previous blockchain initiatives: Blockchain for automotive services , suite of blockchain audit technologies and a marine insurance platform that is being used commercially.

According to a report by the US department of commerce, core copyright industries grew by 4.8% year over year during 2012-2015, which stood at a massive $1.2 trillion as of 2015. This reflects the explosive growth in the sector and the potential for blockchain technology-based systems to disrupt the space.

This is similar to KodakCoin which is basically a digital ledger of ownership for photographers. Kodak, which is working with WENN Digital to build this system in a niche where photographers have been struggling to maintain and exercise ownership over their content. Distributed digital ledgers effectively facilitate a rigid data store which cannot be manipulated, hence serving as an effective store of data for ownership of photographs and digital assets. Kodak, which has gone through a bankruptcy filing in 2012, followed by a recovery after pulling out of unsuccessful businesses, has received its fair share of criticism for the blockchain pivot. Although only time will tell whether the team can successfully execute on their plans, given their KodakOne image management platform.

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