Can Blockchain Technology Challenge YouTube and Netflix?

The rise of blockchain technology has left techies guessing whether it can challenge YouTube and Netflix which dominate the video industry. Experts have identified the music industry as one of the sectors where blockchain technology could be applied successfully, but it remains to be seen whether this will happen.

How Does YouTube work?                               

YouTube is one of the most user-friendly websites. You can upload videos of various file formats and the website will convert the video into its Adobe Flash format. Your video can then be played using YouTube’s flash player which can be installed on a PC or any smart device for free.

Once you upload a video, it is stored in one of Google’s data centres (about 14) located in different parts of the world. The centres contain numerous servers and the powerful computers that handle the many Google searches daily. These data centres can communicate with each other. When you upload a video, it will be stored on the data centre nearest to you and when someone wants to stream the video, it will be transferred to the data centre closest to that person for quick access.

How Does Netflix Work?

There are up to 700 micro-services making up the Netflix service. Each micro-service performs a particular function– one stores the videos that you have watched, another deducts a monthly fee from your card and still another converts the content that you purchase into a size that fits your screen and ensures that it cannot be copied. The servers across the world coordinate so that the one closest to you stores and delivers the content to you at the maximum speed and quality.

How Blockchain could work

You may have heard that blockchain technology could be used in the music industry, but can it challenge YouTube and Netflix? The answer to this question will depend on multiple factors. Let’s look at how it could work. Unlike YouTube and Netflix which are actually central authorities mediating between artists and the consumers, blockchain technology is decentralized and could allow direct dealing between the artist and the fans. The distributed ledger on which it is based allows peer-to-peer dealings and secure conclusion of smart contracts. Music can be published on the blockchain database so that it cannot be altered or otherwise interfered with. Each record could indicate the owner and any licensee, allowing everybody to see and verify. This could solve the problem of music piracy which has affected the earnings of artists.

Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow micropayment which is impossible with conventional payment systems due to transaction costs. You can, therefore, select a record of your choice and pay.

The blockchain ledger could allow a direct relationship between artists and consumers, obviating costs that artists incur in paying purchasing platforms and brokers. This would help upcoming musicians who may otherwise not get the backing of established recording houses.

PeerTracks, a blockchain music startup estimates that artists using their platform will get 90 percent of the value of their music compared to a mere 15 percent they are currently getting. PledgeMusic also intends to develop a global blockchain music platform where you can access music and you get charged automatically through a smart contract with most of the benefits going to the copyright owner.

As briefly demonstrated, there are many possibilities that come with blockchain technology but there are some challenges as well. It remains to be seen whether the music industry will embrace blockchain technology fully or not.

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