We already know that IBM is building a blockchain for media buying. But could the technology also help companies understand the truth and the reach of content?

At Cannes Lions, IBM and Mediaocean announced “a blockchain consortium for the digital media supply chain,” along with Unilever, Kellogg and Kimberly-Clark.

A blockchain is a public, distributed, anonymised ledger of transactions that is supremely trackable and traceable. For advertisers, blockchain could shine a spotlight on every fraction of a cent that might be taken by links in the chain.

In IBM’s scheme, IBM’s Hyperledger blockchain fabric helps to power a system connected to DSPs, SSPs and more through Mediaocean.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, IBM global marketing executive partner Babs Rangaiah says the scheme has now grown to “eight large advertisers”: “We’ve onboarded the brands, and we expect to get activity running imminently.”

Despite being part of the same group, Rangaiah says each brand on board has different goals: “All (their) systems are different. So in order for this to work, we’ve got to integrate with everyone’s financial systems and purchase order, insertion order approach. It’s not a kind of ‘do it once, and scale it in the beginning’.”

But, already, Rangaiah is dreaming of what else blockchain could solve.

So far, the solution is geared toward primarily digital and programmatic ad trading. But could the system have wider application, around the content itself?

“I think there’s a lot of potential plays here for television as well,” Rangaiah says.

“We’ve had some talks with companies about content provenance, and all this stuff with the fake news and trying to understand that. But also, one interesting thing I think is to look at videos that start on television but get small ratings but then over the course of a couple of days a week, get millions and millions of ratings.

“Or viewership. Because it’s on all different online platforms, some people copy and paste it elsewhere, and we could potentially use blockchain to try to get to the provenance of that and really take out duplication, really understand true reach.”

This interview was conducted at the EGTA New York meetings hosted by Viacom.   EGTA, the Brussels-based trade association of international television companies, is the sponsor of this Beet.TV series. For more videos, please visit this page

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