Platform Takes on YouTube and Spotify to Protect Copyright

A blockchain platform is enabling creators to share their music, videos and webtoons with the masses, all while ensuring that their copyright is protected.

ContentsDeal says it aims to simplify the “complicated distribution structure” that is seen across the media world today, a structure which often means it can be difficult for talented artists to make a profit from their works.

The company claims that an extensive range of Korean and global artists have gotten involved with its platform so far, delivering exclusive, limited-edition content to fans.

Changing tune

According to ContentsDeal, the evolution of platforms such as YouTube and Spotify — which enable consumers to listen to music on demand — have been great news for the public but frustrating for content creators. Especially when it comes to young, up-and-coming artists, many of whom have a small following on these platforms, the blockchain project argues that the video-sharing site ends up being a “big loss in compensation for their work.”

Current revenue streams on these platforms often include “annoying” ads which are placed in the middle of videos, or paid memberships which enable users to avoid this disruption altogether. However, ContentsDeal alleges that very little of this revenue ends up making its way back to the content creator.

Indeed, Spotify has been a long-running sore point for artists — and according to CNBC, payments through this platform can vary anywhere between $0.006 and $0.0084 a stream, meaning one million plays of a song would may only generate a maximum of $8,400. Even all of this doesn’t necessarily go to a performer once songwriters, producers and record labels are brought into the equation.

The solution

ContentsDeal says it aims to remedy this through a protocol known as Proof of Copyright — or PoC for short. It has already begun to make inroads within the music industry after striking a partnership with the Korean Management Foundation, which works on behalf of big names including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. It has also forged connections with the K-pop music industry in the hope that top talent on its platform will encourage others to sign up as well.

“People who participate in the ContentsDeal ecosystem will experience safer and enhanced transparency in their content trade… and get more top-tier music,” a Medium blog post added.

The startup also plans to help the webtoons industry, and claims that platforms have been failing to develop at the same pace as content creators. The blog post adds: “This instability of the webtoon industry structure is counterproductive in regards of growth and fresh content, thus the need for a fair copyright policy is crucial for its survival.”

ContentsDeal officially launched on Jan 29, and a series of events have been taking place to help the platform gain momentum. Users are being invited to take place in a test transaction contest so they can help the company ensure that its system for purchasing and reselling content is fully functional. The startup is also inviting the community to share feedback about their experiences while using the platform — especially if they’ve got any ideas for improvements or have encountered any bugs. Looking ahead, ContentsDeal is hoping to forge new partnerships to enhance the breadth of music, webtoons and videos on its platform.


South Korean Messaging KakaoTalk app Partner for Blockchain Payment

Kakao Corp, a major Internet conglomerate and service provider for popular South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk, and an Ireland-based ticketing startup have signed a partnership agreement to develop a blockchain-based payment system. Irish business news outlet Fora reported on the partnership on March 23.

The new partnership agreement will focus on applying the former’s blockchain platform technology Klaytn, the brainchild of Kakao subsidiary Ground X, to both a blockchain-based payment system and on analytics applications with Irish startup Festy. In mid-March, Ground X’s Klatyn announced that they had plans to repeat their initial coin offering after already raising $90 million from investors.

Klaytn’s Medium page had first announced the Festy partnership on March 22, and through the two firms’ cooperation, Fora notes plans to launch Festy on the Klaytn platform in July 2019. Commenting on the newly signed agreement, Graham de Barra, the founder of Festy, says that it will be a fully auditable platform based on blockchain technology. He also added that the system will be privacy-oriented:

“We can allow a more transparent system for these transactions, where the consumer can get remunerated for contributing towards the big data that’s being built around them. The more they enrich it, the more they can earn — or they can totally opt out.”

Fora notes that the agreement includes an investment in Festy, with the amount undisclosed.

Last fall, Klaytn’s testnet had been released ahead of its formal launch, which was set for the first quarter of 2019. Soon after, Kakao Corp announced a new partnership agreement with stablecoin project Terra, which will use Klaytn as a blockchain-based payment system.

As Cointelegraph reported on Feb. 14, Kakao Corp had published its its Q4 2018 report revealing that the company’s operating expenses related to new businesses, such as blockchain and AI, reached around $57.5 million.


Samsung SDS President and CEO: Blockchain Can Improve Productivity in Manufacturing

The president and CEO of Samsung SDS — an IT and consultancy subsidiary of the South Korean tech conglomerate Samsung Group — has said that blockchain can improve productivity in the manufacturing industry. President and CEO Hong Yuan Zhen’s comments were reported by local media agency Sina Technology News on March 26.

Sina reports that the executive made his statement during the “Boao Forum for Asia 2019 Annual Meeting,” which is being held in Boao in China’s Hainan province between March 26 and 29.

During a forum devoted to the development of data resources, Hong Yuan Zhen is reported to have underscored the productivity gains that real-time data analysis and prediction can bring in conjunction with blockchain technology:

“In the whole process of supply chain management, communication is very important, data needs to be collected, and through blockchain and AI, we can improve processes and enhance trust so that we can share information better, so a healthy process is established.”

The executive is reported to have stated his belief that digitalization is more than a merely technical process, and that blockchain provides not only technical support, but represents a new concept and provides the ground for new solutions.

As reported, a Samsung official revealed last month that the company’s new Galaxy S10 series smartphones include wallet functions for Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and two other tokens, one of which will reportedly power the phone’s first partner decentralized application.

Rumors and secrecy had formerly clouded news of prospective blockchain and crypto integration for Samsung’s new phones. In December 2018, Samsung had dismissed the notion of an integrated crypto wallet as “rumor and speculation.” In January, leaked photographs of the new smartphone suggested that the Galaxy S10 would support an Ethereum wallet.

The Samsung SDS subsidiary has previously forayed into the blockchain space via a partnership with major Dutch bank ABN AMRO on a pilot to use the technology for shipping. In summer 2018, Samsung SDS launched its own blockchain platform for finance-related businesses, as well as a further blockchain implementation that targets the logistics industry.