EY Partners with Microsoft to Launch Blockchain Content Rights Platform

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
EY Partners with Microsoft to Launch Blockchain Content Rights Platform
Photo: EY / Facebook

This blockchain-based platform will provide an accurate and real-time calculation of each participant’s royalty position along with enhanced visibility to the transactions versus the legacy process.

Financial conglomerate Ernst and Young and tech giant Microsoft have come together to streamline the time-consuming and costly processes of content rights and royalties’ management using the blockchain technology. The two giants have formulated a solution that can cater to different industries where the intellectual property will be licensed and the creators will be paid the royalties based on the royalty agreements.

This new blockchain solution will result in developing a value chain comprising of several players including authors, production houses, songwriters, developers and others, wherein the intellectual property will generate millions of transactions and billion dollar revenues to be paid as a part of the royalty. As a result, market participants will get real-time visibility of the transactions receiving a better understanding of the dynamics of the market.

The blockchain solution also features an embedded smart contract’s architecture that will allow for accurate and real-time calculation of the royalty position of each participant. Thus, participants get enhanced visibility in recording and reconciling of the royalty transactions.

The entire blockchain network is developed using the Quorum blockchain protocol along with Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies. Microsoft’s gaming partners like Ubisoft, who will be participating in this network, will get an enhanced visibility to the transactions versus the legacy process which currently takes 45 days or even more.

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.”

This new blockchain solution from Microsoft and EY will help to establish trust and transparency while at the same time will reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies in the royalty management process. The deployment of this rights and royalties blockchain network will take place in a phased-out manner.

Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain, says:

“The scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains. A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants. By deploying this on Microsoft Azure, we believe this will be highly scalable across thousands of royalties and content partners.”

Grace Lao, General Manager of Finance Operations, Microsoft, says:

“Deploying this blockchain solution will allow us to efficiently manage high volumes and automate processes, while at the same time improve partner satisfaction and enhance compliance. Smart contract technology is far more flexible and scalable than any prior solution for managing business agreements. We look forward to deploying this solution across our gaming ecosystem and exploring additional blockchain applications for other finance processes at Microsoft.”

Meanwhile, another similar blockchain project called KodakCoin has been implemented by Kodak and WENN Digital. This project aims at preserving the royalties of original photographs and similar digital assets.

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