blockchain 3019121 960 720Ernest & Young (EY) and Microsoft launched a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties’ management that aims to streamline costly and time-consuming processes significantly involved. Their solution has been designed to serve any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed to other parties and where the creators are paid royalties based on royalty agreements.

Within this value chain – which can include authors, song writers, production houses, developers and more -- the intellectual property generates millions of transactions aggregating to billions of dollars per month in royalties to be paid. The royalty calculations along the value chain are currently mostly manual and generally managed via offline data sources. The new rights and royalties’ management solution however, manages to increase trust and transparency between industry players, besides significantly reducing operational inefficiencies and eliminating the need for costly manual reconciliation and partner reviews in the rights and royalties’ management process. In addition, the solution aims to provide near real-time visibility of sales transactions to the participants in the blockchain network and to help the participants to react to market needs faster and more effectively because they will get timely, improved insights into the content that is being purchased. The embedded smart contract architecture enables on top accurate and real-time calculation of each participant’s royalty position, provides enhanced visibility for recording and reconciles royalty transactions. The underlying network is built using the Quorum blockchain protocol and Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies that implements confidentiality of agreements across entities.

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Microsoft’s gaming partners participating on the network will get improved visibility to the transactions versus the legacy process, which could take up to 45 days or more, and will be able to generate accounting accruals daily which they can use to improve their forecasting.

Right now, the solution is tested by some that embrace the opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties. But when fully operational, this blockchain network is expected to encompass thousands of Microsoft royalty partners and process millions of transactions per day, making it one of the world’s largest enterprise blockchain ecosystems.

By Daniela La Marca