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article imageOp-Ed: Blockchain to replace Netflix and Old Media? It’s on its way

By Paul Wallis     Jan 29, 2018 in Technology
Sydney - Consider thousands or millions/billions of computers acting as broadcasters. Exit Big Entertainment, Netflix, and maybe even exterminate the appalling slop claiming to be entertainment? It can happen.
The blockchain approach effectively acts as an “ad hoc network” which is a multi-piece communications network. It’s ideal for any broadcaster. Blockchain isn’t just about money; it’s a way of creating a large mass of computing power for just about any function and delivering services anywhere.
The first-person device isn't new; audiences have gazed out from behind the eyes of the hero or...
The first-person device isn't new; audiences have gazed out from behind the eyes of the hero or antagonist in all manner of action and horror movies including "Jaws"
Mario Tama, Getty Images/AFP/File
The theory of blockchain is to keep systems honest and transparent, which seems very much at odds with the entertainment industry. The theory of making operations cheaper, however, has always been a high priority in entertainment since digital transformation, and that’s likely to be the selling point which changes the world.
According to Venture Beat, blockchain can be used as a distributor, and prevent ISP blocking, ironically enough. That is a very different ball game. There are already many different types of blockchain which can do this. It’s existing tech, doesn’t need developing, and wouldn’t cost a lot to set up.
Ryan Anson, AFP
No, this does not mean the end of Hollywood and its charming folk, infuriating TV/streaming networks, or other crass, delightful media vermin. Production won’t be affected much, if at all. Production is already highly digitized, so if anything, it’s a plus for them. In fairness to Netflix and all it's achieved, it can also add some real value for them, unless they go Neanderthal and don't ride the tide.
What it does mean, however, is the at least theoretical democratization of media, in a very unambiguous way. Modern media works as much by excluding media products as it does by broadcasting it and distributing it. What is seen is a small amount of what’s actually produced. The rise of endless YouTube channels, for example, could be duplicated using blockchain, and YouTube could capitalize on the new, easy, broadcasting approach.
This is called “decentralized” media. That’s a nice way of saying the current collection of crap factories can be avoided with many more options. This includes a lot of financial and advertising options, incentives for creatives, and faster turnaround for creative product, not the release of last year’s work, as it does now.
Don’t expect a sudden cultural transformation
The problem with the current crap culture and arguably the most revolting, stupid garbage ever inflicted on the human race as “entertainment” is that media is as media does. This constipated, conformist crud we see is how they’re trained to make media, so the inevitable guns and closeups and minimal intellectual stimulation can be expected to continue for quite a while yet, sadly.
The good news is that a more open mass media will be an easier place for creative people and talent to work. The big production environment is very different from the artistic environment, where classics start on bits of scrap paper, a few strums of a guitar, or digital doodles.
The blockchain environment, if it becomes what it seems to be able to become, would be friendlier, less suit-heavy, less financially extravagant, and more accessible for artists, as well as consumers. About bloody time, too.
The culture WILL transform as it evolves and becomes more efficient. I can easily see a lot of niche markets, specialized productions, and roughly the same transformation as the old I Wanna Rant blogs turning in to expert media.
Losing the old media mistakes? Maybe, with some legacy stuff, too.
One thing this type of distribution can do is correct a lot of the mistakes of the past, like the ridiculous “regional coding”, exotic hardware to run things, and absurdities like widescreen (for which nobody asked or needed) and other obscene added techno-fossils.
Digital is digital. The millennials and those after them don’t know anything else. Raw digital media can be put on any medium, and easily made to work on anything. If you consider the new media, like physical 3D projections, and the interfacing options for existing media, that’s good news indeed. Reasons for making things difficult to use are impossible to justify these days.
Nobody wants to pay for the digital equivalent of an old Beta video machine which only runs specialized content. Beta was destroyed by VHS, which was in turn destroyed by DVDs, which have been largely replaced by streaming. This is another step in the ongoing process of simply being able to watch decent media.
The good news is that a more efficient method of broadcasting media is also likely to revive really adventurous media, creativity, and remove the corporate obstacle course. That can only be good. Imagine a global media where you can access great new stuff AND the fabulous old classics, the legacy of a type of creativity going to waste at the moment.
Goodbye drab media, and let the good times block their chains off.
Just one more thing, but very important - DON'T SCREW UP THE SECURITY OF THE BLOCKCHAIN. You'll be very sorry if you do.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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