World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Looking to blockchain for new revenue streams

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Looking to blockchain for new revenue streams

Blockchain applications for the media industry offer intriguing possibilities. At WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Asia 2018 conference in Hong Kong, a panel hosted by Smartchain Media discussed how blockchain’s decentralized nature can provide media companies with new streams of revenue. 

Often described as a legal ledger, a blockchain creates a transparent environment for business transactions by allowing information to be stored in multiple locations simultaneously, making it harder to hack, with all data virtually verifiable. It is the technology that underpins digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

“Blockchain can create a contract around the content”, said Alex Riggs-Miller, founder of SmartChain Media. 

Riggs-Miller created Smartchain media to be like a marriage between Kickstarter and Netflix, allowing customers to fund the content they want to see while having unlimited access. “Smartchain media brings the platform to the fan base. If there is enough of a base it will allow reported content to lead to additional streams of revenues”, he said. 

Kent Babin, Head of Technology at Redhill, noted the “smart contract” possibilities created by blockchain. Citing the example of insurance policies, Babin touched upon the fact that generally insurance companies, owing to the sheer amount of paperwork, are very slow to process claims. With blockchain, “most of the policies are coded into contracts,” allowing the speed of paperwork processing to be virtually non-existent, he said.

Joon Ian Wong, Managing Director for Europe and Asia for CoinDesk, a digital news publication covering blockchain and cryptocurrencies, noted that demand for information on the blockchain and crypto-asset industries is a rapidly expanding business -- if CoinDesk’s revenue model is an indicator.

CoinDesk’s main source of revenue comes from the conferences it puts on: its recent New York conference hosted 12,000 members and its first Asia conference in Singapore this year saw over 3,000 participants in attendance. Another main audience touchpoint is its newsletters.

“Institutional investors have a 40-percent open rate,” said Wong, noting that this signifies the magnitude to which they are an “under-served market”.


Kari Lindberg is a freelance journalist and a current master of journalism student at Hong Kong University.



Kimberly Lim's picture

Kimberly Lim


2018-11-19 04:36

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