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Where are all your ad dollars going? According to The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), many of those dollars are going to click fraud in programmatic ad buying. In fact, the organization predicts fraud will cost advertisers and their industry partners more than $50 billion by 2025 unless dramatic changes take place in the advertising technology ecosystem. Mediaocean and other advertising services and software companies are looking to make those changes happen with the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain.
Blockchain for advertising
Programmatic advertising might have made targeting and buying ads at a large scale possible, but it increased complexity and decreased visibility in the media supply chain. WFA recommends that demanding increased transparency is one way to counteract this and reduce ad fraud. What better way to do that than with the technology being raved about for its ability to provide transparency? A blockchain is a shared digital ledger that is updated every time a new transaction occurs, and those transaction records are cryptographically secured and linked together. Thus, you get an irreversible and auditable trail that can be used to confirm your ad dollars aren’t being wasted.
Because it is distributed, blockchain also eliminates the need for a centralized party to oversee ad buying. Instead of requiring the services of multiple middlemen, advertisers and publishers can interact directly and automatically with agreements or smart contracts that are enforced through the blockchain. And by removing the intermediaries, you’ll have an unobstructed view into how your money is allocated.
A new media ecosystem
Overhauling an entire industry will certainly take time, but we’ve already been making progress toward that goal. Announced at Cannes Lions today, Mediaocean has partnered with IBM iX to automate digital media buys using the IBM Blockchain Platform, a cloud-based service that builds on top of key open-source tools for developing, operating and governing enterprise blockchain solutions. Our solution is designed to simplify the media finance supply chain by connecting marketers, agencies and suppliers on the same network.
Using the Blockchain Platform, Mediaocean is able to model key media contract assets, including purchase order, media order, fee order, delivery verification, client invoice and supplier invoice. Since transactions involving these assets will be recorded on a common framework, participants will be able to trace their dollars through the supply chain and see how much of spend is going toward “working” media. Blockchain will also make it possible to capture media finance transactions for immediate insight, so advertisers can optimize their strategy for greater effectiveness.
Starter Plan for IBM Blockchain Platform
For development and testing, Mediaocean took advantage of the beta phase of the Starter Plan for IBM Blockchain Platform, which provides low-cost access to IBM’s enterprise-grade offering.
Through the Starter Plan, Mediaocean received access to development tools, tutorials and a development environment to help define our business network using The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Composer. The Starter Plan allowed us to quickly learn, build and try out our blockchain network in an environment designed for development and testing. When it’s time to go to production, Mediaocean will enroll in the Enterprise Plan to get the level of infrastructure and security required for a full-fledged implementation.
Rewiring the advertising industry
A complex supply chain proliferated by intermediaries makes it difficult to determine how your ad dollars are being spent. More than ever, it is critical to implement a solution that helps advertisers take control of their transaction data. Mediaocean is using IBM Blockchain Platform to build a blockchain network designed to simplify the media supply chain, provide transparency and build trust and accountability across the media ecosystem.