Friday, February 23, 2018

AT&T and Bayer Bet on Blockchain to Tame Digital Advertising

Is there anything that blockchain can’t do? It seems that lately every company is trying to utilize blockchain for one application or another. The latest is that some major brands like Bayer and AT&T are looking to use blockchain to bring transparency to the digital media supply chain.

In 2016 ANA released a blockbuster media transparency report that warned advertisers that the digital ecosystem was fraught with waste and fraud. This report got companies like Bayer and AT&T scrutinizing all aspects of the digital supply chain. Now, both companies are working with Amino Payments, a blockchain tech platform. Mark Wright, VP of media services and sponsorships at AT&T says that he hopes the technology will enable him to identify “who specifically are those tech providers [in the supply chain] and how much of a fee are they assessing to my working media dollars? It’s pretty murky and thus you need technology to help you get under the hood right now.”

Blockchain can only reveal who’s in the supply chain if all the stakeholders are connected. This is a big challenge for blockchain vendors (since media networks and publishers must be added one at a time), but AppNexus comes to the rescue by integrating its entire supply network. AppNexus is currently works with Amino and sees it as a better way to manage reconciliation in digital media.

From my perspective as a digital marketer, more transparency in digital media can only be a good thing. It seems that we are still early on the journey to bringing blockchain in to help solve this problem, but the technology can benefit many of the players in the ecosystem. I would be willing to bet that this trend is here to stay and that the transparency challenge is at the (very) beginning of the end.

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