Microsoft and EY launch what could be one of the world’s largest enterprise blockchain ecosystem

Abhishek Baxi

EY, the global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, has partnered with Microsoft to launch a blockchain network for content rights and royalties management with an aim to streamline the costly and time-consuming processes in the media and entertainment industry.

The blockchain network will encompass thousands of business partners and process millions of transactions per day once it is operational, making it one of the world’s largest enterprise blockchain ecosystems.

The solution is 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 (with calculations that are mostly done manually). Within this value chain – which can include authors, songwriters, 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 rights and royalties management solution will enable increased trust and transparency between industry players, significantly reduce operational inefficiencies in the rights and royalties management process, and eliminate the need for costly manual reconciliation and partner reviews.

The underlying network is built using the Quorum blockchain protocol and Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies.

According to Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader – Blockchain, the scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains. A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants.

Microsoft intends to deploy the rights and royalties blockchain network with its game publisher partners in a phased manner. Ubisoft, one of the world’s leading game publishers and a Microsoft gaming partner, is testing the solution as one of the early adopters of this solution.

This solution represents a coming of age for enterprise blockchain adoption, and it will help Microsoft demonstrate its ability to enhance trust with its gaming partners, and strengthen security, transparency, and payment accuracy through the power of blockchain.