NASDAQ | Creating an Independent Press Economy With a Blockchain

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is on its way to radically changing established industries, disrupting traditional business models, bringing old leaders down and bringing new leaders up.

The publishing industry is one of many that seem ripe for DLT-enabled change, and the new, DLT-oriented player PressCoin wants to lead that charge.

The New Normal

The internet has changed the publishing industry radically. Twenty years ago, readers used to purchase newspapers and magazines for quality content produced by professional journalists, analysts and editors. The publishing business model was a mixture of direct sales, subscriptions and advertising.

Today, printed newspapers and magazines are disappearing quickly, and consumers get news and opinions online, often through social media. Subscription-based business models are not really working at the moment. While there are interesting initiatives to change that, with Medium as an example, advertising is still considered as the only viable business model for online publishing.

In advertising-only business models, revenue is generated exclusively from ad clicks, which aren't directly related to the quality of the content. If anything, it could be argued that a boring story makes it more likely for the reader to click an ad. Social media, and particularly Facebook, has become a fertile ground for fake news, which can spread like wildfire with socially (and even politically) dangerous results.

Large distributors like Facebook retain the lion's share of the monetary rewards while producers - journalists and news organizations - do not benefit much. With money and reach comes power: Facebook, which allegedly might have played a non-marginal role in the last U.S. presidential elections, could be on its way to becoming a major political force.


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Amit Rathore