IBM to end digital spending waste via blockchain process

IBM is developing a blockchain process that will help end digital spending waste and address transparency and trust issues among advertising partners.

Matthew Candy, Vice-President and Global Leader for IBM iX, told BusinessLine that IBM has been using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) system Watson since last year to target consumers in programmatic ad buys, and in the process significantly reduce costs. Programmatic ad buying is the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time, wherein software is used to automate the buying, placement and optimisation of media inventory via a bidding system.

As the advertising industry faces unsustainable economics and transparency issues, particularly around intermediary fees and non-working media, IBM’s solution aims to provide a comprehensive view of the supply chain and tackle its opacity from the rapid proliferation of intermediaries, which makes it difficult for both advertisers and agencies to identify exactly how much spend is going towards ‘working media’.

A new ad-focussed blockchain consortium was announced by IBM iX and advertising software provider MediaOcean at the recent Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Brand safety, transparency

The digital media supply chain is powered by the blockchain protocol, called Hyperledger, developed by IBM and made open source.

Since blockchain cannot be altered, it helps with brand safety and media transparency. The blockchain environment will be built on MediaOcean’s campaign management platform, which already handles more than $140 billion in annual ad spending.

Candy says the idea is to check every step of an ad campaign: right from the purchase order to the media execution. Since all of it is recorded on blockchain, it solves the challenge of media spend transparency. Candy said the aim was to remove business friction in advertising.

Source: The Hindu