Brands play a central role in any industry, and the market for virtual goods is no exception. Defined as items that consumers purchase and use in games, social media, and other digital environments, these goods frequently contain branded content. The more popular the brands are, the more eager consumers will be to purchase them. But while this industry can be highly profitable for brands, many are unwilling to get involved, in large part because of the uncertainty that is currently associated with virtual goods.
BLMP offers brands the protection they need to become fully involved in virtual goods production and sales. Using cutting-edge blockchain technology, BLMP has developed a series of smart contracts, tracking tools, and other resources that brands can use to safeguard their property. In this way, the platform has the potential to eliminate the most serious barriers to brand involvement, including issues like:
The virtual goods industry is currently worth more than $50 billion, and even this massive figure may be only a small portion of its eventual value. But many brands don’t want to get involved in this field, in part because they worry this value won’t trickle down to them. When brands make agreements with publishers to sell virtual goods, they need those publishers to be honest about how they’re selling the goods and how much revenue they’re generating. If publishers withhold their revenues, the brands will have created value but gotten nothing in return. Brands can get unscrupulous publishers to pay them their fair share through lawsuits and other legal methods, but not all of them have the resources for this, and even those that do may not want to go to the trouble. Uncertainty over payments causes many brands to avoid the virtual goods industry.
BLMP keeps uncertainty to a minimum through the development of smart contracts. Defined as contracts that enforce themselves, smart contracts rely on instructions that are stored in the blockchain, or an immutable chain containing pieces of data that are linked to one another. This way, whenever a publisher makes a sale, the contract automatically splits the revenues between the brand, the publisher, and any other contributing parties. Publishers don’t have the opportunity to withhold revenues.
Along with smart contracts, BLMP has created its own cryptocurrency, which can be used for virtual good transactions. These tokens are easy to trace, adding a higher degree of transparency to the sale and exchange of digital items. This makes it exceptionally difficult for publishers to sell virtual goods without reporting all of their revenues, so brands can be confident that they’re getting a cut of every sale.
In addition to problems with payment, brands are also worried about handing over control of their intellectual property to independent artists and publishers. Many brands work hard to cultivate a public image, which often involves associating themselves with certain ideals or attitudes. But a publisher can bring this image crashing down if it uses the brand’s intellectual property in the wrong way. For example, imagine that one brand wants to be seen as kid- or family-friendly, but a publisher uses its logo in content that is explicitly violent or sexual. Consumers who saw that would stop thinking of the brand as wholesome, ruining its reputation and marketing strategy.
Brands often include explicit instructions for how their content can be used in virtual good licensing agreements. But such instructions can only be enforced when the brand knows where its content is being used. If a publisher uses branded content in an unauthorized way but doesn’t tell the brand, that brand might not know until long after its reputation has been destroyed.
To prevent publishers from ever using branded content without the brands’ knowledge and permission, BLMP assigns a serial number to every virtual good created on the platform. This serial number is then stored in the blockchain, and the platform uses it to track and record every time that the good is used. This makes it virtually impossible for the publisher to ever use the good without the brand knowing about it. If the publisher uses the good in a way the brand hasn’t authorized, the brand can immediately put a stop to it. Brands don’t have to worry about having their reputations damaged by unauthorized IP use.
Damaged reputations aren’t the only consequence of unauthorized IP use. When publishers and artists routinely use branded content without the owners’ permission, they lead consumers to value brands less. Whether with virtual goods or any other type of item, consumers want to know that what they are purchasing is real, and not some cheap knockoff made by an unscrupulous company. The more common it is for publishers to use branded content without authorization, the more skeptical consumers will be of all branded content. They won’t care what brand the products they buy are from, leading to lower sales even for brands that don’t get involved in the virtual goods industry.
BLMP restores authenticity and legitimacy to branded content. By making it possible to track all virtual goods and confirm that they use branded images as intended, the platform makes it harder for publishers and other companies to get away with unauthorized use. They are less likely to try, reducing the total number of inauthentic virtual goods on the market. Consumers will have more trust that the branded items they purchase are authentic, generating benefits for every kind of brand.
BLMP ©2018, Singapore
BLMP (Blockchain Licensing Marketplace) is a blockchain technology company working to remove obstacles and facilitate trust in the complex issues surrounding supply chain management transactions in the virtual goods industry.
BLMP Network uses blockchain technology to connect digital platforms around the world with global brands to monetize officially licensed virtual goods across any digital platform; from games to streaming services & social media, allowing millions of users access to a whole new world of branded virtual products.