The potential and promise of blockchain has captured the imagination of many in digital media over the past few years. The concept of an electronic ledger system to match impressions bought with impressions served seems like such a simple and elegant way to clean up fraud for good. Yet for all of blockchain’s promise, nobody has figured out how to bring it all together . . . until now.
Last Friday a media consortium, which includes the four major agency holding companies, announced their participation in a unified blockchain platform called AdLedger. This is blockbuster news for two reasons. First, if all the HoCos are on board it will instantly become the standard blockchain system for the entire media industry. Secondly, AdLedger gives the publishers and AdTechs a single platform to comply with. If you’ve lived through the viewability and attribution wars of the past few years, you know what a fiasco it can be when clients and agencies use different systems and expect their vendors to be functional with each.
It’ll still take several months for AdLedger to become operational at all the agencies within the HoCos, and then each publisher will have to certify it in their systems. So we may be a year away from a usable system. But at least there’s a road map and a unified plan to bring blockchain to digital media . . . finally!