Parsec, an advertising firm, has unveiled a pilot program for offering options and futures trades and settling digital advertising contracts on R3’s Corda blockchain.
MediaCom, a buyer of digital advertising contracts, and Future US – the company behind ten trade publications such as PC Accelerator, Guitar World, and TechRadar – are the first participants on the platform. The companies have announced the first futures contract traded without Parsec's third party mediation.
The Advertising Futures and Options Exchange (AFOX) platform utilizes a guaranteed quality metric, measured at one-second of full attention per advertisement, and encodes these "impressions" on the blockchain.
“Current media contracts don’t enforce quality standards, so buyers demand favorable cancellation terms,” Parsec representatives said in a statement. “Since contracts are cancellable, a publisher’s business is unpredictable."
Charlie Fiordalis, managing partner of MediaCom, noted that media contracts that take weeks to write and months to reconcile can be cancelled within 24 hours of payment. “You get what you pay for,” he said.
Parsec aims to reduce contract cancellation by enabling buyers to track who saw an advertisement, “see where it ran, and how it was optimized by viewer variables,” said Fiordalis, thereby eliminating the need to have an “out” from an unfulfilled contract.
Fiordalis said that currently the best media asset is a Superbowl ad, which gains massive reach in just 30-seconds, though Parsec’s guarantee to supply one second of full attention per advertisement has an “absolute quality to them," because they are non-cancellable.
These “discretely defined” contracts behave as a currency, Fiordalis said, adding, “one second of attention is an easily tokenized asset."
In fact, AFOX plans to tokenize these blockchain-supported media contracts and make them available on a secondary market as media futures and options. Futures contracts enable companies to hedge against their price inputs and potentially buy advertisements in advance at a 40 to 50 percent discount.
The second order effects of contract financialization may increase market liquidity, as media companies can bet against their guaranteed advertising revenues.
Parsec Media CEO Marc Guldimann said the next step would be to enable more publishers to sell contracts directly to media buyers, without the intervention of middlemen like his firm, and develop additional financial instruments based on a tokenized unit of advertising impressions.
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