Vedant Sampath

CTO, Mediaocean, Mediaocean

Supernova Award Category: 

Data-Driven Digital Networks (DDNs) and Business Models

The Organization: 

Mediaocean is the world’s foundational media software company that manages every aspect of the advertising workflow: from planning, buying, and selling—to analyzing and optimizing—to invoicing and payments. Our open cross-media platform powers $150 billion in global media spend, providing transparency and accountability across the entire supply-chain. We serve a wide range of clients in the advertising world: over 100,000 agency, advertiser, and media owner users trust Mediaocean applications daily. Our company employs 950 people and is part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio of software companies. Advertising. Powered by Mediaocean.

The Problem: 

Global brands work with multiple agencies who plan, buy and execute hundreds of billions of dollars annually on advertising across media ranging from television and radio to a vast sea of digital platforms. Data fragmentation and lack of standard processes, protocols, and measurement make it exceedingly difficult to optimize media investments. This complexity results in a lack of transparency in the supply chain and billions of dollars lost due to waste and fraud.

The Solution: 

Mediaocean developed and deployed a media supply chain blockchain protocol to solve this multi-party transparency and financial reconciliation problem. The solution, developed using the IBM Blockchain Platform, captured the key contractual transactions across the advertising media buying lifecycle. A consortium of 8 major advertisers, their agencies representing 5 global agency holding companies and select advertising technology partners participated in this permissioned Blockchain network. The multi-party media contracts were validated and recorded immutably and securely while enforcing transaction privacy. The solution allows advertisers to gain near real-time traceability into the status of their budgets as they are allocated across agencies, geographies, media types, and suppliers. APIs were developed to integrate business applications and advertising technology platforms such as auction-based programmatic buying and delivery verification into the network.

The Results: 

The pilot demonstrated that advertisers which had not been able to gain transparency into the status of their spend across heterogenous supply chain were now able. In so providing this transparency, the solution has also enabled immediate reconciliation of financial transactions in smart contract code for unprecedented efficiency for delivery and invoice reconciliation processes. The production pilot ran for six months, and recorded $670 million dollars in advertising budgets, tracing $100 million dollars of contracted buys across more than 80 media suppliers. Advertiser and agency participants gained immediate and fully auditable trail of each transaction, including data that was traditionally compartmentalized in systems of record across dozens of siloed systems within each participant's corporate network. Realistic business transactions across competitive business require complete privacy of transactions and transaction data. Privacy of transactions implemented using the “channels” functionality in Hyperledger Fabric allowed transaction visibility to be limited to the participants involved.


Current business processes require data feeds to be exchanged across partners, master data to be mapped from multiple systems and bespoke interfaces built to gain insight. In this process before blockchain, the accuracy and security of data cannot be guaranteed as they get copied and replicated across corporate boundaries. The Blockchain network demonstrated the ability to make business transactions simultaneously accessible to all parties in a secure and trusted manner, and to vastly collapse a weeks to months long manual financial reconciliation process to near real-time. The benefits in terms of labor and time savings, and elimination of wasted spend, will be measurable in the next phase as applications are provided to leverage the underlying transparency to integrate with and replace legacy process. Mediaocean and IBM are now developing business applications to automate cross-organizational media contract workflow and expanding participation in the network across the industry.

The Technology: 

Business processes and artifacts were modeled as assets in Hyperledger Fabric. Smart contracts were implemented to validate transactions and apply business rules to reach consensus. REST-based APIs were developed to integrate workflow applications. An “oracle-based” model was implemented for trusted providers of impression viewability data. A business application was developed to navigate transaction data and demonstrate transparency and auditability.

Disruptive Factor: 

The Mediaocean Media Blockchain delivers greater data availability and quality by assembling data into a common place to discern truth. The solution has potential to be a game changer by arming advertisers with decentralized information, ranging from performance metrics to consumer data, reducing reliance on intermediaries and forcing service providers to prove measurable value in exchange for fees. When data is freed from centralized platforms, it promises a wave of open innovation as value shifts away from walled gardens to an ecosystem cooperating around common data. Within 5 years, solutions provided within the Mediaocean Media Blockchain ecosystem may recapture tens of billions of losses, while simultaneously optimizing media strategies and increasing ROI by tens of billions more.

Shining Moment: 

When we broke past our goal of over half a billion in media transactions in the pilot! Running over $600 million in live production media transactions validated that the blockchain network could scale to hundreds of nodes and capture the billions of dollars in annual media spent by the largest advertisers.

About Your Organization

Mediaocean is the world's leading media software company that automates every aspect of the advertising workflow - from planning, buying and selling, to analyzing and optimizing, to invoicing and payments. Mediaocean's open cross-media platforms power $150 billion in global media budgets and have unmatched reach and bridge traditional and digital media.