The Morning Note — Will Blockchain Be a Game Changer for the Film Industry?
A morning bulletin offering fresh news, pithy opinions and pioneering insights cultivated straight from the heart of blockchain ideology and technology.
27 August 2018
Freeing art & culture on the blockchain is an exciting prospect. But that’s just the beginning.
Within an industry notorious for the exploitation of its directors, artists, actors and musicians — blockchain offers an opportunity to restore the rights of those it literally could not exist without.
This represents a potential future where the work of creatives is protected, cherished and rewarded. And while this in itself is necessary, fair and important — it’s not the end-game for culture and the blockchain. In fact — it’s just the beginning.
Creatives are the trendsetters of our economy. They reveal (faster than almost any other industry) how both products and consumers will adopt and then adapt new technology into their lives. We have so much to learn from their commitment to vulnerability, risk-taking, and collaboration.
Blockchain needs to grow and evolve. At scale. We therefore need the world’s creatives to not only benefit from what the technology can currently offer, but equally, we need creatives to embrace blockchain technology as a creative tool, and in doing so —grow, innovate and evolve it.
This is a big conversation that needs many participants… stay tuned, as over time, we are going to delve deep.
As a starting point — this week — we will explore blockchain and culture from a few different viewpoints. From streaming music to metering rights. New business models to buying art. Copyright registration to connecting artists and patrons. Let’s see where it takes us.
Today we look at the impact of blockchain on the Film & Media industry and how it will start to affect antiquated deal structures, the opportunities for both viewer and subscriber security and the distribution of content.
1. A number of players within the film industry, traditionally beholden to complex deal structures, are experimenting with blockchain.
Swedish start-ups Cinezen Blockchained Entertainment and Slate Entertainment Group (SEG) are lining up blockchain video on demand (BVoD). Several film sales agents have signed to the Cicnezen BVoD service, which uses a blockchain protocol that allows customers to carry out functions such as royalty reporting and invoicing in a safe and transparent manner.
In turn, SEG has developed a multi-layer ecosystem powered by blockchain technology with a decentralised streaming platform ‘Binge’ offers the same facility. Chief Executive Michael Moyal says this will be one of several features that could give established platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu a run for their money, and Binge plans to aggressively acquire content over the next 12 months.
2. New sets of video services that are built on blockchains are seeking to disrupt both streaming services and the cable TV industry.
Blockchain based streaming videos do not require traditional overheads, nor infrastructure and networks used by companies such as Netflix. Using a blockchain and software like Livepeer’s decentralized media server nodes, users can create the infrastructure required to stream video using ordinary computers that they already own. These lower overheads costs associated with the blockchain video streaming model can translate to low-cost or free video services, a major advantage over Netflix and cable TV.
This article also uses the example of how local news stations might distribute news via a blockchain network in order to reach users without relying on a television network.
This approach is more advantageous than uploading videos to a site such as YouTube, where the station would have little control over who can view its content or how it is redistributed.
3. The media industry can benefit from using blockchain technology in several ways — through advertising, distribution and content creation and verification.
In 2018, NBC owned Comcast plans to launch its new Blockchain Insights Platform, in collaboration with NBCUniversal and Disney, which, is aimed at ‘better ad planning, targeting, execution and measurement across screens.’
Comcast believes this will help advertisers better target audiences by enhancing reporting and attribution metrics and that the ‘decentralized ledger’ characteristics of blockchain technology will better protect subscribers’ privacy.
This kind of disruption is just the beginning. And things are moving fast. A few additional companies we think you should keep an eye on are:
AlphaNetworks is an IBM Watson powered blockchain entertainment platform that brings dynamic pricing to media, and tokenizes the user experience. It combines aspects of the over-the-top services like Netflix, online video aggregators like YouTube, and premium cable models like HBO to create more efficient recommendation and payments mechanisms and a new kind of user experience. Our goal is to create the “rails” for a new era of media distribution.
MovieCoin is a next-generation financial technology company focused on leveraging blockchain technology, proprietary applications and cryptographic tokens to become the leading entertainment transaction platform for businesses and consumers and the standard currency for funding motion pictures, television and other media.
The Company has operations spanning content finance and production, business and consumer services and technology development and licensing. MovieCoin’s content finance and production businesses offer programmatic ownership of filmed entertainment assets to financial investors seeking institutionalized exposure to premium content, while the technological development of its digital assets platform utilizes cryptographic tokens to provide businesses with innovative solutions to streamline operations and entertainment enthusiasts with unique and more engaging ways to participate in the movie experience.
VideoCoin implements decentralized versions of core video infrastructure components and creates a new class of video miners who compete with other miners to earn rewards by providing CPU and/or GPU cycles for video encoding, disk space for video storage and Internet bandwidth for CDN services. These video miners can run on data center servers, household desktop computers or even mobile phones, creating a powerful network of computers which would otherwise go unused. In fact, over 30% of Data Center servers are comatose. VideoCoin incentivizes miners to use such unused resources and provide as much compute, storage and bandwidth available.
The Morning Note
We are always on the look out for the hearty stories and pithy ideas underpinning the future of blockchain. If there is something you’d like us to include in The Morning Note, please email email@example.com and we will be sure to take a look.