Why independent video producers and creators need to know about blockchain

Jan 11, 2018 · 5 min read
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After finance, the blockchain is tackling cultural and artistic sector. All the actors of this field take an active interest in this technology. But what is it exactly ?

Basically, blockchain allows transfer and storage of data by a multitude of actors. Thus the blockchain permits to decentralize information and a better traceability. In the cultural world (from music to cinema) blockchains are a revolution.

Blockchain, the tool of tomorrow.

As always, the revolution began in the music industry. From now, revenues for artists came from everywhere: streaming, CDs, concerts, liveshows, copyrights… And most of the time, it’s complicated for artists to have a clear view of their revenues and royalties.

Furthermore, the revenues from streaming are fuzzy : companies like Spotify or Deezer aren’t always very transparent and the artists have no choice but trust them.

But thanks to the blockchains, a better rights management is possible. Every transaction is delineate, so a better repartition about revenues can exist.

In addition, artists and creators will have better revenues thanks to the blockchains because they are directly in relationship with their fans and they don’t need a third party like Netflix or Spotify. Furthermore the micropayments are possible and allow a better regulation of the content.

As an example, let’s look at Sloven artist Gramatik who decided to sell his own intellectual property directly to his fans through the blockchain. Like a company: he allowed his fans to buy shares on his art, with a potential return on investment, for those who wants to invest in his work.

Why doing that ? To free himself from the big players and intermediary companies. Also, he created some tokens from a crypto money to do not pass by bank , the GRMTK. Those tokens have been sold for more than 2.5 millions in 24 hours. Inspirational, isn’t it ?

The blockchain’s advantages for independents producers

Blockchain has many advantages:

  • A better protection of intellectual property. Who owns now footage copyrights for this 1942 movie from a production studio which went bankrupt ? Who owns this music created by an unknown musician ? Blockchains gives a full traceability of any artwork. Everything is indexed and we know the paternity of each production
  • A better revenue: redistribution thanks to the smart contract be allows to create agreement between all the parties (producer and director for example) and can trigger redistribution according to the contract.
  • To prevent piracy: thanks to the asymmetric cryptography, it’s possible to share securely an encrypted video file to many people. Viewer will get the encryption key only when they pay (and after it has been checked on the blockchain). Thus, downloading and watching a film without the key will becomes very difficult.
  • A better fundraising: no need to wait that a tv channel, a Studio or Netflix accepts to produce your contents, with blockchain technology a crowdfunding even more powerful will be possible. Artists will directly get a funding by their own fans, and with only 1000 true fans it’s possible to make a living from your own creation.
  • A deeper disintermediation of the content distribution : no more Netflix, Spotify & co, it will be easy to distribute any work through the blockchain. In addition, the technology will help collecting revenues and redistribute it to all right owners.

Needless to say that blockchain will change everything for artists, it will be much simpler simple to reach their audience without going through an intermediary.

Well, but who uses the blockchain?

1 / Blockchain startups creating new services in the Art / Culture domain

Several companies have positioned themselves on this new technology. We can mention SingularDTV, a start-up created in 2016 that allows the creation of its own ecosystem with tokens currency, which helps getting a better control on rights, revenues and funds raising. This is the company that Gramatik chose.

Or Streamium which permits a streaming application fee-for-service in bitcoin.

2/ Artists, filmmakers, directors, producers

What about the content creators? For example, director Alex Winter decided to use this new technology. And this was not his first attempt, he had already made two documentaries “Downloaded” and “Deep Web” but for his new project he sees things in big. “Untitled Blockchain Film”, as its name suggests, speaks about this new technology… but also uses the technology for its distribution (via SingularDTV and Ethereum blockchain).

The movie will be the first funded and distributed by the blockchain technology. Thanks to the technology, Alex Winter could choose more easily his funds and decide how to pay his right owners. And of course, the filmmaker does not depend on Studios or producers, wishes and can express his art more freely. Because the movie is distributed on a video platform, the director will be able to choose the price for each market and will get a full traceability of the incomes and thus a better remuneration for the authors and right owners.

The blockchains are still in their beginning but one thing is certain: they will disrupt the cultural and artistic ecosystem. After the first revolution of the crowdfunding, the blockchain technology will offer many advantages. The distribution will also be redefined and the studios will have to adapt.

Today this technology isn’t very common in the VOD sector but solution like FlameFy and OKAST allow producers to create their own video distribution platform as well as develop their own audience via big data, in an exclusive all-in-one solution. With these solutions, we want to provide models allowing artists, filmmakers and distributors to grow and live from their video contents. More visibility, better revenues and creative freedom, isn’t it bad? 😉

These tools have already allowed distribution of independent movies in e-cinema, such as “Les vilains”, but also hundreds of independent VOD platforms, including QWEST TV, the jazz Netflix, created by artist Quincy Jones… All of them prove that it is possible to launch independant video platforms, and think outside the box with the new technology !

FlameFy blog

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