Get all the updates from SingularDTV community correspondents in Asia, including SNGJ, projects in the works, and future expansion plans.
With a diverse staff nearing 100 individuals in far flung locales ranging from New York to New Zealand, SingularDTV is a global endeavor. As the many moving parts of SingularDTV further establish the technological, business, and legal infrastructure for a decentralized entertainment economy, there are teams of intrepid blockchain evangelists all over the world building the social and community engagement required in the mission of increasing adoption of decentralization, Ethereum, and dApps like Tokit and SingularX.
With French, German, and Spanish language social media platforms already growing to the tens of thousands of followers each, SingularDTV is moving even further, to Asia, to plant the seeds of a blockchain future in fast emerging markets like Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Beijing. SingularDTV’s activity in Asia ranges from early stage community building to low key investments looking forward to when Ethervision, the distribution portal of the SingularDTV ecosystem, will link the global SingularDTV satellites together.
Each Asian locale to which SingularDTV has expanded comes with its own particularities and challenges. In some cases its governmental regulation, in others its creating a grassroots culture that understands the value of decentralization and blockchain. We checked in with SingularDTV team members in Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong To get a glimpse into the global undertaking of building a decentralized entertainment industry — and the worldwide community required to make it all work.
“What’s really good about Japan is that organizations are coming together to create an infrastructure,” says Mayu Rei, Project Manager for Singular Japan. “Change is happening fast — it was just announced that Coinbase will soon be entering the Japanese market, for example — and leaders in the space are putting work into self-regulation even before official legislation. The government itself is very open to blockchain. They know that the technology will be the new form of data. That’s what the Japanese government is interested in: application of blockchain tech from a functional standpoint.”
Growing roots in the region, earlier this year, SingularDTV launched Singular Japan. “Singular Japan is an entertainment fund that will be used to launch Japanese artists and filmmakers,” explains Rei. “The opportunities for independent art are minimal in Japan. It’s tough to get funding, both domestically and foreign.”
The SNGJ Project is just one of many that SingularDTV has launched to create content for the Ethervision distribution portal, all of which are hoping to conclude production in concurrence with the launch of the platform. For SNGJ, it’s all about finding genuine, independent creators and allowing them to flourish on their own terms. “We don’t want to do the whole cultural standardization process. In Japan, there are a lot of Hollywood productions and foreign films that present the culture from the outside in,” says Rei. “The opportunity with SNGJ is that we can revisit japanese artists in the way that they see themselves. We’re looking for self actualization. We’re looking for the next voices of Japan.”
Next steps for Singular Japan include setting up the governance framework for the fund and inviting a swath of intrepid launch artists to join in the grand experiment of decentralization alongside the likes of Steven Soderbergh and Gramatik. “Right now, we’re in the process of building an advisory board of people from the entertainment industry, with backgrounds ranging from acquisition to production,” says Rei. “They’ll act as administrators for the SNGJ Fund.”
In Korea, one of the main challenges for the emergent decentralization movement is in wrestling the narrative of blockchain away from finance and speculation and towards the potential of blockchain and decentralization in applications throughout various industries — including entertainment. “Our focus is to build up an audience and make the infrastructure smooth so that when operations kick off in Korea, we have everything ready,” says Brian Jeong, SingularDTV Community Lead in Korea. “It’s super grassroots. We’re trying to attend as many events as possible and build up a network in Korea, while building up communities online.”
“When I go to conferences in Korea, they’re mostly about fintech and legislative issues. There’s not much discourse on how blockchain can be used to innovate in media, content, and entertainment,” says Jeong. “Korea’s independent creators don’t have access to abundant resources. Indie music is the strongest, but film is very active as well. When we talk to the artists, the korean artists can be conservative, but they’re very adaptive to new technologies when they come to market. A few of Korea’s big conglomerates have shown some interest in entering the entertainment industry through blockchain, but most of the focus is on finance and law.”
“In Hong Kong, people are really passionate about blockchain development and solutions. The community that’s growing around SingularDTV is very knowledgeable on the subject matter,” explains Jack Cheng, SingularDTV’s CMO in Asia. “We started operations in Hong Kong in February. What we’re trying to do is create a strong community by running meetups and contacting filmmakers and artists in the industry, while also setting up the crypto business relationship with local exchanges and partners, the first movers of blockchain in Hong Kong. The first step was our big launch on the 2nd of May in Hong Kong, establishing the brand in the region, and we’ll be expanding out meetups to Beijing soon and have established a presence there.”
“In Hong Kong, the legacy entertainment industry is highly centralized in terms of resources, distributions, and production support. Middlemen and gatekeepers draw the line between mainstream and non-mainstream artwork such as films, music, live shows,” Cheng goes on. “The majority of independent artists can’t make living from what they are trying to do. The social status of being an independent artists is relatively low comparing to western countries. That’s how blockchain technology and SingularDTV’s suite of decentralised applications offer values to them: liberation, freedom of creation, be their own economy.”
“We’re looking to help people understand the extent of what blockchain can offer. But we have to take different strategies in different places. In China, for example, there’s a different scenario. We have to take different strategies.” That perspective is key to SingularDTV’s growth model: Strategies custom tailored to the specificities of the governmental, economic, and social aspects of a culture. To achieve that, SingularDTV is enabling its team around the world to build the community in an organic way to foster the content and audience for a decentralized entertainment industry.
“You don’t really get this in other companies,” reflects Brian Jeong in Korea. “We’re taking the grassroots approach in Korea, but we’re seeing colleagues all over the world doing the same thing. We get this much bigger, systematic picture, where the whole company is growing concurrently and organically. It’s a really unique experience.”