Blockchain Can Democratize the Entertainment Industry
For too long, the big record companies and film studios controlled access to the content market. The earliest days of the record and film industries had many oppressive contracts and little payment for the artists despite massive profits from their work. Publishing rights and distribution profits were a goldmine for executives, managers, and other industry insiders and this continues today with the vast majority of sales going to a few mega-artists and little to nothing for everyone else. Life can be hard for filmmakers and musicians when it comes to earning a fair share at any level of success — big or small. It’s time for a change, and the blockchain may offer the solution.
Musicians, comedians, and a variety of performance artists all rely on their fans to earn a living. From mega-stars like Beyoncé and Garth Brooks to independent artists, entertainers need a reliable connection to their fans beyond the walls of their arenas and concert halls.
Historically, artists gave up many of their potential earnings to pay record companies, film studios, distributors, publishers, and venue owners for access to the entertainment market. Adding to their costs, artists now must contend with widespread piracy and illegal downloading. Ticket resellers at their live events capture a lot of the potential revenue, too. Artists have been looking for alternative ways to make a living from their art, free from the traditional limits and boundaries of past business models.
As more of the entertainment market moves online, there is a natural marriage between the world of blockchain and artistic performance. Using a decentralized model, it’s easier than ever to connect with an audience using a scalable network and a built-in payment model based on the success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Two startup companies, CEEK and StreamSpace, are taking on the traditional entertainment industry. They’re disrupting the music and film industries with new technologies to better connect artists and fans.
CEEK is a developer based in Florida with big ideas for the performance sector. Using a virtual reality platform to distribute access to live performances, the CEEK team hopes to revolutionize the concert experience along with other types of live events. The CEEK-enabled VR headset hopes to create an experience at home that rivals being there in person.
Consumers can access content from a wide variety of content creators. Musicians, educators, athletes, and other creators will use the CEEK platform to reach a new audience online. It’s a bright future for fans of any genre. Imagine being able to sit in the front row of a movie premiere? How about courtside seats for the NBA Finals? When the tickets to your favorite concert sell out, you will soon be able to attend the concert in virtual reality from the comfort of your own home! Using Smart Contracts and a digital currency payment platform, consumers can connect with artists in a whole new way, confident that their money is going directly to the content creator or performer.
The backbone of the technology behind the CEEK VR experience is the blockchain. Using a proprietary digital cryptocurrency, CEEK will facilitate payments from fans to artists using an innovative blockchain application. Content creators of every type will flock to the best VR platforms with the easiest monetization process, right now, CEEK is in one of the first in the arena to take up the glove, but in the future we might see many new contenders in the space.
Streamspace is another company vying for the artist to consumer space. However, unlike CEEK there focus is on connecting filmmakers to their audience on a decentralized storage platform and blockchain-based networks to share content. Currently, it can be a real challenge to find the right market for work as a filmmaker. Outside of film festivals and major motion picture studio support, it’s almost impossible for independent film artists to connect with an audience and earn revenue from their work. Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming platforms offer access to a wide audience of potential viewers, but it’s hard for most films to break through into the mainstream.
StreamSpace connects filmmakers to their audience using a blockchain platform and digital currency. Musicians have a much easier time using technology to connect with their fans and raise funds to create new content using social media and micro-payments. The film industry is still a business that is dominated by a few major studios and big franchise films. When it comes to funding and ticket sales, the little guy has a hard time finding success at the box office. Smaller marketing budgets and limited exposure are hard to translate into ticket sales using the traditional streaming model. StreamSpace allows filmmakers to raise money using their digital coins and connect to a wider audience using a scalable, decentralized distribution network.
The concept is solid, but it remains to be seen whether the public will adapt to a new kind of entertainment platform. Piracy is a persistent problem for content owners, but the major players in the entertainment industry continue to grow their businesses and earn record profits. Finding a solution that works for artists, visionaries, and content creators is important to ensure a viable artistic community and easy access for the public willing to pay for their movies, music, and other entertainment.