But while the film and TV experience has changed for the consumer, it has alas not been transformed to the same extent for those who produce the content that gets viewed by billions of people every day. In fact, many projects do not even see the light of the day, thanks to issues that vary from complex contractual negotiations to insider connections to less than scrupulous executives who prefer making a personal buck rather than offering the consumer a greater choice. And for all the talk of the Internet empowering people, the stark fact is that on the ground level, a lot of power is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. This is particularly the case in the entertainment industry, where a few organizations are calling the shots and often sacrificing creativity and content quality at the altar of greater profit. The old ways of the TV and film industry are still largely in place, even if they now are flavored with algorithms. And as a result, independent studios and newcomers often get overlooked, notwithstanding their potential.
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There are signs, however, that this could be changing. And driving the change are companies like LiveTree, a company founded by serial entrepreneur Ashley Turing, which is dedicated to creating a transparent, fair, community-empowered TV, film and content network. LiveTree has its own platform, which it calls ADEPT (for “Advanced Decentralised Entertainment Platform for Transparent distribution”). What makes it special is the fact that it is the world’s first funding and distribution platform dedicated to film and TV, that is based on Blockchain. LiveTree’s decision to choose Blockchain stems from its sheer transparency and the fact that it eliminates the need for intermediaries, allowing people to make direct contacts. At the end of the day, this loosens the grip of the likes of Netflix, and even Google or Facebook, who actually plays the role of third parties, managing contracts and making profits.
LiveTree’s ADEPT platform is used for both funding and distribution. Now a backer of a project is not fobbed off with some memorabilia (as in so many crowdfunding projects) but can also earn when the film or content gets released in theatres or on TV – just like executives do. Similarly, when it comes to distribution, sales agents now have access to new content at a much lower cost. What’s more, if a content creator cannot get their content on traditional TV channels, they can now move to online channels including LiveTree’s own Blossom TV. The Blockchain system means that everyone involved in a project can see its returns. It is a clear, transparent system that empowers content creators and minimizes intermediaries.
Project creators can use LiveTree ADEPT to secure funding from backers in exchange for the distribution sale of all or part of their IP, or a share of the future value of their content. The ADEPT platform charges creators a processing fee of only 2.5 percent (in LiveTree’s digital token Seed), which is well below the funding fees of 5-20 percent levied by other crowdfunding platforms in the industry. When it comes to distribution, the platform offers content creators three direct ways to the market, bypassing corporate distribution channels (which can demand a rather stiff pound of flesh in monetary terms) – LiveTree ADEPT’s own BlossomTV, traditional broadcasters (legacy broadcasters and new VOD platforms) and a streaming/aggregation model that leverages the likes of YouTube, Vimeo and other online channels. Again, this is at considerably lower costs than those charged by conventional agents.
And all this is not theoretical, utopian talk. The past couple of years have seen LiveTree enter into partnerships with the likes of the British Film Institute’s Future Labs, Film London, Red Rock Entertainment, Bohra Bros (Gangs of Wasseypur), and also run up a worldwide database of 14,000-plus contacts from across entertainment. Ongoing projects with LiveTree include “The Buy In”, the world’s first TV crypto competition, where the viewer can own what they watch; and Decentralized, a new series from independent filmmaker Christopher Arcella and Erik Vesterlund. The company has funded over 150 film and TV projects and has captured over 5 percent market share in entertainment crowdfunding.
There is a revolution happening in the entertainment industry, thanks to Blockchain. And spearheading is LiveTree.
Note: The token sale of Livetree ADEPT is live and you can head to their Livetree ADEPT website in case you are interested in participating in the ICO. The quantity supply is fixed. However, its value changes based on demand. Go ahead and buy a seed if you want to support some good TV and film projects via LiveTree.
(Price: 0.001 ETH = 1 Seed Token)