The following was posted on Twitter by Erick Opeka.
While good-natured, I think this article (How blockchain could kill both cable and Netflix) misses how blockchain will actually revolutionize the film and television industry.
The real issue to be solved is not "more distribution" - today, there are literally thousands of destinations where consumers can find content, and content owners generate revenues. In fact, some of these outlets have amassed hundreds of millions of users, and the notion is it is better to be widely distributed than not. In other words, support as many platforms as possible. The biggest challenge this ecosystem faces is a) lack of a clear marketplace for platforms and content owners to broker exchange and b) lack of transparency around the performance and revenues of the content and c) automated contract enforceability.
I've been on the buy and sell side of premium, professional content for the last 15 years. THere has been little to no advancement in this arena. If you were going to launch a platform today, the way you would secure content is truly Byzantine: You email hundreds of rights holders asking for their "avails." Then you get spreadsheets, PDFs, Word docs, etc, and decide on what content you are interested in. The parties agree to terms (license term, rights granted, territories, license fees/revenue share deliverables, etc.) The contract process (typically a 15-20+ page document) takes weeks over email. Then, after the parties close the deal, they end up going through the hell of "delivery," basically preparing and accepting digital assets.
Operationally is not much better - most licensors have to proactive enforce terms by manually checking live dates, auditing and compiling a multitude on reports, etc. Most entities are unable to accurately provide any real type of performance or validation of contract terms. Beyond all of the aforementioned operational inefficiencies, the bigger travesty is the illiquidity of a market where the assets cost a fortune to create. The fact is, If I need 1,000 short sci-fi films, or want 50 rom-coms, today it is literally a game of "I think distributor A has shorts, and maybe distributor B or C has rom-coms. Meanwhile, globally something like 30,000+ films and 80,000 hours of TV are produced annually. Multiply that by a factor of 100 and you realize the magnitude and scope of the lost opportunities on both the supply and demand sides. The reality is that most of the proposed blockchain solutions focus on the democratization of distribution, but building another untrafficked platform is not a solution to getting all content access to ALL buyers and platforms.
Also, most of these systems focus on "freeing creators." However, the value and adoption of a system can be accelerated by ensuring the solution solves the problems from the studios as well, not just independents.
SO how would blockchain improve this system? Well, we're talking about essentially a complex rights exchange driven by complex contracts that are auto-enforcing. Perfect, real world, non-platitude-based utility here. Tokenization can be utilized for escrow transactions, royalties, ASCAP/SESAC fees, storage, encode/transcode. Additionally, you can likely solve the early adopter issue through incentivization.
At any rate, excuse the long mega-thread, but I literally have lived this problem and have tried to solve it for 20 years. I launched an aggregator for digital content and unlocked around $200M dollars for rightsholders and that was just 30K titles.
BTW, I would kill right now for aggregated market data around a scale, liquid content market. Like Binance for global content rights.