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Blockchain Business Funding doubled between 2017 and 2020and actual spending is expected to reach $16 billion by 2023. While the most visible changes to date have been in the financial sector – from crowdfunding overhauls to decentralized finance (DeFi) applications impacting lending and credit, insurance and asset trading – and infrastructure and security, the growing popularity of blockchain is expected to have a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.
From how content is produced, aggregated, distributed and consumed to the relationship between content creators and their audiences, blockchain technology could have a direct impact on entertainment for years to come.
The potential impact of blockchain on the entertainment industry
The decentralization of global infrastructure is already underway. We see the impact in finance, and now entertainment executives are beginning to identify how this may impact their businesses. Although not widely adopted, smart contracts, which are powered by blockchain, could influence entertainment deals, providing a secure alternative to traditional negotiations, ensuring reliable payment for creators, a more transparent way to work with the team on global projects and eliminating the red tape that gets in the way of many great projects.
Ahmed Shabana, founder of Parkpine Capital, a firm that actively invests in Series A crypto-based entertainment startups, recently wrote a item for fast company on how crypto is set to change the entertainment game: “With crypto and blockchain, the movie and entertainment industry is set to reinvent its business functions, facilitating secure, transparent and traceable in the market.
The radical nature of blockchain technology, unhindered by geographic boundaries, means that creators and consumers who did not have access to it in the past will be able to interact with the industry. Independent filmmakers unable to navigate the complex web of film industry funding can now tap into a vast pool of new resources, both from mainstream investors and crowdfunding platforms powered by blockchain technology. It could also mean more consistent returns for media companies that are better able to combat piracy. Artists and content creators can leverage tools with a better understanding of how content is viewed and distributed.
The decentralization of this system is underway and the entertainment industry should benefit from the implementation blockchain-powered processes like content micropayments, eliminating content aggregation, more reliable and accurate royalty distributions, and supporting consumer-to-consumer sales.
Hollywood is already making changes
For those looking for indicators, the seeds of change are already visible.
Already, we’ve seen AMC Entertainment Holdings’ announcement that it will be to accept Ether, Bitcoin, and Litecoin for ticket and concession purchases by the end of 2021. Google Cloud announced partnership with Canadian startup Dapper Labs to support and scale Dapper’s Flow blockchain. A new sci-fi movie titled Zero contact with Anthony Hopkins should be”the first film sold at auction as NFT.” According to Yahoo! Finance, the film will be auctioned using Vuele, an NFT film distribution platform aimed at changing the future of film distribution: “What we are putting in place to prove that there is a revenue stream to Hollywood that has never existed before,” said VUELE co-founder Rick Dugdale.
Consider the following trends that are already developing in the industry:
NFT-based transactions allow moviegoers to own a piece of a movie. Terra Virtua has released officially licensed content as NFTs and OpenSea offers a number of digital movie poster NFTs. Marvel and Fox have also experimented with NFTs, the release of a limited edition set of NFTs for Deadpool 2. More recently, MGM partnered with VeVe launch a series of digital assets as NFTs for the release of the new James Bond, No time to die.
Cryptocurrency companies like CoinFlip, Robinhood, and PayPal tap on celebrities like Tom Brady, Spike Lee and Neil Patrick Harris to drive widespread adoption of the technology. The 2021 Major League Baseball playoffs have been sponsored by FTX. These companies are becoming more widespread.
It’s only a matter of time before blockchain technology becomes essential to how we interact with new media. Interest seems to be only growing. However, there remains a need to increase access and funding for various entrepreneurs and startups around the world that often get lost in the background. Blockchain and crypto are allowing these people to get noticed in a whole new way.
Major studios, angel investors, and crowdfunding platforms are actively exploring the potential impact of blockchain and cryptocurrency access and investment on the entertainment industry. Like the launch of Internet shopping in the 1990s, I believe we are at a transition point. In a decade, media and entertainment will have completely transformed from what it is today. As entertainment companies begin to deploy new technologies to distribute media and collectibles via blockchain, it is imperative that leaders monitor this space.