Like many other industries being disrupted by blockchain today, content sharing platforms are facing new challenges in their quest to meet the new consumer trends and needs. The obvious synergy behind blockchain technologies and p2p content sharing protocols (i.e. torrents) has brought to life a new generation of decentralized online services that are on the heels of such market’s giants as YouTube, Twitch, and Netflix.
To explore the nascent future of this industry Bitcoinist talked to Adrián Garelick, CEO of Flixxo. Adrián is the industry veteran, best known for having created RSK Labs. His new project, Flixxo, is a video sharing network, which employs distributed storage and BitTorrent protocol to store and share the content.
Flixxo launched a token sale campaign on October 24 which will end in 30 days or once the hard cap of 75,000 ETH is reached.
Bitcoinist: Both torrents and video sharing platforms revolutionized the paradigm of content sharing. One was a service allowing users to share free and often shady content, no questions asked. Another introduced the concept of monetizations and created online billionaire celebrities. What middle ground is Flixxo seeking? Or is it creating something completely different?
AG: I love this metaphor I´ve heard from a Youtuber “We are building beautiful houses on a piece of land we are renting from someone else”. With Flixxo, a video creator is building on top of his/her own network of followers. On top of his own land. This is only achievable by using p2p distribution systems, in which every user, every subscriber or follower, is making author´s network stronger. In this ecosystem, the creator of content sets the rules on top of his/her content and he/she can reward his/her fans. And the consumers have the power to bring wealth to the author, incentivizing him/her to create more content.
Bitcoinist: Modern online media is slowly shifting from pre-recorded material to lifestreams. Torrents are also shifting in collective perception from a hip tech to a dumpster for pirated content. Bearing in mind these two trends, what in your opinion will help Flixxo stay relevant and cool?
AG: I find torrents and blockchain similar technologies and also comparable in the collective perception. At the beginning blockchain (represented by Bitcoin) was accused to be a technology for money laundering and financing drug trafficking. Finally, financial institutions and governments found that it was an amazing technology that could be used for their own benefit. On the side of torrents, the protocol has been accused by big movies studios of only being used for piracy… when it has already proved to be a compelling technology for media distribution. Instead of adopting the protocol to their own benefit, they´ve decided to fight against it. Instead of exploring the possibilities, they´ve chosen to ban it. And studios didn’t succeed in stopping torrents, because of their decentralized nature. In this context Flixxo takes the most out of both technologies and creates a synergy, encouraging seeding of legal content.
And about lifestreams, there will always be space for quality pre-recorded videos. It is not only about what is happening right now in someone´s life, it is about good storytelling and quality content. However, torrents can be used for live stream and it is on our roadmap to explore that path.
Bitcoinist: Professional content creators depend on centralized platforms to offer their content to huge audiences and monetize the views. Will Flixxo be able to offer YouTubers comparable audience and monetary rewards? Please explain the math behind the platform if possible.
AG: We cannot bring four billion views to the next “Despacito”, but we can really help monetizing authors from a few thousand to some million views per month. These authors are making from nothing to pennies out of their productions on YouTube. In our platform, they get paid every time a user hits the play button. We have developed a complete economy in which consumers, who need Flixx to play a video, can earn tokens by watching advertising or by becoming distributors of content. So almost every token that comes from advertising goes to the wallet of the content producers, and they can exchange the tokens to fiat or to any crypto with liquidity, directly from advertisers.
We were surprised that premium content creators, with more than 1 billion views on YouTube, reached out to us and showed interest in bringing their content to the platform!
Bitcoinist: How will you incentivize people to join Flixxo, both content creators and consumers?
AG: For authors, we will launch a campaign in which we assume the role of co-producers of original content for Flixxo, in exchange they will have to invite their YouTube followers to our platform. For users we have reserved 500M tokens that will be distributed during ten years, and will reward certain social benchmarks (e.g. having distributed their first five videos, having sent or received two tokens with friends, etc) These incentive tokens will end up in the hands of content creators, encouraging them to bring more content to the platform, and more quality content will bring more users. We will need to be smart and to be ready to deal with this fragile flow.
Bitcoinist: To draw an audience to Flixxo, you’d probably want creators involved with Flixxo to no longer post anything on YouTube. Won’t content creators who keep sharing their content on YouTube even after joining Flixxo be nigh useless for Flixxo’s development? In other words, how important is exclusive content and how will you fight for it?
AG: Once authors find out that they can create a better profit out of their exclusive videos, they will stop posting them on YouTube. We are offering a new model, this new model may require a different content than the content they post on Youtube. So, some content creators would feel comfortable with this model and would be protective of their Flixxo content, and some of them would still prefer posting on both platforms.
Bitcoinist: A huge issue for current content creators is non-transparent and often draconian censorship policies centralized platforms observe. How will Flixxo make sure censorship is not a problem for anyone who is at least not creating criminal content according to international law?
AG: Flixxo is a platform and a network. As a platform, we’ve decided to stay family-friendly and to not allow certain content (such as pornography). However, the network cannot be censored and anyone is able to build a platform for their content on top of it. Back to the house metaphor, it is your own land, is up to you to build the house you want to build.
Bitcoinist: Futurists suggest that in the online world of tomorrow content sharing services will become concepts much broader than how we understand them today. Perhaps we will see social media become one huge conglomerate of imaginable services. In your opinion, how does Flixxo push the humanity in that particular direction? How do you see it evolve?
AG: At the end, it is always about human interactions. All the actual models of interactions rely on third parties, on triangles. There is always author, consumer, and YouTube; he, she and Facebook; client, retailer, and Visa. Flixxo is an ecosystem in which people interact without intermediaries: our network is a swarm of individuals connected, with a common interest in sharing audiovisual content. A network where video content is the language in which they communicate with each other. Directly with each other, without outsiders monetizing on their interactions or messing up the communication.
For more information about Flixxo and the services they offer, please visit their company website at flixxo.com.
Do you think the prospect of better monetization will be enough to woo content producers away from YouTube and on to Flixxo? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Flixxo