So much of what is broken in the production and delivery of entertainment can be fixed by looking to the blockchain and companies like DECENT, Pivotal Entertainment founder and CEO Amorette Jones believes.
Ms. Jones was a featured speaker at DECENT’s Unchained Conference, held recently in Hong Kong. A key part of the viral marketing campaign behind the Blair Witch Project, she also helped design the first movie website.
Worldwide, entertainment is a top-ten industry forecasted to generate $2 trillion by 2021, Ms. Jones said. But it could be doing much, much better. Growth is falling every year, and the 2017 summer box office take didn’t help.
“Entertainment has become far too expensive and it’s really stale,” Ms. Jones said.
Blame a conservative studio culture. In 2010 ten percent of revenue was derived from franchise titles. That share rose to 50 per cent in 2015. The pressure to produce a winner rises with the cost of making a film, leaving studio executives fearful of taking a chance on the unknown. That leaves them, and us, with another Fast and Furious, despite the fact that most franchises actually lose money after the first one.
“Audiences are less satisfied,” Ms. Jones said.
This is occurring as content creators of all types are struggling to make even a living wage, she added. To reach the monthly poverty line of $1,260 in the United States, an musician has to sell 105 self-produced discs each month with little or no marketing and self-distribution help.
So sign with a label, you say. Easier said than done, but okay. The number of discs they need to sell has increased nearly eight-fold to 818.
Go to Amazon or iTunes, you respond. Your output to hit the poverty line is 11,364 single-track downloads.
“Ummm, have you tried Spotify?” you say with a tug of the collar.
“To earn $1,260 month on Spotify a musician has to get more than one million plays per month,” Ms. Jones said. “That’s two per cent of all subscribers on Spotify.”
“Youtube?” you mumble in a near-incoherent whine.
“To get that same ad revenue on Youtube a creator has to get 4.5 million plays a month,” Ms. Jones said. “Silicon Valley, they promised to save entertainment, but they have made things quite worse.”
Revenue models for the hit entertainment startups only work if the creator is marginalized, Ms. Jones explained. Your odds also decline as more content is funneled to those sites. They are hit driven with no marketing help provided to the vast majority of content.
Ms. Jones said her experience on the Blair Witch Project taught her that consumers want to be involved with entertainment, so producers should look for ways to invite them into the marketing. Build as many bridges as possible.
“Consumers want to be part of the process, are demanding to be part,” she said.
DECENT’s blockchain-based technology removes layers of middlemen, Ms. Jones added. Their trust-based decentralized system cuts the cost of entertainment while properly compensating content producers at a price the public will support. Smart contract technology automates payments, fees and residuals while increasing transparency.
Just as the low cost of computing has made it easier for fin-techs to disrupt every area of finance, the blockchain can do the same for entertainment, Ms. Jones believes. The low cost of entry will allow a greater range of voices to be heard, which benefits everyone.
“DECENT legally delivers high-quality entertainment at a fair price,” Ms. Jones said. “From a philosophical point of view we have an opportunity to shift the mindset.”
Bankless Times attended DECENT’s Unchained Conference, held recently in Hong Kong, on their invitation and travel costs were covered.