Vodra aims to revolutionize entertainment consumption, bring crypto to wider audience

A new platform aims to provide artists and content creators with a more equitable revenue stream, one which will allow them to focus on their craft.

Created by a team of entrepreneurs from Montreal, Vodra allows artists to earn a living by rewarding them based on the size of their audience. The Vodra they make is paid by supporters who pay for content they like. That increases engagement while driving up the value of the tokens.

Cofounders Zachary Bys and Conner Romanov met while both were studying at Concordia University, with Bys focused on software engineering and Romanov on finance. After working for a few years the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everyone’s daily patterns changed. 

With the world shutting down, people have been consuming more and more online entertainment on social sites, Romanov said. That was good for all involved but especially sites, which can take 45 per cent of donations meant for creators. At the same cryptocurrency was gaining in popularity and Romanov had a thought.

“What if we could find a way to make a marriage between the two ideas so we could better compensate content creators by using cryptocurrency,” he asked.

Vodra founding members (from left) Amin Bouabdellah, Conner Romanov and Zachary Bys have seen strong growth in the platform’s first few weeks.

The founders got to work on a decentralized donation platform to help creators and the more creators they spoke to the more problems they saw. Many spoke about being at the mercy of specific platforms by having to gear their content to whatever the algorithm was being used that month. That formula is tied to advertisers so content matching with an advertiser’s target market gets pushed to the detriment of others. If you move to a new platform you have to rebuild your audience.

“These radical swings actually make it tough for them to work on content they’re passionate about,” Romanov said.

The future is in the most direct avenues between creators and audiences so Bys and Romanov decided to build it, Bys said. Content creators join Vodra and bring their audiences along with them, getting more Vodra for bringing a larger crowd and for bringing it earlier. With the supply of Vodra limited to two billion and as it is paid out at a declining rate, there is incentive to join sooner than later. That has allowed Vodra, which operates alongside of the YouTubes and Instagrams of the world, to attract content producers with a combined audience of 100 million followers in a few weeks.

Vodra’s format has been fostering rapid growth because producers are incentivized to promote it, Bys explained. The more people they bring, the more they get paid and the more artists that join, the larger that total audience becomes. That produces more demand for Vodra, which drives up its price.

In the past few weeks Vodra has signed up musicians, a professional surfer and even an archer who shoots arrows with their feet. Their combined audience is in excess of 100 million people and that has generated a social media buzz, Romanov said. It will also benefit content producers with specific niches. All can be paid with Vodra donations on a one-time basis or through planned monthly giving.

Down the road Vodra could be used to buy digital art and other online assets or as the ante for esports events. Bys and Romanov envision Vodra to become available on some cryptocurrency exchanges where it can be linked to fiat.

Another goal is to help cryptocurrency become mainstream, Bys said. While very secure, many people still do not trust it. As more examples of PayPal or Elon Musk diving into the market emerge, that trust will grow.

But new participants without millions to spend need a safe place to begin, and what better way than to allow them to use cryptocurrency at $2 or $3 at a time to pay for something they understand?

“We’re hoping to be the entry point for a lot of these users,” Bys said. “It’s a very small learning curve that’s not intimidating to people. I think our idea has a very unique opportunity to convert people way more rapidly and effectively that some other projects have in the past.”

Vodra is planning a presale in the coming weeks along with a raffle allowing winners to enter the presale and purchase tokens before they hit the open market. Partnerships include the Lost Team, who manage many Twitch streamers, Fortnite world champions, a freestyle hockey player and personal finance and tech influencers like VanaderGrowth, Matt Upham and GrowthMindCheck.