The entertainment industry has seen its share of growing pains and challenges over the years, yet it always returns to thrive. 2020 may see the most all-encompassing difficulties the industry has ever experienced, but these difficulties also provide an opportunity to address three of the industry’s biggest stumbling blocks as we move into a new era of media consumption and audience preferences:
Global entertainment saw revenues of $101 billion in 2019, despite a resurgence of piracy in recent years. Eliminating illegal downloading or viewing of content could increase total revenues by between 40 and 96 percent.
- Lack of Funding for Original Content
Projects do not get funded unless they are backed by someone with big studio credits under their belt. Consider the fact that almost 88 percent of the market share is dominated by just six studios, and it’s easy to see why independent creators find it nearly impossible to get their projects in front of Hollywood investors.
- Disconnection with Audience
There’s a definite disconnect between audiences and those who are creating the films and TV we watch. Distributors are spending more money per viewer on advertising than they ever have before, yet they still seem to be missing the mark with their offerings. More interaction with audiences could give movie makers a better idea of what’s popular and what’s not, and could boost an independent’s chances of creating the next big hit.
What does the industry currently look like?
The entertainment industry has implemented thoughtful solutions to the issue of piracy. Netflix and Spotify are low-cost platforms that allow viewers legal, paid access to an enormous amount of content without the need to pay for each item individually. Artists and studios still get a small cut for each view or listen, though it may only be fractions of a penny.
YouTube now offers premium content as well, using effectively the same concept as Netflix. Audiences can pay a monthly subscription price to view content with no commercials, and they can also rent movies and TV shows for a cost.
The problem with these solutions is that they’re not comprehensive enough to prevent people from illegally downloading or watching content. Most people who take advantage of pirated content tried to find it legally first. Many looked on the sites they subscribe to and couldn’t find it, so they pirated it. They understand that piracy is wrong, but many don’t realize the depth of the loss, including up to $115 billion and 560,000 jobs annually.
Why streaming services don’t help
Streaming services are only part of the solution, but in order to truly combat the incredible losses resulting from piracy, we need to address Hollywood’s other stumbling blocks. Investors, reasonably, want to invest in projects that are likely to generate a certain return, but audiences are getting bored with recycled content.
One would think that streaming services and all their “original” content would support the emergence of independent creators, and to some degree that’s true. But streaming services and recent YouTube changes make it impossible for filmmakers to get real audience feedback about their content, which is vital to the process.
When creators don’t know how their project is performing, they don’t know when it may be time for a new approach. Additionally, collaborative relationships between investors and creators are not fostered in this environment. Streaming services depersonalize the production process, removing creators from the audience and investors from the product they are funding.
Alienating consumers prevents them from caring about the content they view, the people who create the content and the “rightness” or “wrongness” of pirating a product they may feel they already pay for with their cable and streaming subscription services. Giving audiences better content that’s more tailored to the kinds of subject matter, styles and stories they want to see may cut back on the sentiment that led to the piracy in the first place.
How can Blockchain help?
Blockchain provides a secure, transparent platform on which to share, collaborate and develop projects in a way that facilitates growth for the entertainment industry while addressing its three big stumbling blocks. Using this technology will not necessarily stop piracy directly (though it can reduce it by tracking content to identify piracy activities), but it will help to combat some of the access and alienation issues that contribute to the act.
All transactions that take place on the blockchain are stored in their own block of data that will never be deleted. They are timestamped and given identifying markers, making each transaction entirely transparent. The blocks are then connected to every previous and forthcoming related data event. The data is stored over an entire network of servers (nodes) and alterations must be verified across a majority of nodes to go through.
Creators can load their best content, knowing their intellectual property rights are protected. Investors and creators both have unencumbered access to dependable metrics indicating a project’s performance and fan enthusiasm. They can collaborate directly with creators and build relationships with content, and fans have the same kind of access. They, too, can give feedback, engage and see what others are saying about projects.
Filmio is part of the solution
The COVID-19 crisis has the entertainment industry on its head. This may be the biggest and most far-reaching challenge in its century-long history. Some speculate that the industry is facing a $160 billion loss over the next five years, but streaming services are growing.
Filmio’s Decentralized Platform can not only mitigate loss, but promote growth by addressing some of the problems the industry has long needed a solution for. The answers to piracy and the difficulties entertainment faces are multitiered, and Filmio provides the infrastructure to innovate and build the new approach for which audiences have been waiting.