The Fintech Times has featured a new regular monthly section – Global Token Review where we help our readers make sense of the ICO’s. We spoke to Viewly about their plans to democratize monetisation for video creators.
What does your company do?
Viewly can be described as a Vimeo 2.0 that will leverage the blockchain for creative monetization features that other platforms don’t or can’t provide. It will be a home for quality content and a midpoint between YouTube and Netflix for anyone starting out, where no one has to worry about subscribers and watch times in order to monetize their content.
What problem are you solving?
We are both solving the problem of there not being that “mid level” or direct monetization from day 1; as well as the cost of hosting, especially where it is indirectly passed down to creators on a global scale whether they need it or not.
On the direct monetization level, there are platforms like Steam, the app stores etc for game and app developers to get on themselves without necessarily needing a publisher or industry partner. On the video side there is video-on-demand too. Those, however, are not nearly as accessible; you usually have to be a cable or “pay-TV” subscriber; and again it takes distributors or studios to facilitate; one of our creators Michael Matteo Rossi has a track record of navigating this as he’s worked with Lionsgate to get his feature out but it definitely has cost him on the creative side. Video on demand is available via game platforms again as well but there’s nothing that represents the ease-of-access like Youtube or something that will be more self curating; both via the cost we impose and also the community voting feature we will be building that would naturally result in the perfect blend of content.
On the other side of it you have Hulu and Netflix who write very big commission checks but only take in the best of the best; at the cost of any ownership or control for the creators usually. There’s nothing that will effectively democratize this where video content creators can start building that paid traction by submitting something themselves and seeing if they can start getting direct support for it, without a lengthy approval process or onerous partnership program that you need to qualify first. Someone may even be able to start getting that traction with as little as an awesome pilot trailer that people are already buzzing about which is something that Viewly can offer
On the distribution side, Viewly uses both the blockchain and things like IPFS (interplanetary file system) which effectively turns the world into a potential part of any hosting service; this can drive the cost all way down. Youtube takes a big chunk out of the ad revenue of creators to pay for mirroring CDN’s in aggregate but again many creators may not need that level of delivery. If a very popular web series creator can see that 91% of his viewers come from North America then he wouldn’t need to subsidise the costs of a CDN out in Asia at the same level as North America. With Viewly they can have a more controlled and granular approach with finding hosting partners and supporters through our network as they grow.
What are the major challenges for your business?
Creators and users are still largely “non crypto” so usability is a factor as well as educating them enough to where they can use crypto or are comfortable with things like using exchanges are big points. Fortunately we do have some partnerships we may be able to announce even during the public sale period that address this in the long run. Non crypto users will be able to have an “easy option” through our partners or they can learn enough about crypto with help from us and our community to manage their tokens, wallets and buying and selling on exchanges themselves. Smart contracts can also potentially offer a lot of user value and for creators “creative monetization”as well. Our challenge will be to deliver on those promises as well delighting users and creators when we do.
How are you changing the world?
Personally, I am a big fan of seeing if microtransactions (sub-$1 payments that are only possible when you use things like crypto tokens and the blockchain) take off especially at web-scale; then the payments delivered to creators could definitely be non-trivial. There is already so much traction for as little as $100 a month for platforms like Patreon. If Viewly can consistently deliver revenue better than this; with such a mass market appeal-able crypto project hopefully a LOT better; then we will have introduced a new proven model to the world and to creators beyond just ads and patreon subs.
What is the major social impact your business has delivered so far as you see it?
We’ve lined up some notable “non-crypto” creators already who see the potential of the concept already. For some the decision to move into content production and potentially stake their own financial security on it largely depends on knowing there will be the right platform or distribution out there. Viewly can inspire many to take a leap and the viewing public may also get to enjoy some great shows or content that we might not have gotten otherwise.
Do you suppose your company is a disruptor or a collaborator?
Definitely a disruptor in terms of the existing distribution options out there, but there’s clearly plenty of market space for multiple players. However, we are a collaborator to content creators and studios at all levels. Once we have the traction, we can see the major studios deciding to work with us even as we compete with their own distribution channels; in a similar way that they do with Netflix already.