In what is claimed to be a world first for the film industry, Blockchain-Video-on-Demand (BVOD) agreements were signed on Tuesday, between Swedish startup Cinezen Blockchained Entertainment and a number of film distribution agents. The deal was announced at the European Film Market 2018 event (EFM) in Berlin last week, following initial investment by Austrian VC firm AltaIR Capital.
Cinezen said, in the statement, that it is developing the first truly decentralized and community driven global blockchain-based VOD marketplace based on the Ethereum protocol. The sales agents signing up to the network include Ant!pode Sales & Distribution (Anton Mazurov), FlexyMovies (Alessandro Masi), YTINIFNI PICTURES (David Suarez), Danish sales house Level K (Tine Klint) and the UK’s Celsius Entertainment (Thierry Wase-Bailey).
According to the release, BVOD is a new addition to the film industry’s legal vocabulary, with blockchain technology solving one the industry’s biggest problems – the lack of trust and transparency in regard to royalty reporting and invoicing. It employs a so-called “trustless” model, with all the data inside the blockchain transparent and verifiable and every transaction stored on the distributed public ledger.
Every content provider is a participant in a blockchain network and has direct and immediate access to incorruptible and transparent transaction data, the statement said. Revenue payments are executed in tradable crypto-currency in a decentralized manner from the end user to the rights holder.
“Blockchain is still a relatively new technology but it’s already transforming the world and we believe that it will revolutionize film distribution too,” stated Cinezen’s CEO and co-founder Sam Klebanov. “Considering the enthusiastic response and great interest in our project we expect the number of signed deals to grow significantly in the weeks following Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival). We see these inaugural license agreements as the first step towards our ultimate goal – the world’s largest film library globally available online”.
Cinezen is still under development and, while its commercial launch is scheduled for Q4 2018, the Alpha version of the product will be made available for public testing prior to the Cannes Film Festival, in May, the press release said.