From Blockbuster the Chain to Blockchain the Movie?
We’ve come a long way, Mr. Edison.
Since the early days of cinema, the moving image has captured the imagination of, well, everyone. And in some ways the formula hasn’t changed much, but the means of distribution have. We’ve moved from literal celluloid to digital, where films are beamed through bits and bytes into theaters.
Now? From blockbuster to Blockbuster the chain to…blockchain.
News comes this week, from the Santa Monica Daily News, that a local theater will debut a movie that is being released and distributed via blockchain. The movie is titled “No Postage Necessary” and as the site notes, has a bitcoin subplot.
Hmm. In a way, might it be the case that bitcoin is becoming a subplot to the blockchain story? Where once the mind boggled with, and has been consumed with, cryptocurrencies, now the attention has been shifting to the rails, as it were, that underpin the movement of those currencies.
Perhaps equally important, blockchain is heralded as a new way to deliver and speed the movement of all sorts of data and media.
The movie gets released more widely later in the month. Regardless of the picks or pans, the movement of the moving image through this distribution method means blockchain may be gearing up for a new plot. In the Santa Monica article, Kathrine Olson, who is co-founder of Vevue, which as a decentralized autonomous organization is behind the film’s distribution, said that the middleman gets taken out of the equation and distributor fees disappear.
The model is one that enthusiasts and supporters say will let creators keep more of what they earn (with that middleman absent, along with his or her or corporate entity’s commissions) and also make sure that stakeholders in the process are kept honest. Honesty comes, the argument goes, because there is an immutable record of how people get paid. There’s also the promise of putting pirates at bay, given the peer to peer nature of data transference.
If the movement to a wholly digital platform is one that threatens to upend any number of systems and industries – government, music, logistics – that’s because everyone is playing off the same set of records. The promise may especially be valuable in media, where invoices get invoiced and royalties get paid but record keeping is paramount. Investors and producers and talent? All on the same page. And in this case, content may be created a bit more swiftly, or get to market more quickly then it might have previously. Plus, distribution can be truly global in nature, operating across models both transactional and subscription based.
It was digital currency that has made people sit up and take notice of blockchain – or at least notice the buzz. But it may be actual endeavor (here, art) that beats speculation (you know, the crypto kind).
A decade since its launch, blockchain may finally be ready for its closeup.