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Platform Takes on YouTube and Spotify to Protect Copyright and Help Artists Make a Living

A blockchain platform is teaming up with Korean and global artists to deliver exclusive, limited-edition content to fans — including music and webtoons.

A blockchain platform is enabling creators to share their music, videos and webtoons with the masses, all while ensuring that their copyright is protected.

ContentsDeal says it aims to simplify the “complicated distribution structure” that is seen across the media world today, a structure which often means it can be difficult for talented artists to make a profit from their works.

The company claims that an extensive range of Korean and global artists have gotten involved with its platform so far, delivering exclusive, limited-edition content to fans.

Changing tune

According to ContentsDeal, the evolution of platforms such as YouTube and Spotify — which enable consumers to listen to music on demand — have been great news for the public but frustrating for content creators. Especially when it comes to young, up-and-coming artists, many of whom have a small following on these platforms, the blockchain project argues that the video-sharing site ends up being a “big loss in compensation for their work.”

Current revenue streams on these platforms often include “annoying” ads which are placed in the middle of videos, or paid memberships which enable users to avoid this disruption altogether. However, ContentsDeal alleges that very little of this revenue ends up making its way back to the content creator.

Indeed, Spotify has been a long-running sore point for artists — and according to CNBC, payments through this platform can vary anywhere between $0.006 and $0.0084 a stream, meaning one million plays of a song would may only generate a maximum of $8,400. Even all of this doesn’t necessarily go to a performer once songwriters, producers and record labels are brought into the equation.

ContentsDeal is available here

The solution

ContentsDeal says it aims to remedy this through a protocol known as Proof of Copyright — or PoC for short. It has already begun to make inroads within the music industry after striking a partnership with the Korean Management Foundation, which works on behalf of big names including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. It has also forged connections with the K-pop music industry in the hope that top talent on its platform will encourage others to sign up as well.

“People who participate in the ContentsDeal ecosystem will experience safer and enhanced transparency in their content trade… and get more top-tier music,” a Medium blog post added.

The startup also plans to help the webtoons industry, and claims that platforms have been failing to develop at the same pace as content creators. The blog post adds: “This instability of the webtoon industry structure is counterproductive in regards of growth and fresh content, thus the need for a fair copyright policy is crucial for its survival.”

ContentsDeal officially launched on Jan 29, and a series of events have been taking place to help the platform gain momentum. Users are being invited to take place in a test transaction contest so they can help the company ensure that its system for purchasing and reselling content is fully functional. The startup is also inviting the community to share feedback about their experiences while using the platform — especially if they’ve got any ideas for improvements or have encountered any bugs. Looking ahead, ContentsDeal is hoping to forge new partnerships to enhance the breadth of music, webtoons and videos on its platform.

Learn more about ContentsDeal

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Blockchain Platform to Promote Japanese Culture Through Movies, TV Shows and Music

A blockchain-based company says it is seeking to cater to what it calls a growing demand for Japanese culture — creating animations, music, games and movies, as international interest in this industry grows.

According to MINDOL’s white paper, the country’s government is investing heavily in a “cool Japan” strategy, designed to showcase powerful content and enable a market already worth 12 trillion yen domestically (about $108 million) to generate even more revenue from devoted fans in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

The company has a thorough plan for producing content, and several projects are already in the works. MINDOL has the goal of regularly producing TV programs and hosting artist content that nurture new talent and open up new opportunities. And, in an attempt to reach younger audiences, the platform aims to establish relationships with social media influencers on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

MINDOL says famous producers who specialize in TV, film, animation and publishing have already agreed to join its platform. According to the company, it has partnered with Mushi Production, a Japanese animation studio.

At the heart of the company’s ecosystem is a marketplace called eMINDOL, helping consumers to view content, buy products, and invest in the projects they feel most passionate about. The public will also have the chance to give donations to their favorite stars, enabling them to make a living. Stakeholders will have the ability to vote and participate in the planning and development of new content, and their influence will be tied to the number of MINDOL tokens they own.

For content creators, MINDOL’s blockchain also has the potential to help protect their earnings. Copyright management is going to be a major focus for the platform — giving artists the credit they deserve for their hard work. In time, the company hopes this will enable creatives to prevent their content from being used without their consent, as well as weed out counterfeit goods that have been a drain on the industry’s profitability.

Making “cool Japan” even more exciting

MINDOL’s team say they want to ramp up the excitement and enthusiasm that global fans have for Japanese content. One initiative that aims to bolster engagement with its platform is “mileage.” This concept would see users who hold on to MINDOL tokens for prolonged periods of time receive discounts when making purchases — and, in time, it may also result in devoted users benefitting from preferential treatment.

The company says that its project has already garnered immense levels of interest. It recently held a private, Japan-only sale — raising 3.8 billion yen (about $34 million) in funds. Although this investment has allowed MINDOL to set some projects in motion, it has the goal of strengthening content production and speeding up development by staging a token sale for investors from around the world.

Projects in the pipeline

According to MINDOL, projects for TV programs are due to commence in October, with details of planned animations to be unveiled in the same month. A whole range of new productions, as well as booths at exhibitions, will follow in 2019 and 2020.

The platform has also attracted a host of A-list advisers. Among them is Gil Junger, a renowned producer and director of Hollywood movies and shows. His award-winning films include “10 Things I Hate About You,” and they have been credited with propelling some of the world’s biggest actors into the limelight.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Company Enables Artists to Sell Unlimited Concert Tickets by Using Blockchain-Powered VR

Millions of tickets are sold yearly for musiс fans to see artists of all calibers, from small venues to large arena concerts. However it is not physically possible for every fan to be able to see their favorite artist; the more popular they are, the more people miss out, as venues quickly reach capacity. Yet virtual reality company CEEK are looking to change this and tackle the issue of demand outstripping supply in live music.

Viewing the concert through a headset

According to CEEK, by allowing artists to sell unlimited ‘virtual’ tickets for fans to view the concert through a headset, the company have removed the upper limit (and therefore lost potential revenue) on tickets available to be sold. They are already available to purchase at retailers such as Amazon (and recently sold out at US retailer Best Buy), and simply connect to the user’s smartphone to allow for streaming. Since CEEK have partnered with Universal and Apple, music fans can enjoy concerts from an impressive lineup of artists who typically sell out, including Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and U2. In addition, they have partnered with T-Mobile to enable customers to use VR data-free; a seemingly small detail that will actually make a real beneficial difference for customers.

Celebrity Coin Mint

A unique and defining feature of CEEK is the ‘Celebrity Coin Mint,’ which allows artists to create unique custom virtual coins for fans, in order to purchase virtual merchandise or take part in VIP events. Artists can create these custom coins ‘within minutes’ on the CEEK platform without having to have an ICO. As each of these coins have a linked Ethereum address, the CEEK tokens act like a cryptocurrency and allow fans to possess bespoke items that will increase in value over time. Fans can also use CEEK tokens to vote for concert content. Established partners and other ticket sellers could also accept CEEK tokens as a payment method for gig tickets, allowing these tickets to be traded within CEEK and further increasing demand. The company claims, as unique minted tokens are created, demand for the service will increase, as it is not a feature offered by other crypto. Thus it is an area of potentially unlimited revenue for artists of any level of popularity.

CEEK are also decimalizing rights clearances which will allow creators to use the licensed music worldwide, further boosting revenues and simplifying the overall process.

When it comes to security, the Ethereum Blockchain provides consumers with confidence that their transactions are secure and transparent. According to the company, those using the CEEK Blockchain can maintain or trade their digital assets for a much lower price than on other platforms. The souvenir merchandise purchased by fans using CEEK have both physical and digital assets cryptographically authenticated, eliminating the risk of counterfeit goods. CEEK declare that ‘we are actually using Blockchain in the way it was intended,’ by driving this decentralized sales process and increasing efficiencies.

Future Plans and Token sale

With a formidable team at the helm (CEO Mary Spio has previously founded media platforms with clients including XBOX and Coca-Cola), CEEK’s white paper sets out ambitious plans for the future, including having their VR in use by 100 mln devices by the end of 2018. They are continuing to expand and build upon their existing infrastructure to support the Blockchain ecosystem. Their public token sale begins on April 15th. Further into 2018, they plan to enable live VR streaming of music festivals, and the introduction of a Smart Wallet system.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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New Abstract Painting Series Offers Crypto To Anyone Who Can Solve Its Puzzles

Artist Andy Bauch’s new painting series “New Money,” combines art and crypto by hiding abstract codes in his Lego artwork, the paintings representing the private keys to wallets containing as much as $9000 worth of cryptocurrencies each, Gizmodo reported Friday, March 23.

Lego artwork

Buying this piece does not mean that you own the private key, as anyone who figures out the code will be able to take the money for themselves. However, Bauch told Gizmodo that he will give the purchaser of any painting “a hint.”

The exhibit, which will be displayed at the Castelli Art Space in Los Angeles from March 23-25, also contains a live feed of the changing prices of the money in each private key.

As of press time, all of the crypto appears to still be in each wallet, meaning that either no one has cracked any of the codes, or perhaps just not moved the money yet. Each painting is on sale for between $1,500 and $4,800, the price not reflecting the value of its private key wallet holdings.

Bauch told Gizmodo that while he had become interested in crypto back in 2013: “I wasn’t smart enough to buy enough to have f***-you money.” For this particular art project, Bauch began buying various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC), in 2016. He then used their private keys to generate an abstract pattern through an algorithm, allowing for his own personal aesthetic changes as long as it kept the secret code valid.

According to Bauch, his work often attempts to “span this gap that often exists between new technology and humanity.”

Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, could help artists in claiming ownership over their projects, according to Daniel Zhai, the CEO of the INK platform. Zhai spoke to Cointelegraph in December of last year about the potential for his Blockchain-based platform to also help artists tokenize their projects, as well as offer a space for crypto crowdfunding.

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Blockchain Revolution for the Art Industry

Soon after wrapping up BlockShow Asia 2017 main conference, Cointelegraph has been updating you about the companies that made some significant efforts at the event. This time let’s discover a company called INK and understand its COO Daniel Zhai’s perspective.

Daniel Zhai told us about the next revolution, a revolution of Blockchain environment in the creative scene. So if you’re an artist and you’re sick and tired of other people copying your work or some middleman taking away too much money, INK is the platform for you to sign up.

Cointelegraph: What is INK? Could we call it a Blockchain platform where creative individuals don’t get screwed over by the system?

Daniel Zhai: Yeah, that’s right. Couldn’t have made a better introduction myself. INK is a set of Blockchain solutions for the creative industry, mostly for the artists. If you want to do an art project, you got to claim ownership of your project. If you are a writer – you write something in your article on your blog and somebody say “Ok. This is a good idea! There’s a piece of good, you know, thoughts and pitiful words.” Then, they put it in their book. So there is no way for you to claim that is what you’ve written.

CT: And then there is legal aspect of it, which most people don’t understand, right?

DZ: With the Internet and traditional industry, the action of encouragement is everywhere. If you wrote a song, I wrote a song and it sounds very similar who’s there to say that I wrote a song or you wrote the song. No! There’s no perfect solution for that. But, if you register your work on a Blockchain that guarantees an ownership. This is yours and nobody can take it from you.

That’s the first step that we’ve been doing for over one year – to really expand the vision. Our second and third step is to tokenize your art projects. If you want to shoot a film, and you’re young artists, you’re doing something very ambitious. You don’t know anybody in the industry, you don’t have the resources to, you know, distribute your work. So you’re basically screwed. That is why young artists really need a way to fund their projects.

In our second and third step, we’ll have a crypto crowdfunding platform – if you want to do a film, an album or anything for that matter, you can INK cash it and support your own project, using our resources. Also, once your art project tokens get recognized, you can list them on our INK exchange – an exchange designed for artists.

CT: How is this gonna be different from existing platforms, like a Kickstarter project or even Patron? There’s a lot of platforms out there that support artists and get them paid. How is INK going to be a distraction?

DZ: That’s the best question I’ve had so far, thank you. So when you have an idea and others don’t, say, you want to make a fancy water bottle and I also want to make a fancy bottle of water as well. Your design of water bottle, anyone can copy and put it on Kickstarter. How would you claim that it is yours? No, you can’t. But on Blockchain you can.

Let’s admit, Kickstarter does not have Blockchain. We have it. Also, on Kickstarter, there is a risk of fiat, and they have developed this huge amount of projects where they pick the best projects, and more often than not, good projects are abandoned.

To be honest, in our content we are very much like a Kickstarter but we give people crypto. And the market is very liquid so when you raise your project – it’s a very easy thing to do, to get your project funded, even though you don’t have a nice presentation on the Kickstarter, a nice website, a good presentation of your ideas. But if you are a rough diamond –  we are really the guys who helped you to shine and, you know, get your radio discovered.

CT: Also there’s a psychology behind the market. These days the sentiment is that if it’s crypto, then it’s far more likely to be spent. Anyway, this is gonna be an area where you mentioned that they don’t have to be, they can be diamond in the rough and they can get a spot but that was also how a lot of this young early platforms started, right? People just come in and provide content? But as this platform grows at the 2.0, 3.0 and then becomes a race between one developer – second developer – this gonna be the same with INK as well?

DZ: Right now we’ve seen some competitors but they are not doing it right. They all made something that very elementary and fundamental to the whole big picture. We’re working with some of the best lawyers across the world to design our own token economics behind everything and there is solid legal ground and on top of that, we have some of the best developers. We have a bunch of PhDs from my university UCL to guarantee from the technology side. So I think we’re presenting the best case that, you know, possible.

CT: This the other thing that I would like to get your thoughts on: what is your sentiment about the creative market these days, where people are constantly working for free, artists could be exploited, right? Due to this exposure, they maybe don’t get paid enough. And then, small guys pitch something to the big guys?

DZ: That’s the old industry, there is a clear hierarchy. So it’s a pyramid. If you want to climb to the top, you got to know someone, got have messy resources, make people behind you, to support you. So it’s not really good money for the young artists. When they’re young, they have the youth and the most energy to create; they are very innovative when they’re young, less active as they get old.

For instance, a young singer can only claim about ten percent from what she makes. If your tail is waved and you have Michael Jackson you can clear out of the 20 percent, but the middleman and the big guys who are sitting on top of the hierarchy of pyramid make the most money off the value that the artist creates. These are some pain points in this industry and we’re here to change that.

Whether the artist is existing, established or emerging, this platform is for all. Money is being made and someone is taking a huge chunk of it. And especially for young artists, you know, that’s where you get a push from INK.

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Blockchain Will Fulfill the Broken Promise of the Internet For Creatives, Says INK COO

In a presentation at BlockShow Asia, Daniel Zhai, COO of Blockchain startup INK Labs Foundation, introduced the company’s Intellectual Property Assets Exchange built on the Qtum Blockchain. The platform will help artists both protect and monetize their creative works.

According to Zhai’s presentation, current global creative industries revenue is at $2.25 tln market cap, while Bitcoin is currently under $260 bln. INK is seeking to bring Blockchain technology into the creative industry to make content production more secure and beneficial to the creators themselves.

Speaking about the current state of the creative industry in the Internet age, Zhai stated:

“[The] Internet did revolutionize the creative industry…but the pattern is broken…If you wrote a song and somebody listened to your song and…they copy it. So there are various acts of infringement happening on the Internet. So, original content creators, they can’t claim what is theirs by right.”

By providing a distribution network that maintains copyright ownership, INK’s platform will allow artists to both better protect, distribute, and be rewarded for their work. The peer-to-peer (P2P) nature of Blockchain technology lets lesser known artists be compensated for their creations by their supporters and fans, without depending on a third party, like a record or publishing company.  

The INK platform allows artists to protect and monetize their project or creative endeavor via tokenization, transforming each work of art into an asset in which the public can invest. INK’s team create the tokens and handle the technical details so that artists can continue to focus on their work.

According to the company’s presentation at BlockShow Asia, INK already raised $65 mln during their ICO in November and plans to hold their first system launch by Q1 2018.

BlockShow Asia is an international event with more than 1,500 attendees in the tech, finance, and Blockchain industries, dedicated to showcasing and supporting innovations in Blockchain technology.

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Thought You Couldn’t Buy a Picasso? Think Again!

It seems that the concept of tokenization is taking the world by storm. Decentralized networks allow people to invest through the pooling of funds in assets that are tangible, and that would otherwise be far out of their price point.

Maecenas is a platform that allows users to invest in works of art through tokenization. The artwork is kept in the custody of art vaults like freeports – ultra luxurious art viewing spaces in tax free zones near major airports. The currency used within the ecosystem for purchases and leases is the ART, the ERC20 token issued by Maecenas. The tokens can also be traded on exchanges for fiat currency.

The tokenized artwork is then offered to the community who is able to invest in the art via the same token – the ART token. Investors then hold a portion interest in the artwork, which appreciates with time.

The principle of tokenization is the same as in the stock market. Individual investors are able to own shares in huge corporations like Google, Apple, or GE. However, until Maecenas, the art world was limited to a few art patrons who were willing to spend millions on individual pieces. Through tokenization, this will radically change.

A massive opportunity

The art world is growing rapidly. With nearly $65 bln per year in art being transferred, the opportunity for a company like Maecenas is huge. By tokenizing these assets, the company is able to offer them to a wider market, thus increasing the buying power for the market.

Further, investors seeking more safe-haven asset purchases are able to diversify their portfolios with assets which have, until now, been reserved for the largest-scale investors in the world. Through tokenization, these large-scale purchases are moved into the mainstream, in general class investors can participate.

This coupling of price increase, wider participation, and opening of new investor fronts will drive the art market forward, and Maecenas is there to make the tokenization leap smooth.

Further, the decentralized platform allows investors to coordinate with one another across a peer-to-peer network, effectively removing the exorbitant fees charged by art auction houses. This also drives prices upward as handling costs are greatly reduced.

ART tokens offered

For investors who want to join in on the ground floor of what will ultimately become a global tokenized market, the company is offering its ART tokens via a crowd sale ICO. Tokens are sold at a rate of 480 ART for 1 ETH.

The company is committed to capping the number of tokens, and only allowing the funds to be used within the platform. Pantera Capital has already invested part of its $100 mln crypto hedge fund into ART tokens. Savvy investors will want to get in on the ground floor with Pantera.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.