Fast fiction is a new form of digital media, a way to gobble up short-form fiction on your mobile. If you’ve not heard of it, you’re living in the slow lane, because it’s taking off, and now it’s coming to MOVIES too.
A new partnership between recently launched content streaming platform Fiction Riot and highly-regarded content distribution platform, DECENT is designed to give the digital media industry a shot in the derriere. It’s targeting mobile users with short-form, interactive content and promising providers a fairer system of equity distribution by way of blockchain-backed tech: something Hollywood currently doesn’t have much interest in.
DECENT raised $38 million during its initial coin offering (ICO), one of the three highest-grossing ICOs of 2016. It’s in the business of “making sure artists get paid what they deserve,” says the company’s CEO and co-founder Matej Michalko.
The startup’s technology, namely its DCore blockchain platform, will underpin Fiction Riot’s digital media content, and claims to process around 2,000 transactions per second. It has a burgeoning number of exciting use cases—such as gaming and tracking parts for the aviation industry—but, says Michalko, “is still very much dedicated to content distribution.”
DECENT CEO Matej Michalko. IMAGE: DECENT
The Slovak blockchain pioneer, who featured as a Forbes Slovakia 30 Under 30 luminary, is on a mission to transform how digital media content is distributed on the internet. As the world’s first blockchain dedicated to digital media content and entertainment, Michalko’s startup is targeting an industry which will be worth some $2.14 trillion by 2020.
Digital media solutions
Today’s content distribution business is notorious for its snail-like pace, bureaucratic overheads and artificial barriers to entry. Those that actually create the content—the producers, writers, actors and performers—get a poor deal and little protection for their intellectual property.
Through the use of smart contracts, computer code that performs set instructions, DECENT wants to upend traditional (lousy) compensation arrangements. It wants to cut out the industry middlemen and gatekeepers, enabling the content creators on Fiction Riot’s Ficto platform to have a direct relationship with content viewers.
“By recording transactions over blockchain’s secure and encrypted platform, Ficto pays royalties, in near real-time, directly to the artists based upon the popularity of their content and how often it is accessed,” explains Michalko. “Because remuneration is agreed upfront, everyone involved in the production is paid.”
Michalko is looking to take on big players like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify, who charge excessive commissions for distributing digital media content on their platforms. This would give content creators an incredible new opportunity to take power and profit back from the big platform providers.
“Just like with any emergent technology, we shall see a number innovators, such as Fiction Riot, join the early adopters and help shape future industry standards,” says Michalko. “These projects are not only crucial for the establishment of the industry, but also in changing how consumers perceive and view content.”
Catering to the needs of digital natives
Juicy bits of as yet-to-be-released movies will form the backbone of content on Fiction Riot’s Ficto platform, with a slew of interactive features—such as 360 degree views, augmented reality, chat and livestream—thrown into the mix.
By providing an entirely original but related storyline to an upcoming movie release, Ficto provides incentive for fans to join, but also provides extra ammunition for fans to create buzz about the release. The team have also optimised the entire experience for mobile, which, according to the stats, more than half of all global video content is consumed on smartphones.
“We designed Ficto specifically for mobile, with the mindset that if early TVs were designed to be hand-held, content today would look and behave much differently,” said Ficition Riot CEO and Co-Founder, Mike Esola, a veteran Hollywood agent with over 20 years experience.
Fiction Riot CEO Mike Esola. IMAGE: Fiction Riot
Subscription-based Ficto currently has twenty series in production, typically with four episodes and a total length of around 30 minutes, and they’re attracting talent, too. San Andreas and True Detective star Alexandra Daddario will feature in one of the three original series Ficto has planned. Based on upcoming feature film “Can You Keep A Secret,” (from the international best-selling book by Sophie Kinsella). It will be available to consumers in Spring 2019.
DECENT is also working on cutting-edge features such as digital fingerprinting—ensuring that content cannot be changed or altered from its original form, but DECENT’s highly customizable platform is capable of a whole lot more.
“DCore, can be applied in most practical use cases, and can effectively address issues with complex certification processes in the aerospace, automotive and nuclear industries, to name just a few,” says Michalko.
With airplane parts sourced from hundreds of different suppliers around the world, automating the aviation industry’s supply chain, certification and maintenance processes is another prime use case for DECENT’s technology. The company recently announced 3IPK, a decentralized application designed to make supply chain tracking simpler. DECENT is also targeting gaming and cross-border payments in Southeast Asia, with ALAX, a mobile game distribution platform.
As a platform for decentralized applications, known as dapps, DECENT is competing with the biggest names in this space: Ethereum, EOS, Cardano, and NEO. By building out features that are particularly helpful to content creators and consumers, DECENT hopes to distinguish itself in this field.
But the dominant players in the digital media industry are fast waking up to the promise of blockchain-based technologies. And while DECENT’s goal of putting Hollywood fairly and squarely in the palm of your hand is both timely and noble, the gears of the enormous production machines are cranking up. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if an agile startup could steal the show?