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Viewers’ attention as a currency: challenges of global television industry

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Over the last ten-ish years TV streaming services are vastly changing the world of television, going hand-in-hand with global trends. It gives the audiences exactly what they want: involvement into the community, something to share, and flexibility to watch whatever they want whenever they want, on any screens. The competition between services, which only gets tenser over the years, also makes it all the better for consumers, keeping the prices affordable.

Although the latter is arguably, right now the picture is, as described, not bad. However, we can easily compare it to the climate change and its drastic consequences: many people and businesses said (and even go on saying) nothing is happening, while the ecologic situation continued to worsen. Television market may not have such drastic consequences by far, but it is a big part of our everyday life, and radical changes hit everyone if we don’t take any countermeasures.

Here is the thing: the television market is hugely profitable. According to Research and Markets, global online TV episode and movie revenues will reach $129 billion in 2023. Easy to see how it happens: more and more streaming services start to produce its content, as Apple TV, YouTube Originals and others did. Even Disney is planning to create its streaming platform. It is such a hot topic now because broadcasting their original content is way more profitable than buying quality premium content from the right holders. Thus, the latter has two ways of going further: to raise prices and hope that someone will go on buying what they have to offer, or start broadcasting of its own, like HBO did when they began the HBO Now platform.

There’s another pitfall that’s rarely taken into account. Subscription model services are targeting a limited audience, which can allow the monthly fee. Despite its general affordability, there are only about 1 billion people in the world who can pay for the content. Considering all stated above, it’s evident that the market becomes more and more saturated, as new players arise. As of today, one billion people give them enough revenue to operate and grow, but in a couple of years, it will no longer be enough for the “grow” part. That’s when the prices for consumers will start to grow — and that’s when, like with the climate change, it will be too late to cover it up without any damage.

This challenge is one of the biggest ones that the television industry faces. Moreover, at the moment, very few players are willing to pay attention to it, preferring to exploit the existing model until the very end. I believe in blockchain-based technology that may resolve the issue of content holders’ revenue and offer a lot both to people who can afford the subscription and those who are willing to watch quality content but cannot effort to pay for it.

Integration of blockchain-based streaming platform allows the viewers to watch ad-supported content for 30% of the revenue generated by the advertising, and content owners to receive 50% of the total advertising revenue. Blockchain open-data, at the same time, opens a whole new world of opportunities for advertisers, as it is crystal clear: who, how, for how long have seen an ad. There’s no way to cover up or change the viewing results, which means that all advertising efforts become data-based — thus, more reliable and efficient.

The data-driven approach also widens the market, introducing it to the freemium model of content. The availability of some premium content that needs to be paid for allows content creators to invest in better content, while still leaving a lot of free quality movies and series to watch for free. More than that, the tokenised model allows viewers to earn their premium content while enjoying other content with ads — as each of them “earns” for the user. This model is so simple that it can also benefit the battle against content piracy: why break the rules if blockchain-based freemium gets you all the same high content, but legally, and you can support creators… by investing your attention only?

It is yet hard to say, how the global television industry will look like in the next 10, even five years. Changes are going fast in today’s digital world. One is for sure: blockchain-based streaming platform brings some fresh air and encouraging opportunities into the market.

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