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Streaming services such as Netflix conquered video rental stores like Blockbuster Video thanks to the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility of their new technological platforms. Now another shift is on the horizon for providing video content to viewers. Today’s streaming companies must reckon with new challengers from the booming world of blockchain.

The Power of Blockchain

Blockchain’s decentralized nature allows for a more democratic content production experience. Individual content producers today have few options for sharing their own videos outside of hosting them on Youtube’s servers, which has led, for example, to an outcry over censorship of videos giving advice and support to LGBTQ youth. High-budget video production capabilities are essentially limited to legacy TV companies and high-profile streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, who can afford the high costs not only of producing content, but of storing and marketing it.

By decentralizing video storage and rights management, blockchain could democratize content creation. Blockchain’s efficiency and capabilities for automation through smart contracts could significantly reduce the time and money needed to provide and manage streaming content, reducing the barrier of entry for content producers. Blockchain’s decentralized computing could allow a whole different video economy, in which small creative content creators can compete with legacy streaming.

Handling permissions for video access have always been a challenge. The rise of the internet also gave way to content piracy facilitated through sites like Napster, Limewire, and Megavideo. As old piracy tools were eventually stamped out, new ones arose in their place. A recent survey found that more than half of people aged 18-24 watched illegal online streams of sports events. About half of American adults share passwords for streaming services outside of their immediate households, a violation of most services’ terms.

Blockchain’s transaction ledger can be used as a tool against content piracy, ensuring that each transaction is tied to one view or viewing privilege. This ensures that content providers of any size could be paid fairly for their work. This function could also allow a counter-balance to the more unsavory elements of democratic video access, providing a way to identify providers and consumers of illegal content such as child pornography.

Blockchain streaming video is still in its infancy, but if the rise of streaming services a decade ago proved anything, it’s that a technologically superior media platform can eventually completely eclipse its predecessors. Here are two companies leading the way in blockchain streaming video:

SuccessLife

With student loan debt reaching an all time high, and a new generation prioritizing on-going education, the team behind SuccessLife realized that there had to be a more efficient way to distribute educational content to the masses. The SuccessLife marketplace contains thousands of hours of educational streaming content from revered figures and thought leaders across industries and verticals. Powered by SUccessLife tokens, this decentralized approach allows students of all ages and all geographic locations to access this library without barriers.

The SuccessLife solution stems from SuccessResources, an organization that has been offering educational resources since 1993. Despite their decades-long history of helping individuals access new information for personal and professional development, the team also recognized that how people learn is changing thanks to the rise of our digital, and mobile-first lifestyles. By building a blockchain-based solution, they’re infusing educational streaming content with increased transparency and connectivity.

TOK.tv

TOK.tv is using blockchain to conquer sports broadcasts, one of the last TV bastions resisting the pleas of cord-cutters who lack cable and need an online option to watch live TV events.

TOK.tv is already a highly successful sports network with almost thirty million international users. The platform allows sports fans who are separated by long distances to nevertheless enjoy live broadcasts socially, using the service to talk, text, take social selfies, and send sound effects. Embedded in the app of an impressive roster of sport teams such as the LA Clippers, Real Madrid and Barcelona,

TOK.tv creates highly targeted mobile advertising to sync with the live broadcast being watched. The company already offers some streaming video options through their popular “smart highlights” option, which lets users who missed a live broadcast watch a highlights reel cut to match their desired length.

Now they’re launching an ICO selling TOK tokens, which users can exchange for access to streaming content. The token also serves as the mean for social betting among friends.Their ultimate goal is to create a marketplace where content creators, such as teams themselves, can offer both highlight reels and entire games to fans in return for cryptocurrency tokens. Blockchain’s security and immutability renders the video stream virtually immune from piracy while allowing highly targeted marketing, as each watch is tied to a specific user making a specific blockchain transaction. This model has potential both for live events and recorded ones, which are increasingly significant in sports media as fandom becomes more and more international.

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