Liquid Media Group and Eluvio screened IndieFlix’s original documentary ANGST on Eluvio’s blockchain-based content platform at the Sundance Film Festival 2022, raising awareness around anxiety and mental health while supporting key charities.
Half the proceeds will go towards mental health advocacy organizations, including Jack.org, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and the IndieFlix Foundation.
“The idea is that we provide them [content creators] with an entire solution, as a business solution to help them do what they do best, which is to create,” said Ron Thomson, chief executive officer of Liquid Media. “The blockchain element of that is something that we have been searching for for some time, to find a professional global provider that understands what they’re doing and has an infrastructure.”
Media content isn’t a use case that intuitively comes to mind when talking about blockchain, a record-keeping technology more commonly associated with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But depending on the implementation, a blockchain-based content distribution system has a bevy of benefits over traditional methods, including reducing the amount content creators need to pay the hosting company, thus increasing their overall return. The content creator can also gain more control over how their content is distributed and where. On the flip side, the viewer can enjoy more ways to interact with and support their favourite creators through purchasing blockchain-based digital goods such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), certificates on the blockchain that grant exclusive access to digital assets.
“They have the ability to directly control the ownership and distribution of their content at scale,” said Michelle Munson, CEO of Eluvio, when describing the company’s platform. “And that just isn’t something that one can do, at least to global audiences, with Web 2. It’s essentially a form of licensing at all times, from the content creator to the platform and intermediates.”
Munson explained in an interview that Eluvio uses a decentralized, just-in-time content storage and distribution network that has all content marked with blockchain addresses. This creates a chain of trust to provide the publisher with true ownership and governance control over the content. The fabric also acts as a token minting platform that can directly tie NFTs to the media experience, which could potentially allow fans to own rights in the media experience itself. All of this can be done scalably, from a localized audience to a global one.
Built as a “blockchain in the truest sense,” the Eluvio platform protocol runs on a network of open nodes. The majority of nodes are owned by Eluvio or its customers. Those nodes in turn run the protocol stack and perform validation in the blockchain.
The California government has adopted ANGST as a part of its statewide education platform, but IndieFlix already has a long-standing history in fostering discussions around challenging issues. Scilla Andreen, CEO of IndieFlix, said that the company has been delivering content to schools for almost 10 years, in 67 countries.
“We started off with just screening films in schools to foster and open up conversations about specific topics that would be kind of universal, whether it’s bullying or screen addiction,” said Scilla.
Building on its success, IndieFlix now creates full learning curricula and life skill activities. It launched its ed-tech platform last year.
As a part of the screening at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, viewers could purchase the exclusive ANGST NFT. In addition to fundraising and supporting creators, the NFT also gives a preview of the potential of a blockchain-powered distribution network.
“I think more than anything else, it’s [Eluvio’s blockchain platform] just been sensible. And it’s been quite simple,” said Thomson. “It’s taken us a while to understand more elements of how this operates, but our job is to try to make it simple for audiences and content creators to utilize and take advantage of all the benefits of blockchain.