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AlphaNetworks aims to lead blockchain-based streaming revolution

Tony Zerucha



The way we produce, distribute and consumer media is in the beginning stages of a complete transformation, and AlphaNetworks plans on leading that change, owner and CEO Seth Shapiro said.

AlphaNetworks is a blockchain-powered entertainment platform combining subscription video on demand, targeted advertising, and pay-per-view business models on one platform with complete pricing freedom and increased monetization for content creators.

With more than two decades of experience with digital media firms, big media companies and startups in Hollywood and New York, Mr. Shapiro has the experience to recognize change in its early stages, and that is what is happening today, as we move from big cable and satellite to streaming services. While some predicted this moment from the Internet’s most early days, much of the establishment laughed it off.

Seth Shapiro

“But obviously it has happened to the point where Netflix has a larger market cap than Disney, and Disney itself announced they are moving to Disney Plus, which is a Netflix competitor,” Mr Shapiro said. “Streaming video is where it’s at – it’s more convenient, it’s what consumers want.”

Consumers now have to cobble together their ideal service by subscribing to multiple providers each offering only a fraction of their favorite shows. In some cases they may need multiple providers in order to access one show’s entire catalog. That increases costs and consumer dissatisfaction.

Content creators are equally frustrated. Netflix often compels them into a decade-long contract while not providing any performance data that is essential in the new era of online influencing and e-sports, Mr. Shapiro said.

Enter AlphaNetworks.

“What we’re building essentially is a solution which takes the best aspects of streaming video solutions,” Mr. Shapiro said. “Nobody’s combined those things.”

Netflix subscriptions, plus YouTube ads and iTunes pay-per-view transaction capability are a compelling blend, and blockchain technology can drive it with trusted, distributed and immutable record keeping capability, Mr. Shapiro said.

A key is the ability to create an environment where like-minded consumers are exposed to items of interest to them, Mr. Shapiro said. While YouTube does that to an extent, its economic model is driven by a fraction of the top one per cent of contributors and it was never designed for professional content creators. It needs to be replaced by a model which socializes content of interest through better data targeting and a different reward system where users benefit from exposing their friend to content they too will enjoy.

YouTube’s system was designed 15 years ago. There’s much better data available now.

“Gender, age and location doesn’t tell you if someone is going to be a fan,” Mr. Shapiro said. “You have to dig into the modal data and specific areas to identify areas for sections of people.”

That broken model affects how we are presented with news, too. Follow the money to determine what sources are driving the news, Mr. Shapiro said. In its place help people create and distribute content where they are rewarded based on that content’s actual usefulness to viewers.

“There’s no economic incentive for news networks to be more diverse,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The system’s not just built for that.”

Before a new system can be widely adopted, consumers need to be comfortable with it and that takes education Mr. Shapiro said. Focus un user experience and remove friction by making it fun while simplifying it. As a bridge, look to systems people are familiar with that employ aspects of what you are trying to do, like travel reward points.

Many e-wallets have failed to do that and have discouraged adoption with cumbersome technology.

“It doesn’t work, you have to take that out, Mr. Shapiro said. “Make it easy, fun to use, and intuitive.”

Consumers will begin to change behavior when they see a huge impact and we’re not there yet, Mr. Shapiro said. But 2019 will be a pivotal year, as the infrastructure continues to be developed and transparency and reporting improve as entrepreneurs increasingly leverage artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers and tokenization.

“Compare it to the birth of the web,” Mr Shaprio said. “And we’re in pre-Netscape now.”

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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