Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

 

Interactive TV

 

There have been so many false starts to interactive television, it has become to seem like an experiment which will never yield results. The craze of interactive comic books and new video game technologies saw some “vote-for-what-you-want-to-see-next” programmes broadcast in 1980s America, but with little appreciation or durability. Some critics place talent shows such as Pop Idol and The X Factor in the interactive TV format, but adaptable narratives have never entered the mainstream.

 

So why all the talk?

 

Interactive TV has reentered the film and TV discussion in recent years, with online video platforms providing the perfect medium for audience reciprocation. The struggling Facebook Watch has announced that interactivity will be unrolled as a major feature of much of their upcoming content, with polls and questionnaires posed to live audiences.

Fully interactive TV narratives, however, are harder to implement. Netflix learned this last year with the half-hearted roll-out of its children’s show Puss in Book. Now, however, Netflix is poised to seriously reinvigorate the interactive TV format. They are introducing a “create-your-own-adventure” episode to its lucrative acquisition Black Mirror.

 

Here’s the thing

 

Black Mirror is appropriate for a foray into interactive TV because it tends to explore the alienating impacts of modern technology. Choose-your-own-story interactive TV fundamentally misunderstands the evolutionary and cultural function of storytelling.

 

Storytelling is a social phenomenon. It allows communities, small or large, to have a feeling of shared experience. Television programmes have become national sensations because people talked about them in dining rooms, playgrounds and offices. Stories are not supposed to be experienced in isolation.

 

Interactive TV 2.0

 

LiveTree’s unprecedented approach to film and TV will make all video content community-based and essentially interactive.

 

When LiveTree users watch films and television programmes on Blossom TV, they can decide what comes next – sequels, new series or brand new projects. Users can back new content with Seed tokens and then hold a stake in the product, earning profits when it hits the screen.

 

LiveTree users will be deciding what content gets made. And creators will have the option to pitch ideas to backers and develop the narrative along with their audiences. LiveTree is returning power back to audiences and control back to creators. LiveTree allows creators to be assured of a fanbase, and allows market demand to manifest directly in production.

 

Discover the true value of storytelling.

 

What is a Blockchain?

What is a Blockchain?


Despite having been invented along with Bitcoin ten years ago by somebody under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain technology is now beginning to enter mainstream popular consciousness. Blockchains provide records of financial transactions that cannot be altered or corrupted. Soon, however, blockchains will be recording the movement of ideas and information, too.

 

How does a blockchain work?

 

Someone, somewhere in the world requests a transaction. Rather than this request going, say, to a bank, the request is sent to thousands of computers – each being one “node” – from around the world. The algorithms for verifying the amount of value, the type of value and the identities and locations of the individuals involved are divvied up amongst the computers (nodes), which together encode the information in what is known as a “block”. Each block holds this information along with the information from the previous block in the “chain”. As such, if anyone tampers with one block, the entire chain is disrupted and the change is disallowed.

 

How do I use a blockchain?

 

The great thing about blockchain technology is that you don’t need to know that you are using it. When you send money, you let your bank do the work, and blockchains work in the same way. The only difference is that the process is quicker, more efficient and more secure. Hacks have proven to be far less likely, and less money is spent by the participants on intermediary charges.

That said, if you want to get involved, there are tons of blockchain communities you can join. By turning your computer into a node for a blockchain network, you earn a share of the transaction charges each time one is made.

 

What else can a blockchain do?

 

Here at LiveTree, we are reimagining entertainment as a blockchain-based industry. On LiveTree, users can fund film and television projects using “Seed” tokens, the world’s first film and television cryptocurrency. When those projects are successfully completed and then broadcast on television, screened in cinemas or streamed on Blossom TV (LiveTree’s own streaming platform), backers are rewarded with their share of the profits.

Because blockchains move currency so efficiently, small transactions in great numbers are much more valuable than when transmitted by centralised banks. Furthermore, the smart contract technology offered by blockchain providers such as Achain, Infinity Economics and 0chain means that the royalties and rights deals can be organised more fairly and more transparently between cast, crew and backers.

We can even use the network of nodes to host video content. As a result, we do not have to rent server from internet giants like Amazon. The process is cheaper and more efficient, and our users are able to continue sharing LiveTree’s growth.

The alpha version of Blossom TV launches 5th November, so register here and get involved with the future of entertainment.

Discover the true value of storytelling.  

A LiveTree For All Reasons – by Cheryl Clarke

A LiveTree for all reasons
A LiveTree for all reasons

A LiveTree For All Reasons – by Cheryl Clarke

If you’ve heard of LiveTree ADEPT, you’re probably now interested in the compelling mission and values of a business that is about to build a platform which places the power of creative entertainment into the hands of those who create, invest and watch it, rather than the corporates, but what next?

If you’re an investor with a wallet of crypto-currency and blockchain investments, look away, you know what you’re doing and the market is a fascinating and dynamic place, enjoy!

But LiveTree is different, it has clear mass market appeal beyond the crypto-players and this is what differentiates it from the vast majority of blockchain propositions and here’s how:

LiveTree, the reward based crowd funding site is an established revenue generating business that has seen 20% growth month on month. Over the last six months alone, it has crowdfunded some 120 film, TV and content projects. It has also built a network of 14,000 entertainment companies and their employees. That’s great, but there was always a bigger plan in the LiveTree house and finally the time has come to build it.

So why get involved now? For start offs there’s a very attractive discount scheme designed to make the offer feel good to even to the smallest stake of interest.  Whether it’s your great uncle who always keeps a couple of grand to one side ‘for interesting things’, or if you’re an up and coming film director, a TV and film mega fan, an established TV production company or a seasoned film investor, LiveTree ADEPT is for everyone.

Even for the casual observer, the platform will quickly become a fascinating space to immerse yourself in the wonder of our potential creativity, when the arbiters of taste, judgement and culture don’t have exponential company growth to think of.

To the uninitiated, setting up a digital wallet might also seem a little daunting but it’s as simple, if not more so, than opening a bank account, just follow the videos here: https://adept.livetree.com/

Most crucially, the cultural implications are broader and deeper than a speculative flutter. If you believe that the films we make and the stories we tell can change our hearts and minds, then this is for you. As a fan, you can get closer to the creators, have a say in the direction a project goes in, you could even own a piece of it.

As a creator, up and coming or established, the platform is the place to go with all of those ideas and developed projects that you know aren’t going to get commissioned or financed through the traditional routes and gatekeepers. These tend to be the best, ground breaking or frankly diverse stuff which a now risk averse, money obsessed environment can’t take a punt on, obsessed as the system has forced us to be on revenues. These ideas can have a willing audience to pay for it if there was a mechanism to share the story, through word of mouth and decent marketing. That mechanism is LiveTree ADEPT. Or maybe as a producer you don’t want to give up the value of what you create to a massive internet company that doesn’t pay its taxes and in this digital wild-west, is answerable to no one, not even its own algorithms.

As a sales or distribution outfit, you have a new pipeline of content to do deals with if you choose and as a viewer, you have a pre pay per view channel where what you watch is what you and your community have helped to make. If you were to imagine a version of Netflix where your voice is heard on what gets made and you have the chance to share in its success in every way, and so does everyone else in the network, then for me, that’s just a buzz.

When we can see that the power for change is in enough of us coming together to enable this new future. The digital token being offered at the root of LiveTree ADEPT (Advanced, Decentralized Entertainment Platform for Transparent distribution) – is a stake in a new world of entertainment where everyone’s welcome.

 

The end of the centralized entertainment industry by Ashley Turing

 

ENTERTAINMENT 3.0

By Ashley Turing

 

The way we engage with content is changing. In a little over 10 years, we’ve gone from Blockbuster video —remember the days of VHS and “Who taped over the wedding with the football?” — to Subscription and Netflix Video-On-Demand (SVOD the “S” is for subscription). There’s no question that access to content has improved, but we are beginning to see new problems with the digital entertainment model. The centralized internet behemoths are replicating many of Hollywood’s bad old practices that exploit through a lack of transparency. We have come to accept this behavior as normal, but not for much longer. Today we now have the technology to help change the dynamic.

 

Entertainment is a powerful societal force. Great scenes in films and catchphrases from TV shows are part of our cultural fabric, collective consciousness and personal frames of reference. Entertainment guides our culture, our values and, if you believe some Trekkies, our future. No disrespect to Trekkies. I’m a closet one myself.

 

This blog examines the future of entertainment and the learnings we can use to make that future decentralized, better and fairer. I’ve broken it down into what I term the ‘ages’ of the internet, on the basis that the profound change in our relationship with content has been driven by the progression of that technology.

 

Web 1.0: the birth of the hyperlink and email

 

Before 2005 (roughly) the internet was a slow and cumbersome beast. We’d crank up our modems and wait.

 

And wait.

 

And wait.

 

For those of you who were there, this will bring back memories:

For those of you who weren’t, listen and wonder at our patience and fortitude.

 

We lived in a world of progressively loaded images — remember fuzzy-to-clear pic downloads? Gopher and bulletin boards were the norm; receiving emails was an infrequent pleasure. The online universe was positive, optimistic and full of opportunity. Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of an internet built on egalitarian principles had been born.

 

Streaming media was all but non-existent — bar the likes of Winamp (I was fortunate enough to work with the founder of Winamp – but let’s save that for another blog.

 

Back in the early days of Netflix, you may remember its DVD postal rental business. It would mail DVDs to you and you would then have to mail them back. You could also buy DVDs. It’s worth remembering that Blockbuster still managed to blow Netflix away at the time (Blockbuster peaked in 2004).

 

Web 2.0: centralized internet giants dominate markets using your information

 

My background is in computer science/artificial intelligence (AI). The reason AI wasn’t a mainstream proposition when I studied it was because you needed to process a mountain of data to make machines seem intelligent. The truth is that computers are dumb. To make a computer appear intelligent, it needs a considerable amount of processing power (CPUs) to compute and match algorithms (patterns) against huge sets of data. To figure out key features — the things that really matter — it has to process a lot of patterns. And I mean a lot.

 

Information is the key to our markets. As human beings, it is the most valuable commodity we possess. Prior to 2005 (roughly), cloud computing didn’t exist. Networked “big data” hadn’t really been invented. Google was actually a pioneer in this field with the launch of the Google File System, which stores and processes data across multiple machines.

 

With ever-faster internet connection speeds, along with unlimited data storage and processing power (‘big data’) available at giant data centres, we are now in the age of Web 2.0. But we are also facing its less attractive consequences.

 

Web 2.0 also saw the rise of Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and ‘big data’. What we have today is AI used over huge data sets to manipulate markets and dominate industries. Moore’s law — which posits that overall computer processing power doubles every two years — remains true. The tech giants have taken advantage of it. They have hooked up the old AI theories to a network the machines powerful enough and with enough storage capability to imitate intelligence. Intelligence they then use to ‘help’ you into thinking you want to buy what they want to sell you.

 

Web 3.0: the decentralised future of entertainment

 

Web 2.0 is all about centralised trust. You hand over trust in the form of your data to centralized corporations in return for services. We have no option but to trust these centralized companies —internet overloads— because they hold the power. In the entertainment industry, they dial out creativity in exchange for your money. They are building Hollywood within a centralized system, and replicating the “Hollywood Exec’s” bad old ways with algorithms.

 

Is there a solution?

 

I believe there is, which is the reason I founded LiveTree. Our mission is to create a fair, transparent, community-powered film, TV and content network. I’d like to say here that I dedicated LiveTree to Aaron Swartz, the late, great computer activist. I’ll be writing another blog to explain how Aaron’s spirit lives on in our operation.

 

Now the technology is finally here to meet the challenge. It’s called blockchain. No longer do you need to hand over your life and security to a centralized entity in return for the content and services you need to survive in our complex, connected world. Decentralized systems are a way of creating peer-to-peer trust. They enable you to create a contract with someone without the need for a third-party  — a Netflix, a Facebook, a Google — to manage it and, significantly, profit from it. It’s shared, immutable and unchangeable. So it builds confidence, no hiding or dodgy dealing.

 

At the heart of LiveTree ADEPT (Advanced Decentralised Entertainment Platform for Transparent distribution) is digital-rights management. It enables creators to connect and create contracts (licenses) directly with each other. It’s a genuine once-in-a-generation paradigm shift. With ADEPT, you control what gets made, rather than Hollywood, Netflix or one of the traditional content gatekeepers. You then reap the rewards from that content, as well as the community you have created to help realise it. You are in control of the algorithms. Better and better, the whole process is completely transparent and open source. And you earn from entertainment’s digital token — LiveTree Seed — which moves the control from centralized powers to you.

 

In other words, you get to be part of how the content gets created which generates a community, you get to control, your profit and your future.

 

For more information, or to register to participate in the LiveTree ADEPT token sale, please visit: adept.livetree.com and you’ll be directed to a secure server where you can register your interest