It is always good to see startups use blockchain technology to solve issues in the real world, or use the technology as a means to a better world. White Rabbit should qualify as one of those attempts.
Founded by a team of software professionals and movie professionals, it is geared at the creative industry. More specifically, the project aims to better the relationship between ‘pirates’ who stream digital media content, and the creators of that content, by ensuring that the right people get paid when media is streamed, without burdening the end user and without the need for third-party middle men.
The problems of ‘pirating’ are well known, but White Rabbit is making a bet that many of these so-called pirates are just fans waiting to discover the next great creative uproar. Pirating is easy and provides access to the content that the fans want. It is fast and efficient. However, in that process, the connection between the fans and creators can get lost with our current infrastructure.
Digital subscriptions don’t solve the problem completely, because each is its own silo. If you need content, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and whatnot. This is not the most convenient option for fans to access content. Therefore, they look for alternatives, that don’t necessary reward the content creators. In addition, these closed ecosystems all have their own logins and monthly payments – something not always feasible for ordinary people.
So what’s the solution? It is partly philosophical – treating fans as fans and not ‘pirates’, and partly technological – make it as easy as possible to help out the creators you enjoy.
The White Rabbit solution is to completely separate distribution from payments. This means the manner and method of accessing content doesn’t have a direct bearing on the payments to the content creators. This is a powerful idea, and time will tell if it is something that catches on with both sides.
In addition, by using blockchain and cryptocurrencies to run the platform, the team has chosen technology that is inherently transparent and pretty much instantaneous. You no longer need to trust some shady third-parties telling you how you should get paid. You can audit every single transaction on the blockchain yourself, and know how many fans actually subscribed to your work.
In addition, the White rabbit solution offers a way to increase revenue for the content creators by engaging directly with their fans. Today, that is just not possible on traditional sites like Netflix and Amazon. However, creators can really tap into the long-tail of their fan base and make a living off of it. Remember the 1000 true fans concept?