Decentralized Entertainment Economy

Coleman Davis, Entrepreneur in Residence

The film industry is in a state of flux. The traditional model of distributing and financing movies and content is under threat from new web3-based technologies and changing consumer habits. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for new and innovative content.

What if there was a way for screenwriters, content creators and filmmakers to get paid every time their movie was watched? And what if viewers could watch their favorite movies, shows, and content for free, while still supporting the creators?

This is the vision of the decentralized entertainment economy, where movies and content are distributed using blockchain technology and viewers can choose to support the creators with micro-payments and digital currency. This would create a more sustainable model for the film industry, where creators are directly rewarded for their work, and viewers can choose to support the movies and content they love.

In this blog, we will explore the potential of the decentralized entertainment economy, and how it could benefit creators, consumers, and investors. We will also identify some of the challenges that need to be addressed to make this vision a reality.

Throughout recent history, we have seen two major eras of film.

  1. Old Hollywood, consisting of the traditional “blockbuster” system that we have been used to - one of the big media conglomerates funds a project from a well-known writer/director, it hits the box office, then lives on your local Wal-Mart shelf until it makes its way into the “$3-dollar-movie” bin (which I still tend to visit often).
  2. New Hollywood, where streaming comes into play. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and more have plugged in a subscription model that we are all subject to - I think I have every subscription, yet still struggle to find something new to watch.

I believe Hollywood is entering into a new era some are calling “Decentralized Hollywood.”

With old and new Hollywood eras, there have been a plethora of gatekeepers: networks, big studios, etc. that are hindering projects from seeing the light of day.

With a decentralized Hollywood, producers, writers, and creators can crowdfund, create, and launch a film all on a blockchain-based platform AND eliminate the big studios that would have probably changed the narrative of their script anyway.

Financially, decentralized Hollywood puts much more money in the pockets of those who are creating the content we love, and less in the pockets of the industry giants with gatekeepers. This opens the doors for more smart contracts, micropayments, crypto exchanges, royalty optimization, and greater opportunities for filmmakers to navigate industry funding by tapping into a vast pool of resources like major investors and crowdfunding platforms powered by blockchain technology. The sweeping nature of this blockchain technology, unhindered by geographical boundaries, means creators and consumers alike, will be able to interact with the industry in full.

Who is already in this space?

TRON - TRON is enabling content providers to earn TRX (TRON’s native currency) from payments made for sharing material, such as live and recorded video, photos, or text. This is expanding into the film industry for creatives out there who are having projects denied by Hollywood.

Stoner Cats - An animated story that was too “harsh” for networks & big studios to support. So, the creators circumvented the old, institutional gatekeepers by pioneering a new NFT-based approach for community and entertainment production.

Obviously, a lot of things need to happen for this “decentralized Hollywood” to arise. Forbes says that “removing the intermediaries to form a decentralized economy shifts the burden of responsibility onto the individual. It operates on the assumption that everyone is comfortable taking their commercial journey into their own hands. This is where the risk begins.” This means that content creators get the benefit of operating on this type of network, but need to be willing to accept the responsibility and risk on an individual level. On top of this, lots of hesitation exists in accepting blockchain protocols across industries due to a huge learning curve that needs to take place.

But the whitespace that exists is enormous. The market size for the decentralized entertainment economy is projected to reach $201B by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 88.2% from 2022 to 2030. Investors should be on the lookout for opportunities in the decentralized entertainment space. Some opportunities include ICOs, which give startups the opportunity to raise from non-dilutive equity, and DAOs, which can benefit investors through its decentralized nature. A simple strategy can be to put money is understanding your passions and hobbies all while looking at the macro trends of the entertainment space.

Decentralized technologies could help solve problems in the entertainment industry, give creators a more sustainable revenue stream, and open more opportunities for the public, creating jobs across the globe and adding more value to consumers. The rise of new web3 technologies has the potential to shift the power scale of large, centralized organizations, even Hollywood.

Deane, Morgan. “Council Post: Why a Decentralized Economy Isn't a Panacea.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Mar. 2021.

“Decentralized Identity Market to Be Worth $102.0 Billion by 2030: Grand View Research, Inc..” Yahoo!.

“Decentralizing Entertainment with Nfts: The Insider Story of Stoner Cats.” NFX, 27 Apr. 2022.

Grand View Research, Inc. “Decentralized Finance Market to Be Worth $231.19 Billion by 2030: Grand View Research, Inc..” Decentralized Finance Market to Be Worth $231.19 Billion by 2030: Grand View Research, Inc., 21 Sept. 2022.

ReportLinker. “The Global Web 3.0 Blockchain Market Size Is Expected to Reach $12.5 Billion by 2028, Rising at a Market Growth of 38.2% CAGR during the Forecast Period.” GlobeNewswire News Room, ReportLinker, 22 Nov. 2022.

SingularDTV. “30 Stats That Reveal the Economics of the Entertainment Industry.” Medium, SingularDTV, 11 Aug. 2018.