By Magnify Media’s Steven Rosenbaum
LINO is building Blockchain for Video – Says They Will Replace YouTube
The way Wilson Wei sees it, YouTube is old media. “We do not need to trust any third party like YouTube as a monopoly platform. That’s my vision.”
And before you write off Wei as another wide-eyed open media evangelist, it’s worth noting that he’s got an impressive track record and a significant bankroll backing him up.
Says Wei – “I wasn’t in a hurry in to you like doing anything like crypto blocking. I was not in a rush. I was already making a lot of money doing investments already and so I’m basically financially free and my biggest initiative is to solve the problem and create some bigger value. It’s more than making money.”
Today, Lino has raised $20 million in a private token sale, led by Zhenfund one of China’s prolific seed investors.
The plan – as he explains it is “to create a decentralized autonomous content economy, where content value can be recognized efficiently and all contributors can be incentivized directly and effectively to promote long-term economic growth.”
Simply put, connecting video makers with video viewers – and enable a micro-payment system that removes the middle man. “People should have the choice to watch whatever they want without going to a central authority” says Wei.
On Lino, viewers will use LINO tokens to pay creators. Tokens are frozen value, and you can create tokens by contributing work on the platform, sharing work created on the platform, or developing additional applications on LINO. So participation creates value.
Wei and his co-founders Qi Feng and Zac Wu have their work cut out for them. There are competitors, and the existing video delivery system has a solid foothold. But one thing that LINO is avoiding is advertising, which they say creates an unbalanced value exchange. Wei says that creators on LINO should be able to earn between three and five times what they currently earn on platforms like YouTube or Twitch. That’s a significant increase in value for video makers.
Is the future of media decentralized? The crypto kids certainly think so, and when the share the math – you can hear content creators paying attention. Says Wei: “Let’s say your when you’re trying to produce a film your cost of that production is ten dollars and and the long term – YouTube would be they will pay you barely above ten dollars. Let’s say your films sell like $100 ticket and or $90 dollars goes to YouTube. They keep you surviving, but you do not make more profit than your labor costs. That’s based on the Marxism stuff. The blockchain give us another option.”
So, Blockchain is at its core both economic and political. Marxist media theory says media products are at their core monolithic expressions of ruling class values.
And here, Wei’s crypto-politics come into play. Media, he says is “a very monopolized market. That’s why capitalism works so well in the current stage, but not so well in the in the internet space because everything in the internet tends to be monopolized. So whenever you have a monopoly in the market, they basically set the price and also any profit distribution – they they have to say. As a content creator you do not have any kind of pocketing power against them.”
So, will blockchain give content creators a direct connection with audiences and dollars. Wei is betting that’s the future. “The censorship would not be the same as YouTube. As a filmmaker you should have enough exposure. Based on the algorithm that we have, you should be able to reach your audiences.”
This isn’t just a new payment mechanism, it’s a whole new way to think about media. And with with that driving him, Wei says his problem solving mentality is driven to build something important, an internet enabled media ecosystem.
“We are trying to create a decentralized autonomous organization for the content economy, so we can cut out the middleman so we don’t have the conflict of interest between the users and the content creators. Blockchain is the fundamental technology that enables us to do that.”
It’s a big change that Wei is focused on building. A change in how media is made, funded, and distributed. And while it’s hard to imagine video without power residing in the distributor, it wasn’t that long ago that Netflix was a company that mailed DVD’s of Hollywood movies in red envelopes. Change happens fast in the emerging media space, and Wilson’s vision isn’t that that hard to imagine.