Last year, a startup called NYIAX announced it was adapting the technology of the Nasdaq stock exchange to create a blockchain-based exchange for the buying and selling of ad contracts.
In December, NYIAX filed a patent with Nasdaq for trading any physical or digital asset on an exchange. In other words, NYIAX founder Carolina Abenante told me, the patent describes a way to trade ad contracts, videos, digital or physical collectibles, or whatever, on an exchange.
This week, NYIAX announced a new partnership that will be the first — outside of NYIAX’s own exchange — to implement this patent-pending approach. The partner is mesmr.tv (no caps), a year-old blockchain-based content startup that intends to take the YouTube model to the next phase.
The central idea behind mesmr, launching in beta next month, is that content creators, especially video makers, upload their creative work into channels and then can buy and sell value around that content.
That additional value can be donations or subscriptions from viewers, advertising or collectibles. These collectibles, mesmr CEO and founder Dil-Dominé Jacobe Leonares told me, are expected to be a limited set of static images that relate to the video content or the maker in some way. At some point, he indicated, collectibles might also be augmented reality lenses or other kinds of content.
That’s from the perspective of the creator, who will keep 80 percent of revenue, Leonares said. But there are also assets that can be bought, sold or traded on the exchange by audience members or brands.
Viewers, for instance, might choose to make their personal data available on the exchange as part of anonymized audience segments for targeted ads, or brands like Coca-Cola could, say, create a limited set of images of a polar bear, a reference to some of their commercials.
The methods described in the patent application, Abenante said, allow “us to monetize mesmr’s asset classes as if they were stocks, and trade them.” It’s an exchange and not a marketplace, she pointed out, because an exchange allows you to have secondary markets, with shares and futures bought and sold in sub-categories.
YouTube + Patreon
Mesmr, Leonares told me, is “YouTube mixed with Patreon features.” Patreon is an online community where “patrons” in the audience provide various kinds of support for creative work.
The company has also described itself as “’a content democracy,’ where videos succeed or fail based on merit, not how well they fit into advertiser-friendly guidelines.”
“mesmr was formed due to a lack of trust in today’s new media platforms,” the company said in a statement. “Our goal is to give everyone the power to unleash their creativity, own the rights to their personal data and to leverage the transparency of blockchain, giving brands a visible ROI on their marketing spend.”
This assetization of creative content or personal data, of course, doesn’t necessarily have to use blockchain. But mesmr is utilizing that protocol, Leonares said, because of its ability to generate and manage currency-like tokens, which can be utilized in the exchange and then converted into conventional money later.
Viewers can earn tokens by such actions as watching ads or by releasing their personal data to advertisers. Creators can acquire extra tokens if content they share, such as videos, performs very well in terms of audience engagement.
Blockchain will also be used to track the provenance, or history, of each collectible or other asset, so that buyers can verify that it wasn’t cloned three minutes ago. NYIAX will provide a white-labeled, blockchain-based back end and will handle the token/money flow for the mesmr exchange.
The collectibles themselves will be generated via smart contracts, to help keep them in a limited and controlled supply. The smart contracts will also be employed for their sale or trading, since the ownership of a collectible will be transferable once the buyer provides the necessary tokens or other valuables, such as personal data.
Leonares pointed to Steemit and DTube as his company’s chief competitors. Steemit says it is a blockchain-based “social media platform where everyone gets paid for creating and curating content.”
DTube describes itself as “the first crypto-decentralized video platform,” utilizing blockchain and a peer-to-peer network to pay users cryptocurrency for watching, sharing and commenting on videos.
Both of those are “trying to be another YouTube,” Leonares said, while mesmr is “driving scale” by bringing brands into this creative asset community/exchange.