Peer-to-Peer Streaming App White Rabbit Tokenizes Film Distributionbr>
White Rabbit is a browser plugin that has a new take on the digital distribution of film and television series.
Award-winning film producer Alan R. Milligan founded White Rabbit in 2017. White Rabbit recognizes content being streamed peer-to-peer and allows fans to pay the rights holder directly, without the need for multiple streaming subscriptions to access the global content library. Smart contracts enable a transaction in the form of White Rabbit Tokens (WRT) with the option for rights holders to become part of a transparent and instant monetization model for content producers.
By offering a peer-to-peer tokenized system powered by blockchain technology, users can access content globally, reduce costs by paying producers and creatives directly, revenue share with streaming sites to encourage an innovative streaming market, and potentially offer a transparent and instant monetization model for producers, investors, artists and entertainers.
White Rabbit is backed by advisors including Gregory Carson (Luxbright, Blockhead Capital), Dr. Daniel Baur, (K5 International), Alexander Yarushin (Milbros Software, Heidenreich Innovation), Hans Clemetsen (Javelin Corporate Services), Alexander Hagerup (Vic.ai, Online Backup Company), Tom Emil Olsen (KIND Norway), and Michael Terpin (CoinAgenda, BitAngels).
K5 International, which as produced and financed films for directors including Tom McCarthy, Andrew Niccol, Bille August and Mira Nair with actors like Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irons, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Paul Walker and Ethan Hawke, recently invested in White Rabbit. K5 teamed up with Amazon in 2013 to co-finance and produce Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson and the 2017 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Denmark’s Land Of Mine, directed by Martin Zandvliet. K5 Film’s latest cinematic ventures are ANON by Andrew Niccol, starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, which premieres worldwide on Netflix and through other distributors in May 2018, and spy-thriller The Coldest Game, starring Bill Pullman and Lotte Verbeek, currently shooting in Warsaw, Poland.
White Rabbit’s whitelist, an advanced registration for its token sale, is currently open to pre-sale applicants, with plans to issue its minimum viable product (MVP) in Q2 2018.
Milligan talked with Block Tribune about the potential of the project, which he will be heavily touting this month at the Cannes Film Festival.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: So, walk me through how this works for a viewer.
ALAN MILLIGAN: Yeah. You download it and you install it into your plugin. And as so many people do, that you stream peer to peer, and it recognizes the content that you’re watching and allows you to pay the rights holders directly using our White Rabbit token. And in that way, we are allowing people to stream peer to peer in a legal manner. In Europe today, about 240 million people stream peer to peer, versus say, 20 million that subscribe to Netflix. And so we’re trying to accommodate the way that fans prefer to watch their streaming.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: So what’s your differentiation between what you offer and other services?
ALAN MILLIGAN: I think the major differentiation of the other services I’ve seen around is that people are asked to go to a certain streaming site. People are asked to … Or start up a new streaming site. This is saying, here’s a tool allowing you to stream as you prefer to do it today, without having to go through any specific streaming site. And what that does is it allows people to access the global content library rather than being dependent on one single provider having the rights to these films and series. And it also, if you look at, for example, Netflix or other traditional streamers, it allows the right holders to receive that directly and transparently.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is the significance of the K5 deal?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Oh it’s a big deal for us definitely in terms of the industry, big industry player whose saying, “We see that this is the future. We see that blockchain can make a big difference for us in the way we receive our revenues today. In the that way we interact with our fans.” So for us, with them bringing both their network and knowledge and content and an investment, that was a big confirmation or stamp of approval from the industry.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: When people are streaming peer to peer like this, what content is available generally? Is it the breadth of what is out there on the Internet? Or is it more than that?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Yeah, it’s everything that is out there on the Internet today. What’s special about our solution is our token. So that, when you preform the action of streaming a film, if we should not have the rights available. You go and you have the plugin. You’ve paid by your PayPal or credit card. You’ve purchased tokens. You stream the film. If we don’t have the rights to that film, those tokens get collected in an encrypted distribution pool. We after a while, will get in touch with the token holder and say, “Sir or madam, we have 100,000, 200,000 tokens here available to you. Are those rights available? Is that territory available? Are you interested in accepting tokens for payments?” Then that way, when the dude enters into a smart contract, they pull the tokens and that transaction has been legalized. Illegal viewing has now become legal viewing.
We’re allowing for a fan driven change of the industry. To make sure that the industry is delivering on the fans’ terms. And not the other way around. Which has been a time of a lot of windowing and not being able to have access to content.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are these tokens transferable into? Can they be transferred into any particular FIA currency or?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Yeah, as we’re all aware there are secondhand markets for these tokens can be transferable and of course our ideal would be then, transferable to fiat in the long run. First and foremost to crypto, and then from crypto to fiat.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay tell me about ICO plans?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Yeah, we are launching on May 7th. Doing a bit of a tour of Asia today. I’ll be there for about two weeks. And then we go to Cannes where we will then launch the token sale from. And hold two or three presentations and be on our … Be on some panels in the industry, talking about our ICO and our solution and our products. And have meetings with content providers. So we’re kind of looking at this in two ways — we are acquiring and making deals on content and then we are sort of delivering the tools for the fans to drive the change in the industry.
Our pre-sale is on the 7th of May, starts at 2:00 UTC, that’s PM. And then the main sale starts on May 15th, ending on June 10th. We have a $2 million dollar soft cap and a $10 million dollar hard cap.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are the biggest barriers to your growth?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Well, it’s gonna be the adoption of our plugin. Like any new product on the market, we have to have a very precise plan to get the attention of our fans and users. And of course, we are teaming up with streaming sites that will be promoting White Rabbit plugin. We’re also offering a partner streaming site program where 10% of whatever we bring in from the token sale, will go to a fund. People who want to create new streaming sites for the particular brand, say like Nordic Noir or Green Film for example. Connoisseur Choice or have real good skills in developing user interface, or search and recommendation technologies. We’re encouraging the start up of a new industry, the streaming industry. So that will be another push as well.
Of course all the films that we sign will be part of spreading the word, because they will be White Rabbit labeled.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Why did you choose the name White Rabbit?
ALAN MILLIGAN: (laughs) Yeah, well I was inspired by Alice in Wonderland myself. And it’s always the metaphor of being able to bring someone into a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing things. And I still like the way that the White Rabbit brought Alice to the rabbit hole and showed her a new world. Of course, the references on the Matrix and Jefferson Airplane are there as well. And the rabbit hole is actually an extension of White Rabbit. So you have your content that you paid for, and you have a film library. We call that the rabbit hole.
And in the film library you have access to all the films you paid for and the highest quality available directly from the rights holder. And the rights holder is … They’re able to offer you more content. The behind the scenes, maybe a live Q & A, virtual reality screening, merchandise. So what we’re trying to do is allow people to develop their IPR rights and monetize at a greater rate than we are able to do today. And also to incentivize fans to join in on getting engaged with the film or the series that they’re watching. And this rabbit hole we open it up for third parties to create applications for incentivizing and monetizing.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is there any content that’s going to be restricted?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Well, I mean anything that’s forbidden by law is definitely not something we wanna have. This is a professional film and series industry that we’re looking to offer a solution for.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: So no porn or anything like that?
ALAN MILLIGAN: No porn.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. So that would be offered on Black Rabbit, right? That’ll be your spin-off?
ALAN MILLIGAN: (laughs) We’ll have to see if there’s a spin-off that someone wants to do, but we still have no plans for that right now. I think the film and series industry is … There’s $20 billion dollars being lost in piracy every year, 60% of those people … We did a research, two studies in Australia and then Finland. And 60% of those who answered, 10,000 people said they were willing to pay. What we find is that people are lacking access to content and White Rabbit can give them that access. So that’s our main aim and that’s a huge market for us and that’s gonna be our focus.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is payment strictly voluntary?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Yes it is. It is up to a person who has installed the plugin to pay or not to pay. That being said, I would say that those people who do install it have the intention to pay and I would expect them to pay. As mentioned, 60% said that they are willing to pay.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is there any way that you’ll be tracking who pays and who doesn’t?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Absolutely not. What we do is, those tokens they go into an encrypted distribution pool and it being encrypted, and a pool is very important. So we only know tokens that are allocated to a film, we know what we have in the distribution pool, and we know what has to go out of the distribution pool. Once the … Even when the smarter contract is entered into, we never wanna give the right holders or ourselves the ability to track who it is, although some data about interaction with the film or the content is interesting but not to do any ad targeting or anything like that.
So no, only non-personal data. And if the right holders says, “You know what, we don’t wanna be of White Rabbit,” or “We cannot be part of White Rabbit.” Those tokens go back to the token holder, and we have no idea of knowing who that person is.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Let’s talk a little about your background. You are not a traditional financial entrepreneur, but come out of the film industry.
ALAN MILLIGAN: I’m now on my 8th film, we’re actually shooting a film now in Vancouver. My most notable successes you could say is Rams and Lamb, which were both in Cannes. And Rams won the best film award in Cannes in 2015 and was distributed to 70, 80 territories around the world. Recently I just finished a film called Valley of Shadows that premiered at Toronto where [inaudible 00:11:30] was the sales agent, which is probably the foremost sales agent in the world. I have about 10 years experience there and I actually was a software entrepreneur in 2005 to 2008, when I had a company called Milbros Software that produced a product called Milbros Chemical Information System and MCIS ensures the safe transportation for chemicals at sea. And was bought up in 2008 and now become the industry standard for safety at sea
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you think having that film background is going to help ease your path at Cannes and other places?
ALAN MILLIGAN: Definitely I think so. I speak the language, I know the market quite well. I know the major players, we all … I know how much we’ve suffered through these transitions from a home market accessible DVD to a streaming market that showed so much potential. But then, what happened of course was that Netflix has decided to produce more and more of their own content and compete with the industry, becoming a studio.
And for, especially us European producers, World Cinema, Indie Film in the states have access to the home entertainment market is more and more difficult to have this ability. I understand the problems and I think it puts me in a good position to come up with a solution also with my software entrepreneur background as well.
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