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Getting royalties to film content creators

Say goodbye to delayed and unclear royalty payment processes. An EU-backed start-up’s innovative blockchain technology is making film revenue distribution automated, efficient and transparent.

Digital Economy

When it comes to calculating and reporting royalties and revenues, the film industry is surprisingly slow, reluctant to digitise and reliant on error-prone payment processes. Up to 30 % of film and TV revenues are under-reported, and payments are delayed for years, or never even made at all. Added to that are the creative accounting methods that middlemen use to keep revenue flows obscure for their own financial benefit. Since its launch in 2018, fintech start-up FilmChain has been bringing automation, efficiency and transparency to film revenue flows with the help of blockchain technology. Supported by the EU-funded STADIEM project, FilmChain is an automated, cloud-based fund collection system that enables the flow of money from the point of sale to rights holders’ pockets in real time. “We want to accelerate the money flow from viewers to content creators by ensuring accurate and automated royalties management calculation across the entire value chain,” states FilmChain co-founder Maria Tanjala in an item posted on the STADIEM website. The cloud system offers legal support, brings clarity by visualising recoupment schedules, enables instant withdrawals, and creates transparency by helping project signatories to verify all transactions and payment splits. It further manages deadlines by providing a system for rights holders to chase due payments, tracks collection sources and rights, and settles payments directly in rights holders’ bank accounts.

New partnerships

At the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, the London-based FilmChain announced two new partnerships, one of which is with Alamode Film Distribution, Germany. In this partnership, FilmChain has been tasked to handle royalties on the horror film Dark Glasses directed by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. As reported in a news item on ‘Screen Daily’, Alamode plans to distribute the film in Germany and use FilmChain’s technology for automated royalties management. The deal is the first in a pilot project between the two companies. The second new partnership announced is with Lumière Benelux, another leading European film and TV series distributor.

New investments

FilmChain’s innovative technology has drawn a first round of investments by Romanian venture capital firm ROCA X. This first round is aimed at helping the company scale its sales, increase its customer base and expand its services in the United States. “The film industry is now at a stage where content creators are becoming more and more independent – from lower production costs to the opening of new distribution channels through streaming platforms, technology is becoming more flexible and decentralized in line with the trend of the creator economy. Certainly, based on team experience, product usefulness and real market needs, FilmChain has the opportunity to become a world-leading player in the entertainment industry,” remarks ROCA X’s Investment Manager Bogdan Pashko in an article posted on ‘Europenewsok.com’. The STADIEM (Startup Driven Innovation in European Media) project is serving as a springboard to help FilmChain develop its technology and establish a global presence. The project ends in September 2023. For more information, please see: STADIEM project website FilmChain project web page FilmChain website

Keywords

STADIEM, film, royalty, revenue, blockchain, payment, rights holder, rights, content creator

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21 December 2021