As part of the investment, whose exact value was not disclosed, Eluvio will provide the underlying technology platform for Blockchain Creative Labs. That non-fungible token (NFT) business and creative unit launched last May as joint venture of Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment. Dan Harmon’s forthcoming animated series Krapopolis has been announced as the first project to take shape via the platform.
Paul Cheesbrough, Chief Technology Officer and President of Digital for Fox Corp., will join Eluvio’s board of directors as a result of the investment.
Emmy Award-winning technologists Michelle Munson and Serban Simu launched Eluvio in 2019. Its Eluvio Content Fabric is a blockchain network designed for owner-controlled storage, distribution, and monetization of digital content. It provides live and file-based content publishing, transcoding, packaging, sequencing, dynamic and static distribution, and minting of derivative NFTs. All of those elements are backed by blockchain contracts providing proof of ownership and access control. Eluvio Live, powered by the Eluvio Content Fabric, is described as a “multi-tenant” platform for publishers that provides 4K streaming and ticketing of events with media marketplaces.
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Entertainment is among many sectors reckoning with the rise of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and the rise of the creator economy. A TV creator like Harmon, especially one in animation, is creating digital assets from the beginning of the development cycle. In the traditional model, licensing, merchandise and other ancillary revenue streams would be explored downstream, provided that a show is deemed a hit. In the creator economy, audiences and creators can connect directly throughout the entire process. From Fox’s point of view its investments in these emerging technologies are unlikely to make the media company obsolete; rather, they can create tighter bonds with talent and allow the company to evolve with the times.
“At Fox, we believe that the blockchain, and the overall shift towards a more decentralized web, is providing creators with a wealth of opportunities to reach consumers with exciting new experiences,” Cheesbrough said. “Michelle, Serban and the Eluvio team are the best in the business when it comes to the software and scalable infrastructure required to power live, decentralized experiences across the blockchain and our investment will help bring this technology to a wider market of content creators, media partners and advertising clients.”
Media distributed as tokens on blockchain “represents a new era in how technology and entertainment will drive one another forward,” said Scott Greenberg, CEO of Blockchain Creative Labs and co-founder and CEO of Bento Box, which Fox acquired in 2019. “The Eluvio team members are pioneers in the digital arena, and this strategic investment in Eluvio brings Fox and Blockchain Creative Labs an indispensable partner with whom we will build this business as we together chart the future for the NFT market.”
“We are incredibly honored and proud to have the backing of Fox as we embark on the next phase of growth and innovation at Eluvio,” said Munson. “Fox, Blockchain Creative Labs, and Eluvio share a common vision about the ability of blockchain and ‘smart’ assets to fundamentally alter how digital entertainment is created, controlled, and distributed. We’re also particularly excited about the opportunity to work alongside companies that are arguably second to none when it comes to digital animation and multi-screen advertising. Together, we have amazing things planned for 2021 and beyond.”