Blockchain Publishing Startups Are Poised to Disrupt a Troubled Industry.
Blockchain Publishing Startups Are Poised to Disrupt a Troubled Industry. To learn how and when, we talked to the founders of TxStudios. They are developing a Digimedia publishing platform called CONSTANTPUB that will change the way content is monetized and distributed.
First off, who are you guys?
Andrés: We’re Sam Shapiro and Andrés Cruciani, founders of TxStudios, a blockchain development company. Sam Shapiro is a developer, and I’m a writer. We’re building ConstantPub, a blockchain-powered publishing platform.
Well, before we get into ConstantPub, let me ask you this. Despite the Bitcoin hype, a lot of our readers may not know what the blockchain is. Can you explain it for them?
Sam: Well, the blockchain, essentially, is a distributed ledger. So, whereas a bank, for example, keeps a centralized ledger of all its users’ accounts, you can think of the blockchain as a ledger being held in many different places.
Why’s that a big deal?
Sam: Because it’s the same exact information being held, well, everywhere. So, if a bank is record-keeper, you don’t need banks anymore for one thing. The other corollary is the smart contract, which is basically a contract “living” on the blockchain. It’s a contract that executes and enforces automatically without need for a third party. The implications of this technology are perhaps even more astounding.
And is that where ConstantPub comes in?
Andrés: Exactly! We’re basically taking blockchain and smart contract technologies and applying them to the behemoth of digital publishing.
So what is it? What is ConstantPub?
Andrés: Well, we’re still building it, but ConstantPub is a platform that will allow creators to publish their content (books, songs, videos, anything digital), sell it, sell the rights, and generate affiliate-marketing links—meaning, users will be able to advertise content and receive commissions on sales they make. So if I link your book, for example, and someone buys the book through my link, I make money.
And how’d you guys decide to make this?
Andrés: In truth, I was having a hard time getting my books published the traditional route. And I thought, if I’m having a hard time publishing (and I’m a decent writer), there must be thousands and hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of others globally having the same problem. There are just too many creators now. So I wanted a different way of publishing.
So why not just self-publish?
Andrés: There’s no quality control. Anyone can self-publish, so anyone does, which means that there are some golden nuggets out there, but there’s also a lot of low quality work. The idea was to blend the best of traditional publishing—curation, distribution, marketing—with the best of self-publishing—accessibility and cost.
So ConstantPub will be curated?
Andrés: Eventually, absolutely. It’s a must.
Why blockchain and not just the regular ol’ internet?
Sam: What we’re talking about—selling rights to profits and affiliate-marketing—is immensely cheaper using smart contracts. This cost-reduction only happens with the blockchain.
And why are you confident this will work?
Sam: Even with the Bitcoin bubble, the blockchain effect has yet to be seen—the tech remains largely untapped. Someone will apply it to publishing. That happens to be us.
Andrés: Also, we’re bringing crowdinvesting down to the product level. You’ll be able to buy and sell the rights to profits (profit-shares) on a single piece of content. Imagine you could have bought a piece of Jurassic Park.
So it seems like we’re talking about some interesting opportunities for artists, photographers, writers…
Andrés: That’s who we’re trying help. These creators will be able to sell shares in their work and pay others to market their work on commission.
Well, let’s say I’m a publisher, influencer, or blogger, how does ConstantPub help me?
Andrés: If you have a big following, you can post links to content you like, and if anyone buys content through your links, you make money. It’s a revenue stream.
Sam: And, again, all this is happening automatically. So if as a publisher you want, say, twenty-five percent of Stephen King’s next book, you can buy that, market the book, and profit-shares are allocated automatically (to both you and Stephen King).
When will it be online?
Sam: This is actually a giant project, so we’re building it in phases. At the moment, we’re launching an e-store where creators can sell digimedia for Ethereum (a cryptocurrency). We’re basically doing it to prove we can build what we’re talking about. And our e-store should go live June 24, 2018.
And have you guys found investors?
Sam: We had an offer of $200,000 for some equity contingent on a $50 million ICO (initial-coin offering), but believe it or not, the offer wasn’t right for us.
Andrés: So we’re still looking.