Fox put its (fiat) money where its future media intentions are focused, investing in blockchain platform Eluvio and adding its top digital executive to the company’s board.
Fox didn’t detail the amount of its “strategic investment” in Eluvio, but said in a release that its contribution completed a $100 million Series A round for the company. CTO and President of Fox Digital Paul Cheesbrough will join the Eluvio board.
The investment marks a significant step further onto the blockchain for the media company, which said it hopes to help cinch Eluvio’s position as a blockchain standard setter in media and entertainment. Uses include for creation of non-fungible tokens, live-event ticketing, and streaming video, along with new ways to connect directly to consumers and reward super fans.
“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,” said Cheesbrough. “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.”
Eluvio already counts MGM, Sony Pictures and other media companies as clients, and worked with such Hollywood standard-setting bodies as the Hollywood Production Alliance and SMPTE.
As part of the Fox deal, Eluvio will provide the platform powering Blockchain Creative Labs, a Fox joint venture with its animated division Bento Box Entertainment. The JV is building a digital marketplace specifically for Krapopolis, the next animated project from prominent comedy showrunner Dan Harmon (Rick and Morty, Community).
Eluvio tech will be used to sell digital goods and collectibles, like “one-of-a-kind character and background art and GIFS,” and to provide access to exclusive social experiences for the show’s most ardent fans.
The technology will be used to create, or “mint,” NFTs for digital collectibles or media assets, then marketing, selling, and storing those assets, so it can “embrace the power of blockchain economics to create significant new revenue opportunities for premium content.”
The company also anticipated one of the major critiques of blockchain technologies, they eat a lot of energy, by saying Eluvio’s approach is environmentally more sound than competing structures: the tech “avoids the computational energy consumption, and costs, of proof-of-work blockchains through its efficient proof-of-authority consensus and seamless combination of on- and off-chain transactions.”
Fees, or “gas” in NFT parlance, can also be much lower and more consistent with Eluvio, the company said. Gas fees for minting and selling NFTs can be higher than the price of the digital good itself on many current exchanges because they rely on structures built around Ethereum, a prominent cryptocurrency that is itself undergoing a shift to a much less energy-hogging structure.