Blockchain-based Video Streaming Platform : Interview with Andrey Kolodyuk, Founder and Chairman of DIVAN.TV Board

DIVAN.TV offers a freemium model, blockchain-based video streaming platform to give users more incentives and content creators more control of their contents. “The company’s existing video platform has been in operation since 2012 and has 2M+ registered users across the globe”. Andrey Kolodyuk, Founder and Chairman of DIVAN.TV Board, will be discussing the DIVAN.TV project with us in this interview.

1) Please tell us your name and about yourself?

My name is Andrey Kolodyuk and I am the Founder of the DivanTV Platform and AVentures Capital fund. I started my first company in 1992 in New York. As a serial entrepreneur, I have founded 10 companies in IT, telecom, internet, and media, some of them with total revenues of over $1B USD annually.

2) You have an existing video platform with 2M+ registered users across the globe, please tell us more about this.

Our original service, DIVAN.TV, was created in 2011 and is one of the first global OTT video streaming services in the EU. We’re an early player in this space and our target audience was focused on 1B migrants & ethnic communities worldwide.

DIVAN.TV is accessible on Smart TV (LG, Samsung, Philips, Sony, TCL, Skyworth, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and a dozen more vendors). We’re also accessible on tablets and smartphones via Android and iOS.

We will continue to operate and improve our original platform and are now applying our learnings from the last 7 years to the new one we are building.

DIVAN.TV connects families: a family can all use the same OTT service, not only on different devices but also in different countries – without extra fees as with most cable TV and satellite services.

3) What is the new DIVAN.TV?

We are the first OTT video streaming service to tokenize our original platform through a decentralized business model. We aim to set a new industry standard with blockchain protocol for the video streaming market.

We will introduce a Programmatic Real-Time Bidding Advertising (RTB) system for Smart TV based on blockchain technology through the DivanTV Platform. Blockchain tech and smart contracts will allow for transparent relations between players, eliminate fraud, and better target customers by gaining access to the data generated via blockchain.

According to Juniper Research, fraud in the global advertising market costs brands $19B in 2017, which is 9% of the total expenses on advertising. Total losses from fraud in the advertising market are expected to reach $44B in 2022 if we see no policy change.

Unlike other services on the market, the DivanTV Platform will remove intermediaries, eliminating the need for viewers to buy an overpriced subscription or pay for an unwanted content. The global platform will target ethnic and migrant populations with content in diverse languages including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Polish, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, Ukrainian, Russian and English.

4) What is the market size of video streaming, what benefits will DIVAN.TV bring to this market, and who is DIVAN.TV for?

According to Dataxis the global PayTV market reached $410B in 2017 with 1.05B subscribers. Most of the growth is coming from IPTV and linear OTT. The global OTT/IPTV market will reach $117.07B by 2025 with a CAGR of 13.7% according to a new report from Grand View Research.

Market value: PayTV market = $410B; Video market = $70B; Global PayTV = $1B.

DIVAN is designed to be mutually beneficial for viewers, content owners, and brands. Our target audience is 1.59B migrant and foreign viewers as well as 1.1B Smart TV/Connected TV devices globally.

Through decentralization, the DivanTV Platform will benefit foreign audiences by providing them with native language content at affordable rates. For content owners and brands, besides receiving a bigger chunk of their profits in the absence of intermediaries, they can efficiently target their audiences through access to user data. They also benefit from reduced risks of fraud and piracy, which carries an annual price tag of ~$32B.

5) Tell us more on the problems of today’s pay TV and video subscription platforms, the pitfalls of traditional video streaming and how will DIVAN.TV solve these problems?

Only 1B out of today’s 8B global population can afford to pay for the content. Video subscription platforms are too expensive, meaning they are not accessible to all audiences. And as a result, it drives piracy. Existing platforms force users to pay for content in bundles they do not watch, and provide a little foreign language or niche content and do not serve the need of this target audience. This is a particular concern for international and migrant audiences.

Today’s OTT platforms also create barriers for content owners and brands, who get a fraction of what they are owed because of fraud, piracy and big pay cheques for intermediaries.

The DivanTV Platform will address these pitfalls by providing clear benefits for the entire ecosystem, including accessible content and a unique token economy where all players can earn and exchange.

6) What are the major features you will provide on your new, freemium model, blockchain-based video streaming platform?

We will be the first video streaming platform in the world that will introduce the donation feature on the services, where the viewers will be able for the first time to support directly their favorite actor and movie producer. The DivanTV Platform will offer a combination of professional content that will include television programs, movies, live streaming and much more.

Users will be able to access content in a language of their preference, access content of their preference without paying for unwanted shows, movies or channels included in a subscription. They can make playlists featuring their favorite content and participate in crowdfunding of their favorite shows and movies.

7) Users on your new, freemium model are rewarded with tokens for viewing ads, tell us more about your token and how this reward model works?

Most content on the DivanTV Platform will be free for viewers to watch. Premium content can be accessed D1T tokens.

According to our model, viewers can get in D1T token 30% from every dollar, that Platform gets from advertisers and in some point, they will be able to earn up to 10 dollars per month and will be able immediately to redeem it for premium content.

Content owners will earn 50% of all ad revenues in D1T token, compared to YouTube, which takes a massive slice of the ad revenues, leaving only a trivial 1-3% to the content owners.

8) Do you already have any major investors and partners you will like us to know about?

DIVAN.TV is supported by the leading venture fund AVentures Capital. Our Ad Tech advisor Alex Bornyakov, is the founder of VertaMedia, a video Supply Side Platform (SSP) for publishers. His business was recognized as one of North America’s fastest-growing private companies in Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500™ and is honored among the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country by Inc. 5000.

We are also collaborating with BPC Advisor on blockchain architecture and implementation Andriy Khavryuchenko – who has past work with companies like BPC, Dash, Dmarket, and DreamTeam.

It’s also important to note, that we already have established partnerships and connections with technology powerhouses such as Samsung, Apple TV & LG.

9) At what stage of development is the DIVAN.TV blockchain video streaming platform and where do we see the business by 2020?

We are going to introduce our D1 Token Q2 2019 and launch the updated Divan.TV Platform based on smart contract interface in Q3 2019. By 2022 we are planning to increase our user base up to 120 million. We don’t compete with Amazon Prime and Netflix, which, by the way, has the market cap of $140B with 130 million current users.

10) Could you tell us about your team and customer support?

Our team combines decades of experience in IT, telecom, internet industry. We have an international team of 60 in offices in San Diego, Cyprus, Ukraine and plan to open a new one in Hong Kong next month.

Our customer support is ready to answer questions 24/7. Users have access to assistance through both our call-center and online chat. Our in-house team helps not only to answer user questions but also to fix tech errors quickly. After we started operating globally in 2016 we found that the international audience is using the digital help even more often.

11) How Safe is DIVAN.TV, would you like to talk about your legal and security measures?

From starting our business in 2011 we have identified that our main goal is not to compete with Netflix, Orange, Filmon.TV and other services but to work to combat digital piracy. Since we work with premium content and data of our subscribers, we’ve devoted a tremendous amount of time to the technical security of the service, establishing contractual agreements with our vendors, content owners, and partners, and ensuring that we adhere to all legal standards. All applications have been developed in-house with our dedicated team.

12) Do you have more information for our readers?

I think we will continue to see cases of existing businesses making the shift to the token economy. I believe this is good for the industry as investors can now compare companies with existing businesses and products with new ones. I think we will continue to see blockchain startups in the TV, video, and entertainment industry as this is an industry that has not been disrupted enough, in my opinion.


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