Littlstar is now RAD with NFT for the entertainment industry

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Rad (formerly Littlstar) recently announced the launch of its non-fungible token (NFT) platform, Rad NFTv, for video streaming, creators and entertainment-based NFTs. The platform enables creators of sports, music, film, television and beyond to launch NFT projects, fund shows, and provide access to video content on devices such as PlayStation and Google. TV.

Launch partners include Calboy, the platinum rapper who collaborated with Lil Wayne, Elliot Sloan, 5-time X Games gold medalist, DKNY, CoinDesk TV, DeadHeads, Cinedigm and Space Channel. In addition, the company creates an IP collection of the most important NFT native projects such as FLUF World, Jenkins the Valet, Knights of Degen and Claylings, developing content, merchandise, promotions and characters as NFT-first . Rad also recently signed an agreement with Huawei to be pre-installed in Huawei’s video and TV portal on 200 million devices in 65 countries and will be relaunched on Oculus Quest in the first quarter of 2022, in addition to its PlayStation apps, Google Current TV and iOS.

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Rad recently secured new funding from Intersect VC which invests in Dapper Labs and Triller, former Super Bowl champion New England Patriot and Pro Bowler, Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures, former head of corporate development Alvin Kwan at Fox and Fubo TV board member Rusty Matveev who is CSO at Calaxy and former partner at MSG Ventures, Revere VC, and others, and is currently discussing Series B funding. Rad to existing investors such as Sony via SIF, Warner Music Group, Vayner RSE (Gary Vaynerchuk), Carmelo Anthony’s Melo7 fund and Disney via Disney Accelerator.

“The momentum in the NFT space is palpable, and we have a firm belief that every piece of digital content in the world will eventually become an NFT,” said Tony Mugavero, CEO of Rad. “This, along with our experience in VR and AR, translates into Rad’s creation of the first streaming metaverse. We’re the world’s only streaming platform built for the NFT community, leveraging NFTs for subscriptions, access to video and live events on consumer devices. We’re bringing Hollywood and the Creator Economy to Web 3.0. “

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Rad has its roots in virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video previously known as Littlstar, with apps on PlayStation VR and a relaunch of Oculus Quest. In 2018, the company created and launched a full web content marketplace 3 and native token using Ethereum to power Rad, called ARA. Supported content types include video, live streams, 360-degree video, and volumetric video, and supported devices include mobile, smart, and Sony PlayStation TVs.

I caught up with Co-Founder and CEO Tony Mugavero last week to talk about Rad and the many emerging use cases for NFTs.

Charlie Fink (CF): Tony, you pivot your Littlestar VR distribution company to NFTs and you’ve changed the name to Rad. The world has changed, so has your business model.

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Tony Mugavero (TM): It’s true. Virtual reality was taking its time, blockchain and web 3 were emerging as a clear paradigm shift, and we had to look at where the market opportunities were. In terms of the market, Littlstar has looked at the opportunity in the traditional way. We would license content to studios or creators with paper contracts of 30 pages or more, and we had to deal with all kinds of revenue splits and conditions built into them. We did this in different countries using different currencies, and ingested and optimized content for consumers to buy. There is a lot of friction in this system.

When we started playing with blockchain in 2017-2018, we saw the power of smart contracts and immediately thought they would solve a significant number of problems. We could make smart contracts reflect to a large extent what was going on in paper contracts, and that would mean everything would be more open and accounting would be immediate and comprehensive.

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In combination with smart contracts, we’ve started looking for ways to use peer-to-peer content delivery to offset our streaming bills as we move around gigantic chunks of VR content. This is how the ARA platform powering Rad was born. Smart contracts, content delivery, identity and rewards.

In terms of content, we started to support traditional video, not just VR, and we took advantage of the great relationships we had with our hardware partners and moved them to launch on flagship devices. We’ve gone from VR content on PlayStation VR and Google Daydream to video streaming on the main PlayStation 5 as a launch partner, Android TVs and iPhones.

We took it all together and knew we had to look at that 1000%. We were making the content marketplace more efficient, providing a direct connection between creators and fans, supporting a wider range of content types and devices, and taking advantage of all the automatic accounting that drives it. accompanied. Web 3 is the future. The contracts are more open, the code is open source and the community has a voice in what follows.

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At the end of the fall, we launched the first auctions. These included full Blu Ray collectible movies like The Amazing Mr. X and Life at Stake, AR holograms of X Games gold medalist Elliot Sloan doing tricks, and the DKNY brand relaunching as NFT. They worked with the creators of NFT and the art collective Obvious, who made a video using artificial intelligence and New York imagery combined with the new brand. Immediately after launch, we ended up hearing from all of our VR content partners, and a bunch of new ones trying to figure out the future of content. The same dynamic was at play with the creators who needed to find a new medium but didn’t know how, and it was great to feel it again.

There is, however, a big difference between the blockchain hype and the VR hype. With virtual reality you have different behaviors and habits that have to change, you have to put on a headset, you have to create all new content, and people get sick if they wear a headset for too long. But with blockchain and NFTs, it’s really less about the type of underlying content and less about the device, and more about the business model and means of distribution. This means Rad can scale our business much faster. The type of content doesn’t matter and the material doesn’t really matter. We can create a video as NFT and put it on a TV, or we can create a piece of VR content and output it to an XR device.

The biggest opportunity from a content distribution perspective was for us to move to an NFT-first business instead of a VR-first business.

CF: So you went to your existing customers and they had to jump on the opportunity to start an entertainment focused NFT business, working with you as a technology provider?

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MT: This is true, and we have also received outreach from several new partners. Many of these content companies have been with us for a long time and therefore feel comfortable contacting us. Once you make a deal, they start to trust you, you have security audits and you have the right insurance in place, and then you start to get content and innovate together. It can take years to build these relationships, and it is now manifesting itself with NFTs.

CF: So you have this other new line of business to help them move towards Web 3.0?

MT: Exactly. And for them, they know they have to do it, but there are so many unknowns, and they just want to create great content, not build new distribution platforms every time new technology comes out. For our existing partners in the VR space, this is a much bigger opportunity than VR, but there is a dynamic very similar to how it is with studios and creators needing help. Everyone Said We Know We Need To Understand And Use Web 3 And We Need A Partner You Can Trust. The same goes for the material side as for the content side. Everyone knows he must be able to support crypto and NFTs, so they are all scrambling to try and figure it out.

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