First-run movies may soon debut in your living room
Well, the pandemic and our increasing appetite for OTT streaming, have kind of conspired to create a very healthy appetite among American consumers to see first run movies debut.
Not just in theaters, but also in their homes.
An expectation we wouldn't have had a few years ago.
But we're used to paying what?
Three, four bucks.
For an alacarte stream of a movie on any O-T-T service and that's for an unlimited number of people watching it within 48 hours, that doesn't pay the bills in Hollywood, now what?
Ji Han Akin is here and he's got some ideas.
The founder of a startup called Cinex with a platform called venue.
Venue is a combination of an image recognition camera that can recognize people watching the TV, software underneath that and a ticketing system.
You buy tickets for the number of people you want to watch the movie or event involved on the venue platform and if too many come in the room It's going to pause that content to either reduce the number to the number of tickets you bought, or buy more tickets.
This is your ultimate David and Goliath, a small company, a startup that thinks that can rewrite the rules for how first run films get released to homes.
And have the numbers actually work for everybody.
What it offers to you is, in addition to all the third party apps and streaming services and things that we've all been accustomed to, we're bringing venue which is a new platform that brings All things that are premium ticketed under one roof.
So imagine concerts, musicals, operas, symphonies, fights, imagine movies that are only playing in theaters, things like that, that consumers would love to be able to attend but require travel and a ticket per person.
We want to be able to create a platform that can replicate that exhibition right?, and stream it right to the comfort of home.
Okay, now the key to your platform is that you use this camera sensor to monitor the number of people who are watching an event or a movie, and therefore trying to support the economics so it's not One for dollar stream and ten people can watch it.
That's the kind of a core that intrigues me.
It actually makes it a lot more accessible to all forms of viewers, right?
So whether I'm watching by myself or if it's just me and a friend
Rather than going the traditional pay-per-view route of paying $60 for the fight, a hundred dollars for the fight.
Now it can actually be priced on an individual ticket basis.
So then more singles and double double users will be able to attend.
Versus being kind of priced out
Clearly like not all the content creators in the world have a Disney plus or an HBO max to lean on right?
There's a world of content creators storytellers out there That make a living and off of the exhibition or off of the ticket box office window, which also dictates the value of their content downstream when they're trying to make these deals.
So in order to provide.
The best of both worlds in order to provide consumers access to premium entertainment, at the same time in a way that maximizes revenue and keeps a healthy, thriving ecosystem and business and industry going is our goal.
We also realize right now that your average consumer has like six to eight different subscriptions To all the different services they have, the market is super fragmented.
And subscriptions also work great for long form content where you have episodes and seasons to keep customers sticky to the subscription.
But the short form premium entertainment like movies or like a concert They're not designed for long form subscription plays.
They're designed for that big buildup, you spend a lot of money marketing it, you put this opening grand weekend or for this big concert and it's like a big spark and it kind of goes away.
And we wanna make sure that that spark reaches as many eyeballs as possible.
And therefore you've railed together a basket, if you will.
And you've got the technology that meters or monitors the ticket times, how many heads are in there watching the event?
What happens if extra people walk in the room?
So if extra people are walking in the room for a set period of time, they're actually they're watching the content.
It will pause and display a message saying hey, you've got
Three, three tickets, but there's additional viewers.
And at that point, you can either if you're watching a filmed of piece of content, it you're not going to miss anything.
It's paused and you can tend to your guests.
You can if they don't want to be a part of the session or watch with you, okay, you can tend to them they can leave and you can continue from where you left off.
Or these individuals have now seen a sneak peek.
They're now interested.
They wanna join.
You can buy them tickets.
They can buy their own tickets.
And they can be a part of the experience.
For live events, because of the rights issues and different Things that go into the live event rates.
At this time, we can't do like pre recorded.
We can't do like, you know, your tivoing your live event, you know, pause for like a long time on a live event, you'll just miss that portion of it.
Unfortunately, as technology as hopefully as our platform gets bigger, and we've become this big, big platform, this big stage for these artists.
We'll be able to, maybe change these licencing rights to be able to be where we can not only stream it, but we can TiVo it and you may even be able to purchase the digital download of it and keep it in your library.
Also with our system, there's not a place where a consumer comes in and they have 50,000 titles to choose from.
And it takes them an hour to find something like that's not the window we play in.
We're only going to be offering what's brand new and what's live and what's in the theatrical window.
If a movie's out of the theatrical window, it's off of our system.
When the live event is finished, it's off of our system.
So we're not playing in this market where we're competing with the Netflix or a Hulu or a Disney plus or whatever the case may be.
->> That's interesting because so many services out there, they boast of their catalog as well as fresh new originals.
So you're kinda zigging where they zag.
And saying no we're only about freshness.
In this day and age with as much as we're all connected.
Fresh has a very small window.
As soon as something is out is out and whether it's a new movie, it's got a very small window where you have spoilers about it.
You can have the ripped off version of.
Now, thanks to the streaming services, the bootleg version is literally available same day and it is on a streaming service.
So the window is shrinking, the more connected we get, the window shrinking.
And so, we have a way to maximize that window, whether it's gonna be for A day, a 14 day window, a 30 day window or a couple hours.
We have technology and infrastructure.
Netflix, Disney plus, Paramount plus they're all out there.
How do you go to content rights holders like movie studios or promoters of concerts and say.
Ji Han Adkin at sinex has the right idea.
You're the ultimate underdog here.
How do you work that out?
That's the million dollar question, right?
So what we do is we built the platform and we don't control the content.
We built the back end of the content platform for they, for these content creators, these rights holders.
To be able to create their own campaigns and maximize their window.
So when we go to them, we tell them about the geo fencing, how they can geo fence and make sure that if they have certain deals with theatres or other exhibitions, they can block out those territory so it doesn't cannibalize Physical tickets to the physical venue.
We have granular data where we can give them data about their audience.
There's six people that watch three of them were females between the ages of XYZ.
Three of them were males between the ages of XYZ.
We just do a detection.
We're not doing facial recognition and tying of data points to people's profiles.
So we don't know that it's like, gee, Han and Brian and Jonathan, we just know that there's three males between the ages of X, Y, and Z.
It's all probability based.
We're very sensitive to the consumers privacy, because at the end of the day, we're consumers ourselves.
And we wanna be able to not only collect the data that will bring value to the content providers and make them.
Give them the information they need to make better content.
But we want to do it in a way that respects the privacy of consumers.
And I think as I recall, you also mentioned you're able to do some sort of gesture recognition.
What is that part of your technology?
So, micro gestures.
So, like it's not hand gestures.
Micro gestures, like you're smiling or sad or Crying or if you have glasses or if you have a beard, we can get that type of data, you know through the system.
But again, it's it's probability based.
It's not like a definite Hey, John has glasses and a beard.
And Brian doesn't, right?
It's not like that.
It's it's very anonymous.
It's about the group viewing right?
But this is still exponentially more data than what they're getting now.
We know that we're used to certain price levels that are becoming very normal across all the streaming services.
They're all roughly in the same band for the most part, and we know what a movie ticket costs.
Where do you envision and I'm talking movies again, where do you envision a movie ticket for a new release?
Coming in in the price range on venue.
We've designed our platform where the content creator sets the ticket price and they can set ticket prices in different markets as they please.
So tickets in Biloxi Mississippi could be $8 tickets in downtown Manhattan can be $15.
It's up to the content creator to set the ticket price and the time the date that it launches and the data comes off the system.
So the content licensee or whoever has the rights to the content, the right holder has the control of all those different parameters.
The owner is getting 80% of the ticket across the board for all that content.
So for movies that's significantly higher than your traditional.
Yeah, I think right now it's typically a 5050.
Split with the exhibitor.
And the exhibition business is awesome, and we're supportive of that because we ourselves are a digital exhibitor.
So the exhibition business is something that we're adding to.
So people would go to the movie theater, but they want to consume other content, but they're not gonna go back again for the same theater four times that weekend, right?
But if they had access to from the comfort of home, we think that it's going to increase the frequency of people actually watching new releases.
Because great, I'm gonna go to IMAX, I'm gonna watch this big Avengers movie on IMAX.
But the comedy or the the action flick or the animation that comes out for my kids may not have, I mean, I want to be able to go back to the theater for that.
And guess what, by next weekend, there's a new piece of content out so then it's like you have to choose between Okay, the new one or the one from last week.
So here you are trying to get your way into this business that's very clumsy.
That has a lot of relationship.
That makes a lot of things happen.
Where are you in terms of partnering with the most important part here, which is those who have the content that people want to see.
Directly in dialogue with all of them.
We're running this pilot now in distributing devices not just to consumers for the consumer feedback loop, but we're also giving devices.
Onboarding content creators onto the content portal to be able to hear from them as well.
And this is a way for all of us to get in the pool and kind of swim together and see who likes the water.
We're going to be then looking to launch in the end of this year in q4 in the US and potentially possibly in the Middle East simultaneously.
So those are All in the works.
But ultimately, with content creators, we're simply telling them that this is we want, we don't want exclusive anything.
We want to be an extension and an additive arm to your current distribution plans.
So if you've got movies that are coming out in 2022 How can we be a part of that rollout?
Whether it's buy two tickets to x movie and you get two devices, you get a device for free or buy two tickets and you get a device half off whatever those promotional programs will be.
We're kind of looking to work those now.
And prepare for launch.
In a in a nutshell, then you're in a beta now, you don't have any content partners you can publicly announce yet, is that right?
We have partners we just can't publicly announce them yet.
And as you get closer to release later this year ticket prices for whatever it is will be set by the Rights owner, you take a cut of that to run the service and then I guess the last piece is, this camera device that would be on top of my television.
What's the price on that going to be you think?
So we're looking for the actual camera device the full-on media player Venue X to be about 99.99.
We'll call that $100.
And then the USB camera, the venue light is going to be under 20 around 2499 25 bucks.
Okay, so you'll have two hardware models.
Yeah, the one the venue light is a USB camera that you can connect to a smart TV that our app can be on.
I see and another one is a more complete hardware solution for TVs that need more technical help.
And then, there's also players out there that already have cameras, so we're already testing on one now I don't know hopefully I don't get mad at me.
But here it is.
There's the Facebook portal TV.
So it already has a camera on it and these are in hundreds of 1000s of homes already.
So Facebook's done an awesome job with this.
Well, hey, it already has Netflix and already has Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire Video on their Prime Video.
Why not have venue on there and that way the consumer doesn't even have to buy anything extra they can just launch the app.
on that and good to go, now everything is getting a camera in it.
So very soon here, you'll have TVs with embedded cameras.
And then you know, in the next couple of years everything will have a camera you won't even need to buy a venue x and we'll just be a software and app on all these devices that will that will, you know, totally satisfy the requirements of what we need to do.
But until that happens, it just seemed a lot more convenient for us to say hey, here's $100 device or or a $25 device versus like go buy a new TV
How do you feel you're about your odds really radically change the idea of movie release to home?
Well, Fortune favors the bold And was a startup as an entrepreneur.
Odds doesn't matter, we have a mission, we have patents, we have a product that works.
We think, I mean, there's already a world that consumes content and there's already a world that creates it, so we just wanna be the glue between We think it is a very physical project.
So we're going full on to the meddle
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