Current Media is a new streaming platform and ecosystem. It is a blockchain-based solution, with its own native token of CRNC (‘Currency’) that creates the economic incentives necessary to sustain the whole ecosystem. The listeners are in control of how they choose to stream and pay. The value exchange that happens on the platform is facilitated by the CRNC token.
Working With Existing Players
Current Media with work with existing providers of streaming media, which is what makes it a powerful concept. The project isn’t trying to compete with the well-established incumbents. Instead, Current Media is creating an economic layer on top. From the end-user point of view, they don’t need to know anything about blockchains or crypto-assets and crypto-tokens. This is abstracted away from users. Of course, advanced users can always use the underlying Ethereum blockchain for interactions, which is the blockchain on which CRNC is built as an ERC20 token.
This is actually a bigger factor than most realize. Even with two-sided incentive structures in a marketplace that crypto enables, it is really hard to disrupt the incumbents. It is also prohibitively expensive. Imagine having to recreate a YouTube in-house. That’s tens or hundreds of millions of dollars just in the infrastructure required. Instead, the way blockchain startups can get their foothold in these industries is via a layer on top, and then try vertical integration.
Why vertical integration? Because there are lots of infrastructure projects being built on top of blockchains today, which can actually build that layer to host things like videos, aka YouTube competitors. For example, Dfinity is building a whole ‘Cloud 3.0’ idea, which can be leveraged in the future by projects like Current Media. Therefore, startups like Current Media are right in going after the low-hanging fruit and building the userbase first, and then move to a more fuller decentralized solution in the future, when the infrastructure is ready.
The Current Platform and Protocol
As described above, the Current platform itself sits on top of several service providers from YouTube to Spotify. If you think of YouTube and Spotify as the infrastructure layers in this case that deliver content, Current Platform would be the consumer facing application. It has features like discoverablility and search built into the platform, which go into all the lower infrastructure layers.
Therefore, from a consumer experience point of view, the Current Platform provides a more seamless and easy interface that gets you the best content no matter where they are hosted. Also, remember the longer-term plans that we outlined in the above section – these infrastructure layers can be disrupted by pure blockchain plays, but in our estimate that is still 5-10 years away.
The platform provides these features to customers and gives them flexibility in terms of payment. However, in return for consumers using the Current Platform and also watching ads, they get paid. This of course is very different from most other models in use today, where any revenue goes directly to the sites hosting this content and not the end users. Current platform is different in that way.
The data collection is also useful, for which users will be paid. From a user point of view, you get paid just to stream what you stream anyway! This is the great benefit of a blockchain-incentivized system like Current. If you’re selling your data, might as well get paid for it.
The CRNC token is the driver of the economy inside Current. This helps both listeners and content providers. Listeners can earn free CRNC for normal streaming, and then pay their favorite artists on the Current Platform. New artists can start their careers on the Current Platform instead of places like YouTube where it is too crowded already. These crypto tokens are required to ensure an economy is sustainable, which is what CRNC does.