For the keen investor, the job of identifying a promising ICO can be overwhelming. As crowdfunding vehicles grow in number, it becomes even more difficult to choose the best investment proposal and avoid those that are poorly constructed or outright scams.
ICOs have gained popularity because they allow companies to raise millions in seconds, while providing investors with the potential to earn ROIs greater than with traditional investments. The number of ICOs popping up is simply mind-blowing. In 2017 alone, more than 800 ICOs raised over $6 billion dollars collectively. In the first quarter of 2018, there have already been 700 ICOs, raising over $4 billion dollars.
In addition to profit, purchasing tokens in an ICO gives participants the power to play a part in fueling disruptive technology for the greater good. Disruption is, after all, at the heart of ICOs. They are not merely token sales. They are mechanisms for dismantling entire industries in Fintech. One could argue that the more disruptive the technology behind the ICO, the more compelling it is to invest in.
Disrupting the Entertainment Industry
One industry in dire need of disruption is the entertainment industry. While Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have revolutionized how we watch TV, they have forced the bread and butter of the entertainment industry, the producers, up against a wall financially.
Millions of cordcutters have already replaced their cable or satellite TV service with these Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services — and for good reason: SVOD services are more affordable and accessible and carry great exclusive content. Despite these benefits, however, there is an insidious problem. These platforms have monopolized the industry, giving producers of our favorite content less compensation for the time and money they have invested in production projects.
What’s bad for producers is bad for consumers, too. When creators, producers, and performers aren’t fairly compensated, it chokes the supply of the well-produced content we really want.
The current subscription-based model we have today is proving to be unsustainable, putting the entertainment industry as a whole at risk. If nothing is done about this we will likely see subscription service fees spike, leaving producers no other option but to slash production budgets. Consumers could be forced to pay high subscription fees or choose from a selection of low-budget entertainment. We need a solution, and that solution is to decentralize entertainment.
Decentralizing Entertainment with Blockchain Technology
Two ICO projects that have set out to offer a solution for the entertainment industry's unique problems are Slate and Singular DTV. Both aim to decentralize the entertainment industry through decentralized streaming via Blockchain Video on Demand (BVOD), decentralized media storage, and real-time royalty payments. But which is superior?
An In-depth Comparison of Slate and Singular DTV
Mission and Roadmap
The whitepaper for Slate is comprised of 47 pages, outlining Slate's goals, extensive details on the team, its partners, a milestone roadmap, the Slate protocol, and the initial Sale. SingularDTV's whitepaper is primitive, containing only 13 pages and lacks any information to articulate a sense of direction or plan of execution for the project.
Slate has clearly defined its goals and plans, something every investor should take notice of when selecting an ICO to invest in. While SingularDTV leaves the public wondering, Slate clearly articulates its goals: to disrupt the entertainment industry so that consumers pay fair subscription prices and content creators receive transparent analytics and the pay they deserve.
SingularDTV's goals are more in-line with providing a crowdfunding platform for independent films by raising funds off of the Ethereum network. The project appears to be more of a financing vehicle than a distributive media platform looking to change the current state of the industry.
Slate (SLX) coins will be produced on its own blockchain, SlateChain, while SingularDTV will create an ERC20 token, SNGLS, on the existing Ethereum blockchain.
SingularDTV has yet to publish a model for how its currency, SNGLS, will be used or where. Slate, on the other hand, fleshes out a well-developed plan for the Slate coin’s utility within the Slate Entertainment Network. Slate will have two platforms built on blockchain technology: Binge, the first premium decentralized streaming platform to utilize the power of distributed ledger technology, and Slatix, a low-cost tokenized ticketing system.
Both will be powered by Slate's masternode network that enables owners to own SLX. The SLX currency will be accepted as payments for subscriptions on the Binge platform and can be used to purchase forgery-resistant tickets on the Slatix platform. Binge will allow subscribers to watch streamed content through the introduction of Blockchain Video on Demand (BVOD).
The goal of Slatix: slash inflated ticketing prices by cutting out the middleman. These savings will be passed on to consumers, spurring adoption and rewarding customer loyalty. Consumers will be able to purchase tickets using their mobile phones for events such as movies, concerts, plays, museums and sporting events.
Slate has already signed a deal with Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival to utilize the Slatix platform for the upcoming film festival held in Catalonia this October.
People will use Slate tokens to buy event tickets and passes, making it the first major movie festival to accept cryptocurrency.
The Development Teams
One of the biggest indicators of whether an ICO project will actually deliver is the strength of its development team. Slate's team is composed of an impressive group of individuals. Slate's Founders include Michael Moyal, a traditional financial services stalwart, and Marino Kulas, and Cody Hackman, both film industry leaders. Slate's technical overseers include Jason Squire, Gediminas Ausra, Robert Morton, Kal Gabriel, Ian Campbell, and Jose Maradiaga. The team members offering their business development support include Nate Bolotin, Jessica Labi, Jon Karas, Carrie Wolfe, Ryuhei Kitamura, Keven Shea, and Glenn Wong.
Each of these individuals has an extensive professional history that can be found on the slate.io team page. Together they make a formidable team equal to their ambitions, with expertise in every area relevant to achieving the project’s goals.
Singular DTV's team members are CEO Zach Lebeau, CMO Bill Richards, Kim Jackson, Joseph Lubin, and Arie Levy-Cohen. This information can be gleaned from a wiki about Singular DTV and a Medium post published by Singular DTV but is not public on their official website, singulardtv.com.
Which to Invest In?
From an investor's standpoint, Slate has already proven more trustworthy. Not only is the development team of Singular DTV less visible to the public, they do not offer masternodes or any reward system for that matter, which is a huge drawback. Slate, however, is offering masternodes to Slate (SLX) holders which will allow them to accumulate more of the token as a reward for contributing to their content media delivery and storage protocol. It is clear that Slate is the more sound investment of the two. SingularDTV lacks a solid whitepaper, transparency, or a team as capable and experienced as Slate.
As a digital currency media writer, I was commissioned to write this content by Slate Entertainment Group (SEG). However, the opinions expressed are my own. Do your own research before investing in the company, as this is not intended to provide investment advice.