Problem & Solution
The current state of the media market is characterized by a clickbait-driven content strategy that is not generating optimal returns for creators. Various platforms such as TikTok, Spotify, and YouTube have been criticized for their low payouts to creators. For instance, TikTok creators only earn $30 for every 1 million views, while Spotify artists earn $0.003 per stream and 99% make less than $50K/year.
To address this issue, a new solution has been proposed, which involves utilizing smart-contracts on the blockchain to enable creators to administer their own terms for content distribution. This decentralized platform enables creators to upload their audio or video content and receive instantaneous payments from consumers who pay for access to the content.
The platform charges a small fee on transactions and enables revenue sharing among collaborators and fans through wallet addresses. The platform aims to create a three-dimensional environment for consumers, players, and creators to interact in and also offers gamification of content distribution and exclusive early access for fans. While the platform initially targets mid-tier artists, it is pursuing partnerships with larger distributors. However, scalability and execution risks need to be addressed before partnering with larger artists.
Formless is currently not committing to any concrete plan regarding tokenomics and token use cases. While there is potential for it to be a governance or utilities token, the spectrum of possibilities is vast, and potential regulatory issues around Tokenization must be taken into account. Therefore, the Formless’s priority in the near term is finding product-market fit without a token. The focus is on proving the value proposition and gaining market traction before exploring tokenization further.
A total of 12 members on the team (4 full time and 8 part time)
- Brandon Tory (Founder); The individual has worked as a staff engineer at Google, a senior software engineer at Apple, and a software engineer at Teradyne.
- Jason Martin (COO); Track record of driving growth and innovation in tech companies. Previously held a leadership role at Unbanked, a global fintech solution company built on blockchain. Holds an M.S. in Management of Technology and a B.S. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
- Bixia Mac (CFO); Experienced finance professional with over 10 years of industry experience, including roles at Morgan Stanley and Fidelity. Holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
$~ 1,5M | Pre-seed | a16z, MH Ventures, vVv, angel investors
Formless has been selected to join a16z’s spring Incubator program, a 12-week accelerator program in Santa Monica. They are one of 26 teams and between 50 and 60 founders of companies participating. The program provides access to some of the best in the crypto space, including co-founders and subject matter experts who give talks on a weekly basis.
Formless will have the opportunity to learn from them and their experiences, as well as work on their business with the help of a16z’s staff of 20 to 30 people. This will allow Formless to address any issues they are facing in real time and ultimately help them grow and succeed.
RESEARCHER OPINION #1
Andy | Chief Research Officer
The current creator economy is broken primarily due to centralized platforms that limit creative freedom and fair revenue share with artists. Platforms like Spotify or YouTube are only profitable for the top % of creators that generate the highest traffic.
Formless’ decentralized “Share” platform offers better solutions for artists and fans by empowering creators to monetize special content of their works directly, cutting out middlemen.
The services Formless offers could prove useful to traditional players in the online content industry, and an acquisition is not out of the question.
Many people have tried to create products for the music industry using blockchain technology, but most failed because they made something that no one wanted.
Formless takes a different approach to building infrastructure, letting the market decide what use-case or dApp will succeed in the end. A high risk – high reward play with solid team and concept.
RESEARCHER OPINION #2
Jesse | Sr. Research Analyst
The proposed solution addresses a crucial issue faced by smaller and mid-sized creators who often struggle to generate revenue from their hobbies. A noteworthy aspect of this solution is the implementation of instant payment, which simplifies the transaction process for both creators and consumers.
Moreover, the platform offers a seamless experience for creators and users, including 1-click wallet creation, subsidizing gas fees, clear documentation, and integration of Google Pay and Apple Pay. The founders’ decade-long personal relationship is also a positive attribute of the initiative, reflecting their shared commitment to this cause.
The team’s thoughtful and strategic approach to achieving product-market fit before introducing a token is commendable, as the token is not the primary value proposition for attracting creators and users. Additionally, the initiative’s focus on various media forms beyond just music enhances its potential for gaining traction. Overall, this initiative presents a high-risk, high-reward opportunity.