Restoring balance to the heart of the television and film industry with an innovative IP and payments platform
The entertainment industry has, for too long, been riddled with broken processes, opaque arrangements and low levels of trust around payments and IP ownership. This means that stakeholders are often not being paid what they are owed or deserve.
Our client, Dreamscape Media, is a successful production company that specialises in the creation of scripted content, TV dramas, event mini-series, action series and movies for the UK and worldwide. Dreamscape has first-hand experience of the challenges facing the market and relationships across all levels of the industry, and is well-positioned to solve these challenges by bringing a new platform to market – Hieros.
Hieros is an innovative film and television rights business that leverages blockchain technology, resetting the film and TV industry by creating a demonstrably transparent platform that ensures stakeholders get paid, IP ownership is trusted, and overheads are minimised.
We were first instructed to scope, build and deliver a brand new, emerging tech-led product for the business.
We run a Discovery before we build anything. It is a critical phase. With Hieros, it included a proper identification of the issues the product would seek to overcome and the co-development of a short-term vision statement to focus the project.
We carried out market research, workshops with the client and internal workshops to analyse the industry and problem space. The goal of these activities was to identify the key opportunity areas and success criteria for the product.
We identified Hieros’ key user groups through persona workshops and interviews with real individuals to understand their goals, pain points and behaviours. With the knowledge gained, we developed a future-state plan on how the prototype can grow and scale, starting with wireframes through to the full vision, and what it would take to build.
Our Product Strategy and Design teams got to work mapping out user journeys, story maps and the various user roles based on all the information collected. Working closely with the client, we mapped out a phased roadmap towards launching a minimal viable product to ensure we used the time effectively. From here, we were able to move seamlessly to wireframing to map out the screens in low fidelity, agreeing these internally and with the client until we were ready for high-fidelity design.
The final workshop of Discovery was a brand workshop in which we heard from the client what they wanted to convey through their brand and the tone. With this done, we were able to create a style for the product and apply the design to the screens, delivering a high-fidelity proof of concept for prototyping.
2. Raising Investment
Following Discovery, we supported Dreamscape’s investment conversations. The key Discovery deliverable was a branded, clickable product prototype to assist these conversations. We put these artefacts directly in the hands of our clients to enable them to take them to interested parties and work their magic independently of us.
In addition to the prototype, we have produced the following:
- Financial modelling
To understand Hieros’ commercial opportunity our Product Strategy and Design teams completed a full financial modelling exercise scenario planning revenues under different monetisation strategies. The best strategy was identified to take forward to investors.
- Designing pitch decks and investor proposals
Our Product Strategy and Design teams built investor materials highlighting the opportunity of Hieros, the strength of the assembled team and the unique and timely opportunity that Hieros represents.
With Discovery complete, we accelerated into the build phase of Hieros. Employing our team of experienced Designers, Engineers and Product Consultants, we created a minimum viable product build encompassing project creation and management, IP logging, bank payment tracking and payment ledgers, unlocking value for each of the user types engaging with the platform.
Given the lack of trust in the entertainment industry, payment tracking and IP logging in Hieros had to be completely trusted and secure. To achieve this, the MDRx team utilised its blockchain expertise to immutably log IP and contract payments on a private Hieros blockchain backed by an extensive external audit process.
Finally, to progress the product from a proof of concept to an MVP, our design team worked with the client to revisit the branding and build on it. Using the information gleaned from a branding “revisited” workshop, we presented our ideas for a new logo, colour palette and some key elements to give a flavour of the design direction. To design economically, we applied styles to various components which were re-used in the wireframes to build out a design system, after which we applied the styles and the components to the screens.
- A watertight proof of concept: Our thorough approach to Discovery has ensured that the product has a user-centric approach that will add value for stakeholders across the industry.
- De-risked innovation: Using our compliant by design philosophy, we utilised a blended MDR Group team of experienced legal, strategy and blockchain engineers to develop a cutting-edge solution that the client can be confident is futureproofed and compliant by design.
- A clearly articulated product roadmap: Clear expectations of what value will be delivered and what the journey towards launching the minimal viable product will look like and supporting conversations with investors.
- Raising investment: We have supported our clients in initiating their investment rounds to successfully launch this product.
- Transparency for all: Hieros is a platform where Studios, Streamers, Networks, Producers, IP Owners, Distributors, Agents and Talent can all access a single point of reference to track and manage IP, contracts and associated payments throughout the lifecycle of a project.
- Increased trust between stakeholders: Integrated contracts and links to the banking system facilitate easy tracking of payments and verification of IP ownership.
- Reduced costs: We anticipate a 90% cost reduction to the end user through cutting overheads and reducing fees currently spent on collecting monies via in-house or external teams.
- Quicker payments: A much greater efficiency in processing time, empowering users to identify and chase down any blockers to receive what is owed to them or their clients.
- Streamlined financing: Future phases of the platform will make it easier for stakeholders to secure production financing through customised views of key project information and verified proof of IP ownership and future income.