The Skolkovo Foundation was named Russia’s best centre of excellence in blockchain technologies, and one of the foundation’s resident startups, TVzavr, won the Blockchain Economy prize at the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) awards this week.

Pavel Novikov, head of Skolkovo's fintech centre, speaks at the awards ceremony this week. Photo: RACIB.

TVzavr provides video on demand (VoD) services that were used by 185 million users last year, who paid to watch 365 million shows and films online, bringing the company $10 million in revenue. Its decentralized movie distribution platform MoviesChain enables filmmakers to offer their new films up for online viewing directly, allowing them to cut costs on marketing and distribution.

Alexander Pavlov, CEO of TVzavr, with his award. Photo: RACIB.

“[MoviesChain by TVzavr] is a real platform built entirely upon blockchain,” said Yury Pripachkin, president of RACIB. “It’s a breakthrough in media history, because in the future, the media industry is going to see a change in the relationship between rights holders and distributors, and MoviesChain is in the vanguard of this process. Many people had similar ideas, but TVzavr were the first to make them a reality.”

Alexander Pavlov, CEO of TVzavr, said the project’s main goal and idea is to reduce the distance between rights holders and viewers, and to give small, independent studios the opportunity to enter the market and deliver their content to consumers.

“Right now there is a significant number of intermediaries involved in the process of signing contracts between rights holders and internet movie theatres. They create their own packages from the rights holders and regulate the market strictly, which makes it really difficult for small studios to break onto it. The mission of MoviesChain by TVzavr is to reduce this process and bring rights holders closer to viewers, which will open up new opportunities for independent film studios,” Pavlov said, accepting the award.

The distribution of various content, from media to gaming, is one of the areas with the greatest potential for the use of blockchain technology, said Alexei Kalenchuk, a project manager within the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster.

“The magic here lies in excluding the intermediary between content producers and consumers, while preserving transparency,” he said.

“This is precisely what MoviesChain from TVzavr has put its stake on,” said Kalenchuk, adding that Skolkovo actively seeks out and supports new solutions targeting content, as well as ancillary technologies connected to areas such as distribution and advertising.

TVzavr became a resident company of the Skolkovo Foundation in 2017.