Wemark (WMK) ICO Review – ICO Token News
The amount of digital content, such as photos, music, and video has exploded in recent years. However, it has become a super-centralized market with a small number of companies controlling the majority of distribution. This means that creators must sign away rights and control over their content, along with a large percentage of the revenue their content is generating, in order to participate. Distributed marketplaces allow creators to license their content directly to customers, keeping them in full control of the rights to their content. Wemark is a VC-backed startup based in Israel and San Francisco developing a blockchain-based distribution system for digital content, implementing our concept of the “distributed marketplace”.
Background & Motivation
They are always looking for new ways to achieve this goal. While they want to reach the maximum number of people, they also want to retain the largest possible percentage of revenue. Copyright laws protect content creators and allow them to monetize their content by licensing it to customers for legal use, recovering the investment and hard work that went into its creation. Currently, content creators can license their work directly to users, or, alternatively, hand over the rights of that work to agencies and content marketplaces that will distribute the content on their behalf. Mostly they choose the latter, as most individual photographers lack the brand recognition to attract customers directly.
Self Distribution: Licensing content directly to customers seems like an ideal scenario for creators. On paper, it allows for full revenue and rights, ensures control, and prevents manipulated data by third parties. But in reality, apart from rare cases, self-distribution simply doesn’t work. It’s currently far too expensive and far too hard for creators to reach potential buyers and compete with large agencies/marketplaces with large marketing budgets. Those marketplaces and agencies offer customers content from many different creators, making it dramatically easier for customers to find just what they’re looking for.
Content Marketplaces: Content marketplaces crowdsource and distribute content from multiple creators. They charge distribution fees or have a margin between the price they charge and the royalties they pay to creators. While creators get to keep less of the revenue for each sale, these marketplaces enable them to reach a larger audience – and generate more sales – than if they distributed the content themselves. In order to participate in today’s content marketplaces, creators not only need to sacrifice a large percentage of their revenue, they also have to give up much of their rights. This includes control over its pricing and who’s eligible to license it. A major lack of transparency has become the standard of how these marketplaces work.
The Distributed Marketplace (Our Solution)
The current system for distributing digital content is broken. Creators get only a fraction of their content’s real value and give up many of their rights. Content marketplace are getting more and more dominant, while creators are being left behind. The current system must be replaced. Our vision is a growing and thriving economy of digital content, powered by a blockchain-based protocol that is aligned with interests of the entire community (creators, customers and marketplaces alike.
Immutable distribution agreements
Wemark’s Immutable distribution agreements allow content creators to collaborate with marketplaces in a way that works for both parties. Each agreement includes a price range for licensing the content, the terms of the license to be issued to users, the distribution fee to be paid to the platform, and the percentage of each sale to be paid for referrals. Once electronically signed, the contract and its terms will be deployed on the blockchain. The blockchain ledger is publicly-owned, immutable and secure. Once deployed, neither party can change, delete or deny the terms of the agreement. The only way to change the terms of the agreement is by getting the consent of all the relevant parties. Unlike traditional agreements, smart distribution agreements enforce themselves. Smart agreements (powered by Ethereum smart contracts) can receive payments, issue licenses and automatically distribute revenue.
Automatic Payment Distribution
In addition to traditional marketplaces being a content aggregator, they also facilitate payments. This means they have full control of how, when and under what conditions money flows between all parties. By employing cryptocurrency (WMK), users who wish to license their content are paid according to a series of pre-set rules which are not controlled by the marketplace. A set of blockchain-based smart contracts automatically distributes payments to the parties involved under the unchangeable terms that were originally agreed upon by all. In this manner, the usury “middleman” is eliminated and replaced by an automatic, unbiased entity working in the best interests of all parties. This generates both trust and transparency which are vital attributes in any value system of exchanges. The terms offered by marketplaces to new creators may change from time to time, but the terms of existing distribution agreements, once electronically signed, cannot be changed without the creator’s prior consent.
Blockchain as the New Middleman
The blockchain and the new possibilities it provides (immutable ledger, smart contract, cryptocurrency) introduce an opportunity to replace the traditional distribution channels of digital content. While current digital content distribution methods might help creators reach a large and global audience, it leaves them with a fraction of their content’s worth and very little control over their rights including the way it’s distributed. Creators and customers will always need assistance and facilitation in finding and transacting with each other. This is what created the place for agencies and content marketplaces in the first place.
- Total Supply – 135,000,000
- Ticker – WMK
- Type – ERC20
- TGE (Token Generation Event) Start Date – May 7th, 2018
- TGE End Date – May 21st, 2018
- Soft Cap – $1.5M
- Hard Cap – $8M
- Tai KaishCEO & Co-Founder
Tai has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing and growth hacking for Israeli top brands, organizations and startups (including Leumi Bank, Discount Bank, Weizmann institute for science, BufferZone, Paper Wallet and more). Tai is a guest lecturer and mentor for marketing and entrepreneurship in the IDC Herzliya international school, Elevation Academy and more.
- Pavel ElkindCTO & Co-Founder
A technological leader with over 10 years of experience in software engineering and management. Pavel is a former Director of R&D and one of the first employees of a recently acquired Israeli start-up company, with over 50 employees. Prior to that, Pavel was an Israeli Intelligence Officer in Unit 8200, led development teams and managed high profile projects.
- Roy MeiromVP Business Development & Co-Founder
Roy is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in building strategic partnerships and business development strategies. He is a growth-focused and results-oriented leader with a proven history of bringing industry insights and pragmatic solutions to key business challenges. Roy holds an Honors LL.B. degree in Law and a B.A. in Business administration from IDC Herzliya and is a graduate of the prestigious Sam Zell Entrepreneurship Program.
- Tomer GabbaiLead Front-End
Tomer is a senior engineer with extensive experience from top tier companies like SAP and Wix.com (NASDAQ: WIX).
- Barak SimonLead Back-End
Former Israeli Intelligence Unit 8200 officer and team leader. Barak is a multidisciplinary technologist with over 10 years of experience.
- Ohad PeledLead UX/UI
As an experienced Product Designer, Ohad has the ability and passion for creating visual and functional gems for more than 10 years already.
- Shenhav YehudaMarketing Director
Shenhav has years of experience in marketing management both in B2C and B2B environments, from top-tier companies, such as Intel.
- Adam WolskiFull-Stack Developer
Adam is a full-stack web developer with more than 7 years of experience in delivering solutions using cutting-edge technologies.
- Or TwigCrypto Marketing Specialist
A crypto savvy and visual marketing professional. Former art director and animator for various worldwide financial enterprises, including VISA.
- Catherine XuMarketing Intern
Catherine is a marketing and operations management major at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a freelance photographer with startup orientation.
- 1May, 2017
NFX GUILD ACCELERATOR PROGRAM. Wemark takes part in the S17 class of NFX. 3 months accelerator program in Palo Alto that focuses on marketplaces and network effects. Watch our Demo Day pitch here.
- 2September, 2017
PHOTOGRAPHERS EARLY-ACCESS REGISTRATION. The registration for photographers to get early-access as contributors in the Wemark marketplace has begun, resulting with more than 1,500 professional photographers from all around the world signing up in the first weeks of the registration.
- 3January, 2018
LAUNCHING “PORTFOLIOS. The very first live product by Wemark goes live – photographers are now able to create their profiles, upload their photos and submit them to the blockchain. This is the exciting first step towards our full blockchain-based marketplace.
- 4February, 2018
WHITEPAPER RELEASE. The full whitepaper and more relevant information about the crowdsale will be published on our website and sent to our growing list of subscribers.
- 5Q1, 2018
ALPHA VERSION. Alpha version of the marketplace will be deployed to the Ethereum, allowing our early adopters to discover and buy photos using WMK.
- 6Q2, 2018
BETA VERSION. A beta version of the fully functional marketplace will be released, including a large-scale marketing campaign for new customers.
- 7The Future
As a team who has developed marketplaces and platforms in the past, we know it's a tough challenge. Wemark will continue investing its funds on R&D, marketing and business development to prosper the marketplace and the entire ecosystem. Our goal is to create a worldwide mash to enable the distributed exchange of all types of digital content, removing greedy intermediaries and creating a transparent, efficient and low-cost way to transact directly.