TaTaTu is a business whose time has come. Which is fortunate for investors and potential users, as the company is about to launch the Beta iteration of their app.
The brainchild of Hollywood producer Andrea Iervolino (Merchant of Venice, Memento, Beyond the Sun), TaTaTu is billed as a new way to watch your favourite movies, music videos, sport, gaming and celebrities online.
And it’s developing apace. Currently available in Alpha on Android in New Zealand, we’re told that hours of content will launch in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand in July. “TaTaTu is a revolution in social entertainment”, says Iervolino.
By ‘social entertainment’ Iervolino means the hybrid nature of TaTaTu – a mash-up of video-on-demand service and social platform. Some might see this as combining two incompatible media spaces. But Iervolino clearly views TaTaTu as something else – a natural evolution in watching content.
Iervolino intends TTU to be an integral part of the movies he makes. Already the new Lamborghini feature starring Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin is paying staff in TTU. Just announced is the part financing of The Sound of Freedom, with Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino.
After all, as social channels move increasingly towards video, why do we need smart TVs to watch movies and other rights-held content? Why can’t a smartphone app mix social interaction and video-on-demand? Iervolino is taking the next step with TaTaTu.
Aside from this next-generation viewing, there’s a killer element to the business: users are rewarded when they watch. While people pay for Netflix and Amazon, TaTaTu is free. But more than that, they actually get paid when they watch.
As a piece of market positioning ‘getting paid to watch’ has its dangers, with lower quality operators already operating in the space. But TaTaTu has been quick to distinguish itself by offering some high quality fare. Swedish all-action feature Kung Fury and cult classic Matilda have both been acquired for launch – with other movies coming soon.
But how will TaTaTu make the model work if profits go to the users? Isn’t that a step too far? The company is keen to emphasise that advertising revenue will be divided between content provider (the organisation holding the rights to the content) and the platform. So, in other words, the classic ‘Rev share’ format, but this time with a portion of what is due to TaTaTu going to the user.
And it doesn’t end there. There will be a TaTaTu Token created to distribute this revenue, the third game-changing element to the TaTaTu model.
The TTU is a new cryptocurrency, bought and sold on exchanges but also used as reward for entertainment consumption. Watching on TaTaTu means earning TTU. Advertisers will also pay for their ads in TTU. Users can cash out, but will be encouraged to stay and build their token amount in a digital wallet, with a counter that’s clearly visible, continually showing earnings.
The TTU token brings other benefits. YouTube has been criticized in recent months for siting dubious content next to advertising inventory. With TaTaTu this will be near impossible. First, because content is all pre-selected, ensuring jihadist or other videos won’t get near the platform. Second, all advertising inventory and content will be visible on the blockchain, so it will be easy to spot a potential conflict.
However, being based on the blockchain doesn’t just enable a rewarding mechanism for users. It also sends a great message to advertisers. TaTaTu is clear and transparent.
“If you are a content provider, you should finally not worry any more about piracy and illegal streaming,” says Iervolino. “Because I’m sure that no one person will go to watch your content on an illegal platform when they can come to our platform and get rewarded.”
Which in turn builds into the overall story of fairness at the heart of TaTaTu. Instead of making money from data, TaTaTu rewards people for their time in creating and sharing it. People are due this by right, says TaTaTu. With Facebook in the dock for misuse of data, it’s a powerful message – and one that has come at just the right time.