tuka is a digital platform for promoting, sharing, marketing, and curating original music. tuka integrates three essential functions of a sustainable creative ecosystem: social network dynamics with crypto-token rewards for filtering content; peer-to-peer files sharing and payment protocol to exchange value; and a blockchain trustless public ledger that secures intellectual property, the flow of data, and user control over the value created. Essentially, tuka is integrating all the independent website portals of artists who sell their content together on one platform with a public accounting ledger that enables consumers and fans to find and share the music they like. The difference from streaming services is that the artist-creators and consumers secure most of the value, not the platform.
The basic problems, or challenges, of creative digital media is that there is TOO MUCH CONTENT and PRICES HAVE COLLAPSED.
These two challenges are related because technology has pushed the costs of production and distribution towards zero, so many more people can now create and share their content. An excess supply of content means the price falls to the marginal cost, which is close to zero.
This means artists can't easily find their audiences and consumers can't easily find new, innovative content they want. It also means revenues from content sales are insufficient to support artist incomes. Eventually, the ecosystem goes stale and dries up, despite the fact that more and more derivative content gets created. It finds no ready audience and nobody gets fairly paid.
tuka establishes an ecosystem, meaning a self-sustaining feedback system, that harnesses technology to reward users to solve the problem of curation. Curators are like promoters and the promotion and marketing agencies for creative content have been disrupted with the publisher/distributors. Today artists are expected to do their own promo and marketing of their content and it's a cost they cannot bear. The tuka media platform enables users to filter content with hashtags denoting media formats, genres, and subgenres. The filtering process can be as fine as one wishes to make it. Right now, digital distributors like Amazon and Facebook use algorithms and AI to filter content. The problem is that algorithms can't filter subjective qualities in content, instead treating all content as a commodity and analyzing its popularity by likes, etc. This process favors existing content and creates a much steeper and concentrated Winner-Take-All ecosystem. New, innovative content is ignored and never gets its chance to find a wider audience.
The second problem tuka seeks to solve is the problem of collapsing price of content and the resulting incomes to artists. It now takes 15 million streams on YouTube to earn the creator a monthly minimum wage. So nobody, not even the biggest artists, are earning a living off streaming content. tuka recognizes that the value of content is no longer in its physical sale but in the ability to monetize associated data information in other ways. It seems we've gone back to the days of radio and broadcast tv, where content was free in order to sell advertising. The digital advertising world has become much more granular than in the days of mass markets, but the peer networks users build in tuka can be monetized to augment the incomes of creators and curators. Content creators and curators are also branders. Additionally, by eliminating the digital distributor - Apple, Amazon, or Google - there is a greater share of the value that can be divvied up between creators and consumers. In other words, with tuka creators make more and consumers get more, and the ecosystem ensures the continued creation of valued content.
The integration of the three functions of sharing platform, transaction protocol, and public ledger help solve the problems that artists and their audiences face. First, it enables users to use technology to filter the content they want in their media feed. Second, it enables artists to find those fans who like the music they create - it helps them find and maintain their audience. Third, the public ledger enables the ecosystem to reward sharing music by tracking monetized transactions back along the share chain. Lastly, the public BC ledger enables users to build and maintain - and monetize - their own peer networks.
A good analogy is like the international telephony system: your smartphone theoretically connects you to every other smartphone on the planet, but you manage your own contact list that is unique from all others. The tuka ecosystem essentially empowers distributed peer networks sharing and exchanging original music content.
tuka peer networks differ in significant ways from Facebook groups. FB groups are like walled-gardens, or private clubs, where members post and share information. They require central administrators. But like private clubs, they only work well under a manageable scale. tuka seeks to integrate a global ecosystem for original content. Distributed peer networks funneling through a single online media platform means there are no walls except those we put up around our own peer network and content. This means most content will be able to pollinate across many integrated networks much like information across the six degrees of separation. Like LinkedIn does with professional networks.
We believe this is essential to enhance the serendipity of innovation and creativity. One never knows where your next favorite artist will come from, in whatever genre or mode of creative expression. tuka seeks to enhance that accidental creative surprise by having your peer networks bring it to your attention based on their qualitative judgments.
The material difference is that Facebook takes most of the value created by groups, whereas tuka returns it to its users.
More of the consumer market is moving toward streaming with services like YouTube Red, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Play, Amazon Kindle Select, etc. One problem is that these streaming services don't seem to be able to turn a profit at the current cost structure, while artists are still grossly underpaid. Of course, one must have a catalog of existing content to stream, but when tuka eventually has a sufficient source of content through its user community, the idea would be to establish a cooperative streaming service where artists share more of the value they create. In the meantime, one wonders how long existing paid streaming services can lose money - the low subscription prices are being subsidized by investors.
The product is being built up, but the user interface will look a lot like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, with columns for profile data, a central media feed for snippets of filtered content, and trending data concerning ecosystem and peer network content and users. Creators will have portfolio pages that host samples of all their uploaded content.
The initial portal for first-time users is a media search "Browser" that looks like this:
One can search for music by entering keywords or #genres into the search bar. Music content tagged with those search terms populate the carousel rows according to various main genres, sorting according to actual downloads and shares. One can then scroll at will to find similar content as #tagged by users. Images also connect to artist pages to see other content uploaded by that artist. Users can propagate their media feed by becoming followers of artists or other users and curators. A user can sample short snippets of the content on this Discovery page and if interested can click through the thumbnail to enter the tuka social network. A user takes control of their own tuka user or artist page, curating their content feed to display the types of music they choose. Then all music content on the platform that meets the chosen genres and subgenres is fed into a user's content feed, solving the search problem. A user can continuously curate their feed with whatever music or artists they wish to follow.
A typical user profile web-based page will look similar to this Facebook style template:
Finally, here is a prototypical artist portfolio webpage:
We are building out our network of users now, but it takes some time. We also are in the process of building the media platform to host user profiles and content feeds.
If you are an artist with marketable content, we are definitely interested in talking with you about joining our beta effort. The tuka ecosystem will be powered by token rewards, so we plan to reward all beta testers with a crypto-token airdrop.
It's a challenging task and we're not there yet, but we're glad you're interested and we'd like you to sign up on our contact list here to receive updates and notices on our progress. Join us and we'll shape the future of creativity together!