By @SimonCocking interview with Philipp Schulz and Jan Phillip Hofste, cofounders of TV-TWO who are building a Television Ecosystem on the Ethereum Blockchain.


What is your background briefly?

Hi, we are Jan and Philipp and we are the two founders of TV-TWO. We are both from Germany, currently working and living in Berlin. While Jan has a background in Industrial Engineering and Computer Science, Philipp has experience in partnering with brands and advertising agencies. In the last years, we have managed a mobile advertising business that was sold to a major telecommunications player at the beginning of this year for more than 10 million Euros. While Jan acted as Chief Product Officer, Philipp ran Business Development.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

Coming from digital advertising, we often had to accept the dominant position of Google and Facebook in the market. Today, both players are looking to conquer the television screen with their video offerings. Historically, broadcasters have been the gatekeepers to the center of our living rooms. While Netflix has given us more choice, this comes with the challenge of having to decide what to watch. Neither solution satisfies us. However, the walled gardens of Google and Facebook would only make things worse. Instead, we felt the need to open up the ecosystem in order to share the benefits coming from TV networks among consumers, advertisers, and content providers. Blockchain technology is ideal for bringing this new transparency into the television market.

We are committed to building TV-TWO in Berlin as we believe in the strength of the local blockchain community and the startup ecosystem as a whole.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

TV-TWO is bringing trustless transactions and crypto wallets to 700 million Smart TVs around the globe. We are decentralizing the television landscape by connecting TVs to the Ethereum blockchain. This makes it possible for us to tokenize reach on the Big Screen.

We offer the community an open platform for a new television ecosystem. This includes: First, an application for TVs that blends traditional television with a personalized video stream offering premium content at no subscription costs. Second, the Token for Television (TTV), an ERC20 token that administers the exchanged value between consumers, content providers and advertisers. In the new ecosystem, the Ethereum blockchain makes it possible for market participants to interact directly without having to rely on TV network as middlemen. Consumers get to watch curated videos while receiving TTV for choosing to see sponsored messages from advertisers. Content creators are rewarded by users with TTV for their quality productions. Advertisers receive more transparency over their spendings than in any form of digital advertising.

Tell us how it’s been going with the preparation for the ICO campaign so far?

Knowing the community in Berlin has made it easy for us to attract a great international team. We have a strong technology background, an entrepreneurial mindset and the certainty that we are working on a project that can have a massive impact.

Winning extraordinary advisors like David Ben Kay has been a huge motivator. David has been on the Governing Board of Ethereum and was the General Council to Microsoft in China. He is a great believer in our vision for a fairer and more transparent television ecosystem.

While we have only publically announced our Crowdsale a couple of days ago, our community has been growing fast. It is humbling to see so much feedback and support. Especially having ranked #1 on ICObench has given us a huge boost. Since then, we have added several advisors, such as Simon Cocking, with deep ICO knowledge to our team that will help the success of TV-TWO.

What are the most frequent questions people ask you about TV-TWO?

We get most of the questions on our mode of crowdsale. We have decided to employ the new standard of the Interactive Coin Offering in order to guarantee a fairer and more transparent assignment process. The Interactive Coin Offering was first proposed by Jason Teutsch and Vitalik Buterin and in order to turn crowdsales into a game of perfect information. Teutsch and Buterin take the uncapped model and propose the following rules:

· Participants in the crowdsale submit both a bid and a maximum sale valuation at which they are willing to participate

· If the sale amount reaches the maximum sale valuation, the participant’s bid is canceled and the investment is refunded

· If they so choose, participants have the possibility to withdraw their bid from the sale until a withdrawal lock period is reached

· A progressively decreasing discount is given at the start of the sale in order to motivate early investing

· Individual buyers may place multiple bids at different valuations

We believe that the network effects of having a high number of small investors for TV-TWO will be a pivotal aspect of spreading the application on Smart TVs around the globe.

If it all goes well / to plan, what will 2018 look like for TV-TWO?

In 2018, we are looking to release the TV-TWO application for the eight largest TV manufacturers. We are developing TV-TWO with Apache Cordova to ensure cross-platform compatibility. Consumers and content providers will have the chance to access their Tokens for Television through hosted wallets on our platform. Advertisers receive an interface to manage their campaigns.

Transactions between advertisers and users as well as between users and content providers will always be tied to the Token for Television. Advertisers will have to acquire TTV during the crowdsale or on exchanges in order to sponsor messages. The decision to design the ecosystem in a way that it is reliant on the TTV helps to leverage token network effects in order to overcome the bootstrapping challenge of initially limited application utility. Participants of the crowdsale that provide TV-TWO with the resources to jump start the decentralized TV ecosystem profit from the growth of the model through an appreciation of the TTV. As each token has the reserved right to show ads to a fixed portion of the TV-TWO user base, every consumer that comes to the platform boosts the value of the token.

Who do you follow for inspiration?

The work of Joseph Lubin at Etherum and ConsenSys has had a huge impact on our community. His vision of replacing centralized entities with decentralized open platforms has shaped TV-TWO.

Anything else you’d like to add? / We should have asked?

Let’s bring the Ethereum Blockchain to living rooms around the world.

Business Showcase : TV-TWO

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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