Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO, Proxima Media

Ryan Kavanaugh: I backed Netflix and Marvel Studios, and now I’m backing blockchain in Hollywood

Blockchain technology and celebrities don’t seem to have gotten off on the right foot yet. Whether it’s Tom Brady and Shaquille O’Neal being sued for ties to FTX, or Kim Kardashian promoting the EthereumMax scam, the outcome of those collaborations have failed miserably. Ryan Kavanaugh is on a mission to change this and is backing blockchain to create efficiencies in Hollywood.

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Kavanaugh, the founder of Proxima Media and a renowned Hollywood producer and financier, was a panelist at the London Blockchain Conference. CoinGeek Backstage reporter Becky Liggero caught up with him to discuss how blockchain can impact Hollywood and the global film industry.

“I’m known as a person who bucks the trend,” Kavanaugh noted. In 2010, he was the first media company to ink a streaming deal with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), back when it was a DVD mail-order service. Every other major studio has followed suit.

Prior to that, Kavanaugh played a big role in the Marvel revamp and the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

“In 2006, everybody laughed at the idea that they [Marvel] could make a successful movie. I was laughed out of the room…they said, ‘what do you mean Black Panther is going to work or who wants to see Captain America?'”

Today, MCU is the biggest movie franchise ever, raking in over $28 billion.

Similarly, blockchain adoption will surge in Hollywood despite the constant criticism today, Kavanaugh believes.

One key application will be cutting out the middlemen in Hollywood financial circles. While over $100 billion flows through the film industry, these middlemen take a big chunk of proceeds that should go toward talents and filmmaking.

“We’re still stuck in a 100-year-old accounting system.”

Kavanaugh is working on a system that relies on blockchain “as a means to create more efficiency in how movies are financed, how people buy them, and how they are distributed.”

A key factor behind blockchain skepticism in Hollywood is its links to scams, pump-and-dump schemes, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that have no utility, Kavanaugh believes. With regulators cracking down on the few celebrities with ties to such projects, other high-profile figures are “scared to death of putting their name on anything that has NFT or crypto.”

In time, people will separate NFTs and tokens from blockchain as they discover the utility of the technology.

Once the actors and other talent realize that blockchain “is more efficient, less costly, faster and cuts out a lot of the expenses, they will be the ones to push the studios to adopt blockchain.”

Watch: Entertainment industry is ripe for blockchain disruption

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