Vancouver, Canada (May 4, 2020) – Trickfilm is a real-time animation streaming platform which translates the production techniques, distribution methods, and revenue models from video games to the animation industry. The platform empowers animation producers to connect directly with their audiences and effectively monetize their intellectual properties through the sale of virtual goods to end users (i.e. microtransactions). Trickfilm is creating a front-end interface which controls game engine functionality, enables animation producers to adapt and integrate content for the platform, and allows end users to customize, interact with, and purchase virtual goods within the content. Trickfilm is Saturday Morning Cartoons as a Service!
Currently animation producers create content, render that content to video (a series of sequential, images contained in a digital file), and deliver that content to a broadcaster (e.g. Netflix) for a small margin (the difference between what the broadcaster pays and the cost of creating the content). This is the business model for the majority of the content creators in the animation industry. If the property is successful (i.e. the show is a “hit”), content creators may attempt to earn additional revenue by licensing the characters and/or storylines through consumer products such as toys, video games, and clothing. Although licensing can be extremely lucrative (e.g. SpongeBob SquarePants), very few properties become “hits” and content creators cannot rely on this model to sustain their businesses. It is akin to catching lightning in a bottle.
Trickfilm aims to disrupt the animation business model by providing a distribution channel for content creators to deliver their animated properties directly to audiences and earn revenue through the sale of virtual goods on the platform. Trickfilm uses game engine technology (e.g. Epic Games’ Unreal Engine) and cloud services (e.g. Amazon Web Services) to store, process, and stream real-time rendered animation (i.e. images are rendered as they are consumed, rather than pre-rendered as with a video file) directly to thin client devices (e.g. an iPad) through the Internet, which allows for audience interaction and monetization that has not been possible until now.
Because the content is being rendered as it is consumed, there exists novel opportunities for personalization, interactivity, and monetization of properties on the platform. This will a) create an entirely unique and compelling entertainment medium, b) contribute to a more sustainable animation industry, not reliant on “hits” for its financial success, and c) reduce the animation industry’s reliance on “landfill licensing” to leverage popular content.