Startups in Entertainment: A Conversation on Disruption in the Industry

April 2, 2019 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

The entertainment industry has been completely revolutionized by emerging technologies, largely influenced by startups entering the space. From the distribution and storage of content, to access and payment for content creators, technology has influenced a significant shift in all areas of the industry. In this panel session, we’ll hear from experts in the field on how startups and new technologies are changing the landscape of entertainment, and the challenges these companies face as they look to change existing models.

Sponsored by UCLA Alumni Affairs, the Law & Entrepreneurship Association, the Entertainment Law Association, and the Law & Blockchain Association.

Lunch provided by UCLA Alumni Affairs

Featured Panelists:

Steve Stewart (U '87), CEO & Co-Founder of Vezt

Vezt is the first mobile app where music fans can acquire rights to their favorite songs and recordings. Vezt exists to improve the music industry by providing artists, songwriters and producers with funding sourced directly from their fans on a global basis. In exchange, fans get the right to receive a portion of royalties earned by their favorite songs and recordings for a period of time in what the company calls an initial song offering ("ISO"). Vezt collects these royalties on behalf of fans from performing rights organizations, publishers and record labels and tracks such royalties through blockchain technology.

Mike Esola, CEO of Fiction Riot

Fiction Riot, a pioneer in the production and streaming of short-form content, recently announced its launch with the introduction of its app Ficto, a subscription-based platform containing short-form, premium content from professional producers, actors, and other content creators, designed specifically for mobile usage. With its proprietary technology, Ficto will also give users the power to engage with the content they are watching at the option of creators. The platform will utilize blockchain technology to ensure that creators are fairly compensated. With both licensed content, as well as twenty series currently in production, including a series connected to an upcoming action film starring Jackie Chan and John Cena, Ficto will be available to consumers this summer.

Michael Leventhal (U '82), Partner at Holmes Weinberg P.C.

Michael Leventhal specializes in providing corporate, intellectual property and business transactional services for media/entertainment and technology companies, as well as general businesses. He has represented hundreds of startups and every type of client from individuals to Fortune 500 companies. Michael has been on the forefront of the legal and business aspects of nearly every major technological innovation in digital media, including: payment for electronic transmissions of entertainment content, digital music download services, user generated content sites, and augmented, virtual and mixed reality. Prior to joining Holmes Weinberg, Michael served as chief legal officer and vice president at Magic Leap, Inc., the well-known augmented/mixed reality venture.

Please RSVP here. Space for this event is limited.