ROW8 acquires Rad to power its premium movies streaming service with NFTs
By Calvin Ayre | 22 December 2022
This article was originally published on CoinGeek on December 22, 2022.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ROW8, the Premium Movie Streaming service with the latest Hollywood films like Black Adam with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney, and Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, has acquired the metaverse and web3 streaming platform Rad. ROW8 has premium video on demand movies from every major studio on its platform, with all of its studio partners exploring NFTs in some way. Rad has been building immersive streaming technology and leveraging smart contracts for over 5 years, and has many of the same studio partners for VR and blockchain-based content. Combined, the two companies will work with major studios and the top NFT projects building for web3 and the metaverse.
“Rad’s suite of web3 creator tools alongside ROW8’s library of Hollywood films will make our platform the premier destination for both digital collectibles and your favorite movies” said Jasmina Christoph, Founder and President at ROW8.
“ROW8 is easily the best positioned company in the world to bring Hollywood into the future, with its patented technology, app footprint, and deep relationships with the biggest studios in the world”, said Tony Mugavero, CEO of Rad. “They have the highest level pipeline of content you can have in the entertainment industry, and Rad works with the same studios in web3 and XR, which means we can accelerate adoption of forward-thinking distribution from a place of trust.”
ROW8 has streaming deals in place with every major movie studio, including Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and it offers over 1800 theatrical release-windowed movies. ROW8’s patented technology includes the ability to geo-locate viewers and share revenue with nearby theater chains, dynamic “Scene Alerts” to give viewers a peek into seeing if the next scene is scary or has adult themes, and their proprietary “Movie Love Guarantee” which allows viewers to return a movie and swap it for another one if they weren’t enjoying it.
Rad has streamed innovative content with every major studio and broadcaster globally by licensing content or powering experiences in VR and web3, and has streaming apps on PlayStation 4 and 5, Android TV, iOS, and Meta Quest, and built a globally leading position in VR, distributing content to devices like PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. Rad was the first streaming service to offer an NFT subscription and is launching its full NFT Stream Pass in December 2022. Rad has done NFT releases with companies like DKNY, Hacksmith, Cinedigm, and directly with creators like Elliot Sloan and platinum rapper Calboy. Rad also worked with ConsenSys to build its cross-blockchain-based platform Ara with the ARA token, which will power ROW8’s NFT platform. Additionally, Rad has numerous studio and well known media investors like Disney, Sony Innovation Fund, A+E Networks, WWE, Warner Music Group, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more.
Tony Mugavero will become CEO of the combined companies, and Rad’s leadership team will all stay as part of the transaction.
“We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with ROW8,” said Brooklyn Earick, Chief Marketing Officer at Rad, who will be staying on as Chief Strategy Officer post-acquisition. “Combined, we’ll be the first platform to offer movies like Avatar and Top Gun alongside NFT’s from Hollywood studios and web3 creatives.”
The combined companies have secured funding in a round led by Ayre Ventures.
Ayre Ventures founder Calvin Ayre celebrated the acquisition, calling it “the perfect marriage of content and delivery, the intersection of preparation and opportunity. ROW8’s vast library of marquee content will discover new ways to reach consumers through Rad’s BSV-based NFTs. BSV is the only blockchain with the scaling capacity and ultra-low transaction fees to realize the promise that web3 holds for creators, distributors and consumers.”
Also participating in the round are Intersect VC, who are investors in Dapper Labs and Triller; former New England Patriot Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowler Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures; Alvin Kwan, former head of Corporate Development at Fox and Board Member at Fubo TV; Rusty Matveev, who is CSO at Calaxy and formerly a partner at MSG Ventures; Revere VC; Stacks; and Jason Campbell, former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Paul Rajchgod, Managing Director, Private Equity for Ayre Ventures, will be appointed to ROW8’s board.
Rad NFTV is the first streaming platform powered by NFTs. Rad’s suite of apps allows you to stream Live TV, Premium Video, and Live Events all unlocked through NFTs. Discover content in ESports, Music, Comedy, and Sports Entertainment from companies like Complex, Whistle, CoinDesk, DeadHeads, Knights of Degen, and Virtue Animation Studio. Rad NFTV’s library of fast and loud content, NFTs, crypto rewards, and OTT footprint creates a streaming metaverse for the next generation of creators and fans.
The platform can deliver a broad range of NFT and content experiences, with 2D, 3D, 4K, Live, 360° / 180° VR, and traditional video across devices like PlayStation 5, PSVR, Oculus Quest, iOS, Google TV, and more. Viewers can earn ARA rewards and become peers in the network powered by Ara’s blockchain and P2P networking technology, and the company’s Rad Pandas can be used to unlock lifetime subscriptions as well as get additional ARA rewards.
ROW8 is a subscription-free movie only OTT service featuring both new and catalog titles and has distribution deals with all major Hollywood studios. It also features its proprietary “Movie Love Guarantee” allowing customers to return their film within the first 30 minutes and exchange it for another without any additional fees, and its patent pending “Scene Alert” monitoring system which alerts parents to inappropriate scenes before they air, giving them control over what content their children see.