In the spectrum of disrupt-able industries, there are few so ripe as the music and film industry. Online music players like Spotify & Deezer have looked to disrupt music distribution, while online video content providers like YouTube & Netflix have created a new channel for viewing video content. The DRM-heavy world of iTunes and Amazon Instant Video have aired well on the side of caution in an effort to play nice with content creators, while sites like Megaupload (now Mega) have swung all the way to the opposite side, creating a safe-house for ‘illegal’ video content.
None has yet found a healthy middle ground, though this week Streamnation, founded by Deezer co-founder Jonathan Benassaya, announced an update (Streamnation 2.0) to the Streamnation product that may receive push-back from Hollywood. Streamnation, an online media hub for photos and videos, announced a new feature that will allow its users to upload videos (legal or otherwise) to the site, and to share those videos with close friends and family. When a friend or family member goes to view that video, the content will be locked for all other users, meaning that only one person will ever be able to view a given file at any time.
This isn’t the first time Benassaya has battled industry lawyers over content rights. His previous startup Deezer was shut down under the name Blogmusik before re-opening as the Deezer we know today, navigating the shut-down requests of music label lawyers. With other startups like Aereo already taking heat over similar technology, Benassaya may be able to fly under the radar for a short while; however, success will be met with resistance, and there’s no doubt that Hollywood lawyers have earmarked Streamnation for future issues.
AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka seemed quite sceptical about the possibility that the idea could succeed; however, giants that Kafka praises like YouTube & Amazon also met the same resistance when they first launched, and I don’t think Benassaya is one to be deterred by a little cease-and-desist order.
Steamnation was born after a pretty harsh pivot from Plizy, Benassaya’s previous startup which raised from Atlas Ventures (led by Fred Destin); however, if history has taught us one thing about Benassaya, it’s that if he doesn’t get things right the first time, he certainly does the second time.