We talked to Cihan Atkin of XCINEX about its new-age streaming media player and other streaming services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Cihan Atkin: We are well and adjusting to a new world. I hope you and your loved ones are doing well and staying positive.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded XCINEX.
Cihan Atkin: Before I started XCINEX, my career included over 15 years in international development handling projects totaling over $7B in value throughout the Middle East.
A few years ago, I found myself in an all too familiar situation, struggling to find something new to watch while entertaining my friends. It was past 10 pm, and local theaters had already stopped playing the latest releases. I soon became perplexed by a simple question that I happened to pose to the others: ” Why can’t we watch a new movie playing in theaters here at home?”
I began to question- what if there was a way to securely count the number of people sitting in a room, sell a ticket to each viewer, and stream any new content directly to the audience’s home? What if it could be delivered right into a living room, while at the same time protecting against piracy and ensuring total privacy?
This spur-of-the-moment idea led to the birth of XCINEX and the development of our revolutionary product, VENUE.
How does XCINEX innovate?
Cihan Atkin: VENUE has created a new way to bring live content to viewers at-home with our patented Pay-Per-Viewer™ ticketing technology. Ticketed experiences like newly released movies, concerts, and other live entertainment can now be streamed directly to your home– without the hassle of going out.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Cihan Atkin: COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise for VENUE. While much of the live entertainment industry remains closed for in-person attendance or shut down entirely, VENUE has emerged as a clear path forward to transition the kinds of live entertainment we crave into an intimate experience in the home.
As long as new content can continue to be produced, VENUE can deliver it to audiences. Our hope is that our solution can help sustain artists, studios, and exhibitors during this trying time, and most importantly, provide the content people are missing out on.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Cihan Atkin: an entrepreneur and a CEO, I’m always making difficult choices. Hiring people into the team is one of the most difficult things because everyone wears many hats in a startup, and you are only as strong and weakest link. Hire slow and fire fast.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and XCINEX in the future?
Cihan Atkin: I don’t deal with stress, I just accept it. As a startup, stress is now a part of my life just like my daily vitamin is. A boxer doesn’t deal with getting punched in the face. He tries not to but goes in fully aware and accepting that he’s going to get punched. It’s a part of the job.
Regarding the second part of your question, I project XCINEX to be a global brand and expand our product VENUE into the global market, bringing premium ticketed entertainment to tens of millions of homes.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Cihan Atkin: While no-one operates in our specific Pay-Per-Viewer™ ticketed space, the VENUE player competes with similarly priced streaming players on the market such as Roku, AppleTV, and Amazon Firestick, to name a few. In addition, streaming services such as Disney+ have begun to offer newly released films such as Mulan with a subscription+PVOD model.
Contrary to popular belief, the theatrical exhibition is naturally complementary to VENUE— we not only expand audiences to far beyond the potential capacity of a live event, but we also provide an option for content owners to directly support exhibitors with a cut of each ticket sold.
We plan to stay in the game by offering the most unique entertainment package available today. Not only do we help save consumers money on their live entertainment by bringing it to the home for the first time, but our player is also fully equipped with the ability to access the latest streaming services (including Netflix, Disney+, and more), gaming and videoconferencing.
VENUE is positioned to be the one-stop-shop for all things entertainment and the only streaming player you’ll ever need.
Your final thoughts?
Cihan Atkin: I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to reach your readers at startup.info. VENUE will be launching later this year on Indiegogo, with a planned shipping date of Spring 2021. We hope you all will support our mission to bring the best entertainment right to you!
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