Zcash Media 2022-2023

Link to grants website proposal: Gallery View: Zcash Community Grants Program

SUMMARY OF OUR PREVIOUS GRANTS

We received a series of grants since last August in an effort to create and launch Zcash Media. Over the course of those grants, we created two short documentaries, established a marketing team for Zcash Media, branded the channel, launched the channel, and began building a community within the Zcash Ecosystem. Here is the trailer for the Zcash Media Channel:

How Will Crypto Affect Our Future?

During the launch, we collaborated with many members of the Zcash Community and coordinated an effort to synchronize a wave of enthusiasm with the release of our content, resulting in hundreds of thousands of views. We are proud to say the launch was as successful as we had hoped and the community’s feedback on our content was incredibly positive. This invigorated our hopes of building out this channel with ongoing, consistent content.

Thus, for this grant, we aim to build on our previous effort and continue towards our goal of creating a hub of educational content to help audiences understand the mission and importance of Zcash.

INTRO TO THIS GRANT

If our previous goal was to launch Zcash Media, then the goal of our 2022-2023 grant is to sustain and scale. We want to sustain Zcash Media with consistent monthly content and scale our operations so we can continue to improve our efficiency, quality, and output over time.

We will continue in our goal of building a voice for Zcash and an archive of lasting content that can be used by the community as educational resources.

OUR MISSION

Zcash Media aims to inspire audiences by producing cutting edge educational documentaries about Zcash and how its technology could create an optimistic future for our society.

DETAILS ABOUT SEEKING OTHER FUNDING SOURCES

We are open to receiving funding from other sources, either through crowdfunding or from other privacy focused organizations. However, we have not received funding from any one other than Zcash Community Grants at this time.

APPLICANT BACKGROUND & TEAM

37 Laines - Production Company

37 Laines is an award winning film production company run by Natasha Mynhier and Jeff Hammerton. Out of our offices in Santa Monica, CA, 37 Laines produces high quality creative work and science communication content, including documentaries, branded content, commercials, short films, music videos, digital content, web-series, and live events. Our team has created content for brands like Netflix, Marvel, ESPN, and Vogue, is currently producing a documentary about backcountry adventure skiing presented by North Face, and won Gold at the 2020 Cannes Young Directors Awards for our short film, In A Beat. Examples of 37 Laines work can be found here: https://www.37laines.com/.

The 37 Laines team members that would be contributing to this grant are listed here:

Management Team

  • Director / Producer - Natasha Mynhier
    • Overall vision, interfaces with Zcash Ecosystem, supports throughout entire process - scripting, production, editing, and marketing
  • Producer / Writer / Advisor - David Boyer
    • Crypto expertise, overall vision, interfaces with Zcash Ecosystem, provides notes on cuts and marketing initiatives, supports community management and events
  • Producer / Operations Manager - Jeff Hammerton
    • Maximizes efficiency, coordination, and quality of the production systems through research, feedback, designing workflows, and building project management assets.
  • Line Producer - Lisa McGuire
    • Overseeing all aspects of schedule, budget, payroll, task management, and handles legal and clearances

Full Length Content Team

  • Writers - Paul Dallman and Joe Gentle (two others on rotation)
    • Outlines topics, writes scripts, interfaces with logic editor
  • Researcher / Editor - Shawn
    • Provides research to writers, edits scripts for accuracy
  • Logic Editor - Edgar Sardarian
    • Creates rough cut, adds in interviews, interfaces with writers and finishing editors to ensure a logically accurate cut
  • Story Editors - Anthony Parisi and Pete Szijarto
    • Adds entertainment value to the edit, creates motion graphics, marries all aspects when finalized, fine tuning, adds final voiceover, uploads for broadcast
  • Animation - Very True Story
    • Creates animations at the direction of editor and director
  • VFX - Anthony Parisi
    • Hologram effects and any other touches/special effects
  • Sound Design and Mix - Shaughnessy Hare and Zack Howard
    • Design, edit and mix all aspects of sound
  • Color - Arianna Shining Star
    • Builds color for every episode, LUTs for each interview

Distribution & Marketing Team

  • Social Media Producer - Claire Glassford
    • Oversees and coordinates marketing team, manages tasks, oversees short form content creation, organizes and supports story creation for social media content
  • Digital Strategist - Jess Carroll
    • Posts/optimizes YouTube videos, manages targeted ads, manages Sprout Social, creates subtitles, strategizes YouTube growth and networks with relevant influencers, creates quarterly analytics reports
  • Growth Strategist and Community Building - Kevan Shah
    • Manages Zcash Telegram, plans and hosts topical monthly Twitter spaces, manages events, strategizes Twitter growth and networks with relevant influencers, supports creation of monthly Twitter story arcs, supports community management
  • Community Manager - Rekodi
    • Engages with community daily (YouTube/Twitter), tracks sentiments/interests, strategizes Twitter influencer coordination, researches relevant social media content/events to be utilized by content teams, supports events
  • Design - Autumn Schrock
    • Creates all social posts, templates, logos, and design elements. Also supports motion graphics for main content and social media content
  • Social Content Editor - Multiple Editors on Rotation
    • creating all social cutdowns, trailers, etc.

DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM / OPPORTUNITY

Our team believes that Zcash has the unique opportunity to bring a fair and private currency to those taking part in the fast arriving digital economy. However, to get to this future, a clear vision of the importance of ZEC needs to be painted so that hundreds of thousands of users can get on board and hundreds more developers / visionaries are motivated to contribute their efforts.

Our mission is to build an educational hub for Zcash that helps communicate the vision for ZEC to the wider public through high-quality marketable and freely accessible videos, building on what we have started with our initial videos. With these videos as tools, we hope to increase global understanding of Zcash’s technology and mission, and inspire others to advocate for the ideals that Zcash stands for.

Here we detail a few of the challenges Zcash faces that we aim to tackle.

Lack of Wider Public Awareness

Despite how widely crypto is discussed these days, it is still abundantly apparent that the general public does not know about Zcash, zero-knowledge proofs, the Zcash community, or how Zcash and its underlying technology applies to their lives. This lack of awareness prevents mass adoption of the numerous benefits enabled by Zcash: control over one’s financial privacy, self-custody of wealth, and freedom to send money to anyone in the world privately without a trusted middleman. In addition, the lack of awareness prevents general audiences, as well as those in the crypto community, from getting excited about future applications of Zcash and its technology (e.g., Zcash shielded assets, L1 scalability, privacy preserving communication applications, Zcash and DeFi). This could lead to Zcash remaining “under the radar” indefinitely and missing out on user adoption to other privacy preserving cryptocurrency technologies. This is a major risk in open source projects since community size and user adoption are major protective factors against competitive projects.

Difficulty in Onboarding New Users

Beyond the problem of a lack of awareness about Zcash, there is a steep learning curve for those that are interested in educating themselves about Zcash. This is due to the newness and technological complexity of Zcash, let alone cryptocurrencies in general. We believe this is a major problem that needs to be addressed in order to fulfill the promises of Zcash to be accessible to all. There should be as few barriers as possible to becoming a knowledgeable participant in the Zcash technology and community. Similar to a successful democracy relying on an informed populace, the success and mass adoption of Zcash will be facilitated by reducing information asymmetry that exists between new and established participants.

Focus on Price Rather Than Fundamentals

As we all know the “wen moon” video content creates a toxic and unstable climate, often reinforced by inaccurate YouTubers who feed off of this viewership. And this issue extends to mainstream media as well. This obsession with price is an existential threat to the cryptocurrency industry, because it is the central distraction from the ideologies that could improve our world (i.e. decentralization, improved coordination, economic freedom, consent, etc).

This is why accurate, balanced, high quality videos are incredibly valuable. When scams and price news are fogging up the space and when market crashes have people worried, we need clarifying information that acts as a guiding light for navigating this complex landscape. Ideas change the world and Zcash embodies the ideas that are central to understanding the potential of what could be built. Zcash Media has a huge opportunity to consolidate the many incredible ideas floating around the Zcash space and synthesize them into digestible content.

How Big of a Problem Would It Be to Not Solve this Problem?

The failure of privacy-preserving technology to become the default for the various aspects of digital human existence would be catastrophically bad for human society. We believe that without education on the nuanced privacy issues necessary to protect our impending digital world, many average people and regulators may not understand these fundamental issues and may then vote or invest in dangerous choices. Education is the most important investment to protect against ignorant decision making.

In addition, owing to the especially tricky messaging around privacy and finance, we believe without carefully planned and executed education on why Zcash is good for society, it may not reach large scale adoption.

PROPOSED SOLUTION

To overcome the lack of awareness about Zcash and help new and existing users better understand Zcash’s current / future uses, we propose the creation of 12 new videos. The completed videos would be released once a month on Zcash Media’s channels with ongoing marketing in support of the growth of this content.

High Integrity Content

As we demonstrated with our first two videos, we believe it is vital that we uphold the Zcash ethos of quality work and ensure that any current or future ZEC holders associate Zcash with the quality and high integrity efforts that Zcash developers maintain. Our educational efforts should support this not only with the quality of the production, but also with the reliability of the resources/ideas we provide viewers. Thus, Zcash Media aims to build a reputation where, like MasterClass, audiences are ensured that thoughtful effort went into the production of reliable and balanced content.

Key Features

Some key features we aim to include are:

  • Well synthesized ideas necessary for understanding and navigating this complex topic (this is the most time consuming challenge since it involves 4-5 people focusing on clarifying, scripting, and editing accurate materials),
  • Consistent content releases to grow followers,
  • Content that is freely available on multiple platforms,
  • Entertainment value to the edits that keep the user interested,
  • Content that opens a direct line for ‘vision communication’ with Zcash fans/potential Zcash fans,
  • Frequent communication with audiences to answer any questions and direct them to follow up resources (connecting them with ZF/ECC educational materials).
  • A growing platform on YouTube and Twitter that can serve as a digital meeting place for the Zcash community to exchange ideas

SOLUTION FORMAT

The solution format will be videos released on Zcash Media’s YouTube and Odysee channels, as well as short form videos and content released on Zcash Media’s Twitter.

TECHNICAL APPROACH

Stages of Production

In the vein of similar quality shows like Netflix’s Explained, we plan to treat the production of our content in the same manner as they treat this kind of TV series production. For our long form content, there are four phases, Development (Pre-Production), Production (capturing any remaining content), Post Production (the ongoing editing), and Distribution/Marketing (driving awareness). And in order to improve engagement during the waiting periods between our long form content, we will also be producing ongoing short form marketing content.

Workflow

Development

  • Prepping / Transcribing / Logging Footage / Content Database creation
  • Research: Collecting background knowledge
    • Season Planning: Ensure that each episode in the 12 videos of the year offers non-redundant, high value information that fits together into the greater arc of the season
  • Writing Scripts
  • Using Content Database to identify interview quotes for use in episodes
  • Analysis of community interests / Target audiences
    • Topics for episodes established accordingly

Production

  • Interviews (In person or Zoom)
  • B-roll (any secondary footage - backgrounds for holograms, lifestyle, etc)

Post Production

  • Logic Editor (Rough cut where story is clearly outlined)
    • Sourcing B-roll / historical footage
  • Finishing Editors (Visual Effects, Color, Motion Graphics, Music, Placeholder Animatics - all resulting in Picture Lock Cut)
  • Social Media Content Editor (ongoing short form content creation)
  • Animation
  • Music
  • Sound Design
    • Voiceover
  • Final Conform (Finishing editors perform this task and release to Marketing)

Distribution / Marketing

  • Twitter Content Calendar designed to elaborate and provide complementary content for the release of each month’s video
  • Writing high integrity social posts (goal of providing additional value to followers with interesting information)
  • Social Media Posts (created by producer, designer, and social content editor)
  • YouTube/Odysee Optimization Materials and Testing
    • Title, Thumbnail, Description, End Cards
    • Ongoing A/B testing and comparison research
  • Topic analysis for upcoming content (what are the keywords, searches, questions that will help audiences find our content and get the answers they want)
  • Paid Media (testing various ads and continuing to improve targeting)
  • Analytics across all platforms
  • Press Releases (when necessary for newsworthy content)
  • Events (e.g., Twitter spaces)
  • Influencer campaigns / outreach
  • Community Management

Target Audiences

As with our last grants, our target audiences remain the same. We aim to prioritize crypto newbies (Tier 0) and average current crypto fans (Tier 1). For examples of this, note our first video Future Money: What Is Zcash? as an example of targeting crypto newbies. And our second video about John Dobbertin, which targeted current crypto fans. For this proposed year of videos, we will largely stick with Tier 0 and Tier 1 audiences, while future work may focus on more specific or high skill topics.

We have already begun dissecting the data from our first two video releases, leading to analyses found in our previous marketing report -

220517_ZM HL Post Launch Analytics Report_PUBLIC.pdf

We will continue to use this data to refine our target audiences. This will shape not only the content of the videos we make, but also our release strategies.

Distribution

We intend on releasing 12 videos (one per month). However, it is possible that improved workflows could allow us to produce videos faster and speed up the release schedules. Nonetheless, for the estimates in this grant we want to set expectations at an achievable level (1 video per month for 12 months).

Our long form content will continue to be distributed on YouTube and Odysee and our short form social media content will target primarily Twitter. Across these platforms we will continue to perform tests in an effort to optimize our distribution, using metrics such as click-through rate and view duration to measure the effectiveness of these distribution experiments (see Evaluation section).

The reason we have decided to target Twitter as our primary platform to complement our YouTube/Odysee channels is because although we had moderate success on Facebook and Instagram in our previous releases, we want to focus our efforts and learn how to grow Zcash Media to be a large voice on Crypto Twitter. Gaining a large audience on Twitter would greatly enable us to share our ideas and compete with the most influential voices in the crypto industry. We will dual post everything that goes on Twitter to our Telegram channel in order to be able to share our announcements with the various Zcash and other crypto communities we are engaged with.

Marketing

In support of our previous two episodes, we released a wave of marketing materials and ran ads that resulted in hundreds of thousands of views, and over 2k subscribers in less than a month on both our YouTube and Twitter. However, as we detailed in the analytics report above, we also tried certain marketing strategies that did not work out as well as we’d hoped. For instance, the poor market conditions meant that the Telegram channels we advertised in were quieter than we had hoped (and those that remained in the channels were hoping to discuss price, not education). We also released two press releases to generate awareness for our first two videos since they marked the launch of our channel and the reveal of John Dobbertin. Although the press releases were shown to be very effective, in this next phase we will focus more on organic community growth on YouTube and Twitter and use targeted press releases to amplify any future newsworthy events.

Due to the time consuming nature of building a responsive community through grassroots efforts - individually messaging community members, responding to feedback, and hosting events - we have allocated resources in our budget estimate to spend more on people and less on ads, including hiring a community manager to keep up with the thousands of engagements that occur during the release of our videos.

High Value Marketing Content

As much as we believe our videos should be high integrity and valuable to our viewers, we aim to have our marketing offer similar value. We want to go beyond awareness based posting and strive to offer new and helpful insights in our social media content. We currently plan to release 1 month long campaigns on Twitter in support of the topic of that month’s video. Rather than experience redundant content, if viewers follow us on both Twitter and YouTube they should experience complementary content that delves deeper into the ideas behind that month’s topic.

We therefore built a similar workflow for our short-form social media content (for an overview of this workflow, please view the Milestones and Deliverables section). In short, the team will research and ideate content based on the topic of the month, a writer will work to draft posts, and a small editing team will recreate their ideas in photo and video forms. Each month we will host a Twitter Spaces, for instance after the release of a video, to serve as a gathering place to discuss the ideas for that month’s topic. We will also enlist educated Zcashers such as Rekodi to respond to audiences and direct them to helpful resources on Zcash and its related topics.

Quarterly Analytics Reports

Based on the feedback on the forums, the community responded well to seeing our analytics reflections last time. We want to continue to involve the community in our thinking and the natural changes that develop over the course of a long term project such as this. We will provide quarterly marketing reports that will summarize our channels’ analytics and detail both the effective and ineffective strategies we’ve applied. We will continue to leave room for adjusting strategies and reallocating resources as circumstances change over time.

DEPENDENCIES

We are not dependent on any other entity to complete our grant. However, we welcome coordinating with ZF, ECC, ZCG, and the community in our effort to share up to date and accurate educational materials, as well as support marketing initiatives.

EXECUTION RISKS

Fortunately, our proposal is not of an engineering or extremely technical nature and all

technical aspects of the project have been done for previous media campaigns 37

Laines has produced (see Applicant Background).

In our last grant proposal, we mentioned an execution risk of being reliant on interviewees agreeing to be interviewed. However even this risk is mitigated this time since we are mostly working from footage we captured in the last grant.

Our greatest challenge this round will be maintaining a consistent production speed. This means our team needs to be prepared to maintain coordination over a longer duration which offers new operational challenges. We have attempted to mitigate this risk by adding two additional producers to the project (Jeff and Lisa) who are focusing almost exclusively on operations.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

By highlighting different community members in our videos, we risk an unintended downside if anyone featured in our videos were to have something negative in their history or future come to light. Since our videos would associate them with Zcash, the negative attention they receive might reflect on Zcash. However, this is a risk for any media project and is not especially unique for what we propose here.

EVALUATION PLAN

As witnessed during the production process of our previous two videos, we frequently solicited feedback from leaders throughout the Zcash Ecosystem as well as the interviewees. We also plan to continue to solicit feedback from interested community members during the ideation and post-production phases of our workflow in order to improve the quality of our content.

Additionally, we will work with people more familiar with the technical components represented in our videos to ensure their accuracy and understandability. For instance, last time we worked with Sean Bowe on our animations to ensure they accurately represented things such as what happens when you make a Zcash transaction on your phone.

Once finalized videos are distributed, evaluation metrics include: engagement numbers for posted videos (i.e., likes, shares, views), YouTube/Odysee subscriber counts, and similar internet engagement metrics. This will be documented in quarterly analytics reports such as the report we released at the completion of our first two videos.

Below we outline proposed goals for distribution metrics and channel growth, which are based off of the stats from our first two videos. However as crypto markets continue to deteriorate for the time being, these stats may become increasingly challenging to reach. Nonetheless, we will optimize every video we make to not only be widely shareable upon release, but contain relevant information for many crypto cycles to come. Also, as our channels get larger, it may become easier to gain new subscribers, potentially counteracting the effect of a bear market and leading us to exceed our KPIs.

Short-Term KPIs

15 Likes

BUDGET

Zcash Media budget for 12 episodes

We have prepared budgets comprising the work required for 1) planning and administrative tasks (season story plans, contracts, templates, standard operating procedures, task assignment, billing, payroll, scheduling, project management, etc.) and 2) per episode production budget. The planning/administrative budget is for $86,384 and the per episode production budget is $146,941/episode. We have planned on doing 12 episodes, bringing the total cost for making and marketing 12 episodes to $1,744,785. In total, this grant proposal is therefore requesting $1,848,655 over the course of ~14 months (~$132,046/month). Please find a detailed breakdown of our estimated budget here:

Zcash: 12 Episode Budget

The calculator in the spreadsheet works by estimating how many hours each person will work for the different tasks associated with the planning, production, and distribution of the episodes (right side of each tab) and then adding them up (left side of each tab).

The budget requested is our best estimate to produce and distribute 12 episodes that maintain our cinema-level standards that led to our first videos being well received across numerous audience types. It is always a challenge to accurately predict the costs for production and distribution, especially for 12 unique episodes, which may take over a year to complete. Also, to do as much as possible to minimize costs, the three main managers of the project, Jeff, Natasha, and David have all budgeted themselves at a 55% discount from their $150/hr rate, resulting in an hourly rate of $67.50.

Investing in efficiency and sustainability

In addition to the actual planning, creation, and distribution of the episodes themselves, a major goal of ours in this grant is to develop an assembly line process whereby we can make videos more efficiently to lower costs and speed up production. The funds received from this grant, if approved, would give us the resources to be able to dedicate the time and energy necessary to create more and more efficient systems for creating dozens more videos over the years. This is the major goal of the Executive Producer of this project, Jeff Hammerton, co-owner of 37 Laines. While Jeff was already the main cinematographer for the initial Zcash Media shoots, most of his time outside of shooting was dedicated to the business and administrative aspects (e.g., accounting, payroll, taxes) of the initial grants and other 37 Laines’ projects. However, in this grant, we have budgeted for a full-time Line Producer to handle the administrative tasks so that Jeff’s main focus will be to systematize Zcash Media’s operations for creating high quality Zcash educational content. (Note: We have included an ending Operations Report as our last milestone so that our team can report on the effectiveness of these efforts).

We also built the budget to bring in additional writers and editors that were not part of our previous grant and to give them the time we thought would be necessary to maintain the quality of our previous videos. Although it may be possible to use fewer people by relying more heavily on the same team that produced the previous two videos, we wanted to promote an “active decentralization” process. It is our hope that Zcash Media can be a hub where many different creators can come to build and distribute their works that will help maintain and diversify Zcash Media over time. But in order to do this, we need to build the necessary systems to manage a growing group of creators and also train the ones we bring in to work with us. It is only through investment in sustainability and decentralization that Zcash Media will be producing content not just for one year, but for many years. Each writer, editor, and other creator we have interviewed (and have already begun bringing into our system) has expressed great enthusiasm at being able to work for a cause as strong as Zcash. It is a significant goal of ours for this grant that by the end of it, we have multiple new members of Zcash Media that can independently and efficiently produce continued Zcash educational content.

With all that said, we find it nonetheless helpful to look at a few key numbers to add some context to the budget, beyond the stated goals above. Our prior grants comprised ~$450,000 to produce and distribute two episodes, equalling ~$225,000 per episode. As part of these grants we collected a large amount of footage in the hopes of making future videos at lower costs. In this grant, our cost per episode is $146,941. This is a 35% reduction in the cost per episode. With the long-term sustainability that this current grant would afford us, we aim to continue bringing down per episode costs in the future.

Analysis of Zcash Media as part of Zcash Community Grants

Another key number that we have looked at is the fraction of the total ZCG budget that this grant could represent. As Zcash community members and holders ourselves, the last thing we want to do is take away funding from other third-party grant applicants that will help grow Zcash. We therefore analyzed ZCG’s current ZEC holdings and future receivable ZEC over a thirteen month period starting July 1, 2022 to August 1, 2023 using the Zcash Community Grants dashboard. Please note these numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt since ZCG’s grant liabilities can change frequently, and may change from the time we performed the following calculations.

The dashboard indicates that ZCG currently holds ~125,000 ZEC and given the current Zcash inflation rate and block reward to ZCG, over the thirteen months starting July 1, 2022, ZCG will receive an additional ~118,992 ZEC. The current ZEC holdings as well as the receivable ZEC through August 1, 2023 are therefore ~368,277 ZEC. The dashboard also lists that all outstanding grant liabilities are hedged with ~$2,400,000 that is solely earmarked for paying out outstanding grants, and there is $245,815 USD in reserve. Similar to the dashboard, we calculated the dollar amount of ZEC that ZCG will have if the price changes by various levels, and noted what percentage of the ZCG budget Zcash Media will take up below:

Zcash Media / Zcash Community Grants Calculations

In a worst case scenario, where ZEC drops to below its prior cycle’s low of ~$20, Zcash Media will take up ~30% of the ZCG budget over the course of thirteen months. If current prices are maintained, or eventually go up over the course of the same time period, Zcash Media will take up less than ~7% of the ZCG budget.

Comparing marketing spend across different fields

Lastly, as part of our analysis of how we fit into the overall ZCG budget, we looked at how much different types of businesses spend on marketing. From our research (1, 2, 3), the numbers really range all over the place, with the US Small Business Association recommending an average of 7-8% of gross revenue spent on marketing. Surveys show that some businesses spend as little as 3% of revenue on marketing, while sometimes, during product launches for instance, marketing can make up 80-120% of revenue! Also, on average, Business to Consumer (B2C) businesses spend around 10-11% of their revenue on marketing.

These numbers are especially hard to parse given that different industries have different recommended amounts to spend on marketing (for instance, consumer goods averages 20% on marketing due to its need to reach a large number of people and also being an industry with many competitive products). Since ZEC is trying to be a global currency for the entire world, we believe it is in a category that requires strong brand awareness, especially given the highly competitive landscape of the cryptocurrency space nowadays.

As part of our research, we also found an interesting analysis of Software as a Service companies performed by Tom Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures. He found that SaaS companies often spend a very high fraction of their revenue on marketing within the first few years of founding (average of 100% of revenue), with marketing spend decreasing to a low of 40% 10-25 years after founding. This is in part due to the fact that revenue is lower at the beginning of the company (with “revenue” coming from venture dollars) while over time, revenue goes up, so marketing spend as a portion of revenue decreases.

Although SaaS companies may not be the perfect analogy for Zcash, it is nonetheless helpful to show that certain types of tech businesses really go all out marketing their product to find customers, and that the success of the marketing and product can increase revenue over time, eventually making marketing a lower percentage of the revenue. The tables we included above show a similar trend in relation to ZCG and Zcash Media. If revenue in this case is considered the ZCG budget, then when revenue is low, due to the ZEC price being low, Zcash Media (or any given grantee) will take up a larger portion of the ZCG budget. Presumably as Zcash continues to improve its technology, and the collective marketing efforts of Zcash help to bring ZEC to new users, ZCG’s “revenue” would increase due to an increase in the price of ZEC. Put another way, it makes sense that when a product is still relatively new, revenue is low, and in order to increase revenue, marketing and product development efforts take up a relatively high percentage of revenue. Without these investments at early stages, revenue will not stand as good a chance to grow as the product is on the market for longer.

Choosing the Type of Marketing

We note that marketing can take many shapes and forms and that we are focusing mainly on long form educational content. We chose to focus on this because unlike consumer products, like a type of shampoo, that everybody understands, ZEC and crypto in general are still a mystery to most of the world. Only 4% of the world’s population has ever used crypto, and even of those people, many profess to not understand it. Therefore, when introducing something so radically new to the world, we believe it is best to start with clear and thorough educational content on what it is, how it works, and why it matters, which can allow other forms of marketing to be more effective over time. We have seen how effective the educational approach can be with people like Andreas Antonopoulos building catalogs of YouTube videos to explain Bitcoin and other projects. And this is in part what inspired us to bring a similar vision of a library of educational content to Zcash.

Previously Captured Footage

While we were capturing our original footage, we used the opportunities with each of these remarkable interviewees to capture additional content with each of them. This resulted in over 30 hours of footage. Over the past month, one of our team members created a database of all this content and confirmed that we have ample footage to create many of the remaining videos for this season without much additional production. We have therefore budgeted much less for production trips in this proposal.

Capturing Limited New Footage

We have included line items in the budget for filming interviews at Zcon (we hope this will give us access to many exciting interviews in one trip), as well as 2 additional short trips to cover relevant additional interviews or footage.

SCHEDULE & MILESTONES

Timeline

We have already recruited many exceptionally talented people to work for us, and due to the long term commitment of working on this project, starting ASAP is ideal so that we can guarantee they are able to work for Zcash Media and not have to pursue other employment.

Once we start production and distribution of the episodes, all teams will be working in a parallel fashion to keep producing videos while the finished videos are distributed. To give a sense of what this workflow might look like, please review the following workflow timeline:

Zcash: Workflow & Milestones Chart

Milestones

As this diagram describes, we have a total of 12 milestones over the course of an estimated 14 months. We have structured the milestones so that the payment for each episode will occur before the production of each episode, with a start-up phase for administrative and planning work. Also, we have listed as deliverables the finalized videos, to be provided to ZF for milestone verification. We will also post an update to the forum whenever we have completed a milestone.

In order to give ourselves some flexibility, we did not structure the milestones to be associated with video releases. This is because once we start producing the videos and can more accurately refine our production workflow, we will have a much better idea of what would be an optimal distribution schedule. When we finalize our distribution plan, we will make sure everyone in the community knows the timeline for video releases. Lastly, we will provide quarterly analytics reports similar to what we provided at the end of our last marketing campaign.

We detail the deliverables associated with our milestones below:

Milestones and Deliverables


Here you can view a PDF form of the entire proposal: Zcash Media_2022-2023 Grant.pdf - Google Drive

Also, we made a video form of the proposal in case it is easier to understand and where we elaborate a bit more on our thinking: Grant Proposal Video.mp4 - Google Drive


Thank you for considering our application. We are eager to continue to contribute to the Zcash Community and hope this grant proposal reflects our deep enthusiasm and belief in the future of ZEC.

7 Likes

The market (as of this moment) is in a steep decline, and it’s anticipated that recovery could take some time. A quick search on google for “crypto” or the most popular crypto asset “Bitcoin”, and all you will see is FUD headlines.

As I understand, Zcash Media aims to target crypto newbies and average crypto fans. Most newbies won’t buy a crypto asset after watching a single video or getting information from one source.

Most newbies who will come across Zcash Media content will probably jump on Google next to get more information on cryptocurrencies. On Google, they’ll see headlines like “Bitcoin sinks as cryptocurrency meltdown intensifies” or “This crypto collapse has a human cost” (I got these headlines from today!)

My question to Zcash Media is: from a behavioural standpoint, do you think the timing of this grant is ideal for an effective 1 year campaign that begins in 2022?

P.S. I don’t ask this because I’m against the grant. I’m genuinely curious your thoughts on this. And of course, questions/comments are my own, not ZF’s.

7 Likes

Not supportive of spending huge percentage of ZCG funds on marketing at this time. We have no idea how low ZEC can go.

6 Likes

but why? Were you confident the grant is going to get approved one way or the other?

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It is important for community to look at the YouTube view count of these videos. Even though these videos are produced at high quality, these only garnered mere 250k views combined. And these videos were released when there was max hype around Zcash & Halo at least on CT (crypto twitter).

Now consider the current time:

  1. Retail interest all time low
  2. High inflation & interest rate environment driving money out of growth & speculative assets.
  3. DeFi (LUNA, UST), crypto firms (Celsius, 3AC) going down — so more skepticism towards crypto. Not the best time to do marketing! Investors are suing LFG, Do Kwon for false marketing & building hype which resulted in significant losses. I’m not saying we are doing the same though.

I want us to fund developers to build easy to use applications for the niche community we have. I’m happy to reconsider marketing efforts when things are starting to look better.

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Forget about the market. The winner is only the one who is ready to go against the trends. I support this grant. We’ve seen great work, that will become the seeds of our common success.

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Not speaking on behalf of ZF.

I love the work that Zcash Media produces, I would like to see them continue to be involved within Zcash. But I’m afraid that I have to agree with @dontbeevil.

I wish it were that simple. But there’s almost $2M at stake from a dev fund whose funds are decreasing with every passing day of selloffs.

If this grant had a lower risk price stamp to it, I would totally be for it. I don’t think marketing should stop. But at $1.8M, with no guarantee how low prices will go, I think approving this is too high risk.

The ultimate KPI is increased builders for Zcash and the growth of number of Zcash users and holders.

Since the last set of videos were produced and distributed, the market cap has halved in price. To spend significantly more funds at this time doubling down on these efforts does not seem appropriate to me.

With that said, I’m not saying I think this is a bad proposal. I think it should be executed under better market conditions for lower risk and higher reward possibilities.

Luckily I don’t make these decisions, as I would be conflicted in wanting to fund Zcash Media, while also reluctant because of the market conditions we’re currently in.

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Does everyone really think that ZEC will be at $20 again? Neither the reduction in emissions, nor the larger number of community affected anything? Let’s get back to the conversation in a week, when everyone will have a more positive view of what is happening.

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I’d be excited to participate in this!

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As far as I can tell ZCG have more then enough funds to cover outstanding grants and still commit to this grant. It also doesn’t look like committing to this grant restricts (in the near term) our ability to fund grants. So it appears there are 4 possible outcomes.

  1. We fund this and the price of ZEC goes up
  2. We fund this and the price of ZEC goes down
  3. We don’t fund this and the price of ZEC goes up
  4. We don’t fund this and the price of ZEC goes down

I’m not sure why the price of ZEC should affect this decision. Unless we want the community/ZCG to participate in market speculation? Here are some possible risks if we don’t fund this proposal.

  1. @37L find securing ZCG funding too unreliable and move on to other work.
  2. The price of ZEC could keep falling to a point we can no long afford this kind of grant.
  3. Other crypto communities continue to fund media content and we get left behind.
  4. We continue to struggle to receiving an abundance grant proposals.
  5. ZCG get a bad rep for not funding large grants.

If ZCG is not a reliable source of funding and @37L move on I’m really doubtful Zcash will have an opportunity, of this quality, again.

I support funding this proposal in full.

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I thought the first proposal was overpriced but after watching the results I changed my mind. I support this proposal and hope the next wave of videos further increases Zcash adoption.

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These are all great points and questions. And like I said, I’m not even against the grant. However, anyone that says we should overlook the current market conditions, I’m afraid, might be missing a psychological perspective on the incentives for technological adoption - which is ultimately the goal of Zcash Media.

Zcash Media produces top notch content. No one’s arguing about that. But if the market is in a freefall, the reality of the matter is that no one will care. Most of their target audience is highly risk averse right now. Which means running such a campaign, at this time, might have less of the desired outcomes of adoption than if it were run say after the market stabilizes or market conditions improve.

I love the work Zcash Media is doing, and ZF even intends to partner with them for Zcon. So if this does get approved, at this time, I hope I will end up having been wrong in my assessment of the current situation :slightly_smiling_face:

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I don’t think that hypothesis has been tested. I think, other then for affordability reasons, we should overlook the current market conditions.

Edit: Sorry that was poor form. Bad argument. I disagree. I think long term now IS the time to take advantage of the market and grow our followers and viewer.

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random marketing quote

The marketing rule of 7’s states that a potential customer must see a message at least 7 times before they’ll be provoked to take an action. This marketing principle is a maxim that was developed in the 1930s by the movie industry, who found through research that a potential moviegoer had to see a movie poster at least seven times before they would go to the theatre to see a movie.

Invest now, increase followers, prove to the algorithms Zcash content is the best crypto content to recommend, and when the market goes bull all those investors will think back on the last 7 videos they watched. It’s an opportunity I think this community can’t afford to miss!

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And you genuinely believe that a market collapse presents itself as the ideal opportunity to apply the marketing rule of 7s? :slightly_smiling_face:

Anyhow, I’m going to let others weigh in and leave it at this. (I love to see marketing happening in the Zcash ecosystem. I hope that wasn’t lost in my raising concerns about the importance of strategic timing. And just an emphasis that opinions were my own)

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Do you plan for them to be 10-15 min videos like the first two so it will effectively be 2-3 hrs of content?

Is there any brief outline on what each of the 12 videos geared towards crypto newbies will contain. Maybe 2-3 line summary of what you think each episode can be about.

I don’t agree with your idea of comparing SaaS companies with Zcash. SaaS companies are optimizing for a different set of metrics (YOY growth etc for next raise) and in many cases don’t have a very differentiated product. So more aggressive marketing is one way to achieve users. I believe Zcash has a more unique proposition.

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@Winfred I definitely follow your logic here and your eye towards the risk/reward situation given current market conditions. Just wanted to throw in my 2 zats though, which is that in truth none of us know how long bearishness will prevail. Could be 3 more months, 3 more years, or longer. Zcash Media content takes time to prepare and so truthfully we have no idea what the market will look like, and how receptive the audience will be when it’s ready to be released. If we base our commitment to future marketing releases too much on current market conditions, we risk the opportunity to be at the vanguard of the market reawakening.

It’s also the case that high quality content hangs around - when I first started learning about Zcash (and some other blockchains) I was watching/reading content that was already several years old. So I think it could be a mistake to hold off on this due to fears of mis-timing the broader market.

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I feel like we’re operating from a scarcity mindset of this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We must do it now or never. When in reality, it’s not. Maybe I’m just a bit more risk averse :woman_shrugging: Crypto projects all over try to be strategic with their timing of marketing activities, rebrands etc., so they can get the most value for their money. You won’t see many projects trying to raise funds right now. Many are not spending millions on marketing right now either. My suggestion isn’t novel… but it clearly is somewhat unpopular in here :sweat_smile:

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Forget about funding for a second. What results do you expect after producing videos? Do you expect larger view count per video during this time?

Zcash is a private payments protocol at this time. You can send & receive money. That’s all you can do. I’m not sure how much there is to talk about for public to listen & educate themselves.

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