The Share Protocol (SHARE) is a digital media (audio and video) content distribution engine for Web3 and the internet experiences of the future, popularly described as the Metaverse.
SHARE facilitates peer-to-peer transactions of digital media content, whereby the creator has complete control over ownership rights and can choose the terms of access (such as pricing and availability), owners can collect revenues directly from consumers in real-time, and mechanical royalties are automatically distributed to owners.
SHARE is for content creators who create premium digital media experiences, and want a way to distribute the content directly to consumers under terms and at a price that they choose, and receive payments instantly when their content is streamed.
The Formless SHARE Decentralized Application (Formless dApp ) enables creators to directly distribute their content (audio or video) on a per access (stream) basis to consumers, and is the first user interface that leverages and expresses the capabilities of SHARE.
If you’re a developer you can use SHARE as a building block for your Web3 application or streaming service. More documentation on the smart contract and deployment is available in the Guides and Technical Reference sections. If you have questions about technical documentation or integrating our APIs, contact us.
To use SHARE, navigate to the Formless dApp and connect your Web3 wallet. If you choose not to connect a Web3 wallet you can still pay for access to view or listen to content by using Apple Pay or Google Pay, however you won't be able to distribute content. You must have a Web3 wallet connected to the Formless dApp to create smart contracts and distribute your content. If you don’t have a Web3 wallet, you can learn how to get and set up a wallet by reading our User Guide.
Once you’re connected you can do a few things: create content by uploading digital media and specifying your pay for access terms, or stream (view or listen to) content.
- 1.Create content. You can upload a digital file like a .mp3 audio file or .mp4 video file, and choose the terms under which you are willing to grant access to the content. For example, you can set the price for each stream of the content and for how long it’s available. When you specify these terms, SHARE creates a smart contract for the content and generates a link to the location of the content. You, or anyone else with the link, can share it. Each time another user pays for access to the content, you and other owners of the content receive a payment to your wallet.
- 2.Access digital content. When you access digital content via a link or by discovering content on the Formless dApp, you can choose if you want to pay to access the content. The price of access is displayed alongside a title and description of the content. Depending on the type of digital content, you may be paying to listen to audio or view video. When you choose to pay for access, you sign-off on a transaction in your Web3 wallet and then you are granted access to listen to or view the digital content under the terms of access that the creator chose. If you choose to pay for content using Apple Pay or Google Pay your transaction will take place instantaneously and is subject to the content's access terms specified by the creator.
SHARE consists of a group of smart contracts that interact to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions on blockchain where users can buy access to digital content in exchange for cryptocurrency.
With SHARE, anyone who wants to sell access to digital audio or video can create a customized smart contract that uses the Protocol. This creation process is called deployment, and the result is a digital item, which is an extension of the Non-fungible token (NFT) standard. It consists of information that specifies its owners and its terms of access. This information is recorded on the blockchain, and the NFT can be displayed in any application or marketplace that reads the blockchain for NFTs. The NFTs can be bought, sold, and transferred.
Common NFTs are limited to buying, selling, and exchanging ownership of NFTs, however, Share provides a new way to transact with NFTs with the introduction of Pay-For-Access (PFA) smart contracts. These unique contracts, which implement the
IPFAinterface are G-NFTs (See SHARE Whitepaper Section 6), allow the creator of the item to choose the terms of access to the content. For example, they can set the price for streaming the content and for how long it’s available.
Note that we often use the terms PFA and G-NFT interchangeably. This is because the
IPFAinterface is a standard schema for anyone to implement a pay-for-access smart contract, and G-NFT is the name of the canonical implementation provided by SHARE. Generally, unless we're referring to the canonical implementation, pay-for-access smart contracts are called PFAs.
To access (view video, or listen to audio) the content of PFA NFTs, users must first purchase access from the owner. To do this, the user signs a transaction from their Web3 wallet and pays the owner directly. SHARE facilitates this transaction and collects a transaction fee of 10%.
All of SHARE's smart contracts are fully audited by a third-party auditor, Solidity Finance. The audit is a comprehensive review process designed to discover logical errors, security vulnerabilities, and optimization opportunities. It also verifies economic logic to ensure the stability of smart contracts and highlights privileged functionality. SHARE smart contracts have a 100% pass rate. The full audit report can be found here.
To use SHARE you need a Web3 wallet that connects to the Ethereum and/or Polygon blockchains. Compatible wallets include Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask, and Rainbow Wallet. To limit your transaction costs, it’s recommended that you use the Polygon network to transact. Polygon is a sidechain of Ethereum and is built for low-cost, high throughput transactions. Gas costs on Ethereum may be prohibitive.
Once you have a wallet, connect to the Formless dApp and select the “Connect” button in the upper-right corner of the screen. This will prompt you to connect your wallet. Once you’ve successfully connected, you can create and view content.
To distribute your content, you can connect your Web3 wallet and navigate to the Create page on the Formless dApp. Here you can upload your content file, and then you’ll be walked through a series of steps where you choose the terms of access to your content. This includes attributes like the price, how long it’s available, and who owns the content.
Once you complete these steps, you’ll deploy a pay-for-access contract for your content, which is a special kind of Non-Fungible Token (NFT). The content then lives at a unique URL that you can share with people that may be interested in purchasing access to your content. If they purchase access to your content, you’ll receive payment directly and instantly to your Web3 wallet.
The Share Your Content section of the User Guide provides more details and considerations on the process of uploading, creating a smart contract, and sharing your content.
Note that SHARE does not involve any form of token gating. Access to content backed by SHARE contracts is achieved through validating a transaction with the access price, directly on the contract. It does not require the consumer to hold or own any specific token.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that have blockchain-managed ownership. Examples include art, music, and videos. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency.
A Pay-For-Access (PFA) NFT is an NFT created with SHARE. PFA NFTs have special properties that enable the content to only be accessed (viewed or listened to) once a payment is sent to the contract by the consumer and successfully received by the owner.
Other than the special access properties of PFA NFTs, they behave exactly like any other NFT, appear on platforms and marketplaces like OpenSea, and adhere to the ERC-721 standard.
To mint an NFT, a creator pays a one-time creation fee plus the gas fees associated with processing the mint transaction. The one-time creation fee is 10% and gas fees vary depending on the network.
SHARE facilitates each transaction. For this service, the end consumer pays a fee that equals 5% of the access price. Using the Formless dApp, consumers also pay an additional dApp fee that equals 5% of the access price. In total, consumers using the Formless App pay total fees of 10% (5% protocol fee + 5% dApp fee) of the access price.
The price of accessing content varies, and is solely chosen by the owner. To access content you pay the price of accessing the content, plus any gas fees to process the transaction. The price of accessing content is displayed below or next to the content preview in the Formless dApp. When you select to pay for access to view or listen to the content, a request is sent to your Web3 wallet. Your wallet application will display the total transaction amount, including the gas fees for processing the transaction. Gas fees are blockchain dependent, and you can expect that the gas fees on a network such as Polygon will be significantly lower than fees on Ethereum. When you accept (sign) the transaction in your wallet, your payment, plus gas fees are deducted.
On the rare occurrence that you used Apple Pay or Google Pay to pay for content, but the content doesn't play, a blockchain processing error may have occurred. Our software automatically processes refunds in these scenarios. It's our policy that if you were charged incorrectly you will be refunded for the transaction. If this happens to you and you are not automatically refunded, please contact us and report the issue.
The team at Formless, Inc., the creators of SHARE and the Formless dApp, are available on our Discord channel to answer questions, and we also provide support by email.
If you choose to contact us by email, please complete the Connect form on our website and provide the following information.
- Your email address
- Your wallet address (if applicable)
- Detailed information about your question or the issue you're experiencing