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Paus is the new ad-free streaming service making a conscious contribution to the support of new and emerging creative talent, with its unique digital tipping system, where creators can accept micro-payments from their global fans. At a time when cinemas have struggled to stay open and production costs have risen, due to global events, the unique Paus approach to direct funding is a revolutionary way to support future filmmakers and revitalises the creator economy, while bypassing the reliance on adverts.

The man behind this ground-breaking new enterprise is Rishi Kapoor, Founder and CEO. Kapoor devised this original approach to exhibiting and funding emerging talent and launched Paus on 24 December 2020.

Kapoor began his career as a runner for the BBC while studying a degree in Economics and Business at The University of Manchester. By 2011 he had moved to Sony Pictures where he progressed to working with international sales and distribution. Universal Studios, Disney and Warner Bros. followed, where Kapoor continued to work in distribution and strategy. After many years of negotiating sales deals with Google Play, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple iTunes, he wanted to find a way of nurturing new creative voices and ideas for film, and so turned his attention to supporting independent filmmakers with the creation of Paus.

As a sole founder with no coding experience, Kapoor launched a prototype from his home in Manchester for £120 called ‘watchpaus’. He developed a programme featuring several award-winning filmmakers and within a week managed to attract 50 paying users. This was an initial learning experience and the first time that he had built a web-based product. Soon after Rishi Kapoor became recognised as an entrepreneur when he founded the Paus platform, now in a far more sophisticated version, and he is still only 31, making him one of the most outstanding startup business people under 35.

On his vision and ambitions for Paus, Kapoor says:

“Traditional models for creators are broken. 97% of creators don’t make any money despite the hundreds of thousands of views they generate. Artists struggle to make turn their passion into a sustainable business and truly great, artistic work is buried under algorithms and aggregators. This doesn’t need to be the way forward, the traditional ad-model is declining and a new wave of online monetisation is taking place, we’re leading the way for creators in a way that is fair, transparent and inclusive.”

Paus is a destination for independent voices to be heard and where they can inspire, entertain, educate and inform millions. Paus is a trailblazer for the future of online media and the service has established itself as the prime platform where the most diverse and authentic new stories can thrive. The service can be streamed by online and digital viewers around the world and Paus aims to be truly global as it expands in a way that is fair, transparent and inclusive. The reigning ad model is becoming less viable and less enticing for creators. Through new monetisation tactics, more creators are seeking renewed agency and control over their revenue streams.

The unique digital tipping feature on Paus allows audiences to tip any film or filmmaker they want to support – any amount from 50p to £1,000+ at any time on their iOS and Android apps or desktop version. Paus is integrated with digital payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, so the process is quick and easy and gets the tip to the filmmaker with no friction. Unlike other video platforms, the scales are weighed in the creator’s favour as the keep 80% of every single tip via the Paus iOS app, Android app and the streaming website.

To date, there have been over 3,000 titles screened exclusively on Paus and new screenings take place every 24 hours. Films are released in specially curated strands for limited periods, providing a platform where creators can monetise their fans directly through exclusive, digital events, such as 24-hour live film screenings, festival partnerships and behind-the-scenes Q&A’s (with cultural figures as diverse as Sir Ian McKellen, Alice Rawsthorn, Sir Richard Branson, Russell Tovey, David Tennant and Sadie Frost) Paus gives evolving filmmakers the critical recognition they deserve and showcases a rich range of short and feature length, narrative and documentary film from around the world.