It was recently reported that one of the world’s most famous YouTuber and “meme reviewer”, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, commonly known as PewDiePie, signed an exclusive deal with a blockchain-based streaming platform DLive. Ever since PewDiePie talked about it on his channel, which has more than a staggering 96 million subscriber count at the time of writing, the platform has seen a huge boost in its monthly active users.
DLive is a decentralized live streaming platform which uses its own native cryptocurrency that goes by the name of “Lino points”. Lino points can be converted into real money by the content creators and viewers on the platform who earn them.
Crypto has finally made its way to one of the most influential and charismatic personalities in the digital media space, Pewds. But is there some other way it can reach such influencers in the digital content-creation arena? The answer, yes ,there is… but it might take some time before we see that happen.
YouTube is arguably the biggest video streaming platform in the world. Content creators across the globe use it to build their own communities and earn from the ad-based earning framework presented forward by it. But despite all the positive aspects that YouTube presents forward, it is still a centralized platform. Influencers like PewDiePie often accuse the platform of being too strict and somewhat biased. PewDiePie even jokes about how his videos get demonetized more frequently than others, even on small slip-ups. But there is one thing that can tackle this issue of centralized control over content-creation, tokenization through decentralization.
A decentralized video streaming platform with a native cryptocurrency can solve the issue of revenue cuts as well as the objection strict guidelines from a central party over specific content creators. But in order to understand how such a platform would work, one does not need to look beyond the blockchain-based browser Brave.
Brave use blockchain to give the world an ad-free and more user-controllable browser with a native token in the form of BAT. BAT is the representative of value in the blockchain network setup by Brave. It is the token that is used to reward the publishers in the Brave ecosystem. The reward is also based on the specialized “attention” parameter developed by the platform. Based on the attention that a specific publisher gains, rewards are given accordingly. The middlemen present in the advertising model of today are also taken out of the picture, thus resulting in less cuts from the revenue.
If YouTube deploys blockchain at its core, where the viewers and content-creators are put in direct contact with each other, where viewers can also tip their favorite content-creators, a more neutral platform can be established. Even if a video is demonetized, enabling viewers to directly support their favorite content-creators in crypto can change the entire negative connotation attached to YouTube, in terms of its demonetization policies. This also means fewer complaints from the “meme reviewer” PewDiePie. It will also give a framework where users an content-creators are more in charge of the platform than a centralized platform. But in the heart of it all, will lie a cryptocurrency that will represent value in it. This is how crypto can reach millions and billions if used for a specific use-case like video streaming.
But despite all the benefits that cryptos will bring to video streaming, there still are a lot of issues left. The issue of scalability is a major one. As video streaming platforms host innumerable videos with innumerable reactions in the form of likes and comments etc., the capacity of the blockchain network on which they are hosted, also needs to be quite big. Right now, bitcoin and Ethereum both host a limited number of transactions per second, far less than VISA. Besides, with the central party gone and guidelines removed, a decentralized platform can become a central den for hate speech with support being provided by the viewers.
There are pros and cons that need to be balanced before building a decentralized video streaming platform with a built-in cryptocurrency. Though the chances of things going wrong are there, yet proper policies and structure can avoid such scenarios, giving the world a new form of video streaming where content-creators are put in direct touch with their fans. With the technology evolving at a rapid pace and a lot of capital flowing into the blockchain world, it is quite possible we will see such a platform in the future, if things go well for cryptos, with mainstream acceptance and concrete regulatory frameworks.