Before and After Airtime: how much will creators and viewers earn on BitTube?

At BitTube we strive to offer the best environment for video publishers to monetize and expose their content. To better understand how publishers earn and create potential revenue streams, it’s essential to understand the reward system behind the platform. Our platform’s reward system is based on the blockchain and the TUBE cryptocurrency.

In this article, we aim to explain the system before and after the July 2nd fork and what this means for earnings going forward.

Reminder: The term ‘fork’ refers to the hard fork that occurred on block height 110k to change the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm from a CPU-friendly custom CN Lite version to an exclusively GPU-friendly CN Saber, a CN Heavy variant. The term ‘Airtime’ refers to the start of the new reward system called the Airtime model happening on block height 140k in early August.

Before the fork

Before, when viewers were watching a video, their computing power performed mining on behalf of the publishers. The earnings for each publisher was dependent on the hashing power provided by the viewer’s device. This system made it hard for them to monetize their content, because it became quickly apparent that viewers could not provide significant hashing power to compete against the professional miners of the network.

Note: currently, viewers no longer perform mining from any device. They only perform a lightweight ‘Proof-of-Verification’ (PoV) routine to verify the authenticity of their watch time.

After the fork

The full Airtime model will be deployed in several steps, to ensure there are no interruptions on the platform and to mitigate potential problems. The first step has been the allocation of 1.5% for marketing and platform maintenance each, which began with this hard fork. Gradually we will integrate the system until full publisher- and viewer rewards are activated on block height 140k.

As mentioned, with the Airtime model viewers no longer dedicate hashing power by mining. Now, each viewer verifies his/her own watch time with PoV and the sum total translates into Airtime to publishers. Of the blockchain’s total block reward, 70% goes to the miners and 30% is reserved for Airtime distribution, of which 70% will go to publishers, 20% to viewers and 10% to the developers.

Read more about the Airtime model here.

Before and after Airtime: users don’t mine anymore, they verify their watch time and are rewarded equitably.

Now that we’ve introduced the new revenue system, it is clear that both creators and viewers are rewarded equitably. First, we will focus on creators, after which the viewer rewards will be easy to explain as well.

How much will content creators earn on BitTube?

The real answer is it depends. It is quite different compared to a simple CPM (cost per mille) rating that you get from running ads.

In the Airtime article it is stated that 21% (70% of 30%) of the total block reward is reserved for publishers. At the time of writing, this comes to an available reward pool of roughly 67k coins per day, 93 per 2-minute block or 46.5 per minute. These numbers will decrease year over year as emission slows down:

As you can see, about half of the coin supply will be mined in the first 5 years. Early adopters, rejoice. Some users have voiced concerns about the current inflation as it relates to sell pressure, but don’t be alarmed — it is entirely reasonable compared to Monero’s much steeper emission curve, for example. Ultimately, it does not matter, because a hypothetical lower emission rate (and hence higher production cost) would also translate into a smaller reward pool. As you will read in this article, we have struck the right balance with TUBE’s coin metrics.

The earnings distribution is calculated based on each publisher’s airtime share against the grand total airtime per block. This means in any given block, your video could be making more or less depending on overall activity, which is typically random but averages out on higher time frames. Moreover, as adoption grows, increasingly the fixed reward pool has to be shared between more creators. Here, too, early adopters will benefit significantly.

Let us first consider the average case with some back-of-the-envelope calculations. Since earnings depend on the sum total watch time on the platform at any given moment, we need to establish what these numbers look like for BitTube given a reasonable 1% adoption rate. Based on these YouTube statistics, the total watch time (in minutes) per minute gives us a ratio of 1:45k airtime share at 1% adoption. (Another way to think about it: suppose there are 45,000 concurrent viewers at any one time, where just one of them is watching your video). Now, let’s express earnings in something people are familiar with, like TUBE per 1000 views, or TPM (‘TUBE per mille’) for short. With a creators reward pool of 46.5 per minute, assuming 1 view equals 10 minutes of airtime, we arrive at:

Creators earnings = ( 46.5 ÷ 45000 ) × 10 × 1000 ≈ 10 TPM.

In dollar terms, it comes to roughly $1 per 1000 views — this looks quite favorable, seeing as how the price does not reflect any adoption yet. Keep in mind that YouTube is valued at more than $100bn market cap today. At 1% adoption, this should mean a $1bn market cap for TUBE, which is currently hovering around only $5m. Adoption will most likely precede any noticeable increase in price for some time. New users will want to try the platform for a while before buying coins. And that’s OK — our calculations tell us that we are already well situated even up to an incredible 1% of YouTube’s traffic. Besides, BitTube early adopters should be making a lot more than 10 TPM, as illustrated in the following graph:

During the World Cup, we’ve already seen streams get up to 100k concurrent viewers, resulting in over 1 million unique page views per day. Given the right content and circumstances, it is not outlandish to assume these kind of numbers even at this early stage.

Secondly, let us consider two extremes. Suppose your video goes viral and it is the only one getting any attention on the platform. In that case, it will be earning the lion’s share of the reward pool. Conversely, if in the same period there are other videos getting equal attention from different viewers, then your reward can be much lower.

This is not a bad thing, though — just hear us out. The equitable distribution of rewards per block also means the following. In case your video goes viral during peak hours and earnings are less favorable, it is still true that your (demonstrably popular) video should be making comparatively more during more moderate platform activity, even if those late-stage views account for a minority of its total view count.

Furthermore — and this is an important point — this system incentivizes every publisher to optimize their airtime exposure by essentially doing time slot arbitrage. Many videos get the vast majority of their views in the first 24–48 hours after they are published. Since platform-wide airtime statistics will be publicly available for data analytics, everyone gets to strategically publish (and promote) their videos at the most opportune times. This mechanic should ensure that there is never a dull moment on BitTube, because low platform activity means creators are leaving money on the table.

How much will viewers be rewarded on BitTube?

Lastly, now that we’ve gone through all the steps for creators, the viewer rewards are easy to explain. The Airtime article states that 6% (20% of 30%) of the total block reward is reserved for viewers. Currently, this gives us 26.6 coins per 2-minute block or 13.3 per minute.

We can do the same calculations here, but on a more sensible basis of 60 minutes of accrued watch time. To make our lives easier, let’s assume that 10,000 concurrent viewers compete for this reward pool:

Viewer rewards = ( 13.3 ÷ 10,000 ) × 60 ≈ 0.08 TUBE per hour ≈ 2 per day

This might not look like much, but similarly, there are two extremes here, the least favorable one described above. At some instances (when most of the world is sleeping, for example) you might only be sharing the reward pool with 1,000 other viewers, meaning a tenfold increase.

Conclusion

Interesting times are ahead. Once the Airtime model goes live, it will be fun to start tracking the statistics and plugging them into our back-of-the-envelope model to see if our assumptions are correct. In any case, it is quite evident that early BitTube adopters will be generously rewarded for their leap of faith.

Airtime will activate at block height 140,000 early next month. Join us in this ad-free, monetized revolution.