Video Streaming and Blockchain: A Tale of Two Paradigm Shifts

Sasha Shilina⬙
Nov 1 · 51 min read

Go to the street, get on a subway train, these days, and you’re likely to be surrounded by people listening to music on their phones or watching videos on their smartphone’s screens, tapping into vast digital space of the Internet. It’s a sight we already take for granted, but the streaming revolution that’s made it possible is only just beginning.

This paradigm shift has delivered a series of innovations that transformed the way we consume media. Streaming technology makes it easier for us to receive the entertainment we want, where and when we want it, and to interact with it — all of which older broadcasting technologies have trouble supporting. It also brings us closer to one another and helps us feel more connected with communities of other people who share our niche interests, no matter where we are in the world — provided they have a broadband connection.

Consumers have more digital media options than ever, and most are finding what they want. But many are becoming frustrated by the complexity and effort piecing together their entertainment experience requires.

Streaming is a genuinely revolutionary breakthrough, both in business and in society as a whole. In this light, it is worth taking a look at where it led us and where it will lead us further — from music to movies and television, then video games and — further on the horizon — to VR and AR. Moreover, new possibilities is creating the technology that’s snowballing — the blockchain.

The streaming paradigm shift began with music

For better or for worse, the digital transformation came for the music industry first — and enabled listeners to circumvent piracy laws almost immediately, although not completely.

But weaning people off pirating songs from Napster and Kazaa took more than just charging them for the same experience. After all, it quickly grew tiresome downloading each individual song before it could be enjoyed. Instead, streaming enabled what appears to be a permanent shift away from physical music ownership. Digital platforms like Spotify and YouTube offer nearly any song ever recorded instantly. Consumers are clearly changing and the music streaming revolution is settling into a lasting ceasefire.

Movies, television and video games are currently in the throes of the next streaming shift. As we can see, video is changing everything. Where there used to be text blogs, we now have vlogs, podcast interviews, YouTube channels, Facebook Live, and Snapchat. Video is insanely popular across mobile apps and social media. And the benefits of streaming video are now clear to every major studio, each of which is about to launch their very own over-the-top (OTT) services.

Video games are also on course to catch up with video streaming as the highest usage of global internet traffic. This transition will likely be aided by increasing demand for esports combined with the launch of 5G mobile networks. These factors stand to make the next games streaming revolution as economically significant as that of television.

According to the latest statistics, video will account for 82% of all Internet traffic by 2022. Considering Internet traffic is expected to reach 4.8 zettabytes, that’s just under 4 zettabytes for video alone. One zettabyte is a thousand exabytes, which is a thousand petabytes, which is 4 billion terabytes.

Video traffic will account for 82% of all Internet traffic by 2022

This trend will only increase as the quality of the videos that the users upload improves. 4K, 8K, and 360° videos are only a few of the technologies that are now becoming commonplace and that are in large part responsible for the percentage growth of video on all Internet.

Source: Sandvine 2019 Global Internet Phenomena Report.

2019 Global Internet Phenomena Report from the network, intelligence firm Sandvine, also says that video is dominant on the Internet. All told, video was 60.6% of total downstream volume of traffic on the Internet, up 2.9 percentage points from 2018, per the latest report. Today, Netflix alone accounts for 12.60% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the entire internet and 11.44% of all internet traffic. This is just shy of Google, which makes up 12% of overall internet traffic, driven by YouTube, search, and the Android ecosystem.

Google represents 12% of overall internet traffic, driven by YouTube, as well as search and Android devices. YouTube is 38% of worldwide mobile traffic.

The report also found that gaming and gaming-related bandwidth consumption is rapidly increasing.

Market Overview

Video Streaming (SVoD) worldwide:

  • Revenue in the Video Streaming (SVoD) segment amounts to US $24,7 billion in 2019.
Video Streaming (SVoD) worldwide revenue. Source: Statista, July 2019.

According to the data from Digital TV Research, the international market for OTT video services will continue expanding over the next five years, and more than double the revenue totals recorded in 2018.

Global OTT revenues will more than double by 2024

The firm projects that subscription streaming services, which overtook ad-supported services in 2014 to become the largest OTT revenue source, will continue to take more share of the market.

Worth to mention, there is a need for decentralization since the majority of efforts in the video storage, computing, encoding, networking and streaming categories are led by three dominant brands: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google Cloud. AWS is so big that it generates the major portion of Amazon’s profits — some $10 billion-plus in annual revenue. It also hosts data for megacorporations like Netflix and Comcast, which all rent space on its servers.


Check out video streaming services comparison (September 2019), according to PC Magazine.

Source

Sure enough, video streaming has shifted the paradigm. But still, our story is about two paradigm shifts. Let’s now turn to the tale of the blockchain technology and its impact on video streaming.

Live Video Streaming with Blockchain

According to expert predictions, blockchain’s paradigm shift is to have a severe effect on video streaming technology. Blockchain enables direct participation in the network for consumers, content creators, and infrastructure providers. Rather than relying on a centrally controlled service provided by a dominant player in the market, anyone can become a broadcaster, run a streaming server, provide a transcoder, store data or just share network bandwidth.

Cryptocurrencies can be used to directly incentivize infrastructure providers or content creators, while consumers only pay for what they are interested in. Thanks to the development of second-layer technologies, it is possible to automatically send micropayments on a per minute or even per second base. Streaming money in exchange for streaming video.

Such a network can be trustless and secure by design, utilizing encryption schemes that have been proven for many years. While centralized services can be censored, controlled, or even shut down by enterprises or governments, decentralized and encrypted peer to peer networks are highly censorship-resistant.

Blockchain technology not only allows users to stay in control of their own data but also enables them to share that data for machine learning in a trust-less way. Essentially, you are allowing an algorithm to process your private data without the need to pass it to a third party.

Blockchain technology can reinvent video streaming with:

Smart contracts

What if the digital content creators can get directly paid by their fans without having to give out large percentages of their sales to third-party intermediaries? This barrier-less communication system is possible through blockchain, removing any hidden intermediary costs and helps artists establish a direct customer relationship with their fans. Blockchain also helps them to automatically take care of the license and contract related issues in the form of smart contracts.

Decentralized content distribution models

Blockchain enables each party to verify its transaction records directly without any intermediaries. It also eliminates the need for any central authority to approve the transactions through its peer-to-peer network, making way for agile and smooth transactions.

Accessibility and ownership

One of the long-standing issues in the online media and OTT industry is the ownership and access to the content. Consider a video subscription service, where you pay for gaining access to the platform and the videos cannot be accessed anywhere outside the platform. There is hence, a lack of transparency unlike buying a traditional cassette or a CD in which you actually own it. By leveraging Blockchain technology, the issue of ownership and sharing can be tackled at an infrastructure and protocol level. It encrypts the video, and stores these permanently through the interplanetary file system (IPFS) swarm. And the tracks can be accessed from anywhere with decryption keys through smart contracts.

Advertising analytics and targeted marketing

Worldwide spends on digital advertising is $200 billion in 2017 and expected to reach the $350 billion mark by 2020. Digital advertising is highly advantageous to marketers as they can track the consumer’s behavioral data. But, more than 60% of digital video advertisers lack adequate tools that can analyze this data, to measure and effectively improve the digital campaign’s performance. According to Visa’s report, blockchain has the capacity to pull out more than 24,000 transactions per second. It also makes the marketing investments targeted, helping the advertisers to measure the efficient platforms and add more value to their marketing efforts.

Easy transactions and micropayments

Blockchain helps to facilitate the micropayments online within the user and content creator without any transaction costs or service charges. By using a blockchain-enabled browser, the user can monetize their monthly spends using a cryptocurrency wallet. The browser can then request the public blockchain for license information, and scan the loaded content through content identifiers. Accordingly, it facilitates the transaction between the user and the content owner via on-chain payment.

Blockchain-based CDN

With terabytes of content consumed in the online media every day, optimizing the storage space is essential. A Blockchain-powered Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to utilize the collective unused space from the users worldwide by building decentralized applications. Using blockchain as a decentralized management system can help the users exploit this collective unused space, by converting it into peer-to-peer cloud storage and data delivery network.

Content licensing and effective monetization

Online content creators are very much aware of the extent of protection the Intellectual Property Laws give and how easily their content can be stolen. When someone is using your Intellectual property for commercial purposes, you can claim ownership compensation. But, when you are dealing with a larger organization, the burden is entirely yours. You may have to hire a lawyer to prove the ownership and then enforce your rights where you might still lose! Adopting blockchain technology can help you to easily defend your Intellectual property rights. The blocks, which are located on a variety of servers around the world cannot be altered once they are created. Hence, content owners will have complete control of their work, and the transactions are automated whenever the content is accessed by viewers.

Let’s now see what blockchain projects are trying to shift the paradigm.

Theta Network: Blockchain-powered video streaming with the microeconomy

Theta is an open source protocol and blockchain. That means that any partner can build DApps — or decentralized apps — that are on top of the superstructure. So, certainly YouTube and Netflix could be, and we would love for them to be our partners. Whereby they can extend their existing website or mobile app or web app to support the Theta protocol. What that would essentially mean is today they deliver their video stream to their users via their own CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). Their app can then be adapted by — let’s say — they can first try to load the stream through the Theta Network, and if it doesn’t load within 30 milliseconds then it can default back to their existing infrastructure. So from the end user’s perspective, nothing has really changed. It’s all behind the scenes. But if the stream is pulled from Theta, it’s a huge cost savings, right? Theta is essentially for free to all the partners including YouTube and Netflix. And when more content flows through Theta, they’ll save hundreds of millions of dollars.”

- Mitch Liu, Theta CEO

Using the Ethereum EVM “World Computer” metaphor, the Theta Network can be viewed as the “World Cache” formed by the memory and bandwidth resources contributed by viewers. The project is trying to build a decentralized video streaming platform that aims to revolutionize the way video content is distributed across the Internet by taking advantage of the decentralized nature of blockchain technology. Users of the Theta platform are encouraged to share unused memory and computing power of their computers. In exchange for sharing bandwidth and resources, viewers will earn Theta tokens. The goal is to provide high quality, smooth video streaming while at the same time reduce the cost of delivering video streams.

According to the Theta Whitepaper, there are three technological features of Theta Network:

  • Multi-Level BFT: A modified BFT consensus mechanism which allows thousands of nodes to participate in the consensus process, while still supporting very high transaction throughput (1,000+ TPS). The core idea is to have a small set of nodes, which form the validator committee, produce a chain of blocks as fast as possible using a PBFT-like process. Then, the thousands of consensus participants, called guardians, finalize the chain generated by the validator committee at regular checkpoint blocks. The name multi-level BFT consensus mechanism reflects the fact that the validator/guardian division provides multiple levels of security guarantee. The validator committee provides the first level of consensus — with 10 to 20 validators, the committee can come to consensus quickly. The guardian pool forms the second line of defense. With thousands of nodes, it is substantially more difficult for attackers to compromise the integrity of the network, and thus provides a much higher level of security. The team believes this mechanism achieves a good balance among transaction throughput, consistency, and level of decentralization, the three pillars of the so-called “impossible triangle”.

Blockchain and Network

For end-users, Theta’s focus is on providing a seamless way to interact with and contribute to the Theta ecosystem. These include products such as the wallet, block explorer, edge cacher nodes, and Guardian nodes.

The official Theta wallet is available on mobile for iOS and Android, and also on the web. The Theta wallet is used for community members to participate in the mainnet token swap and will operate as a secure way for users to hold THETA and TFUEL.

The block explorer has recently undergone an upgrade, and additional features will continually be added in the future.

Recently, an alpha build of the Edge Cacher was developed. The Edge Cacher allows users with adequate technical specs to serve as a dedicated relay node, able to serve orders of magnitude more video data than current relay methods.

Guardian nodes allow users to contribute to the consensus of the network by finalizing blocks that Validator nodes have proposed. Prior to the full rollout of the Guardian nodes, users have the opportunity to participate in the Guardian Node Onboarding Program, where users’ equipment is evaluated based on tech specs, node uptime, and other criteria.

Across live testnet channels, including SLIVER.tv, Samsung VR, and MBN, there are in aggregate over 500,000 unique sessions where a user shared video stream/bandwidth with another local user, the Theta Network management team states. Each time a video segment was shared, a microtransaction was recorded on the Theta testnet.

The first testnet channel SLIVER.tv is the next generation Esports entertainment platform on blockchain which features 24/7 live streaming content from top games like Fortnite, League of Legends, CSGO, and more. Viewers can watch top Twitch streamers like NICKMERCS, Method, and FaZe on SLIVER to further interact with the stream and earn Theta tokens, open themed crates, and win a wide variety of gaming gear.

The Theta blockchain mainnet was successfully launched in March 2019 and has now been in operation for 6 months. While it’s a major milestone to launch a new blockchain from scratch, it was only the first step. To take the Theta blockchain to the next level, the team thinks they must give the Theta community the tools to innovate and build upon their foundation. The community needs to govern the Theta blockchain with Guardian Nodes in addition to the Enterprise Validator Nodes, create new Theta use cases with full smart contract support, and have a robust block explorer with real-time analytics to monitor the blockchain. Altogether, these community-focused updates make up Theta vision for the next phase of its growth — Theta Mainnet 2.0.

Theta vision encompasses three main components that are to be powered by Theta edge nodes, run by the community: data delivery, data storage, and data encoding. For performing each of these three services, users earn TFUEL as a reward, incentivizing them to support and grow the Theta Network.

There’s a lot that needs to be built to realize Theta's vision. Take look at Theta updated high-level project roadmap through 2020. The most significant change from the previous Theta roadmap is extending the launch date of Guardian Nodes. In Q4, they will release the full Guardian Node software for use on Theta testnet, and a small group of users will be able to run these nodes that will fully participate in Theta’s Multi-BFT consensus.

Moreover, Bitmovio, a gamified video entertainment platform featuring a wide range of premium video content, will soon become the next platform to adopt the Theta streaming protocol. Bitmovio video content will incorporate a Theta-enabled video player, allowing Bitmovio users to stream video, share it with nearby peers, and earn TFUEL for their contributions. To enable their users to stream on the Theta Network, Bitmovio will purchase TFUEL tokens to be earned by Theta relayers. The integration of Theta mainnet with the Bitmovio video platform is projected to be completed in Q4 of this year.

On October 10th, 2019 Theta Network has partnered with DLive to bring decentralized video streaming to over 5 million users. The partnership will begin with Theta’s peer-to-peer streaming protocol being incorporated into the DLive video platform on both desktop and mobile devices, allowing DLive users to relay video on the Theta Network. Further collaboration is also in the works, such as content syndication between SLIVER.tv and DLive, cross-promotion and other ways to incentivize and benefit e the combined 8 million users.

Live Network Statistics: October 28th, 2019

You can now see the distribution of Pre-Guardian Nodes, Edge Cachers, and Enterprise Validator Nodes in real-time at thetatoken.org! Scroll down to “Live Network Stats”, which will update each time you refresh the page.

Pre-Guardian Nodes / Edge Cachers: 789

Enterprise Validator Nodes: 8

For information on Theta Guardian Nodes and how to join, see the announcement blog.


Check out our full review on Theta to know more about Multi-Level BFT consensus mechanism, Theta team and partnerships, investors, token allocation and more!

Livepeer: Peer to peer video services. Incentivized.

“The really magical thing about the blockchain is that you can create any economic incentive you want to incentivize a certain behavior. In the network. In all of your participants.”

- Eric Tang, Livepeer founder

Ep. #7 of Demuxed, Live Video Streaming with Blockchain

According to the Livepeer website, the project is creating a scalable Platform as a Service for developers who want to add live or on-demand video to their project. The team aims to increase the reliability of video workflows while reducing the costs to scale them. To achieve this they are building p2p infrastructure that interacts through a marketplace secured by the Ethereum blockchain.

The project is building technology for broadcasting and streaming live video over the Internet. The following different types of users can make use of Livepeer:

  • Developers who want to build applications that include live video can use the Livepeer to power their video functionality.

About two years ago the team introduced Livepeer through this post, which serves as good background for why they believe Livepeer should exist. Check it out!

Here are the main Livepeer features:

  • Livepeer is live video infrastructure. It is the technology that lets you broadcast video over the internet, or lets anyone build video into their own app or web site.

Today, there are 2 666 delegators securing the Livepeeer network, with more and more participants joining the network every day

Normally if you want to broadcast video over the internet, you either pay a company to provide the infrastructure and bandwidth to do it, or you use a free social network to do it in exchange for letting them control and monetize your users.

In Livepeer’s case, there is no central company in control of the network. Competition to earn the LPT generated from the network and from broadcaster fees will allow anyone to try and maximize their profit by running the most efficient hardware/software and using the cheapest electricity and bandwidth to serve the network. This will result in an open system, which is:

  • Cheap to use
Source

If you read down the Livepeer column in the above comparison, you’ll see that Livepeer is really about freedom and empowerment. The Livepeer project gives users the tools to build what they want, broadcast the content they want, monetize how they want, and pay-as-they-go at a competitive market price that scales automatically as their audience grows.

Much of the content the team has put out since then has been very technical in nature, including the Livepeer whitepaper which outlines a protocol for securely creating and incentivizing a decentralized network. In summary, the Livepeer protocol incentivizes nodes to contribute their processing and bandwidth to the network in service of transcoding and distributing live video. The verification of work is solved by a scalable extension on top of the Truebit protocol which incentivizes nodes to perform transcoding operations correctly in order to earn their fees and token allocations and preserve their value earning role as a transcoder. The gamification of the network and false work problem is solved via the economics of the delegated proof of stake block reward accounting. It becomes more economically rational to simply stake one’s tokens towards a value-adding node than to pay fees into the network to be distributed to other delegators when performing work that there wasn’t actually real demand for. The end result is a scalable, pay-as-you-go network for decentralized live video broadcast — a missing layer in the web3 stack that Livepeer seeks to fill.

Check out a 10-minute primer which describes how does Livepeer work, the roles of network’s orchestrators and delegators

Subscribe to Livepeer’s blog to be up to date. Livepeer is an open, community-driven project. The software is open-source on Github and under active development. There is also a nascent forum and chatroom for questions and discussion. Please get involved!

See also Raphaela Sapire’s presentation on How Blockchain Can Shift the Paradigm of Video Streaming to get more inspiration:

DLive: Live streaming community PewDieDie fled to from Youtube and Twitch

“DLive is a place where instead of competing against each other, it benefits creators to support one another. With no platform cuts, we incentivize everyone to create the highest quality content for viewers”.

- Wilson Wei, the co-founder of Lino Network

DLive calls itself a “disruptive live streaming platform,” and it has a unique hook. It was built using Lino, a decentralized blockchain that was founded in 2017. After Lino raised $20 million in funding, DLive launched in September 2018. According to Variety, it has about 30 employees.

DLive allows streamers to earn without high commitment compared to other streaming platforms that require minimums on metrics like stream time, streams, followers/subscribers, etc. Another problem that DLive currently solves is cashing out from the platform to usable funds. An example is Live.me where users are required to reach a minimum of $200 before they are able to withdraw as well as a daily limit of $600.

DLive is commonly compared to streaming platforms like Twitch on the blockchain but is not limited to gaming.

How does it work?

From the viewer’s perspective, DLive is basically exactly like Twitch. Viewers can subscribe to streams by paying a monthly fee, which will get their messages noticed by the streamer more often.

LINO Points are DLive’s currency of choice. The cryptocurrency is how users give donations and get rewards across the platform. 88 Lino points translate to $1.22 and can be purchased on the site using PayPal or a credit card.

Viewers can donate a little as one LINO Point, referred to as a “Lemon,” or up to 10,000 LINO Points, known as a Ninjet directly to a streamer.

DLive explains that 90.1 percent of subscription earnings and one-time donations go straight to the content creator. The remaining 9.9 percent is deposited into a pool of “Locked LINO,” which is awarded to the most engaged users.

Viewers who subscribe to steamers and avidly converse with DLive’s community will gain a little reward in the form of Lock LINO Points every day. Based on their engagement rate, a small sum of the online currency will be redeemable by simply logging in and clicking the yellow “Redeem Now” button in the notification window at the top right of the site.

DLive explains that these points can be immediately gifted to a streamer or transferred to PayPal or into Bitcoin if they want to cash out. Locked points holders also get access to a few unique perks.

Viewers can get rewards by avidly engaging with the community.

Anyone with locked LINO Points in their account will be able to shape the direction DLive moves in the future. The live streaming site offers daily questionnaires available only to Locked LINO Point owners.

These questionnaires will allow engaged users to vote on decisions relating to the network, and put in requests or vote on future feature upgrades. This way the most active participants in the community have a voice as to the direction of where the site is going (and where the decentralized part comes in).

The more locked points you have the more daily rewards you get and the more DLive clout you will eventually have. Users can “lock” their standard LINO Points to boost this number, but they’ll need a minimum of 1,000 to make that transaction.

How to cash out your LINO points.

If users are in this for the money, you can easily transfer your points to a PayPal or Bitcoin by navigating to the “Get Paid” tab found in the top-right drop-down menu. To liquidate your LINO points you’ll need a minimum of 2,000 and you’ll need to request payment at least three days before Thursday and Sunday. Users can either plug in their Bitcoin wallet address or use their email to transfer the funds to their PayPal. If you signed up a for the site with a different email address than your PayPal account, you’ll either have to make another DLive account with your PayPal email address or make a new PayPal.

DLive currently has 3 million monthly active users and 35,000 active streamers

This Spring, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, YouTube’s most popular content creator has penned a deal with DLive. Kjellberg announced that he would be doing a new weekly live stream on DLive in a YouTube video posted that has been viewed 4.6 million times. His reasons, he explained, were largely economic.

“I’m really excited about DLive and to be live streaming again,” said Kjellberg. “I’m going to be live streaming there soon, very frequently. Also my first stream is going to be pretty epic. I’m going to donate to people live streaming on DLive.”

He’s still got a bit of catch-up to play when it comes to his YouTube, which has more than 93 million subscribers, many who subscribe so they can tune in whenever Kjellberg streams live. While he says he won’t stop uploading his widely popular “Meme Review” videos on YouTube, Kjellberg has stated that DLive will be the exclusive place to catch his live streams for the foreseeable future.

Kjellberg announces his partnership with DLive on his YouTube channel:

DLive’s previous biggest name streamer was alt-right star Alex Jones, but he was recently banned for violating the platform’s hate speech guidelines.

This October the project announced its partnership with Theta Network. With the infrastructure provided from Theta_Network, DLive will roll out peer-to-peer video relaying of the video content soon to their users!

MTonomy: Bringing streaming video to Ethereum

“MTonomy is the global operating system for the world of film and TV rights. By rethinking the infrastructure underlying rights management, MTonomy has permanently lightened the workload for rightsholders. We empower studios, distributors, and sales agents to spend more time on what matters most: finding the best opportunities for their rights, cultivating relationships, and growing their business.”

- Arjun Mendhi, MTonomy CEO

Based in Cambridge, MTonomy was founded by a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Media lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, from which a number of famous Bitcoin developers have worked through, including Gavin Andresen, with advisors including Twitter and Square co-founder Dorsey. It already operates a cryptocurrency-based VoD application for consumers.

It is a Netflix, Google Play, or Amazon Prime experience for Ethereum users. MTonomy went live this May.

It does use Ethereum to process payments. Metadata is stored in smart contracts. To deliver a good experience, it uses the same enterprise-level servers that others use. It has encryption and Digital Rights Management protection. Content creators get the same level of protection they would elsewhere.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Google Play accounts are frequently hacked and trafficked on the dark web. This is not an issue with the MTonomy system. Thieves would also have to compromise the Ethereum wallets of the associated accounts.

MTonomy makes it possible to seamlessly track deals, intuitively search available rights, and securely host terabytes of content in the cloud to enable rapid delivery and simple management of assets. MTonomy’s user-friendly design makes the system so intuitive to use that no training or setup costs are required.

The industry got its first look at the system at the Cannes Film Festival this year where Indie Rights, a global film distribution company with hundreds of features in its catalog, partnered with MTonomy to demonstrate the power, efficiency, and functionality of MTonomy’s unified rights, deals, and content platform.

On MTonomy.com, you can use your ether (a cryptocurrency) to rent and purchase hard-to-find films, documentaries, and theatrical shows on-demand.

See what you can watch today, and explore how simple it is to rent or buy films with your ether.

New content is released every 24 hours on MTonomy.com for the entire year of 2019, from movies and TV shows to documentaries and digital shorts.

Get involved on Slack to share your favorite content and influence what comes next to Ethereum users. See MTonomy on Twitter.

LBRY: A secure, open, and community-run digital marketplace

“The lesson is that if you’re using a system that has a higher authority, you’re always vulnerable.”

- Mike Vine, LBRY

Each service is rigorously peer-to-peer in giving publishers full control over their content without disintermediation by a central gateway or restriction, control or governance by the community. LBRY is typical is stating bluntly that “no party other than the publisher (including us) can unilaterally remove or block content” on its blockchain-based environment.

LBRY uses blockchain technology to enable users to publish material and get paid for doing so. People using LBRY service can monetize their published material with its built-in payment system. The concept melds together the great technical advantages of both Bitcoin and BitTorrent services for people looking to share content.

LBRY is a protocol providing a fully decentralized network for the discovery, distribution, and payment of data. It utilizes the LBRY blockchain as a global namespace and database of digital content. Blockchain entries contain searchable content metadata, identities, and rights and access rules. decentralized market for all digital items and content. It provides a global and censorship-resistant platform for content creators to sell their ebooks, art, music, videos etc without the need to pay a middleman. Any content that is uploaded to the LBRY network remains accessible to the public as long as the community finds it valuable and continues to host it.

Founders Jeremy Kauffman and Mike Vine wanted to decentralize the way things are shared and published throughout the internet. The two believe there is no system that services the needs of individuals by rewarding the artist directly and provides no room for improvement. The traditional organizations and platforms that provide various forms of online media from books to music and film have all monopolized the state of the market, and it’s getting harder for an artist to grow in this stagnate arena. With no point of authority, LBRY’s system gives individuals control over their media instead of being subjected to rules they never agreed to.

LBRY in 100 Seconds:

YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV, and other services are centralized platforms controlled by a single corporate entity. These companies have the ability to change the rules unilaterally, as well as censor content to appease authoritarian governments or corporate partners. LBRY is a decentralized, open-source protocol that is controlled by its users. LBRY facilitates a similar experience to the aforementioned services but does it in a way that is entirely decentralized. LBRY can never unilaterally change the rules on publishers or consumers, making it dramatically more trustworthy.

LBRY is also different from similar blockchain projects as MaidSafe or Storj. These projects are attempting to be decentralized platforms that enable many uses, rather than a decentralized protocol designed to serve a singular purpose. LBRY is designed to do one thing and only one thing well: the discovery, access, and purchase of digital content. By being designed from the ground up for a highly specific purpose, LBRY can both deliver better performance and move faster than attempts to create a similar system on top of other decentralized platforms. All three ventures are in an early stage, so it is an open question that will achieve mainstream adoption.

The project doesn’t have a whitepaper. Check out its blog. Follow LBRY on Twitter with about 40K subscribers.

Flixxo: A social economy based on video sharing

Blockchain can help us by creating incentives for users to become distributors of content and also to set clear rules on content distribution. Creating a network of incentivized content distributors with transparent norms on how the content monetizes brings up new ways of connecting authors straight with consumers, creating new bonds and raising the levels of engagement.”

Adrián Garelik, Flixxo CEO

The idea of creating a decentralized video distribution platform originates from Adrián Garelik, the founder of RSK Labs. He had decided to create something on top of Bitcoin for financing and distributing films, his concept was “content is a value, and content licenses are the rules tied to that value”. Adrian teamed up with Federico Abad, the creator of Popcorn Time, and with a really smart crypto expert, Pablo Carbajo. After that, they brought Javier D´Ovidio to the team and started to develop Flixxo, a decentralized and incentivized network for distributing and monetizing video.

Read the full story here.

According to the Flixxo whitepaper, the project combines BitTorrent and smart contracts to create the first legal, decentralized content distribution network.

Flixxo creates a P2P network where authors can distribute and monetize their own content. They incentivize the distribution of their media and remove unnecessary intermediate parties by sharing their revenues with the “seeders” — a term coined in the torrent environment that refers to those who have downloaded content, kept it on their computer and share it again with the rest of the users. Flixxo allows true end users to pay a fair price for watching licensed content in a friendly and safe environment.

Flixxo is an open network, a friendly and intuitive platform, a BitTorrent client, a token and a wallet. As the network grows, so does its bandwidth and its storage space, making it more efficient and able to handle more users. The more content is being shared, the better bandwidth it will have for being distributed and streamed. The content spreads across the network, and a final user gets it from many seeders at the time. However, the payment channel is decentralized and the consumer is able to pay directly to the producer, without any intermediary party being involved. The content producer chooses whether he/she wants to share part of its earnings with the network or not, and in which conditions he/she would do that.

Technology and how it works

By implementing Flixx (the token that carries value within the Flixxo platform) on top of a social video distribution platform they will engage users in helping improve the network by lending their storage and their bandwidth in exchange for tokens.

The users will spend Flixx for consuming the content they really want to watch, and earn Flixx back for participating, for being social. Whether​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​smartphone,​ ​a​ ​tablet​ ​or​ ​a​ ​desktop​ ​computer,​ ​even​ ​a​ ​smart tv,​ ​a​ ​video​ ​distribution​ ​community​ ​could​ ​smartly​ ​use​ ​a​ ​decentralized, incentivized​ ​peer-to-peer​ ​network,​ ​having​ ​no​ ​structural​ ​costs​ ​and unlimited​ ​scaling​ ​possibilities.

Users can earn more Flixx if they choose​ to watch advertisement.

This disrupting revenue flow model creates a new ecosystem in which users decide how to monetize their attention and personal information, and then transfer these earnings to the authors of the content they really enjoy. Within this model users reach the content they want to watch, authors monetize and deliver better quality content and advertisers find a way of effectively showcasing their content to their audiences.

Flixxo platform started working on a private beta on June 25th, 2018, an open beta was road mapped for November 2018 and the public release took place in March 2019.

Verasity: Attention-based platform for video rewards

“Video is a powerful tool to educate, engage and entertain. Verasity’s video player solution offers the perfect vehicle for viewers, publishers and content creators to benefit from the utility of blockchain technology. I’m glad that Binance and Verasity are leading that charge globally.”

- CZ (Changpeng Zhao), CEO & Founder of Binance

According to its whitepaper, Verasity aims to be a leading video platform providing unique Rewarded Player Technology to major publishers across the globe.

Its patent-pending Video Rewards Player enables VRA rewards, monetization and loyalty schemes within the player wallet. Verasity’s player technology is already available to 2 million publishers with 110 billion monthly views. This brings engagement, audiences, and revenues back to publisher sites. The attention-based model creates a thriving VRA token economy between viewers, publishers, and advertisers.

Every stakeholder benefits from using Verasity’s infrastructure and tools. The best part is, all that is required is that they set up an account and implement a simple line of code to turn on the Patent Pending Technology — VeraWallet. And to add to your excitement they don’t ever need to change their current video platform or workflow.

Verasity has been constantly doing outreach and building partnerships since the inception of the project and now was the perfect time to accelerate the endeavors. Hence, Verasity recently partnered with BlockGroup, a consulting group for building blockchain brands and businesses, which utilizes marketing, public relations, and community development to help emerging companies build their presence in the crypto space. BlockGroup specializes in helping brands tell their story and reach the widest audience they can globally. BlockGroup has worked with industry giants including Binance, Ethereum, Zilliqa, GSR, Kyber Network, REN, Cred, Gifto, SF Blockchain Week, and many more.

Another very smart move Verasity recently did was partnering with the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IABUK) to Drive the Emerging ‘Value Exchange Economy’. This makes Verasity the first Blockchain company to have Collaboration with the global organization of interactive advertising. As part of this partnership with the IABUK, Verasity will join the IABUK’s global network, and gain access to its powerful media and advertising contacts.

The current publisher-advertiser-viewer conundrum pits the viewer against advertisers, publishers, and browsers. We all know the issue: trade your privacy for the use of video platforms and watch ads. Verasity took a complicated problem and turned it on its head. Instead of creating a whole new disruptive infrastructure that moved everyone around, it is using the same old infrastructure but disrupting it from the inside. Verasity wrote code which is modules that integrate into all the main online video platforms: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, JWPlayer, Brightcove, Kaltura, VideoJS, Flowplayer, and Ooyala which represent over 95% of all the video players utilized.

Another problem is scalability. By building on all the current online video platforms with SDK module integrations and differentiated loyalty and reward programs, Verasity will scale without any hurdles. And the quality is what you would expect from the best content delivery networks. This killer app is already available to more than 1.6 million video publishers with their own sites with 550 million users and more than 110 billion monthly views.

Verasity the only platform combining the following: Decentralized Proprietary Blockchain, Proof of View (PoV) — patent-pending, Watch and Earn, Centralized Video Distribution, Staking, and multiple ways for creators and users to earn VERA tokens.

According to the latest Verasity biweekly update, Q3 has been mainly focused on further improving VeraWallet’s infrastructure to support VRAB. The team has also made significant partnerships with reputable companies in the industry this quarter, including PPA, IAB, and Coinsuper. Verasity has a partnership with Binance Chain, a blockchain software system developed by Binance in a move that will bring about a new incentivized video economy. At the end of September Verasity has joined Binance Chain Alliance.

Throughout the past 5 months, they’ve seen a growth in the amount of rewarded videos watched, VRA rewarded and VeraWallet registrations. They’ve also reached a staggering 12,388 DEX wallets with VRAB! The full metrics are shown below:

Source

The team continues working towards completing everything they set out in the roadmap. To see the full roadmap visit the Verasity website.

DTube: crypto-decentralized video platform, built on top of the STEEM Blockchain and the IPFS peer-to-peer network

“Every decade or two when new computing platforms come along, (…) the new platform at a time is generally worse in most ways than the old platform but it has some new capability. So, if you go back to the smartphone, (…) people were like “how am I gonna put my big old spreadsheet on that little computer?”. But smartphones also had a camera and a GPS built-in and so now you could not just use spreadsheet, you could build Instagram, you could build Lyft, you could build new kinds of things.

And with crypto, it’s very similar in that it’s worse in most ways than the old computing platforms, it’s slow, it’s complex, it’s lacking a lot of features but it has one feature that has never existed and that is trust. And trust is super powerful when it comes to the mathematical and game theory properties of the platform and that means that you don’t have to trust the government or Twitter and Facebook or the other people even on the network, you just have to trust maths and that opens a very interesting world for developers because you can build new applications like money. Nobody has ever been able to program money but now you can.”

- Ben Horowitz — a16z founder — one of the top VCs in Silicon Valley, from the DTube whitepeper

DTube is a decentralized streaming video platform linked to Steemit (the decentralized social media) which allows users to upload videos easily and make money (or cryptocurrency) via the upvotes or likes on their post.

DTube main features:

  • Crypto incentive. DTube aims to become an alternative to YouTube that allows you to watch or upload videos on IPFS and share or comment about it on the immutable STEEM blockchain while earning cryptocurrency doing it.

DTube experienced instant success and soaring traction: 4 million Monthly Unique Visitors only 4 months after launch in 2018.

According to the DTube whitepaper, the project has established as the DApp for video with more than:

  • 189,000 accounts created and 284,000 videos published

Over the last two years, 100% of the traffic came from organic sources with $0 paid traffic, and drove users from all around the world.

DTube market validation

DTube validated the social blockchain model by distributing more than $1.08 Million in Steem tokens to its ecosystem of creators and curators without running any advertising program.

After so many months of research, development, and testing, DTube 0.9 is upgrading the concept of decentralized social media.

New features include:

  • Post from URL: you can now post videos and live streams from a URL

The team designed Avalon social blockchain, a new socio-economic model for social media based on their manifest. The team built this new model on 2 principles:

  • Re-create trust with users by leveraging the power of maturing decentralized technologies

Avalon blockchain is open-source and could be used by other projects with similar social concepts as DTube but with different types of media. It uses a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm similar to other popular blockchains such as BitShares, Steem, Ark or EOS.

The base of this mechanism is an algorithm that creates and distributes cryptocurrency tokens to reward each participant for their contributions (posts, votes, and tags). Each of these tokens bears a utilitarian value by generating voting power (VP) and bandwidth to its holder with time; The more tokens held, the faster the resource generates.

This mechanism protects Avalon from Sybil attacks (e.g.: creating multi-accounts to cheat the numbers of votes), which classic social media are victims of.

1 — Bandwidth is used to write transactions on the blockchain. Each byte from the transaction is deducted from the bandwidth balance and a user is unable to transact if he doesn’t have enough bytes available.

2 — Voting power is used to influence 2 things:

  • Content exposure — Content is ranked by total voting power spent by users

In this model, influence is materialized in a token and distributed to users for their most relevant votes. The more users follow one’s vote, the more tokens one earns.

With Avalon, social media evolves from 1 vote per person to 1 vote per token.

  • DTube Coin (DTC) is a fully liquid and freely tradable crypto asset. It represents the value users can trade with each other.

In contrast to classic social media

Avalon differentiates from current social media platforms as a trustworthy framework that empowers all users and is 100% powered by the community:

For all technical details and code reviews, please click here.

POP Network: The streaming economy built on blockchain & AI

The POP Network is a decentralized media distribution platform. We are on a mission to build an unstoppable engine of creative freedom. Instead of massive centralized corporations deciding what we see, hear, and think, The POP Network is using blockchain technology to give that power back to you. Now it’s possible to earn crypto, the POP token, just by streaming movies, TV, music, & podcasts while supporting the creators you love. POP aims to become the currency of pop culture.”

- Valerian Bennett, Founder of The POP Network

POP Network is a decentralized ecosystem of blockchain and AI applications built to create and capture value from this radical transformation.

According to the POP Network whitepaper its core components include:

  • Superdelegated Proof-of-Stake Blockchain: The SDPoS blockchain is designed to meet the demanding needs of mass-market consumer dApps with a no-fee user experience, similar to TRON and EOS, made possible by a dual-token cryptoeconomic model. The POP Network Token (POP) is the native utility token used to stake, secure, and govern the system while the Legitimate Interchange Token (LIT) is the stable operational unit used for internal transactions.
Source

Given the ability to monetize content with blockchain efficiency and align community incentives with a native token, media that held little value in the legacy system could flourish with the support of a passionate audience on POP Network.

Imagine a native-language YouTube or Netflix for fast-growing digital-first countries like Indonesia or Viet Nam. Or, think about musicians in China streaming on a native-language Spotify built for their expat audience in Africa.

POP Network is a continual work-in-progress. The most detailed development roadmap will be available on their website.

Current plans, subject to change, include the following milestones:

Q4 2019 — Artificial Intelligence content moderation

Q1 2020 — Open-source decentralized content distribution network

Q2 2020 — ERC-20 token swap, Mainnet launch

Q3 2020 — Smart contracts upgrade

Q4 2020 — Sidechain launch and Superdelegates election

Disney+: Streaming service with blockchain-based loyalty and reward program

Disney+ is an upcoming American video-on-demand streaming subscription platform owned by the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International division of The Walt Disney Company. It is set to launch in the United States and Canada on November 12th, 2019, and in Australia and New Zealand on November 19th, 2019.

Disney+ will be focused on film and television content from Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television. Original films and television series based on new and existing properties are also planned, including content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. The service will compete with other general-interest subscription services (such as Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video) and will complement ESPN+ and Hulu as part of Disney’s over-the-top strategy.

Moreover, Disney+ could further distinguish itself from competitors like Netflix or Amazon Prime, with a blockchain-based loyalty and reward program. Since September 12th, 2019, the beta version of Disney+ is available exclusively and free of charge to users in The Netherlands. 2019. After the free 2-month trial period for Dutch people, only a sum of 6.99 dollars per month will be charged, which includes HD streaming.

A loyalty and reward program for video streaming services based on blockchain

Disney+ has a huge amount of exclusive and original content from The Walt Disney Company, and brand rights such as Star Wars, National Geographic, Pixar, and Marvel.

Further information: List of original programs distributed by Disney+ and List of original films distributed by Disney+

The low costs for a Disney + subscription, the name recognition, and the large range of unique content will, of course, make this streaming service grow fast. Almost one in ten Dutch people already plan to subscribe to Disney+. The art will be to turn users into loyal and enthusiastic Disney+ ambassadors.

How exactly can blockchain-based solutions further distinguish Disney+ from other streaming services?

None of them have yet come up with an innovative loyalty and rewards program. Further, none have approached a loyalty program based on blockchain and with a point system that can act as an actual cryptocurrency, and/or as a point system without an actual crypto coin if that is two steps too far for now, but still driven on blockchain.

It has been known for some time that Netflix knows exactly which series and films are viewed often. All this data can of course also be tracked on blockchain. However, there is no incentive whatsoever for Netflix users to stream series and films that they are not interested in at first sight. This has cost many series the headlines. For example, One Day at a Time, an American comedy, will not continue into a fourth season despite a viral ‘protest’ on social media such as Twitter.

A blockchain-based loyalty and reward tracking system could have provided a solution here. Although this is already interesting for Netflix, it has a much greater potential for Disney+. Points from Disney+ blockchain-based loyalty program for users who stream movies and series can easily be used in other branches of Disney. Take Disneyland Paris as an example, where “Disney+ coins” could be used for discounts on weekend breaks for families to one of the Disney theme parks.

A few examples that we are now discussing are very simplified but can be modeled with greater complexity given more time invested.

  • To stream a series, film or documentary, a theoretical ‘Plus Coin’ can be assigned to a user per minute.

Incentives to promote the success of new films and series

Disney + invests a significant budget for exclusive new series and films that can only be watched on Disney +. However, these may flop, or be streamed minimally. By deploying extra incentives in the marketing campaign, the likelihood of success for the series or film can increase. Based on a predetermined number of redeemed Plus Coins, users could access the content 24 hours earlier. Or an early-bird’s Plus Coin bonus can be applied, whereby all Disney+ users who stream the new series or film in the first week receive a Plus Coin bonus. Instead of, for example, 1 Plus Coin per minute, they could get 2, 5, or even 10 Plus Coins per minute during the campaign.

A creative way to increase the offering of content, and involvement of subscribers & external talented content creators

The ‘killer app’ could perhaps be the following: Using blockchain technology in the background in combination with the (crypto-based or not) Plus Coins, and within the Disney+ environment, a platform can be created in which users or other film studios and media companies generate, deliver, and/or publish their own video content while retaining ownership. Both adults and children could participate. The makers can then monetize this with Plus Coins, in which Disney+ also has a share. Besides offering a more broad and consistent stream of content, it is also a great way for Disney+ to find new independent animation talent, or to work together with smaller studios on a global scale.

It could become a creative hub and springboard for animators from all over the world. Disney+ users could use their Plus Coins to signal to Disney and the creators themselves which series or films they love. And for Disney, it would be an attractive model to bring new characters into stories from all over the world. After a takeover, content can easily be moved from the creative independent hub to the official collection of Disney+ content, all while Disney+ continues to produce its own studio-quality productions.

Expand to other branches of the company

In addition to films and amusement parks, merchandise is also a large and important branch for Disney. Not only does it attract a lot of money, it provides exposure to the brand, and children grow up or fall asleep with the many Disney-owned characters. Disney+ can further distinguish itself by adding online merchandise to its streaming service, where all kinds of exclusive Disney and Disney+ character merchandise can be obtained with provable authenticity, with interesting discounts based on Plus Coins.

As you understand, the potential of Disney+ goes far beyond just the streaming service. It is an extra opportunity for Disney to tie in new generations in modern ways. Continuing to innovate with technology such as blockchain to offer a unique loyalty and reward program is an opportunity they ought to not miss. It is a way to further put Disney+ on the map and to distinguish the platform even more from the wide range of available streaming platforms.

Get started with Disney’s Dragonchain’s loyalty and reward solutions! Discover the Dragonchain blockchain platform or contact the team.

VideoCoin: Decentralized video encoding, storage, and content distribution network

The VideoCoin Network is a decentralized video encoding, storage, and content distribution system that turns all cloud-based video services into an efficient algorithmic market running on a new blockchain with a native protocol token, the VideoCoin (VID). Think of it like Uber or Airbnb for video processing and delivery over the internet.

Powered by a large-scale, distributed cloud video infrastructure on the blockchain, the VideoCoin Network will marshal computing resources from around the world to revolutionize video processing and delivery with blockchain technology. The VideoCoin Network ecosystem will lower costs by deploying unused computing resources, enable a new generation of applications via open APIs and open source-based development, disintermediate media giants with P2P video distribution, and increase privacy with decentralized, end-to-end encryption.

In terms of use cases, we are building a system that offers everyone from Hollywood studios to amateur videographers a way to process their video content just as easily as AWS but for far less. Current estimates show VideoCoin reduces costs by 60 to 80 percent, dramatically undercutting the competition.”

- Halsey Minor, Founder and CEO of Live Planet and Strategic Technology Partner to the VideoCoin Network

VideoCoin describes itself as a “video infrastructure for the blockchain-enabled Internet”. In simple words, it is a decentralized ecosystem for the sharing of video material.

The project seeks to create a realistic decentralized alternative to leading video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, providing a blockchain-based alternative to established cloud providers such as AWS and Google Cloud.

The program is open-source, and it allows anyone to stream video through the VideoCoin network, which performs all the necessary functions of encoding, storing and distributing video content.

The platform is powered by its own token, VID. However, unlike similar projects, it doesn’t use the token for payments. Realizing that the volatility inherent to project utility tokens and cryptocurrencies in general, VideoCoin decided to accept payments through a third-party fiat payment processor, backed by a consortium of banks.

Both content publishers and network operators are paid in a tokenized fiat currency, which reduces the friction commonly found with proprietary tokens. Instead of being a payment currency, VID functions as a reputational token, powered by staking mechanisms. Workers are selected by VideoCoin Network’s algorithm to become operators and process video files according to several criteria: quoted price, a number of staked tokens and performance.

Upon completion of verified work, the VideoCoin Network’s protocol distributes both fiat payments and additional VID tokens to the operators, which provides them with direct payment and builds their reputation through additional tokens. This ensures that the best and most committed nodes become operators while driving demand for the token.

Its supply is also limited, with the company burning two-thirds of the supply for the launch.

At the end of August, the VideoCoin Network has announced the debut of its fully-working product. The team released its product into the wild as part of the four-stage journey to disrupt the largest utilization of the Internet, the online video industry. Taking on such a big goal is like climbing Mt. Everest. There are multiple ascents before one can reach the ultimate summit. As such, the VideoCoin team has staged their journey into four significant milestones: Fuji, Kilimanjaro, K2, and Everest.

Source

Fuji enables users to live stream video content on the VideoCoin Network using the VideoCoin (VID) token. This is the first utility use-case of the VID and the birth of the VideoCoin Network. It is a huge milestone after 18 months of tireless development efforts across their global engineering team.

The release comes with several distinct components, which include the VideoCoin Publisher Studio for content creators, an open-source repository of the project, the VideoCoin ledger, and others.

Publishers can now live stream video content with the ease of a fully managed interface to the VideoCoin Network. You can easily deposit VID Tokens from the Ethereum Mainnet into a wallet account, that is automatically bridged in by our Ethereum-VID bridge a native representation of VID on their native blockchain, powered by the VideoCoin Protocol Ledger.

This Protocol Ledger is running underneath the VideoCoin Symphony Blockchain Interface Layer, which forms an RPC/HTTP and REST Layers for VideoCoin Studio to use. Interfacing to Symphony is their transcoding worker nodes that use the VideoCoin Protocol.

VideoCoin previously launched a Blockchain VR Network, built specifically for the blockchain industry and featuring original programming from notable crypto content creators, including BlockTV.

We are convinced VideoCoin will revolutionize the video streaming industry.”

- Michael Novogratz, Head of Galaxy Investment Partners

You can join the VideoCoin Network here.

For more information, read the project’s whitepaper, visit VideoCoin blog, follow the project on Twitter and join VideoCoin Discord group here.

Props: A new way for apps to reward users with a financial stake in the network

“I’ve created content for the past 10 years and this is the first time I will have a financial stake in any network … This is the beginning of an online movement that will take the internet by storm and for the first time ever give power and a financial incentive to the users.”

- Tyler White, YouNow star

Props is an open-source project intended to tokenize the digital economy. Currently, the team is connecting a network of apps, and they’ve been developing a platform to reward the people who help digital communities grow. The Props Token is designed to be the underlying currency of a decentralized network of apps for end-users to create, consume and engage with content and services. The Props Blockchain and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain serve as the enabling infrastructure for a network operated by multiple independent developers who share some data and currency, benefitting from collective network effects.

The Props Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) guides the development of the Props open source code and tooling, evangelizes for the Props Network and is responsible for awarding grants to developers, apps operators and content creators that adopt Props.

According to the Props whitepaper, all Props Apps shares several characteristics:

Props as Currency: Props Apps use Props Tokens as a currency that enables users to transact in the app or enjoy premium functionality within the app based on Props Token balance.

In-app Wallet: Props Apps give users a wallet enabling them to easily hold and transact in Props Tokens, with a low barrier to entry (for example, using PropsKit).

Sharing Data on the Props Blockchain: Props Apps regularly share basic usage data to the Props Blockchain, linking these apps to the other apps in the Props Network and its infrastructure, and helping to enable users to freely move between apps using the reputation, relationships and capital that they accumulate across multiple Props Apps. They can use PropsKit to easily do so.

Props Rewards: Props Apps are eligible for Protocol Rewards upon the introduction of the Props Protocol Rewards Engine, based on the verifiable activity of Props Token holders on their app. Each Props App is incentivized to then distribute a portion of the Protocol Rewards it receives with its contributing users, thereby empowering these users in terms of their experience on the app and status on the Props Network.

The Props Token economy is being designed to function as described in the below figure:

Source

The Props Network infrastructure is based on the Props Network’s open-source tools, the Props Blockchain (a sidechain), and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain itself.

In summary, the Props Network consists of the following building blocks:

1. Props Apps (built and run by developers): consumer-facing apps that incorporate Props Token wallet and Props Tokens into their code and user experience, and share data with the Props Network. YouNow will be the developer launching the first Props App.

2. Open-source software tools and SDKs (used by developers): software used by Developers to establish interfaces with the Props Network infrastructure and share data with other Props Apps (e.g. PropsKit, Props Sidechain Node).

3. The Props Blockchain (run by Validators, used by developers): comprised of data supplied by Props Apps and written into a publicly-available record of both app usage data and conditional rights to Props Tokens, run and maintained by Validators.

4. Smart Contracts on Ethereum (run by Ethereum miners): these smart contracts, including the Props Token Contract and the Protocol Rewards Engine smart contract into which Validators will input daily usage data and which will allocate a percentage of newly available Props Tokens to Developers of Props Apps, based on their relative popularity with users, and to Validators based on their work as validators of the Props Blockchain.

Source

The Props project was started by YouNow, a live streaming app with 46 million users, in 2017. YouNow launched one of the first digital-currency based two-sided economies in the US in 2014, and sold over $70M worth of digital currency to its users, sharing the majority of its revenue with content creators. YouNow is also the first app to integrate Props, followed by two other multi-million user apps that publicly announced their adoption of Props.

The YouNow app can be described as a mix between the video-sharing site, YouTube and popular live-streaming app, Periscope. Users can sign-up for an account to broadcast their own videos or simply watch other users’ live broadcasts.

What Can You Do on YouNow?

  • Watch live videos, browse trending hashtags, categories, and broadcasters

The introduction of the Props Tokens into YouNow App initially allowed users to enjoy additional in-app benefits like the purchase of unique virtual goods that helped promote the content of their favorite content creators and celebrate the status of the Props Token holder.

As the Props Network grows, the team expects that there will be more and more utility for the Props Tokens earned by contributors. They further expect a diversified network of economic actors to contribute to the Props Token economy.

Props Case Study: YouNow’s engagement and revenue increase after integrating Props:

Source

Key Comparables:

Conclusion

Since video usage is significantly increasing every year, improvements in the way it is stored and streamed are becoming all the more essential. Sad to say, the current infrastructure doesn’t allow viewers and content creators to take full advantage of the latest video technologies. Everything is too centralized, they lose out as a result.

The aforementioned services provide decentralized video streaming platforms that have the potential ability to solve these problems. Many of them are still in an alpha or beta prerelease stage but already use blockchain technology.

Their use of blockchain can be manifested in the following.

Firstly, it is blockchain for distributed video monetization when service uses a unique blockchain-based cryptocurrency to support payments among publishers, viewers and other ecosystem participants, for example, Livepeer nodes are paid in Livepeer Tokens for providing capacity to the network using Livepeer Tokens, Theta pays out tokens to provide an incentive for users to share their unused memory and bandwidth, serving as video caching and relay nodes for the blockchain-based network.

The second opportunity is the use of blockchain for distributed video storage when service uses blockchain as a distributed, immutable and trusted platform for publishers to store the video and other assets they stream over the networks. The third is the blockchain for distributed video distribution when service supports a peer-to-peer protocol that allows publishers to distribute blockchain-stored streaming content directly, for example, Flixxo streams videos via the BitTorrent protocol.

Also, blockchain technology may be used for distributed video transactions when service uses smart contracts to facilitate distributed transactions among content creators and viewers, for example, VideoCoin allows blockchain participants to engage in what it calls “video mining”, sharing out their spare processor cycles, storage, bandwidth, and processing resources to video publishers to perform video processing services such as encoding, annotation, and translation).

And last but not least, blockchain can be seen as the technology for distributed video governance when service is rigorously peer-to-peer in giving publishers full control over their content without disintermediation by a central gateway or restriction, control or governance by the community, for example, LBRY is typical is stating bluntly that “no party other than the publisher (including us) can unilaterally remove or block content” on its blockchain-based environment.

What we are witnessing today is the emergence of a whole array of opportunities that mark themselves the partial drift of the obsolete paradigm and the onset of a new one. According to the majority of expert predictions, the evolution of technology will continue to change the streaming industry. And no doubt, blockchain will soon overthrow the current realities of video streaming and become ubiquitous.

Sources

Whitepapers, webpages, and blogs of projects listed above.

Sandvine’s 2019 Global Internet Phenomena Report.

Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 White Paper.

Video Streaming (SVoD) worldwide revenue from Statista, July 2019.

The Best Video Streaming Services for September 2019, according to PC Magazine.

Deloitte’s Digital media trends survey, 13th edition by Kevin Westcott, Jeff Loucks, Kevin Downs, Jeanette Watson.

How Blockchain technology is reinventing media and OTT industry on Streamhash.

Deploying Blockchains for a New Paradigm of Media Experience by Georgios Palaiokrassas, Antonios Litke, Georgios Fragkos, Vasileios Papaefthymiou, Theodora Varvarigou. National Technical University of Athens, Greece.

Paradigm fund

Paradigm is a family office fund investing in crypto space since 2013. We are a group of industry experts & crypto enthusiasts consisting of PhDs and graduates from the top universities with experience in creating startups, trading on traditional financial markets and blockchain

Sasha Shilina⬙

Written by

Data-driven journalism | Data science and visualization | @Paradigm_fund

Paradigm fund

Paradigm is a family office fund investing in crypto space since 2013. We are a group of industry experts & crypto enthusiasts consisting of PhDs and graduates from the top universities with experience in creating startups, trading on traditional financial markets and blockchain

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