Older Video Streaming Platforms Challenged by New Blockchain-based Applications
There’s no doubt that videos have become the prime content choice on the internet. Videos showing everything from spectacular fails to music covers can garner millions of hits in a short time. Overall, a staggering 70 percent of all internet traffic is devoted to video streaming, and experts predict that the percentage will go even higher over the next few years. This is a perfectly logical assumption as download speeds continue to get faster and faster. This rise in technological innovation can also be seen in the rise of new applications, such as MakeItViral (MIV), Flixxo, and VirtuTV, that are using the capability of blockchain technology to alter the landscape of online video distribution and consumption.
The New Video Streaming Kids on the Block
The benefits of blockchain technology are being used by several new platforms that seek to topple the old YouTube dynasty of video streaming. Of these, VirtuTV offers to bring unbridled democracy to social video distribution with their platform. Content creators can freely upload any work that they wish and even remain fully anonymous. Creators are supported by users who use the platform’s Patreon-like system to make donations or even sign up for a regular subscription. However, this freedom does come with a price. Nothing is prohibited, which means illegal movies, shows, and other videos could be uploaded. This could have a major dampening effect on advertisers, who will want to steer clear of any illegal activity. Plus, video content uploaded to VirtuTV could be considered illegal in certain jurisdictions.
Flixxo uses blockchain technology to allow content creators forge smart contracts. These contracts contain the cost for viewing the video but also the percentage of revenue given to users who seed the content on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network. This p2p approach reduces storage costs to nothing and provides an incentive for users and creators to actively support each other. Advertising is also not intrusive as users seek out ads to watch, which then rewards them with tokens to use to watch more videos. However, there is some oversight on Flixxo as no illegal or pornographic videos will be allowed to be uploaded. This could be seen as a form of censorship by some segments of the internet, which could cause them to look elsewhere for a streaming video platform.
MakeItViral (MIV) uses ranking as the basis of their application. After a content creator uploads their video to the platform, that video is then ranked by the number of tokens users donate to it. The overall goal is to ensure that quality videos make their way to the top of the list and are easily seen as users will reward such content. Such a system removes the paywall barrier that other platforms put into place, but there are some possible drawbacks to consider. It’s not a given that users will donate tokens to support a quality video, which means that such videos could easily fall down the ranks and languish in obscurity. This could be seen by how many likes and views a video of a cat playing a keyboard will rack up in comparison to one featuring a talented, but not famous, singer. The tastes of the internet crowd can be hard to fathom at times, and it’s likely that the top ranked videos on MIV will be those of the viral variety.
YouTube is the Past
It is true that YouTube is the current king of online video streaming. There’s a wide range of content to be found, and millions of videos are uploaded every month. For all its supposed size and strength, YouTube is becoming a hollow shell of itself as it’s mired in old technology and refuses to innovate. The site stores its own videos, causing extreme costs to be incurred. This is why the lion’s share of any advertising on YouTube goes into the pockets of YouTube and not those of the actual content creators. Then there’s the fact that a creator can spend years building up an audience and creating a nice revenue stream from their channels, only to have all of that taken away in an instant if YouTube changes their rules. A lot of creators are openly saying that YouTube is censoring certain viewpoints as the company arbitrarily demonetizes or removes videos entirely. A YouTube video could generate millions of hits, but the creator of that video could wind up earning just a paltry few dollars or even nothing at all.
The paradigm of online video streaming is set to be dramatically altered in the near future. The potential of blockchain technology and peer-to-peer file sharing networks is allowing the rise of new platforms, such as VirtuTV, Flixxo, and MakeItViral. The smart contract enabled by the blockchain ensures that money actually flows into the hands of content creators and not just some corporate entity. Sites like YouTube are fast becoming the dinosaur of the internet as power is being put into the hands of users and creators in the form of new online video distribution platforms.