Building a Business Case for Blockchain Streaming Tech – PYMNTS.com
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Building a Business Case for Blockchain Streaming Tech – PYMNTS.com

If you look at the top five industries that blockchain developers want to disrupt, streaming video and music will be somewhere on the list.
The core of blockchain-based streaming companies and content-sharing firms like D.Tube, Dlive, and Theta seek to compete with giants like YouTube and Twitch with decentralized networks that give content providers much more freedom from corporate control and censorship.
They take far less revenue, and in many cases, they reward not only creators for producing but users for viewing, reviewing and recommending streamers’ work. There is also a focus on transparent promotion algorithms and tools.
The basics are pretty straightforward — peer-to-peer platforms built on blockchain and using native cryptocurrencies for payments — and some big names have tested the water. In 2020, Dlive brought (since retired) No. 1 YouTuber PewDiePie to its platform for livestreams, bringing the service 2 million new viewers in a month.
Other top platforms include D.Tube, an ad-free sharing service whose tokens can be earned by watching, sharing and commenting on videos as well as by uploading them.
Twitch-targeting Stacked is after the gamer market. It raised $13 million in August for gamer streaming content that pays creators in governance tokens that give them a say in how the platform is run, TechCrunch said.
Theta’s peer-to-peer model incentivizes decentralized hosts to put up the streaming infrastructure in exchange for the same THETA tokens viewers can use to reward creators.
“Our vision is for end-users to see themselves less as consumers of a service, and more as participants in a network that benefits everyone involved,” Wes Levitt, Theta Labs’ head of strategy told CryptoSlate in February. “With more options to distribute video through decentralized networks like Theta, creators can better control their content distribution and retain more earnings.”
Beyond Entertainment
However, there are uses of blockchain streaming video that go beyond sending movies, documentaries, influencer videos and gaming run-throughs.
Eluvio, a blockchain distribution and monetization company that has partnerships with Fox, MGM Studios and the Black Eyed Peas, among others, is seeing its technology used for more than just getting content in front of the public.
In early 2021, MGM began testing Eluvio Content Fabric for business-oriented applications. One was ROAR Screeners, a secure B2B streaming platform that allowed the entertainment company to host encrypted screenings of films and TV shows for potential buyers.
Another, ROAR Pre-Release focused on pre-release 4K screenings that could be individually watermarked and encrypted, and controlled digital rights management (DRM). ROAR Marketing provided 1.5 million images, TV and movie clips, logos and other content for marketing licensees. And MGM Licensing was a content discovery tool allowing marketers to build their own clips of the studio’s content library.
Along with content streaming, Eluvio can create APIs and utility service layers for intermediary companies
“You could think of it like a decentralized SaaS, a service to replace CDNs, clouds, and media stacks and provide native tokenizing features,” Eluvio CEO Michelle Munson told IBC in September. “These kinds of models represent a new wave of what we think of as the windowing of the value of content
Then there’s cost. Doug Petkanics, CEO of decentralized streaming infrastructure provider Livepeer, pointed to the cost of transcoding — converting video to viewable formats like MPEG-4 or MOV that are needed by various platforms — in an interview for Dell’s blog in February.
It can cost as much as $3 per hour when working through providers like Amazon Cloud Services, he said, adding that the “giant technology monopolies that run the live streaming infrastructure charge a price that’s prohibitive to the emerging creator economy.”
Livepeer allows anyone with extra computing power to sign up and earn incremental revenue by providing the encoding on an as-available basis to streaming sites that aren’t as big as Twitch and YouTube — which wrap encoding costs to the steep charges they impose on content creators using their network.
 
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