Video hosting or sharing platforms represent services that facilitate the upload, viewing, sharing, and streaming of video-based content on the Internet.
At this point in time, Google’s YouTube represents the world’s largest video sharing platform, with over 1.9 billion monthly logged users, one billion hours-worth of video watched daily, and 500+ hours of content uploaded every minute of the day.
Despite these impressive numbers, YouTube isn’t without flaws. In fact, the video-sharing platform has many disadvantages and has been involved in numerous controversies that spawn from its very nature – centralization.
These issues include, but are not limited to strict video monetisation policies, unfair video promotion algorithms, lack of a personalized support service, vague terms & conditions, data collection controversies, and privacy concerns.
Because of these pressing challenges, numerous YouTube viewers and content creators are actively considering the idea of migrating to an alternative platform.
The rise of blockchain technology has led to the appearance of several innovative video sharing platforms that are definitely worth anyone’s consideration.
While these platforms are considerably less widespread when compared to YouTube, some provide decentralization, open-source development, transparent terms & conditions, improved search algorithms, privacy-focused approaches, alternative payment systems for content creators (cryptocurrencies), and more.
Others provide blockchain-based decentralized infrastructures that are needed to obtain these benefits through existing platform integration.
Best blockchain-based YouTube alternatives
Without further ado, here is an overview of the market’s best blockchain-based alternatives to YouTube, alongside several options that are bound to improve the current video streaming solutions.
LBRY does not refer to itself as a video sharing service, but rather as a marketplace for all types of digital content, with a focus being placed on video.
The platform aims to create a protocol-based association between users and their digital content- could be movies, games, book, or pictures.
The company markets its service towards those who are privacy-conscious, freedom lovers, artists, content producers, computer geeks, and many more.
Read our interview with the LBRY Ceo here.
To understand LBRY, it is important to consider it as both a protocol and a service. With this in mind, the protocol provides the technical infrastructure required to run the decentralized and blockchain-based peer-to-peer network where users are free to share, purchase and download content.
The service itself is quite straight-forward – it simply allows users to browse, host, share, upload, purchase, and download all types of digital content. Thus, services such as content discovery, content distribution, and transaction settlement are all integrated within the technical infrastructure of the service, thereby providing users with a seamless experience.
The platform relies on LBRY credits which can be used to purchase digital content. The tokens can then be exchanged to other cryptocurrencies on supporting exchanges.
Copyright protection is ensured through the public ledger, where each upload and purchase is recorded, thus making it easier for content rights owners to carry out infringement actions against those who unlawfully republish their content.
In the long run, LBRY has the potential of becoming a fully-fledged ecosystem meant to facilitate the purchase, storage, sale, and security of all types of digital content, including but not limited to videos, music, apps, e-books, articles, code, and more.
LBRY aims to make its platform as easy to use and straightforward as possible. From a video sharing standpoint, LBRY.TV offers a UI that’s skilfully-designed, and similar to other platforms such as YouTube.
Both free and paid videos can be found – watching free does not require taking extra steps such as creating an account, whereas paid videos do require crypto-based payments and registration.
According to the platform’s website, D.Tube represents the world’s first crypto-based video platform that’s decentralized and built using the infrastructure provided by the STEEM blockchain, alongside the IPFS P2P network.
First of all, D.Tube offers a state-of-the-art video streaming service, where users can find and upload all types of content.
It has an integrated cryptocurrency incentive, as watching, uploading, sharing, and commenting on videos via the immutable STEEM blockchain helps users earn coin.
Additionally, the platform was designed to be censorship-resistant – from a technical standpoint, the company has no actual means to censor videos or enforce specific content guidelines. Censorship powers are placed in users’ hands, who decide which videos to censor or promote via upvotes and downvotes.
Users can also reward content creators with cryptocurrency, thus leading to a fully-fledged incentive program that provides a win-win situation to both users and uploaders.
Unlike YouTube and other video sharing services, D.Tube was designed to be fair to all users. With this in mind, the platform does not rely on hidden algorithms that decide which videos make the front page, and which ones can be monetized.
In fact, all service-related data is publicly-available. Last but not least, the service is ad-free. Users can decide to advertise by themselves within the videos they upload.
From a user interface standpoint, the platform is quite similar when compared to YouTube, in the sense that the UX shares a very similar design language.
As such, browsing D.Tube is bound to be a seamless experience, whereas watching content is always a pleasure. Browsing and discovering new videos is quite easy, as the service offers several sections, including hot videos, trending videos, new videos, watch later, watch again, and leading videos/users.
This company was founded by a group of video content creators and consumers who grew tired of having to deal with the challenges put forth by the industry.
These include unfair content promotion, rising platform fees, censorship, and high monetization bars. Thus, this led to the creation of Dlive, which aims to act as a live streaming service that’s based on value-sharing, and strives to empower both viewers and creators through an innovative incentive system.
We covered DLive before when the biggest YouTuber, Pewdiepie, mentioned them on his channel, exposing the service to millions of his followers.
As such, Dlive represents a blockchain-based and decentralized live streaming platform that’s based on three revolutionary features: Lemon, LINO and LINO Stake.
With this in mind, Dlive is built on top of a blockchain network where Lemon acts as a token that can be transacted within the platform, for the purpose of donating and subscribing to content creators.
LINO is an actual cryptocurrency that’s tradable outside the live streaming service – the coin can be earnt by both creators and viewers through content and voting rewards. Lastly, LINO holders can stake their tokens in order to receive a stake in the company.
This stake can then be used to elect validators, receive rewards, and cast votes on the future updates of the platform.
The platform’s blockchain-based infrastructure is censorship-resistant and employs an algorithm that fairly promotes all streamers. Thus, it has gained a considerable amount of popularity over the last few months.
From a live streaming standpoint, Dlive grants users and content creators access to a series of standard features that are offered by most other competitors in the industry.
These include easy access to hundreds of on-going live streams, a user chat service, the ability to subscribe to streamers, notifications, replays, highlights, and much more. The UX design employs a cool dark theme, whereas browsing for live streams is a seamless and fun experience.
Dlive also provides users with a series of knowledge pages, where they can learn more about the technicalities of Dlive, alongside the blockchain-based features that viewers and streamers can take advantage of. A professional customer support team is readily available to answer all questions.
The company behind BitChute has a simple goal – resisting against internet censorship. To achieve this, the video-sharing platform is decentralized and community-funded, while employing a set of rules that help avoid censorship.
In terms of BitChute’s features, it works similarly to most video sharing platforms available on the web. To upload content, users must create an account, whereas streaming is easily done without registration.
Video uploads are placed in a series of categories, including anime, arts, auto, beauty, business, cuisine, DIY, education, entertainment, health, music, news, family, etc. The service also features content for increased visibility.
While still in its infancy, BitChute has attracted a good number of users and a series of interesting uploads that aren’t available anywhere else on the internet.
The platform’s user interface is basic and strives to ensure simplicity. Some may say that it’s a bit old-school and lacking in some regards, but the service skilfully does its main job. Watching and uploading is bound to be a seamless experience.
Theta was started after an in-depth analysis of the current challenges, controversies, and issues surrounding the video streaming industry of today.
Its founders quickly figured out that the standard content delivery networks are unreliable while leading to high operational costs that are mostly absorbed by publishers, rather than operators. Similarly, traditional video streaming services are centralized and inefficient, thus leading to censorship and unfair promotional algorithms.
The THETA platform aims to provide users with a decentralized next-gen video delivery service.
As a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, THETA ensures high quality and smooth video streaming, as videos are hosted on servers throughout the world and instantly made available to viewers on demand.
The P2P business model means that platform operators do not directly invest into hosting infrastructure – rather, this responsibility is put in the hands of thousands of incentivised hosts, thus significantly reducing platform operation costs. This leads to a higher earning potential for content creators, thus ensuring better-quality streams.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t only content creators who are incentivised on THETA. Rather, viewers earn THETA Fuel rewards for sharing their bandwidth and computer resources. The THETA token can then be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies, or used to reward content creators.
THETA employs an open-source approach for both its network and protocol, thus facilitating a significant degree of transparency. Furthermore, content providers and video platforms are free to use the existing API to build specialized decentralized applications (Dapps) for their audience.
The user interface is being designed to provide a beautiful interface that ensures ease-of-use. Browsing through movies, TV shows, e-sports, music, live streams and other content forms will be a seamless experience.
Do keep in mind that at the time of writing, the THETA Token end-to-end video streaming platform is still under development – current plans suggest that the service will go live later this year.
Verasity was designed with the purpose of building the infrastructure that publishers require to serve different types of attention-rewarded video content to billions of users worldwide.
According to the company, the video streaming and advertising industries are currently dealing with a number of challenges including low engagement for ads, low publisher revenue, low viewership, intrusive ads, the prevalence of ad blocking software and more.
The challenges that have been mentioned above can be dealt with via VERASITY, which provides in-video rewards, alongside a number of loyalty schemes that are based on four components.
To kick things off, the platform provides a HTML5 and full HD video player that’s supported on most devices. The second component is an integrated SDK reward module into the market’s most popular video streaming platforms, which provides users with VRA token rewards based on their actions without negatively influencing the workflow of publishers or the way viewers interact with online video.
Thirdly, the VeraWallet app works in-video, and allows content viewers to earn, spend, and stake the VRA token as they please. Lastly, blockchain technology will be used to carry out verification and analytics of video interactions, and ad effectiveness.
Thus, the company aims to create a VRA-based virtuous cycle that provides incentives to advertisers, content publishers and viewers. With this in mind, VERASITY does not represent a video streaming platform, but rather an add-on that can be integrated within existing platforms to fix some of the challenges they’re currently dealing with.
The platform’s user interface is easy to operate, yet a good understanding of how the platform works is required to facilitate efficient usage of the provided tools.
Currently, VERASITY can be integrated within numerous video streaming services, including but not limited to YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, VideoJS, Kaltura, FlowPlayer, JWPLAYER, BrightCove, iVideoSmart, and more.
LivePeer represents an open-source video infrastructure service that’s built directly on top of the Ethereum blockchain, serving the purpose of providing video engineers with reliable and cost-effective video encoding.
The platform leverages blockchain particularities such as decentralization, in order to create innovative video streaming business models that are highly-scalable and low-cost.
To put things better into perspective, LivePeer is currently creating a ‘platform as a service’ designed for project developers who require on-demand and live video capabilities. While videos can be embedded into websites with ease, this platform is attempting to increase the reliability of video workflow, while leading to great scalability and reduced costs, through a blockchain-based peer-to-peer infrastructure.
The platform can be leveraged by developers, users, and broadcasters, thanks to the variety of features that are being built for each user group. Thus, developers can utilize the platform for the purpose of powering video functionality.
Viewers will soon be able to stream video using applications that are built via LivePeer, whereas broadcasters with large audiences will take advantage of the platform’s tools in order to decrease infrastructure overhead.
Incentives are also offered to encourage the usage of LivePeer. As such, those who run the platform’s software can earn tokens by contributing with bandwidth and processing power.
The LPT token works via Ethereum, and is the exclusive payment methods supported by LivePeer. The token can be exchanged into other coins or fiat-based currencies via supporting exchanges.
Since this isn’t a video streaming service like some of the other platform’s highlighted in this article, it’s important to keep in mind that a solid technical understanding is required to ensure efficient usage of LivePeer’s tools and services.
Based on everything that has been highlighted so far, the present and future of video streaming services is bright.
Blockchain integration, decentralization and user incentive protocols will power better, faster, censorship-resistant, and more profitable video streaming services that are much better alternatives when compared to traditional platforms.