The video streaming industry creates numerous opportunities but also introduces certain limitations. Centralized streaming services aren’t always known for their freedom of speech policies. Decentralizing this industry is the next logical evolution, although the process will prove challenging.
The Growing Streaming Platform Landscape
When people think of streaming, the concept goes beyond music and video. It is a business model where everyone should - in theory - be able to speak their mind freely. The streaming platforms solely exist to help creators reach a much bigger audience. In reality, the intricacies of the streaming industry may not always allow for freedom of speech, nor are the providers capable of preventing censorship.
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As more competing platforms emerge, the streaming industry will become more appealing. Services such as Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, and others are all noting strong growth every year. Despite their vast libraries of content and creators and the revenue they generate, there have been significant concerns regarding censorship over the years. Even so, it is expected that the US video streaming industry revenue will hit $42 billion by 2025, if not sooner.
Taking Youtube as an example, its censorship works both ways. On the one hand, there are countries where access to the service has been blocked in the past or remains blocked today. On the other, the platform has made headlines for potentially censoring Hong Kong content creators and accusations of demonetizing LGBTQ+ content. The popularity of streaming platforms is a double-edged blade. More importantly, such claims confirm the centralized approach to streaming platforms may no longer be viable in 2021 and beyond.
How Can We Change The Narrative?
Addressing censorship concerns will require a different take on streaming services in general, Removing the intermediaries from the equation will allow for everyone to speak their mind without worrying about being silenced. Additionally, it empowers community members to help steer the content in the right direction. Users should have a say in which content they deem inappropriate for streaming.
Secondly, there is room for improvement where the user experience is concerned. In its current form, there is no convenient way to engage with other viewers or even watch content with multiple people. Having a separate independent chat for users looking to discuss SVOD content in real-time with other people creates a different viewing experience that benefits both users and production companies.
One example of enhancing the overall viewing experience is to introduce co-watching. It may seem simple on paper, but providing an interactive shared viewing experience is a powerful tool. Letting users create a private room to watch movies, documentaries, or series together with as many people as they want. Add the option to order takeaway from within this private virtual room, an addition that can prove worthwhile when going through an extended viewing session.
Users who prefer to watch content at their own pace cannot be overlooked either. Whether one wants to pick something to watch or have something on in the background like traditional TV, both options need to be on the table to optimize the overall user experience. Sometimes, there is a need to have content delivered right away without thinking about it too much.
As an example, take a look at Vabble. The team aims to make it easier for independent and corporate film production companies to generate higher revenue. Costs for consuming content are paid directly to the content owner. Additionally, production companies can offer limited edition Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for sale or auction to engage with fans of their creations further. Global interest in NFTs continues to surge as new creations are announced virtually every week.
Vabble launchpads will allow production companies to receive funding directly from potential viewers on the funding front. This option can create a snowball effect: users who invest in the production are more eager to promote it to others, generating more views and revenue for production companies and creators. Introducing such a new monetary system can inject new lifeblood into the streaming and content production scene.
A service like Vabble will stand or fall based on its market share. Rather than tying itself down to just cryptocurrency users, the team aims to appeal to creators globally and in particular users from ages 16-21.
The future of streaming services may look very different from what people are used to today. It is a combination of enhancing the user experience and giving [aspiring] content creators a chance to make their vision come true without censorship or worry about freedom of speech. By building a streaming service on the blockchain, the content will not be taken down easily either, ensuring long-time access to streaming creations.
Combined with the co-watching element, user incentives, live streaming, and NFTs, this blockchain-based provider has a bold vision to revamp the streaming industry. Time will tell if this approach is feasible and whether its rebate system can attract enough users to make a meaningful difference.