PewDiePie, internet culture icon and the most popular streamer on the planet, is switching to DLive’s blockchain streaming platform. The switch likely stems from YouTube’s high fees and limited incentivization model.
The Planet’s Most Popular Streamer
Felix Kjellberg, known by his streamer handle PewDiePie, is one of the world’s most popular streamers. As of April 2019, his channel received 93 million subscribers and 21 billion views, comparable to every person on Earth watching three of his videos.
On YouTube, he is the most subscribed and tenth-most viewed content creator on the platform. Estimates put his annual income from the platform at over $10 million, with YouTube receiving a comparable amount of income from the streamer.
PewDiePie Announces DLive Partnership
On April 9th, PewDiePie announced a partnership with DLive, a blockchain-based streaming platform built on the Lino test network, a “decentralized autonomous content ecosystem.” Beginning on April 14th, he will exclusively stream on the platform.
“Personally, I think it’s really cool to have a creator based website actually putting creators first. I’m really excited about DLive and I’m excited to finally be live streaming again,” said PewDiePie.
In his announcement, Kjellberg alluded that his reasons for switching include YouTube’s high fees and lackluster incentivization mode. Meanwhile, he described DLive’s reward system as “revolutionary.”
Unlike other platforms, DLive does not take a cut of fees if a watcher donates to a streamer or subscribes to a stream. YouTube and Twitch can take up to 30-50 percent of the revenue generated by a content creator. “Not on DLive, it all goes to the creator,” said PewDiePie.
In PewDiePie’s first stream, he will be donating up to $50,000 to other content creators through the platform’s distribution of Lino—just from users watching him on the platform.
Details on DLive’s Cryptocurrency Incentivization Model
DLive was founded to combat unsavory monetization requirements and “unfair” practices of centralized media platforms. According to DLive founder and CEO Charles Wayn:
“Most of us started creating or watching content on YouTube or Twitch… We’ve contributed for years and witnessed traditional platforms grow from their infancies into billion-dollar companies. However, what have we received in return? Higher monetization bars, unfair content promotion, and fewer earnings because of increased platform fees.”
Unlike traditional platforms, DLive uses a cryptocurrency called LINO to facilitate payments and engagement on the platform. Users can cash out of the cryptocurrency on the platform to PayPal or Bitcoin.
Content producers on the platform receive 90.1 percent of each donation and subscription while 9.9 percent goes to a pool that rewards users involved in the platform’s governance (via a “locking” feature).
“Unlike traditional platforms, DLive takes absolutely zero platform cuts from users’ donations and subscriptions. Instead, the economic system has been designed to revolutionize revenue distribution by rewarding the community for their contributions rather than a corporation,” said Wayn.
Moreover, viewers themselves are rewarded just for engaging. As described by PewDiePie:
“Viewers as well can earn LINO points, which is a currency simply by engaging with the streamers. Pretty epic.”
How DLive Makes Money
Rather than charge fees, the Lino blockchain uses inflation of its underlying cryptocurrency to fund development and maintenance.
According to the Lino blockchain whitepaper, 65 percent of minted tokens go to infrastructure, 10 percent to app developers, 10 percent to validators, and the remaining 5 percent to viewers. The whitepaper also promised to keep inflation below 6.5 percent.
DLive also holds an undisclosed amount of LINO points as well, possibly staking them to further earn interest on their holdings. CryptoSlate reached out to Charles Wayn on the matter and has not received comment.
In a streaming landscape dominated by Google’s YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch, PewDiePie’s switch could signal that blockchain is shifting control away from the juggernauts.