Video viewing is predominantly an online pastime. Streaming services like Netflix have changed the face of media forever. And sites like YouTube rely on centrally collected videos which they send to devices on demand.
This isn’t the only way it can work though, and DTube is an example of a decentralized video network. Today we’ll look at what DTube is and how it works, but first, let’s look at how online video sites usually work.
How Most Video Sites Work
YouTube, along with almost every other streaming video website, is a centralized service. For most people, this isn’t a problem. Video content uploads to YouTube’s servers and is searchable through YouTube’s search function. Then, the content streams to devices in whatever format YouTube thinks is best.
This way of working is not without its merits. A centralized service provides the same content to all. Some say, however that centralized services are a problem.
What’s Wrong With YouTube?
Since all storage for video content is on YouTube’s servers, users ultimately have no control over what happens to their videos. YouTube decides what should be on their platform, not YouTube users. If you want to make money from your videos through advertising, YouTube is the broker which decides what is fair to monetize and what isn’t.
YouTube’s algorithm is supposed to promote content fairly, but some content creators notice discrepancies in this system, allegedly making some channels disappear overnight.
In this way, centralized video could be a bad idea. But if YouTube sucks, why is everyone still using it? Well, not everyone is. Some people have switched to using DTube!
A Brief Look at DTube
DTube is a decentralized video service that exists on a blockchain rather than a central server. If you are new to blockchain this explanation on our sister site Blocks Decoded should help. Creators can use the service knowing that their data is safe. Furthermore, video content cannot be censored by anyone outside of the DTube community.
Money accumulates through cryptocurrency rather than relying on adverts, and there is no hidden algorithm, opting instead for direct user feedback to rank videos.
That is a lot of terms to take in quickly, so let’s break things down one by one.
1. DTube Is a Decentralized Platform
First of all, DTube has no central servers. All of the content is stored on a blockchain. By nature, a blockchain’s data verifies between all of its members.
This is an example of Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) and works similarly to peer to peer torrenting of information. Consequently, there is no one definitive video file in one place, more a shared agreement of what the video file contains.
This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to tamper with video content on DTube. It is not the only online app looking into this kind of secure operation. If you’ve ever asked yourself whether a truly decentralized internet is possible, DTube is an example of it at work.
Decentralized videos mean there’s no simple way of removing content from the site. This could be a blessing or a curse. For some users, however, the assurance that their content is not in the hands of a large organization is a big draw, and a reason to switch to DTube.
2. DTube Is a Secure Service
No central server means no single place storing all of the user’s data, ready to be hacked. Everyone posts under set pseudonyms and the site does not have a traditional login, opting instead for the Steemit platform.
You can identify yourself any way you wish, but there is no way for data you are not comfortable sharing to get leaked.
3. DTube Doesn’t Have Adverts
Since DTube uses STEEM dollars as its currency, there is no need for traditional advertisements. Users upvote videos to give them worth. Popular videos receive STEEM Dollars and STEEM Power. Provided the total value of the video is over $0.02 in the first seven days this money gets paid into the creator’s STEEM wallet.
Creators are free to advertise within their videos, but many users are averse to advertisements, therefore relying on STEEM seems to be the best way to monetize videos on the service.
4. You Can Earn Money on DTube
You may already have realized that DTube sounds like a pretty attractive platform for content creators, and you would be right. Steemit frequently makes new tokens for distribution, so it is easy to start earning.
Even upvoting videos can earn STEEM power, but it’s the content creators that reap the real benefits. The platform is already popular with vloggers, many of whom make content about DTube itself, as well as cryptocurrency at large.
A significant difference with DTube is that videos only earn money for seven days. Whatever you have made in this time is paid into your STEEM wallet. The video remains on the site, but it stops gaining currency.
5. Dtube Has No Censorship
Another way DTube can benefit you is with its free speech stance. Decentralization means no traditional way of censoring videos. While YouTube gets to decide what is right for its platform, DTube is different.
The community itself judges all video content. In principle, the service allows anything on the site, but in practice, the community is good at filtering out useless or dangerous posts. For a simple analogy, think of Reddit without mods. This could be Heaven or Hell depending on your viewpoint.
6. DTube Has No Recommendation Algorithm
YouTube bases its recommendations on a supposedly fair system of metadata analysis. Whatever you think of this, it is certainly not clear who or what will receive a recommendation to a broader audience at any given time.
DTube gets around this problem by basing its recommendation system on user views and votes. If the community thinks your video has value, your video will gain traction and rank among the trending videos.
7. DTube Has a Good Community
DTube has a tight community, with many content creators linking up on projects and sharing each other’s work. Many users liken DTube to the early days of YouTube and the community aspect of similar channels collaborating.
This active community, together with the financial incentive that being social on the platform brings, make DTube a vibrant young community on the rise.
8. DTube Is Not Part of the Big Five
Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple are tech goliaths. Between them they utterly dominate tech. It’s rare to find any service that doesn’t use them in some way. Most people don’t consider the reach these companies have or don’t believe it to be an issue.
DTube is independent of these big five, so if avoiding large tech corporations is something you aspire to, DTube could be for you.
DTube Is Part of the Blockchain Revolution
Blockchain technology is changing our media, and sites like DTube are pioneering new ways of sharing both creative content and wealth.
DTube is just a small part of a larger movement, and the whole blockchain revolution shows little sign of stopping. Which means there has never been a better time to become a Blockchain programmer.