The Watch2Earn Revolution

You are live streaming America’s Got Talent show, and at the peak of the suspense from a scary performer, a 15 seconds compulsory ad pops up. The suspense was ruined, the emotion watered down, and the feeling to continue was lost completely. Subsequent minutes on the streaming platform see another video ad — now worsened with a 30-second video. These are the plights of users consuming content on YouTube, Facebook, and other streaming platforms. Fortunately, the premium YouTube plan took the ads away. Understandably, the video streaming sector is revolutionizing entertainment and how we consume content. There are video-on-demand services from Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video as a step above traditional TV broadcast services. Streaming videos accounted for 26% of all viewing share, 27% by broadcast TV, and 39% by cable TV, according to Nielsen. These statistics show the tremendous growth of video streaming platforms, particularly YouTubeGaming and Twitch, recording a combined 15 million daily users — about the same population as Egypt.

Despite the success of video streaming, there is much to be desired in viewing experiences, begging for new dimensions to entertainment and content delivery. With the sprouting of more streaming platforms comes the yearning for a better experience — a solution to sponsored ads. Users loathe the idea of data selling, inactiveness during live streaming, and no incentives from live streaming platforms. For instance, according to the ORC International Survey, 90% of people skip pre-roll video ads before the online video and try to avoid sources where they cannot skip the video ads. Equally, 65% of people skip video ads after the first chance they get, according to IPG. These point to reasons why live streaming platforms may go down the drain if the future could be predicted. Hence, there is a need for user-centric live streaming platforms that empower content creators and viewers and boost the platforms’ engagement — this is the sole idea of a watch to earn.

A paradigm shift from sponsored ads to watch to earn

Most users are okay with trade-off some seconds as an exchange to stream their favorite shows — a little price to pay. However, commercial breaks involve more than time but something bigger — data for marketers and platform owners about your experience and what you enjoy. Consumer Privacy Advocates fear users have little to no control over their data due to surveillance from the streaming platforms. For instance, streaming platforms where ad-supported services are taken off recorded a surge in users and activities. Paramount’s Pluto TV currently has 64.4 million monthly active users with a 50% surge in viewing hours, while Fox’s Tubi has viewing hours grew by 40% and proliferation of active users to 40 million.

Interestingly, Google tries to reduce data privacy concerns through its transparency initiative to allow users to opt out of cross-app tracking and eliminate third-party cookies in the chrome browser. This will make marketers find it difficult to monitor individual users’ behavior. Another solution is the proliferation of private search engines and browsers, empowering more users to reduce data exposure. However, research by HubSpot reported that 91% of users opined ads to be more intrusive now than years ago; 79% also believed that retargeted ads are tracking them. The point is that no one wants to be secretly monitored or be part of some secret algorithm — another problem in entertainment and sponsored ads.

What watch to earn means for users and publishers

Streaming live videos is expensive due to infrastructure, streaming rights, heavy taxes, and other heavy costs. As a result, streaming platforms result in sponsored and paid ads to keep their media afloat. However, viewers drag engagement to the platform, which marketers target to advertise their products. But sponsored and paid ads means less entertainment and moments of idleness for users seeking pleasure and reliable information on streaming platforms. So the question is, are there cost-effective and scalable streaming platforms that not only bridge the gap between advertisers and users but also incentivize users to use the platform? Is there a possibility of a decentralized streaming platform that puts data privacy rights in the hands of the users and also rewards content creators?

Answering the questions is made simple by the disruption brought by blockchain technology with its peer-to-peer feature. The technology reduces streaming costs and provides the structure for a better streaming experience through security, transparency, and decentralized features that allows monetization opportunities for viewers. Streaming platforms already leveraging the technology include Theta and Livepeer, but a limitation abounds — users need technical experience to use this platform, cutting out technology-less advanced individuals. This leads to scalability and long-term effectiveness concerns for these platforms. Another problem with the platforms is the limited interactive and discoverable content and adoption of traditional content delivery networks. Hence, users are yearning for decentralized, distributed, built-in decentralized CDN that incentivizes users as they watch for better entertainment and engagement.

Rewarding consumers for their attention and platform engagement is the idea of watch to earn, which is promoted by blockchain and NFT. Decentralized watch2earn platforms utilize NFT as rewards that winners can swap for physical/virtual rewards or trade in the secondary market. This idea is a way to merge cryptocurrencies and content creation. Research by influencer marketing Hub put the content creation economy at $104 billion in 2022, about the same size as Namibia’s public debt. Therefore, integrating crypto and content creation will be a significant win for the two industries. Rewarding viewers and streamers should be the target of every streaming platform — this is where EDGE comes in.

EDGE; introducing the giant in web3 for live video

EDGE video brings an unprecedented revolution to live streaming content and entertainment through NFTs and blockchain. Instead of waiting for 15 or more seconds for ads to load, you can buy social tokens as NFTs of your favorite content creators and personalities. Aside from this step to boycott disturbance of sponsored ads, you will be incentivized through tokens — a hallmark of watch2earn. Away from the optimism, questions have been raised on this possibility; this is where our revenue model stands out. Gamifying videos allows EDGE to quantify and monetize broadcast hours, incentivizing streamers and rewarding creators — a marked difference between web2 and web3. Gamifying videos will also provide meaning to historically neglected things, including the market cap of your creativity and your network’s value. As EDGE videos bring financial rewards to ideas, there is an unprecedented model for sponsored ads to incentivize users and reward creators.

Look at it, 54% reduction in live Ad spending signals that marketers are not getting the returns on their ad spending, which is down to viewers loathing sponsored ads. Apart from this, paywalls and logins issues are other problems that show the current content delivery network has not worked and definitely not the future of live streaming. However, EDGE provides the solutions to the current watch2earn issues. EDGE builds a decentralized platform that provides a win-win situation for the streaming platforms, the marketers, and viewers to solve the problem of sponsored ads. The platform incentivizes users with the $EAT (EDGE Activity Token) to deliver stunning results. Those results means, 5x, 10x or even 50x increase in engagement times, based on the first results in from PokerNight.com.

Interestingly, viewers get rewarded for engagement in live videos, tagging personalities, owning NFTs, sharing live videos, and streaming live videos on the network. Outstandingly, EDGE’s business model leaves no stone unturned in rewarding every party through a user and publisher-centric business model. Advertisers buy the $EAT for publisher or creators’ channel, allowing publishers to pool resources, which is shared in a for-all percentage — 50% for the publisher review, 37.5% for viewers, and 12.5% for EDGE –you will never see a platform that generates stunning real-world results. Amazingly, video streaming site or application can add Watch2Earn to their streaming platforms and enjoy the incentives by rewarding publishers and viewers alike. How to get started? Simply connect your Metamask Wallet and start earning.

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EDGE- Writer Joe Ward

33 years in media & technology, serial entrepreneur. IAM Media Top 300 IP Strategist 2021 in US. Joe is the founder and CEO of Edge Video, inventors of the EDGE