Web 3.0 — The Future of Creator & Video Streaming Economy?
In this digital age, video content is the go-to medium for consumers. The growth of the creator economy, live streaming, video content on social media, and a plethora of OTT platforms are proof that users prefer video content over everything else. 7 out of every 10 people have subscribed to at least one paid OTT platform, whereas free platforms such as YouTube (freemium), Twitch (paid subscribers), and Facebook have millions of users tuning in every day (Source: Zemoga). Millions of users are consuming video content every day, at a rate never before, and with them, the creator and video ecosystems are growing tremendously.
As consumers ditch the traditional cable and move to different platforms to find the perfect fit, the competition is becoming fierce among platforms. This enables users to switch from one platform to another to get the best content and features and alternative models to emerge and take over the video industry. As is the case for all major fields, Web3 is emerging as the future of the creator and consumer video streaming economy. Here’s how!
The Shifting Sands Of Streaming
Despite the high growth trajectory in the next few years, all may not be well for streaming services. Major OTT platforms are witnessing the loss of revenue or subscribers, with the most recent case being Netflix. Following the release of their quarterly reports in April 2022, which stated that the platform lost over 300,000 subscribers in just 3 months, the streaming giant lost billions in market value as shares took a plunge. Warner Brothers and CNN’s premium video streaming CNN+ was also a victim of huge revenue losses and was shut down in less than a month of its launch on March 29, 2022 after burning through 300+ million dollars.
While many platforms are citing the Ukraine-Russia conflict as the primary reason for the loss of subscribers and revenue, the video content consumption trends tell a different story. While the services are on a growth path, the Web 2.0 approach is drawing consumers away. Consumers are held hostage by paywalls that are too high to climb over and escape.
To overcome the high costs, users tend to share credentials with their family and friends. This burden also takes up a huge chunk of revenue from streaming services. Netflix estimates that while it has nearly 222 million households paying for its service, accounts are shared with more than 100 million other households who are not paying for the streaming service.
New Players Join The Arena
This presents a huge opportunity for new players to reinvent the streaming space with newer and alternative models. While Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ have similar models, there are other platforms that consumers can look out for. For example, Crackle features original content and acquired programming for free, but combines them with 30-second commercials. Users can either opt for the free version or pay for an ad-free version.
Acorn TV is another emerging platform, although not as popular as other names on the list. With a minimal monthly cost, users can watch ad-free content. However, users cannot download and watch content, a feature that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have provided in many countries. Other platforms such as YouTube (TV) and Pluto TV are also making a mark in the space.
Types Of OTT Payment Models
The current payment models of OTT platforms can be summarized as:
- Subscriptions: Platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu offer monthly and/or yearly subscriptions for users for a fixed fee. Users who are happy to pay a subscription fee to watch ad-free content opt for this model.
- Hybrid: Users at platforms such as Disney+ can subscribe to premium content for a fixed fee, or opt to watch free content with advertisements. Users who do not want to pay high subscription rates and are okay with watching some ads often opt for this model.
- Free But Advertisement-Supported: Multiple platforms offer free content to users where they plug in ads to cover their costs and generate profit. Users who do not want to pay a fee to watch content often use these platforms.
- Pay-Per-View: Many platforms allow users to pay for only the content they want to see. This can include a specific movie, TV show, or special event. Most notable of these are UFC and WWE Network, which stream pay-per-view content. Users who wish to watch a specific event often choose this model.
Going The Web 3.0 Way
Such models can revolutionize video streaming forever. With a zero entry barrier into the ecosystem, users can watch their favorite content while earning rewards. Moreover, creators can also leverage such platforms to reach a huge user base across the globe that is ready to give platforms their time for a reward. This not only reduces the friction between consumers and content but also totally democratizes content, widening the addressable market and making it more participative.
Is Web 3.0 The Future Of Creator Economy And Video Streaming?
While streaming media has transitioned consumers from a paid television model to paid online services, Web 3.0 will result in the formalization of rewarding the users. Users who choose to participate and interact with advertisements will be rewarded with the “watch-to-earn” model.
A free streaming media services model enables a better ecosystem for consumers, platforms, and advertisers alike, providing a formalized way for consumers to control their time and data while being rewarded for watching content and creators they enjoy.