The new application from Manuel Aráoz and company was created to build a direct connection between video streamers and their viewers. Video streaming is dealt with on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis via WebRTC, and payments for viewing a stream are made possible through the use of bitcoin and payment channels.
A stream of small, off-chain payments are made to the broadcaster every second as the viewer continues to watch a stream, and all of those micropayments are then combined into one larger payment that is made via the bitcoin blockchain.
The P2P nature of the Streamium platform has the potential to disrupt many different types of video streaming businesses currently found on the Internet due to the fact that it is now much easier to broadcast directly to an audience rather than going through a middleman.
Still, there is still plenty of work to be done when it comes to scaling the software up to handle larger audiences. For now, a broadcaster is limited by his or her own available bandwidth. In any case, here are five types of people who could benefit from trying out Streamium for the first time.
- Cam Girls
The most obvious area where Streamium can be helpful is in the adult entertainment industry, especially when it comes to live cam shows. The adult industry has faced financial censorship from both PayPal and the legacy banking system, which is why many adult entertainment sites have turned to the blockchain for payments.
Live cam sites can sometimes take a large percentage of a performer’s profits, which is why the direct payment from the audience to the entertainer on Streamium could be rather helpful. Of course, it would also make sense if the viewers were able to also tip performers for certain requests.
- Live Sports Pirates
Bitcoin isn’t necessarily entirely about illegal activity, but those sorts of profit opportunities seem to be where new technologies take off first. Most sports fans are familiar with free online streams that are usually hosted by shady individuals at a rather low resolution.
Viewers are usually bombarded with advertisements when viewing these unlicensed streams, and it also feels like viruses and malware are right around the corner on these kinds of sites. Due to the P2P nature of Streamium, new streaming sports pirates may decide to offer a premium version of sporting events in higher quality without all of the downsides currently found in the black market industry.
- Doctors, Lawyers, and Other On-Demand Professionals
A variety of “professional-on-demand” services have popped up over the past few years. These are the kinds of websites or apps where you’re able to talk to a doctor (Doctor on Demand), lawyer (LAWfone) or some other professional for a flat fee.
Although these services were a move in the right direction when it comes to cutting costs, they aren’t completely necessary in a world of Streamium and social media. Closely associated with this sort of 1-on-1 streaming activity is also the ability to be a freelance consultant on basically any topic without a middleman. Of course, it should be remembered middlemen still have value in these sorts of freelance operations for marketing purposes.
- Professional Gamers and Gaming Personalities
The magnitude of online video game streaming may not have become apparent to the general public until Twitch was bought by Amazon for nearly $1 billion, but the large number of young people turning to the video game streaming platform for full-time employment is now becoming hard to ignore. Professional gamers and gaming personalities could use Streamium in a few different ways to improve their overall profits.
Although completely replacing Twitch may not be in the cards, streamers could turn to Streamium as a vehicle for pay-per-view events. Whether it is two famous CS:GO teams playing a friendly game or a training session with one of the best StarCraft players in the world, there are a variety of ways in which pro gamers can use Streamium to their advantage.
Private teachers already exist, but what if those teachers were also able to livestream their lectures to outsiders at a fixed rate?
“Teacher” is also used as a rather broad term here as it could be anyone who is able to explain a specific topic to someone else. For example, well-known bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos could start a class that can be viewed by anyone via Streamium. Perhaps there would also be a small fee for asking a question at the end of a lecture or presentation.
Streamium could allow new students to attend a class without doing anything else besides showing up and opening a payment channel (assuming that they already have some bitcoin.) Perhaps the platform would also be useful for 1-on-1 tutoring sessions between students.
Long Story Short
In reality, no one really knows how people are going to end up using this new platform. Like many other innovative applications, it is up to the users to figure out how to best use this new tool. Perhaps we’ll see bitcoin conferences or video podcasts on Streamium in the future, but the team behind this new project will need to figure out how to scale the technology – perhaps through webtorrent – before there are any mass events streamed with it.
Kyle Torpey is a freelance writer and researcher who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured in VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, NASDAQ, New York Post,The Next Web, American Banker, and other media outlets. You can view all his work at kyletorpey.com or sign up for his personal newsletter.