We recently spoke to Georgi Abrashev, the CMO of BitTube, a decentralised video and entertainment platform. BitTube lets you Block ads and monetise your time. With a minimal censorship policy, it already is promoting creative content and art like no one else in the entertainment sphere. It also allows you to generate revenue with Airtime and the user can also donate to any of the websites, publishers and social account based on visitation. Below attached is a sneak peak from how the current website of BitTube looks. They are also working on a new platform which will be out soon.
1. How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Georgi Abrashev and I am the CMO at BitTube. As part of the core team, my daily tasks vary from support and testing up to marketing and team management. I joined BitTube in April 2018 a few months after its start. Our operating office is situated on the beautiful island of Tenerife, Spain.
2. Monetizing Viewership Blockchain and going with the motto of Consuming content and compensation for the creator, Bit Tube can be the next big thing after You Tube. What do you have to say about it? Please tell us the story behind Bit Tube and how do you see things shaping in the years to come?
BitTube started in early 2018 with the goal to create a censorship-resistant and decentralised video platform. A lot of transformations happened since then and now BitTube is much more than just a video platform. It is a unique way to monetise any content on the Internet.
Formerly BitTube was called IPBC (Interplanetary broadcast coin). The name was chosen more from a technical point of view as the platform was based on the IPFS (Interplanetary file system). The legacy platform at bit.tube hosted videos on the IPFS storing them in thousands of computers part of the IPFS network. For monetising the videos without advertisements, the person viewing the video was contributing computer resources to the mining network. Very soon that technic proved to not be scalable and reliable, moreover consumer devices were not designed for such tasks. At that point, the team invented the AirTime system. It rewards publishers and users with TUBE coin based on watch time. The daily rewards are taken from slowly decreasing block reward where mining is performed only by professionals.
The AirTime model proved to be a promising way for evaluating video content and in September 2018 BitTube released a browser extension which allowed AirTime to step out from the video platform. It this way user’s AirTime could be linked with other social networks and websites. This allows BitTube users to monetise their YouTube channel by visitors with the extension enabled. Users are earning and contributing TUBEs for their online activity on any webpage. The amount of received coins depends on the time being active compared to all concurrent users. For content creators there are no prerequisites like YouTube’s 10k subscribers and 4000 watch hours before start monetising your channel. Moreover, the BitTube extension puts “Donate TUBE” buttons on the major social networks which provides a direct way to support your favourite creator.
Six months after the release of the extension the team developed the AirTime module and API. It can be used by any web developer to install a monetisation layer and a paywall for websites, apps, and online shops. WordPress based online shops can use our WooCommerce addon to add the TUBE payment gateway.
We can say that the BitTube ecosystem is almost complete. With the BitTubers.com as a showcase, the AirTime module and the BitTube browser all working seamlessly we have created the foundations for how value can be exchanged on the Internet.
3. Bit Tube claims that it is the first platform to showcase the effectiveness of an ad-free monetization. What do you mean by this? And if it is going to be an ad free space, how exactly will the creators or the company generate revenue?
Other content platforms incorporating cryptocurrency involve ads in some way. They reward the creator based on advertisements and the user on consumed ads. The advertisers in such platforms are the third-party who imposes policies and disconnects the audience from the creator. With BitTube there is a direct connection between the creator and the audience. The AirTime system creates a level playing field for every user no matter their geolocation. Compared with ads earnings depend on the ad bid per location.
From where are rewards coming from then? The BitTube mining process produces approximately 386 TUBEs every two minutes. It is called the block reward and it is shared among four parties. The miners get 40% the Company 10%, a dedicated community fund gets 5% and the AirTime system receives 45%. AirTime itself is shared 75% for the content creators and 25% for the users.
With BitTube, creators generate revenue from three sources. First is the total watched hours generated by their viewers. We call it “counted AirTime”. Second is offering premium content. Currently paid per view content can be done only with the AirTime module on own websites applied to articles and products. In upcoming releases, the videos posted on BitTubers could be published as premium. The third revenue stream is from donations. Similar to Patreon BitTube users can setup recurring donations on a monthly basis or send a one-time donation directly to the post they liked. Donations could be sent on BitTubers.com or other main social platforms if you have the browser extension installed.
We believe value comes from utility. The more a coin is utilised the greater the value. That is why our goal is to create a uniform payment system that can be used by everyone either on their website, YouTube account or our own video platform. I bearly scratched the surface of what BitTube is. It’s better to try it for yourself for at least a month to see how all functions. We have a knowledge base site to help newcomers get started. For any questions, a Help desk is available on our official site.
The company is privately funded. It had no ICO neither pre-mine of coins. The founder and CEO MSc Saber Maram is highly involved in the development. The funds of the 10% share of the block reward explained above are not used for employee salaries or expenses. They are locked until the coin gets enough liquidity to sustain its operations.
There are much more details I could describe here like options to purchase TUBE directly from the extension, converting TUBE to local currency, VPN for free, integrated adblocker and more but that will get the interview too lengthy.
4. You know that the market is fierce when it comes to content creating ventures. There is so much competition which you’ll face not just from the startups but also from already established players like You Tube, Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar and many more. How do you planning on staying ahead and be on top in this already saturated market?
The road to adoption is full of obstacles of course. We believe BitTube could become a complementary platform as a start and offer slowly transition from other platforms. This way the creator will have the choice to migrate or keep parallel few channels. We are exploring opportunities to work with producers and develop a crowdfunded BitTube exclusive movies similar to Netflix originals. This will help small filmmakers overcome the huge barrier entering the film industry.
Another aspect of BitTubers is censorship resistance. Every post is backed up by a magnet URL using web torrent. Even if the specific post gets unpublished because of certain law enforcement the content will still be available via its magnet link. Moreover, the BitTube browser will offer options for the user to become a node for storage and seeding. Then the platform can be accessed within the browser making it resistant from geolocation blocking etc.
BitTubers is a hybrid social-video platform. It features the most useful publishing tools from YouTube, Twitter and Reddit. New users are easily discoverable and can build engagement around their content. The layout can be customised to look like a video or social platform.
5. Does the company have a vision for India specifically? If not, what is Company’s vision for the world? How far has the company reached according to the roadmap for 2019?
The company is registered in Estonia which gives a friendly environment to its cryptocurrency nature. As a financial services company, we have to follow AML regulation. Expanding worldwide is a slow but sure process. Currently, the site can be accessed from India and rewards would be the same as from any other country.
The team has been publishing updates on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. If you subscribe to our newsletter you will be one of the first to get to know about new releases or just follow our blog on Medium. Recently we have published a list of upcoming features and updates on Reddit.
6. Where do you see Bit Tube in the next 5 years?
I guess we will see news media websites implementing the AirTime system where Internet users will access free content as much as paid articles due to the micropayments model. Currently, such websites have paywalls that require a monthly subscription. The free sites have intrusive ads and very often can’t work if you have an ad blocker installed.
App developers will incorporate in-app and in-game purchases with TUBE using the AirTime module. Basically, we will start to see websites and apps build their economic model on TUBE.
The video platform already receives positive feedback from the community even though it is in beta stage. After we polish the UI and make all features available we shall see many new content creators choosing BitTube instead of YouTube. Some will come because they earn from their first view, some because they were censored and shadow-banned on other platforms and some because they associate with BitTube’s vision for ad-free Internet. Definitely exciting times are yet to come.
7. Please tell us about your experience of working with crypto.
I am personally not a trader. I bought my first crypto in December 2017, lost some in “promising” ICOs. Since then I am observing the markets and try some trades on the simulated exchange Niffler.