I don’t think Steem will die soon because of the Steem Media Tokens pump coming and the speculation on whether investors will buy STEEM so they can earn 4% ROI monthly by upvoting themselves via sockpuppets in addition to the appreciation of the tokens.
Steem’s witness nodes are paid to generate new blocks for the blockchain, but CDN nodes which serve the content stored in and referenced by the blockchain are not paid.
The reasons that Vid.me failed are what is solved by a tokenized replacement for Youtube as the admitted by Warren Shaeffer the Co-founder of Vidme:
Audience building — Leverage an existing audience, and/or incentivize all platform participants by issuing a native currency (e.g. blockchain) to equitably reward contributors.
But I think he is incorrect about the necessity of operating a video site at a loss. Tokenize then charge the users for the bandwidth costs. It will be minuscule1 compared to the appreciation in the value of the token, i.e. users will see their wallet balances rise. This is what Steem and EOS do by minting new tokens to pay the witness (and pay STINC which presumably makes sure the CDN nodes are funded), which I think is a feature bug because that opens a door for spam as compared to charged users a microtransaction fee. And rewarding tokens by minting them from a collective money supply can’t possibly be designed to not be a system which must end up as a winner-take-all whale dominated clusterfuck (i.e. oligarchy and overlords). And by the time the token stops appreciating some decade from now, then the cost of video bandwidth will have become insignificant and users will have gotten accustomed to the advantages they get as compared to Youtube and not want to stop.
P.S. STINC = Steem, Inc.
1 Roughly less than $0.01 per hour of video consumed. For example at 2 Mbps data rate for 360 – 480p video that is roughly 15 MB per minute which is less than 1 GB per hour. Hivelocity offers a $98 monthly server with 50 TB bandwidth allowance, which is $0.0019 per GB. As of May 2016, high volume pricing was as low as $0.0025 and dropping 20 – 25% per annum.