DTube vs. YouTube vs. Patreon
I was chatting with a member of @sndbox today about a video I saw from @furiouspete123 (a popular YouTuber), where he talked about how his income for December 2017 was 90% (!) less than his income for December 2016. This is a YouTuber with over 4.5 million subscribers that is now posting on DTube.
It got me thinking about the different value propositions of the different platforms and what they have to offer for both creators and consumers of content. I don’t want to just come off as a fanboy for Steem, so please post a comment arguing against any of the things I mention if you think I’m wrong. I love talking about this stuff and I’m always happy to have my faulty reasoning pointed out! 👍
YouTube is able to offer something special to people looking for videos. They have pretty much every type of video available, and it’s in a reliable and easy to use package. Most of the videos are available for free, but you have to watch ads on a lot of them unless you’re a member of YouTube Red. So basically we can say that the value offered by YouTube is an absolutely huge library of videos, available for free, in a reliable and easy to use package. A major problem with this model is that getting paid per view means that creators are incentivized to make clickbait titles and thumbnails and not necessarily good content.
Creators on YouTube are able to upload videos to the site for free, and earn money based on the advertising model. Ads are shown before some of their videos, and both YouTube and the content creator gets a cut of the ad dollars. YouTube is also testing out a new option, where creators can have “Sponsors” — basically their fans can sign up to pay $5 directly to the creator each month. So we can say that the value YouTube offers creators is a gigantic platform with access to as many as1.5 billion users for both ad and sponsor revenue. A major problem for creators right now can be seen in something called the Adpocalypse.
This video is a great summary of what happened and why YouTube and advertisers might be in trouble because of this situation. Basically, a bunch of big advertisers realized that their ads were being shown before videos containing things like hate speech and extremist content. The advertisers pulled their ads from the platform and YouTube has been changing its algorithm, which now oftentimes demonetizes content that is completely innocuous. So creators are making significantly less money, and are left constantly battling this algorithm that is trying to deem their videos as “not suitable for advertisers.” It’s a big problem, and one of the main reasons that we’re starting to see some big YouTubers show up on DTube.
An alternative service for earning money from content is Patreon, which lets creators take pledges from subscribers and offer exclusive content in different tiers. The subscribers are called patrons, and they sign up to give money from their pocket directly to the content creator (usually monthly, and oftentimes just $1 USD).
Patreon has a clearer model because people are supporting creators directly. There aren’t any overbearing advertisers to decide who should be able to earn money — if someone has created popular content (and isn’t doing anything to violate the Patreon terms of service) they can create an account and take pledges from their fans.
I mostly use Patreon to support my favorite YouTubers, and the majority of them offer their content for free, but people still become their patrons because they like the content and want to support them. This type of service lets people feel like they’re part of the fan club — they can support and interact with the creators they love, and have a place to connect with other fans.
A downside to this type of platform is its reliance on credit card payments and the processing fees that they require. There was some minor drama on Patreon a couple months ago when they announced that they were changing the fee structure for pledges, and then later rolled this back after everyone complained.
DTube is a new model in this space that lets content creators earn money without having to take it directly from either advertisers or sponsors/patrons. As everyone who is watching this probably knows, creators on DTube earn money from upvotes. Users of the site don’t have to spend any of their own money to to support their favorite creators — they’re simply using their voting power to direct some of the rewards pool to the creator of the video.
Steem can be delegated from one account to another, and DTube has over two million Steem power delegated to the @dtube account. This money can be used to give creators on the site pretty big payouts. I made a post where I found that DTube handed out over $7,000 USD in 12 hours with their upvote. It’s unfathomable to think about any other ad-free platform handing out $14,000 per day to its creators.
This is a huge benefit for both content creators and consumers. Users of the site don’t have to watch ads, and creators don’t have to depend on ad-based dollars to get paid for their content.
Who Will Win
I’m biased of course, but I think DTube has the potential become pretty big. The benefits that come from being on the Steem blockchain are already being utilized, but DTube is also in a unique position to capitalize on the model that Patreon has made popular. All users of DTube have a wallet full of some amount of money and access to free, three second transactions. It wouldn’t be too hard to let users “sponsor” content creators like on YouTube and pay a certain amount of Steem or SBD per month.
YouTube is an incredible achievement — they stream over 1 billion hours of video per day — and the fact that they can offer such a gigantic range of videos makes it hard to imagine any other platform taking over the top spot in this category anytime soon. But I think DTube is in a good place to make a decent dent in the market. We’re already seeing some big name YouTubers come to the platform, which is pretty impressive considering how new it still is. I’m hoping the platform continues to get better, and we see a ton of growth over the course of this year.
What do you think? Which of these platforms has the most to offer to content creators and consumers? Thanks for watching!