Video streaming is becoming an increasingly important part of the way that the world consumes and creates media. It is estimated that video streaming will comprise 82% of all internet traffic by 2020. The global infrastructure for video streaming at the current moment in time is highly centralized, with most of the market belonging to Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu.
As video quality improves, the amount of bandwidth required to stream video increases, leaving those without reliable internet access with limited access to online video content.
Theta Labs, a subsidiary company of SLIVER.tv, hopes to decentralize the video streaming industry with a new blockchain-based platform that provides an innovative solution to provide those with low bandwidth access to high-quality video content.
A Platform for Creators and Consumers
Theta hopes that their network will empower publishers and content creators by providing a low-cost network to connect with media consumers. According to Theta Labs, Dapps can be built on the Theta blockchain that will “enable esports, music, TV/movies, education, enterprise conferencing, peer-to-peer streaming, and more.”
Theta Lab’s new platform will be provide a special set of benefits for areas of the world that have unreliable access to internet connectivity. Theta Labs advisor Steven Chen, who is also one of the co-founders of YouTube, said that one of YouTube’s biggest obstacles has been the high cost of streaming video to such regions.
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Chen is hopeful about the solution that Theta Labs is presenting to this problem, saying that he is “excited to be part of the next evolution of the streaming space, helping Theta create a decentralized peer-to-peer network that can offer improved video delivery at lower costs.”
In addition to Steven Chen, Theta Labs has a roster of at least eight formidable technical and financial advisors. Included on the list are Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch; Sebastian Sorrento, founder of the blockchain-based, peer-to-peer credit lending network Ripio; and Fan Zhang, founding member of Sequioa Capital. Rajeev Surati, who holds a PhD in video compression and streaming from MIT, is also listed.
How Will it Work?
The Theta Labs platform will allow anyone with a surplus of PC bandwidth to become a ‘streamer’ who caches and relays video to other users in the network. The streamers are then rewarded with Theta network tokens. The announcement of the Theta platorm invites us to imagine that “a user in the middle of Brazil goes to sleep with his computer on, wakes up in the morning and has made a few dollars by running his Theta app in the background.”
The ERC20 tokens that will be used to power the Theta network will be implemented in December of 2017. More specifically, the tokens will incentivize streamers and will be used by advertisers and brand sponsors to fund campaigns on the SLIVER.tv network. The ERC20 tokens will later be exchanged for native Theta tokens when the blockchain officially launches in Q4 of 2018.
The Theta token sale is scheduled for January of 2018; pre-registration for the token sale is now open.