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Today’s dominant social media platforms do one thing very well. They rake in money. But they struggle to build and maintain robust relationships with their most valuable customers: those creating content that inspires others to join and spend time on their platforms.
They maintain full control over the distribution and monetization of content, take a heavy tax from creators’ revenue streams, and tend to lack transparency in communicating a consistent rationale behind what revenue streams reach which platform contributors.
Blockchain technology, with its ability to create transparency and decentralize computerized networks, brings the opportunity to evolve an industry ripe for disruption.
YouNow, the pioneering live streaming company with 40 million users and millions in monthly revenue from its two-sided virtual marketplace, has launched the PROPS Project to more fairly reward platform contributors for their time, effort and creativity.
The first app on the PROPS platform, Rize, is a many-to-many video application that will launch publicly in a few weeks. Rize has been live in alpha for weeks now, and has been met with widespread enthusiasm by the creator community.
An Ethereum based ERC20 compliant cryptographic token, PROPS will be governed by the nonprofit Decentralized Media Foundation. The Foundation will distribute a reward pool to the PROPS ecosystem, a group of applications that reward participants in proportion to their contributions to the network.
An Experienced Team Transforming The Digital Content Space
YouNow, a team of 40 people, has generated more than $50 million in virtual goods sales over the past three years, sharing the majority of the earnings with its content creators. YouNow was the first company to popularize live mobile video in the U.S. and built a two-sided in-app virtual economy that sees 62,000 micro-transactions per day.
The Rize app will be seeded with members of the YouNow community, immediately supporting demand for the PROPS token, which enables benefits like exclusive access, subscriptions and improved status. YouNow’s wealth of experience uniquely positions them to understand the dynamics of a two-sided marketplace and institute essential features that will help drive value creation on the PROPS platform.
Everything from status-signaling to direct compensation will spur demand for the token.
The unique many-to-many video technology will also allow YouNow’s creators to evolve their content and their interactions with fans. They can invite them to join the performance, join them while watching another piece of content, or simply use the PROPS platform as they’ve always used YouNow. With everyone live all the time and video quality good enough to suggest you’re in the same room, the opportunities for creators are endless.
A Practical Digital Media Deployment
Decentralized computing networks have not yet been able to handle the demands of video streaming, high volume microtransactions and low latency messaging on a large scale. For these and a number of other reasons, crypto projects have struggled to attract mainstream users.
PROPS offers a solution for the practical decentralization of digital media. Participants will initially join the PROPS ecosystem through apps like Rize.
The vast majority of users will not need to understand anything about crypto economics, wallet security or other crypt-centric topics that can scare off mainstream users. They will buy virtual Coins, a fiat-based currency, to submit virtual goods transactions that are facilitated via in-app purchases. This will remove barriers to entry for mainstream users.
To create an evergreen user rewards pool, revenue from in-app purchases will be used to buy PROPS from the market. The Foundation will then distribute PROPS as rewards to contributors for their efforts, driving engagement on the platform. PROPS unlock functionality, value and status within the community, making it a valuable token to hold on the platform. For the first time, the platform itself (YouNow is also transitioning from a C-corp to a B-corp) is completely aligned with the interests of every stakeholder on it.
YouNow led the push into mobile live streaming, and is now challenging social media’s biggest players by leaning into the decentralized future. With a novel business model, innovative technology, and years of experience managing a two-sided marketplace, they are well positioned to challenge incumbents and introduce cryptocurrency to a mainstream audience.
Advisors and investors include Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Venrock, BlockTower Capital, CoinFund and Jim Louderback, the CEO of VidCon.