Streamium Decentralizes Streaming so Content Producers Get Paid Bitcoins in Real Time

June 2, 2015 11:28 UTC

Streamium’s new technology will challenge streaming services such as Livestream – at least that’s what the Streamium team believes. By offering streaming in a decentralized and trustless manner, Streamium could be content producers way of getting paid in real time.

The Streamium team envisions Streamium as a decentralized trustless video streaming platform, allowing audiences and publishers to work together in a pay-as-you-go model. Streamium wants to empower teachers, coaches, performers, sportsmen and gamers to connect with other people online and broadcast their services or experiences to anyone in the world in exchange for money, without the middlemen.

The platform is designed to facilitate teaching/tutoring/mentoring, monetizing geo-cams, monetizing sporting events that don’t have large enough crowds to allow monetization through ads, etc. If you have something to stream that people are willing to pay just $0.10/min or even $0.01/min for, “that’s potentially 10-100x more than ad-supported video can bring in, Alex Batallés tells CCN.

After an original announcement about Streamium met great anticipation, the team is still hard at work.

Thanks to feedback the team received after beta was released, they made some changes, such as adding transaction confidence tracking so that Streamium can now check the likelihood that a client’s transactions would be included in a block, and even checks for double spends utilizing technology developed by BlockCypher. Github conversations can be participated and viewed here and here. The team can be contacted here.

Streamium represents the world’s first peer-to-peer Livestreaming service, allowing viewers to make bitcoin micropayments to the content creators they enjoy.

Streamium is the brainchild of Argentine programmers. Manuel Aráoz, who developed ProofOfExistence.com, and Demian Brener who writes that Streamium came about to “empower the long tail of small content creators to open up to the world and get paid accordingly in real time.”

Precedent has been set for Streamium in the live video streaming services with Meerkat (Android and iOS) and Periscope (iOS only). However, Streamium adds an additional layer for bitcoin pay-per-minute.

A Streamium stream can be started by choosing a name, which then produces the link you will need to share to get people involved. By adding a Bitcoin receipt address, the publisher is ready to go. Choose a pay-by-hour rate,  hit the “START BROADCASTING” button, and hit the ground running. Streamium does not handle any video or payments. All it does is arrange for the two user’s browsers to communicate and set up a payment channel and a webRTC video stream.

The project was started amid a friendly hackathon.

“Streamium started when the seven of us decided to get together for a little informal hackathon on a Sunday last November,” says Alex Batallés.

We knew we wanted to do something with micropayment channels because we felt it was the next big thing in the Bitcoin world and no one had done anything cool with them yet.

It took them awhile to hit on the idea.

“We toyed around for 3-4 hours with a bunch of different ideas that went nowhere until someone said something along the lines of ‘streaming video with bitcoin payment channels,’ and it instantly clicked in everyone’s mind. Everyone immediately went to work on it.”

The team is committed to transparency, which is why open source technology had been such an inspiration and philosophical grounding.

We’re big believers in open-source,” Batallés said. “But specifically, in this instance, the idea was to make a trustless system, where the broadcaster and the client didn’t have to trust each other nor Streamium.”

Closed source just wasn’t on the table.

“If it were closed source, you’d have no idea if we were skimming your bitcoins and then it might as well be a centralized service with centralized control of funds,” he said.

Similar analogies on the world wide web to Streamium could be considered Livestream and uStream. Nonetheless, there are considerable differences.

In the case of Livestream and uStream, it is the company who provides the whole live streaming solution to clients in exchange for a fee: they handle the video stream and the payment methods,” Batallés said.

“The beauty of Streamium is that it allows anyone in the world to set up a live stream to broadcast and get paid in real time, in a trustless decentralized manner, for free,” he continued.

“It leverages several open source technologies such as WebRTC and Bitcoin to democratize paid live streaming, and allow the long tail of small content producers that can’t afford Livestream or uStream costs, to open up to the world and start streaming and get paid for their work.”

Could Streamium supplant Livestream? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Last modified: June 2, 2015 11:31 UTC

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