March 27, 2019

[INTERVIEW] ‘YouTube’s profit model lacks transparency’

PUBLISHED : April 11, 2018 - 17:13

UPDATED : April 11, 2018 - 17:46

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[THE INVESTOR] YouTube, a platform that has helped individuals ascend into global stardom, is now ridden with cheating schemes aimed at bumping up the number of subscribers and views.

Some utilize bots to boost views, as it means more profits, while others never try to make a contribution to the platform after becoming a one-hit wonder. 

Chris Gale, a co-founder of blockchain-based video platform operator Verasity, said these problems stem from YouTube’s profit-sharing model which lacks transparency and fails to offer a level playing field for users and creators.

Chris Gale,co-founder of blockchain-based video platform operator Verasity.

“YouTubers never really know how much money they make or don’t have any other opportunities to make money apart from just advertising because YouTube has no other models,” Gale told The Investor in a recent interview in Seoul.

Consequently, YouTube is seeing fewer profits although Google reports tens of millions of dollars every year as the window of opportunities for creators to make revenues is shrinking, he added.

Alphabet, the holding company of Google and YouTube, does not disclose the respective earnings of its affiliates.

After finding out such limitations, he and his current teammates, some of whom are from media companies such as AOL, Time Warner, and Sky, started early last year to develop a video platform, also named Verasity, which the company said delivers high-quality content in a very efficient manner, integrated with the cryptocurrency technology.

Instead of creators relying on ads for money, Verasity lets content makers choose to get paid in the form of the Vera coin, or decide to offer their content for free. The creators can make their videos available only for their subscribers. A pay-per-view scheme, which has been rarely adopted by other video platforms due to high costs of running credit card gateways and payment systems, is available in the Verasity services as well.

The platform operator gets a small amount of fees from creators. To encourage users to watch more videos, the company offers rewards for viewers as well. When finishing watching videos, viewers are notified with the sound of jingling coins that they have got Vera coins transferred to their wallets on the platform.

“The blockchain technology featured in the Verasity platform has got rid of middlemen and intermediaries, including banks, exchange rates, paywalls, and credit card companies, in all transactions,” the Verasity co-founder said.

The fact that the Veracity solutions can reduce transaction costs has already appealed to some global media firm, according to the London-based startup. 

“We have got very good feedback from over-the-top providers, as well as YouTube creators, who are looking at other platforms that are also very pro-cryptocurrency,” he said.

In order to stamp out cheating, the UK startup has also adopted what it calls a proof-of-view technology to stop users from being able to run a video over and over without actually watching it and make money.

The company plans to raise funds through a series of initial coin offerings this year and officially launch the Verasity app next year. The pre-sale of the currency starts on May 1, followed by the main ICO on June 1.

By Kim Young-won (

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