Theta: The future of video content delivery
The days of only being able to watch whatever is programmed onto one of the mere three available tv-stations have been reduced to a thing of the past. While commercial broadcasters are spinning their heads trying to figure out how to hold onto whatever is left of their viewers, other exploiters of video-entertainment are popping up, and thriving in a bigger fashion with every passing year.
People are too busy and time-constraint to watch shows littered with endless commercials, sometimes exceeding the duration of the actual show, and too spoiled witch choice to just accept what others demand them to see. The on-demand video streaming services are rapidly exceeding revenues previously attained by legacy companies, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing pace anytime soon.
Companies like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are combating for the viewers’ time, while also making sure to deliver quality content. Netflix is even taking over the movie sectors’ audience, after already taking the lion share of tv-series watchers, and streaming platforms such as Youtube, Vimeo and Twitch are catering to the needs of viewers looking for specific knowledge or entertainment, making amateur video creators famous in the process.
In short; the era of cable and broadcasting networks is at the beginning of the end.
While the rise of the entertainment companies is probably a net positive, new problems are emerging. Not only for the companies themselves to secure revenue, but also, and one of the biggest concerns at present, how to cater to the needs of millions of people watching a livestream at the same time.
Whether it is a big sports event, a presidents’ speech, a live concert or even an Egame sports final, more and more of these shows are being watched on-demand by more and more people at the same time, causing a lack of available resources to get the video’s to all these people simultaneously in the process.
Furthermore, we see that the actual visuals are getting increasingly more pleasing for the eyes, however, the delivery of 4K, 8K, and VR resolution videos have the downside of demanding an even higher bandwidth to deliver them.
A company harnessing the power of blockchain technology has conjured up an ingenious method of being able to cater to these demands, ensuring a pleasurable viewing experience for tons of people at the same time, not limiting the video quality and decreasing the costs of streaming. The cherry on the top? Viewers will get rewarded for their stake and attention in the process. Welcome Theta Token
While making this article Sliver.TV has officially rebranded to Theta.TV and as such we will refer to them as Theta.TV from now on.
Theta and THETA.tv
Theta is a subsidiary of THETA.tv, a leading Esports, and streaming company based in Silicon Valley. Established in 2015, THETA.tv already has millions of users. THETA.tv focuses on the most popular online games, and envision a future with a much better and unique Esports engagement experience. The Esports streaming scene is often perceived as being a small niche by people not familiar with the genre, however, Esports has exploded in the last couple of years. Both in the number of people watching, the hours they spend watching, and the revenue generated for both the streamer and the video streaming platform.
We encourage you to learn more about the exact numbers, some can be found in this article, since we believe that the sector is filled with possibilities. The stats showed below can give you a general sense of how big the Esports industry already has become.
- 495 million individuals watching Esports globally in 2020
- 11 billion hours of Esports watched globally in 2020
- 70 million people will watch an Esports game final live. More than the MLB NHL or NBA finals.
- 25,5 million dollars main prize take away at the DOTA 2 finals.
Keep these numbers in mind, they show the current and future popularity of this upcoming industry, as well as the, mostly untapped, potential that the Theta Network is delving into.
Theta Network history
Theta aims to establish itself as a blockchain-powered video delivery platform featuring decentralized streaming, while using a token-based bandwidth sharing model. we realize that’s a lot to digest so we’ll explain more of that further down the line, but let’s first look into how the idea came to be and where it all started.
THETA.tv was, and still is, one of the frontrunners in regards to live VR streaming. Virtual Reality enables an entirely new and immersive experience, where viewers feel they are inside the games being played. While this delivers an amazing viewing experience, this also demands extreme amounts of bandwidth. Roughly 30/40% of all of THETA.tv’s expenses were solely because of the costs of streaming high-quality video’s to everyone around the world, and it was causing a deep burden on THETA.tv’s bottom line.
Now imagine the final of a popular Esports game, where 70 million people want to watch the game at the same time, without streams having to buffer, and with the content being delivered in high-quality or even in VR. The costs will be enormous.
The bright minds at THETA.tv started looking into ways to solve this massive expenditure, and found a way to harness the power of blockchain technology to invent a solution. This major pain point is why Theta came to life. By leveraging blockchain technology Theta has created the first Decentralized Video Streaming and Delivery Network. By rewarding viewers to share their extra bandwidth they have been able to massively reduce costs, while continuing to deliver premium quality videos. The Theta concept is a world first, and we believe they may have set the standard for future streaming.
The Theta Network
Theta has raised around $20 million in the first quarter of 2018 and has used those funds to jumpstart the development of the Theta network and to get the company running. Initially, Theta was launched on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token, but on March 15, 2019, the Theta officially launched its own mainnet, exchanging the ERC-20 tokens to the native Theta tokens at a 1:1 ratio. It’s important to note that the supply is fixed at 1 billion tokens, no new tokens will ever be created.
Theta token and Theta Fuel
Theta token consists of a dual coin ecosystem – Theta Token (THETA) and Theta Fuel (TFUEL). This is a trend we see in an increasing amount of (newer) coins. THETA is used to stake, contributing to block production and governance. The rewards for staking THETA are given in TFUEL.
TFUEL, on the other hand, is used for and pays for, all day-to-day operations on the blockchain. TFUEL will be used for microtransactions, donating to ones’ favorite streamer, interacting with smart contracts, spending in the THETA.tv shop or selling on exchanges. The dual system ensures that the entire ecosystem can remain liquid, an aspect that, especially with an increasing amount of users, will become very important.
As we discussed earlier, the game streaming industry is already huge, and its growth is accelerating with every year. So it should come as no surprise that Sliver.TV isn’t the only company trying to cater to viewers’ needs. It’s competing with huge companies like Twitch and Youtube, and for people to switch platforms there needs to be an incentive. THETA.tv acknowledges this aspect and is using its blockchain technology to rewards its viewers in exchange for receiving their redundant extra bandwidth and computing power. In essence, killing two birds with one stone. The system entices users to watch streams on their platform, while also harnessing their resources to ensure an exquisite viewing experience. In reality, they are even killing 3 birds with one stone due to them reducing a major part of their expenses.
Enough talk about killing birds. The system creates a win-win-win situation, and it’s hard to imagine that after figuring out this reward system people will return to legacy platforms such as Youtube and Twitch, where instead of getting rewards you receive unwanted ads. (by the way, if you aren’t already using the Brave Browser, we highly recommend starting now. It’s a lot faster than Edge or Chrome and it has an automatic adblocker built-in! ).
This incentive will not grant you any Theta though, but it will earn you Theta Fuel. Theta Fuel can also be earned by staking Theta tokens in your wallet. However, Theta fuel can be sold on exchanges for Theta or other cryptocurrencies. A smart investing idea is to sell the Theta fuel into Theta which can then be staked for increasing rewards. Rinse and repeat and you can harness the power of compounding interest.
Pre Guardian Node
Theta also has created a program in which you can already ‘sell’ your extra bandwidth and receive TFUEL in the process. The rewards are based on your excess upload bandwidth, your computer specs and the Theta stored in your wallet. It’s unnecessary to buy any Theta before receiving rewards, however.
Instead of telling you how to get started, we encourage you to watch this 3-minute video that explains what to do in an easy step-by-step way.
Partnerships and Advisors
Theta.TV has a plethora of impressive investors, partners, and investors ensembled around them. Naming all of them would take too much time. However, we will mention some of the more interesting, and important collaborations.
First off, we want to mention two of the biggest names that are linked to Theta.TV: Samsung and Sony.
Samsung is part of the Media Advisory Council of the Theta network. For Samsung, the main focus will be investigating the possibilities Theta can bring to Samsung’s VR goals. Samsung acknowledges that we will continue to move towards a VR/AR enriched world and they are looking into Theta’s peer-to-peer technology to lower content delivery costs.
Theta.TV is part of the portfolio of the Sony innovation fund. One of the main goals for Sony is to develop innovative and scalable technologies and explore new and emerging technologies. Furthermore, they have a serious interest in entertainment and gaming platforms. Theta.TV gets the checkmark in all of those boxes, so it makes sense they have reserved a part of their innovation fund to help develop the Theta.TV services. Besides financial aid Sony also helps in the reach department since they enable future partnerships with apps on the Playstation network, getting Theta into the hands of millions of gamers on their console.
Other partnerships seem to focus mostly on 2 areas: Increasing reach and increasing content. We’ll list 2 below.
In October 2019 Theta Network announced a partnership with Dlive bringing decentralized video streaming to 5 million users. Dlive is trying to take on Youtube and Twitch competing with a decentralized platform with a fairer compensation model for content creators. Theta’s peer-to-peer streaming protocol will be incorporated into the platform, allowing users to relay video’s. Further collaboration between Dlive and Sliver.Tv is in the making.
Theta labs and THETA.tv have partnered with Littlestar. Littlestar has a reach of millions since it’s integration into the PS4 app. They will integrate THETA.tv content into the app, making the streamer’s content available for all PS4 owners.
Theta’s circle of advisors is pretty impressive, and one of the biggest compliments towards Theta.TV and Theta Network, which shows that they are on the brink of making an enormous impact in the video delivering space, is the fact that two co-founders of their biggest competitors are within this circle. Both Steven Chen, co-founder of Youtube, and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch are looking for ways to help the Theta network grow.
This is what Steve Chen says about Theta:
“Theta’s innovation is set to disrupt today’s online video industry much in the same way that the YouTube platform did to traditional video back in 2005. One of our biggest challenges had been the high costs of delivering video to various parts of the world, and this problem is only getting bigger with HD, 4K and higher quality video streams. I’m 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.”
And to top this section off, rest assured Theta.TV isn’t done looking for ways to increase their reach. One of the most exciting things to look forward to will be the implementation of Theta into smart TV’s . The first tests are already underway and when this tech gets fully immersed Theta will become available to hundreds of millions of TV’s in living rooms all around the globe. When more news is available regarding this test, we’ll be sure to update this article.
In the last couple of months, Theta has been primarily busy onboarding crypto companies to run validator nodes and generating content for its audience. Just yesterday they have [signed a deal with MGM studios](https://medium.com/theta-network/mgm-studios-brings-hollywood-classics-to-theta-tv-powered-by-theta-network-aba69ff7efa9) to bring some classic movies to their platform. Again showing that they are making all the right moves and connecting with the right people to ensure a bright future.
Theta Token is one of the companies that shows how we can leverage blockchain technology for more than just exchanging value. To us, it has become very clear that in a couple of years, or maybe a decade, blockchain technology will be integrated into most areas of our lives and we are seeing the first signs of that with companies like Theta Network finding different alleys to take advantage of the possibilities out there.
In different sectors, we see that the current framework, in which people think they are using a free service but instead are the product themselves, for example with Facebook, Youtube, and other social media sites, is beginning to end its lifecycle and we are switching towards an era where the users’ time and attention will be valued. Furthermore, we see that companies are looking for ways to incentivize our time spent on the platform, albeit in some ways in return for, for example, excess bandwidth.
Theta has developed a revolutionary concept where everyone seems to benefit from using the platform and we believe it’s just a matter of time before people start to figure out that there are better ways to consume content than by watching ‘legacy platforms’ like Youtube and Twitch and it’s up to those behemoths to transition themselves or inevitably be left in the dust due to the incentives being offered by Theta Network.
The future in a way also seems obvious to their big partners, and even founders of current potential competitors, since they not only partner with Theta.TV and Theta Token, but also advise them.
Theta Token is already available to millions of people and with more strategic partnerships, further development and new initiatives is set to be the leader of next-gen video watching. Especially with the content delivery transitioning more and more to a VR form. For now, we remain confident that they are up to the task and will continue to follow their every move in the future. If important new events occur we will be sure to update our DeepDive here and keep you updated.
We will continue to digest all new endeavors in this space which include blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We are certain that blockchain technology will add fuel to the already big pile of new and promising technologies that will rocket the gaming and social media industry into a new era. Be sure to follow us too, and join our email list to get notified when we finish a new review or write-up!