We learnt that users wanted to participate in media experiences, and so on Rize, everyone is live, everyone can interact, and everyone can earn – says Peter Watts, Platform Lead at YouNow, in Bithub.pl’s #SundayInterview.
You’ve been running YouNow streaming platform for some time and now you’re delivering Rize, which is meant to supplement YouNow. What are the key differences between these two projects?
Peter Watts: Rize is in many ways an evolution of YouNow, incorporating all the learnings from the past 6 years of running it. The first big difference is the many-to-many video technology. We learnt that users wanted to participate in media experiences, and so on Rize, everyone is live, everyone can interact, and everyone can earn. The other major difference is the introduction of the PROPS token. This came from years of working with creators, understanding their needs, and looking for a way to align their interests with ours, to work together in building a strong network.
How exactly will PROPS work? You can buy them for fiats and compensate streamers you watch? Who decides on the amount of tokens paid? Are transactions fee-free?
PW: One of the key innovations with the Rize app is the two-currency system. There are many challenges with getting mainstream users to adopt cryptocurrencies, including complexity, fees and scalability. For this reason, Rize includes a second, non-crypto virtual currency called “Coins”, that users can easily buy with Apple/Google in-app purchases, and spend in the app at high volume, without having to worry about fees, or even understand what cryptocurrencies are. Meanwhile, the streamers, who are more advanced users, will earn in PROPS, based on their contributions to the platform each day. This two-currency system allows us to overcome many of the challenges of cryptocurrencies, while keeping things simple for mainstream users.
What possible revenues for streamers are we talking about here? Do you think that in the future they could (out)match youtuber’s profits?
PW: It’s difficult to predict exact profits, but what’s important to understand is that the token business model allows us to take the smallest possible cut of transactions, and even to encourage fans and streamers to transact directly, cutting us out completely. What this means is that streamers will be able to achieve higher take-home earnings for the same amount of revenue generated.
Many people seem to feel convenient with big platforms dominating the markets, as they know where to go when they’re in need. For example, you need to book you go to Booking, you want to watch videos you go to YouTube. The question is, how are you going to get through to the wider audience with your offer? Especially that coins and tokens are still a mystery to regular folks.
PW: Our secret weapon is the streamers and influencers. We have been working with thousands of them for many years, and the PROPS platform is built from the ground up for their needs. If we can convince the big influencers that this new platform is better for them, then they can help bring their fans. Having the most influential users on board will definitely help.
Another problem with adopting coins and tokens for transactions purposes is that they’re unstable. People are investing in them hoping they will gain value. Can PROPS be traded on the exchanges? Can it grow in value and become and object of hoarding? How do you solve that?
PW: One interesting thing about PROPS is that revenue from in-app purchases will be used to buy PROPS on the market, to be distributed out to users. This means there will be healthy demand for the currency that is driven by real usage and revenue, not just speculation. We think this will help to bring some stability to the market.
Interview by Przemyslaw Cwik