New Social Video Business Models explored at VIDCON!

New Social Video Business Models explored at VIDCON!

New Social Video Monetisation Opportunities Explored at VIDCON!

VidCon rolled into Melbourne for the third year in a row earlier in the month with some great sessions and a strong turnout for the Industry Track on the Thursday and Friday. 

With data becoming such a critical part of building a successful video strategy, Stephan Jenn of Tubular’s presentation on the Australian market was insightful and well received. It was interesting to hear about the significant opportunities for content owners, broadcasters and rights holders that YouTube offers. Our team at Valleyarm also found the session on using the community tab on YouTube to grow your subscriber base helpful.   

Thanks to the VC team, I moderated a session on emerging AVOD social video models that some of the leading international and Australian content companies are deploying. The graphic below was a key starting point for our discussion and shows the rapid transformation of the global video landscape over the last few years. 


 The discussion’s key take-outs were: 

YouTube provides a significant global opportunity for broadcasters and rights holders.

Chris Ledlin, Head of Content Strategy and Commercialisation at Nine, highlighted how the 60 Minutes YouTube channel has gone past 1 million subscribers, 80 per cent of whom are from outside Australia.

Chris was incredibly positive about the opportunities to broaden their domestic and global audience through repurposing existing TV content but stressed that platforms need to do more to recognise quality Australian content and better understand there are significant costs in making it (in Nine’s case over $1 billion AUD every year).

For publishers to build a model on these platforms they need to increase CPMs and let publishers control the sale of the content. The opportunity present in repurposing long-tail content was supported by Jamie Searle, a leading social video consultant, who discussed examples of major broadcasters and movie companies beginning to generate significant revenue from older content formats by focusing on YouTube.

Put the fan first and revenue will follow.

Vanessa Brown, who has been instrumental in driving the Cartoon Network’s subscriber base past the five-million mark across the APAC region, discussed how their model had prioritised fan engagement, tailoring content to clearly identify what fans wanted.

With more than 20 channels to manage, Vanessa made the point that internal resource challenges make it important to consider regional partnerships to help deliver on strategy. There was the obvious question regarding YouTube’s changes around children’s content, and while Vanessa acknowledged that it would be a bumpy ride in the short term, things will potentially become smoother over time. 

Sports broadcasters are thinking about creating new formats outside of game footage. 

Locally we heard from Sarah Wyse, Head of AFL Media, who explained that the AFL social video model has to take into account complex rights agreements with local broadcasters and the fact that an overriding majority of their audience is in Australia.

Sarah made the point that the AFL caters to many different audiences including AFL fans, AFLW fans and AFL kids and they’re creating new content formats for social platforms. While monetisation was important, ensuring that the content complemented the overall ‘AFL Owned and Operated’ strategy was key, along with increasing fan engagement. 

New digital video publishers embrace a 360-revenue model. 

Jamie Searle discussed the fact that over the last 18 months, studio and broadcast companies had focused on developing their social video monetisation plans, and existing credibility with audiences was a key part of their growing success on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

He commented on the fact that new digital media publishers such as Buzzfeed and Complex had begun to differentiate the type of programs being made for social platforms, also placing a strong focus on developing alternative revenue streams in areas such as touring and merchandising. 

Facebook is working hard to catch up.

All of our panellists highlighted Facebook’s pursuit of relationships in the Australian market, mainly by commissioning content from large broadcasters. It was generally agreed that, from an Australian market perspective, it’s early days with regard to monetisation opportunities on Facebook.

Follow me and or the Valleyarm page on LinkedIn as we will be delving deeper into all things around social video monetisation.

Written by: Mark Ashbridge


So What is DTube and How Does it Differ From Youtube?

So What is DTube and How Does it Differ From Youtube?

So What is DTube and How Does it Differ From Youtube?

YouTube is the #1 video destination on the web, and has dominated the space in recent times – despite increasing competition from the likes of Facebook. But recently some content creators have been utilising a site called DTube to take advantage of it’s differences from YouTube. So what is DTube, how does it differ from YouTube, and why should brands and content creators even care?

What is DTube?

To understand DTube we must first talk about and understand Steemit, a blockchain-based social media platform that launched in July of 2016.  Essentially it’s a Reddit-type service where anyone can earn rewards by posting, curating, and up-voting relevant content. Monetary rewards come via a cryptocurrency token named STEEM, and in US dollar-pegged tokens called Steem Dollars. So think of Reddit (i.e. users post links, and vote good content up, and bad content down) – but every user who participates gets a monetary reward.

Essentially it’s a Reddit-type service where anyone can earn rewards by posting, curating, and up-voting relevant content.

Decentralized Tube (or DTube for short) is a YouTube-like video platform that is built as an application on top of Steemit.  So it’s on the same platform utilising the same rules but specifically for video content. Essentially, users post videos, and are rewarded for creating and uploading content.

So… that’s the basics, and in essence it sounds much like YouTube – so how does DTube really differ?

Built on the Blockchain, Meaning Blockchain Benefits

Both Steemit and DTube are built on the blockchain. You’ve probably heard of the Blockchain by now – it’s what Bitcoin is built on. Essentially it allows for a secure, decentralised, list of record keeping. It’s inherently resistant to modifications, and the data is managed by a peer-to-peer network.

By utilising the blockchain, DTube benefits in a number of ways which we will now elaborate on.

No Censorship

The beauty (and the beast) of the blockchain is that it’s decentralised – meaning no one entity controls what users upload and send.  No video uploaded on Dtube can be blocked to viewers because of copyright or non-family friendly content.

Many users enjoy this aspect as it truly empowers their creativity without limits. Brands and media companies on the other hand will be shocked to learn that there is no way for them to pull down content that has been uploaded by other users.

No Ads

Another great feature of using the Steemit platform is that there are no advertisements. Viewers can enjoy a pure viewing experience without being disrupted with commercial messages.

You Can’t Delete Content

A constant worry with DTube is that what goes on the blockchain, stays on the blockchain – which by design cannot be tampered with.  You currently cannot delete a video from your channel. Once it’s uploaded, it stays online forever. This also means users need to be 100% confident in the content they upload because they cannot edit the video afterwards.

No View Counts

YouTube is primarily focused around popular uploads that drive high view counts. On DTube however, view counts are not even shown. Instead, how much money a video has generated for it’s uploader is displayed. Understanding the exact dollar value of this figure however is a lot more complicated.

With Youtube you get an overview of your different types of revenue streams. And because you are paid in a known currency (as opposed to a cryptocurrency), it’s much easier to understand what you have earnt.

Google Search Results

YouTube links for popular content index superbly well in Google. And we all know YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine. So with content on YouTube it’s easy for users to find what they want. DTube however, is a new video platform, and is barely recognised by Google in search results.

Not great for getting new users from outside the DTube ecosystem to discover you and your content.

“DTube has become a hub for smaller content creators who missed the boat on YouTube

Room For Beginners

DTube has become a hub for smaller content creators who missed the boat on YouTube. This is no different to any new content or social platform where getting in early gives users an advantage over those who join once the platform becomes more saturated. Creators such as Dnews, SpencerRyan,  PaolaJane, Art.Visuals, CaptainBob, and HarshilPatel are all creating amazing videos on Dtube and enjoying everything that a decentralised video platform has to offer.

Still in Beta and Far From Perfect

DTube is still in beta –  version 0.7 was released last week which included huge improvements like 720p uploads, multi track subtitle options, and GPU encoding.  But there are still an array of problems for its users. Loading and uploading videos on DTube can be slow. The 7 day payout system adopted on the Steemit blockchain means older content cannot be further monetised.  And the lack of communication from DTube’s developers throws in a touch of uncertainty for consistent monetisation.


DTube is a new platform that is not without its pitfalls, but it is one to keep an eye on. Despite being a relatively small player, it has an avid set of content creators trying innovative new approaches. DTube presents itself as an interesting alternative option for video creators who want an instant impact and monetisable outcome, but remains a difficult platform for the mainstream to understand.