Things of Your Day

I watched this video and was great, definitely answered the question of why CCPGray and Kurzegesagt weren’t on the platform when I eventually joined it even though I remember them promoting it at inception.

Around the 11 minute mark is a key difference from any platform I’ve heard of so far, and maybe the most creator friendly I’ve seen. Creators getting 50% of the amount a platform sells for, if it sells, is wild.

We were having a discussion the other day. I wonder what it would be like if someone setup a platform where creators get almost 100% after expenses.

It will be entirely up to the channel-owners how to monetize. They can run ads, do subscriptions, donations. Charge whatever they like. Or be entirely free.

The only cut the platform would take would be the following:

  1. Transaction fees. There are taken by the credit card processors and such, there’s nothing to be done about it. Unavoidable without huge government action.
  2. The cloud computing bill. Mostly for bandwidth, but also some storage and compute. We literally meter how much computer resources someone’s channel is using, and bill them for it at-cost. You make a 1GB video and it had 10000 views? We charge for 10 terabytes of bandwidth at the CDN, whatever that costs.
  3. Labor bill. We take the actual cost of the platform. How much our employees get paid. How much our electricity bill costs. How much everything costs to run. We take that value every month, and divide it proportionally among the creators based on how big they are. There may be some issues with this early on because with too few creators, nobody will be able to afford it. Have to start by subsidizing it, but then stop doing that when there are enough creators with enough viewers.

How would this platform do? My guess, not well. For basically every streamer or video producer the cloud computing and labor bills will probably keep them from generating any meaningful revenues.

Why make this platform? If you’re a company like Twitch, right now you are subsidizing all these streamers eating those costs yourself, and not profiting. If you had this platform exist, just to serve as a contrast to your own service, people might appreciate and understand the true value of the free bandwidth you are offering. Then maybe at least a few people will come to understand the true value of the free bandwidth and stop complaining that you take a huge cut.

You may want to look at PeerTube, while it’s not exactly what you described there are a lot of overlaps.

Peertube is nothing like what I suggested? It’s a decentralized open source service. I’m talking about a normal centralized service that simply has a different monetization structure.

Sorry needed to clarify my previous statement. PeerTube itself is a decentralized platform but there are people who are running servers that are mirroring your ideas. TILVids is an example of having requirements for using their server both on the content side but as well as bandwidth-wise. While it is not the norm the “sharing the load” concept is done on a smaller basis.

Are they really metering bandwidth and charging for it like $0.01/GB?

Not that I know of, like I said it is not a 1:1 solution to what you have suggested but the idea of people “paying for uploading” is coming to a more serious conversation with the selected hosting platform in the vein of a locally run instance.

The thing is, the uploading and storage is not the great expense. It’s the viewing that is more expensive.

You can store 1GB of data on S3 standard storage for $0.023.
Transferring 1GB of data costs $0.01 per gigabyte on the standard CDN.

The storage price is flat. 2 cents is 2 cents.
As soon as 3 people watch the video, the bandwidth price has already hit 3 cents.
If someone gets 1 million views that will cost $10,000. With the volume plan it’s $5k. And that’s the cheapest reputable CDN I know of. For comparison sake, at CDNify it will cost you $50,000. At Akamai it will cost you $350,000. Just from one 1GB video with 1 million views.

When someone gets a million YouTube views they are getting free storage, transcoding, and CDN bandwidth from Google. They are getting service from a CDN that is basically the best on Earth. And yet, if you get a million views, YouTube charges you nothing. But yet, someone who uploads a video and gets 1 million views doesn’t realize that YouTube basically just gave them $350k worth of service for free. Literally a free house, and yet they complain that YouTube doesn’t pay them enough for making the video!


I was confused about your comment “nebula uses marketing to get paid” which is either totally obvious or totally wrong, depending on what you meant.

After watching the video, what seems to be the interesting takeaway is that “nebula uses affiliate payments to creators for marketing nebula on YouTube to make sure their creators earn money, rather than paying creators for their success on nebula”.

It seems like a good model for now. I can see many, many ways this could all go south. Thankfully the owners don’t seem to be in much debt/taken too much investment so it probably won’t be ruinous.

I meant to say it explains why so many YouTubers have subscription services as an ad in their videos. The breakdown was nice to know how the sausage got made. You are correct that I worded it poorly at the time.

1 Like

I think the entire streaming ecosystem consists of 99.9% of people who never make enough money to cover their costs, let alone profit. They’re subsidized to give the illusion of a streaming ecosystem.

That morass of misery is just the “talent pipeline” for the 0.01% of streamers who get big. It exists just to sell the lie that streaming can make money and is a viable career.

It’s technically true… in the same way that one can be a professional American football player as a career.

If streamers had to pay their costs, streaming would just be like television was with a lower institutional barrier to entry.


This is an excellent interview about how scientifically you can be happy.


A follow up to an older thing of the day

I noticed something today:

The Reveal


Luke is Awesome, officially I guess?

New Dan Olson video!

That whole channel is an absolute delight!