Online Video: Revenue Options to Watch

January 24, 2020

Since we assembled CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access, we have been monitoring video content innovations. Of interest to the team are interfaces. These are essential because — let’s face it — keyword search on mobile devices sucks. Clicking on big, colorful icons is the future. How smart are the interfaces? Not smart enough.

In terms of eyeballs, both Twitch and Neverthink are taking approaches that Video content continues to proliferate. However, monetization seems to innovating slowly and in predictable ways. The “begging for dollars” approach is the most common. In this post, I want to highlight a problem with begging.

A ripple roiled the Twitter-verse because a Twitch content producer with the handle BadBunny, wanted more financial support from her followers. (This performer (content creator) adopts a left leaning, abrasive persona; therefore, her approach may have been designed to attract publicity.) “Twitch Streamer BadBunny Slams Her Own Viewers for Not Paying for Her Content” reported:

The streamer, frequent in the Just Chatting section, is close to reaching 100,000 followers on Twitch thanks to her content and the guests she brings to her debates. During a broadcast on January 18, she slightly deviated from the topic of conversation to refer to her audience, insisting she needed the cash to continue creating content for the platform. After giving the blunt message, BadBunny, who could not believe the number of people who were watching her for hours for free, said she was surprised to see that her message was in vain since she did not get new subscribers. Faced with the refusal, she exclaimed: “How did all my speech about how I need subscribers to start the broadcast, blah, blah, blah, result in zero subscribers?”

DarkCyber believes BadBunny’s situation may reflect the lack of monetization innovation at Amazon Twitch. The platform is popular, but Microsoft has been poaching some streaming talent from Twitch. Twitch has other challenges, and these may be making Twitch cause people like BadBunny to demonstrate her Xanthippe-infused characteristics.

For sake of contrast, DarkCyber wants to call attention to to Neverthink.tv. The service is different from Twitch because it streams content available on other services; for example, YouTube, Reddit, and others. As a result, ads on Neverthink.tv drive traffic to YouTube. Presumably, Google passes some of the cash to creators. (But maybe not?)

The key differentiators of Twitch and Neverthink are:

  • User interface. Both provide point and click video consumption. The Neverthink approach deals with categories, not individual streamers.
  • Revenue model. Amazon jams ads in front of and in the middle of some streams. Neverthink accepts sponsored content for cash and uses what appears to be Google ads in some streams. Neverthink accepts money to run videos as “Specials.” Twitch may accept money, but if it does, the deals are not labeled. (Do those featured streamers who attend Twitchcon get some money?)
  • Curation. The Neverthink angle is curation. Allegedly smart software and video loving humans make sure nothing “bad” streams. Twitch — regardless of its method — does have some interesting content. DarkCyber won’t provide any examples, but we do present some of the gambling, stolen content, and somewhat off color content in our lectures to law enforcement and intelligence professionals.

Net net: Twitch may have to up its game. Neverthink seems to have a more varied monetization model. What happens if Neverthink lures popular streamers to its app? Amazon Twitch will have to get woke or do a rethink.

If you want to check out these services, here are the links you need:

Stephen E Arnold, January 24, 2020

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