17 votes

D.Tube as a viable YouTube Alternative?

24 comments

  1. [8]
    Gyrfalcon Link
    Coming in as someone who watches a good amount of content on YouTube each day, D.Tube could be but is not currently a viable alternative. I may be an outlier in the sense that I subscribe to a set...

    Coming in as someone who watches a good amount of content on YouTube each day, D.Tube could be but is not currently a viable alternative. I may be an outlier in the sense that I subscribe to a set of channels, and watch videos from those channels nearly exclusively. This does include backlog from projects like The Great War, but for the most part YouTube is a way for me to have a curated list of videos from known creators.

    This means that unless a new platform of this type attracts the eye of those content creators, I am not terribly interested. And I don't imagine most of the creators I watch would be super interested in a different platform when they are already successful on YouTube, but I may be wrong.

    Comparing D.Tube to other YouTube alternatives, like PeerTube, a few things stand out.

    • I do like that it is not a federated system. My complaint with federated systems is I have the nagging feeling that content that I would like to see will be on some other instance I don't federate with, and I will never find it. When I search for content on a platform, I want to know that I am searching ALL available content, not just some subset.
    • I don't like that the videos have have a monetary value below them instead of a view count or even nothing. I am not sure why I don't like it, but it seems to make it more about the money than about the content if that makes sense.
    • Lastly, like so many blockchain based systems, I am not sure I see where their model gets the money to pay for hosting. Hosting a video based site is, to my understanding, very expensive compared to other types of websites. It seems like the operators take a share of video rewards, but then they too are subject to market forces on their token in order to pay the bills.
    14 votes
    1. [7]
      Zargurkhan Link Parent
      It seems like they mostly don't, they use a torrent-like decentralised file storage.

      I am not sure I see where their model gets the money to pay for hosting

      It seems like they mostly don't, they use a torrent-like decentralised file storage.

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        45930 Link Parent
        They must be bootstrapping the network though. Is there a tech paper anywhere? If they can tap into the Steem blockchain for hosting, that would be cool, but I doubt that the same nodes securing...

        They must be bootstrapping the network though. Is there a tech paper anywhere? If they can tap into the Steem blockchain for hosting, that would be cool, but I doubt that the same nodes securing the chain would also be in the content deliver business. That wouldn't make sense.

        I assume they are on ipfs then? Or similar? So I would expect them to be running servers on that network and hopefully running these video requests through their own gateway. Decentralized doesn't mean free. And whoever is hosting this stuff must have incentive to do it.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          Zargurkhan Link Parent
          It is indeed IPFS for file storage. The cost of hosting still isn't zero (hence 'mostly'), I just mean that it's nowhere near as large as hosting all the actual videos. For everything else,...

          It is indeed IPFS for file storage. The cost of hosting still isn't zero (hence 'mostly'), I just mean that it's nowhere near as large as hosting all the actual videos. For everything else, they're taking 10% of tips given to creators.

          6 votes
          1. nsz Link Parent
            But ipfs hosting is not free either? They can't be abusing the free 2-3 hour pin feature? I can understand you becoming a host while you watch a video but surly that can't sustain such a massive...

            But ipfs hosting is not free either? They can't be abusing the free 2-3 hour pin feature? I can understand you becoming a host while you watch a video but surly that can't sustain such a massive amount of data. I just watched a 10 minute video, unless someone watched that same video as me and I shared it to them, how is the system going to sustain it's self against hit and run uses like this?

            5 votes
          2. [2]
            45930 Link Parent
            It looks like they route the web traffic to https://video.dtube.top/ipfs/#{hash} so it is their own gateway at least. So they're paying to host the front end, and an IPFS gateway. I strongly...

            It looks like they route the web traffic to https://video.dtube.top/ipfs/#{hash} so it is their own gateway at least. So they're paying to host the front end, and an IPFS gateway. I strongly suspect that they are also hosting all of that content locally on the same server as the gateway. They could choose not to do that, but then there's no guarantee that the video will ever load, and performance on the site seems pretty decent.

            So there's obvious cost to host this, and the costs will scale with usage. So the question remains, how can it replace youtube if it seemingly can't make money?

            4 votes
            1. Zargurkhan Link Parent
              Well, it does make money from users buying their cryptocurrency to support creators, which might be enough. It will definitely be interesting to see if the site can actually keep itself afloat for...

              Well, it does make money from users buying their cryptocurrency to support creators, which might be enough. It will definitely be interesting to see if the site can actually keep itself afloat for long.

              1 vote
          3. Gyrfalcon Link Parent
            Hmm I am still not sure that satisfies me as to where the money comes from, though. For the system to work, I would think you would need a large number of creators all making some money from the...

            Hmm I am still not sure that satisfies me as to where the money comes from, though. For the system to work, I would think you would need a large number of creators all making some money from the platform, as well as the people who develop the platform. To my understanding, none of these people can pay their bills with STEEM, so they all want to sell STEEM at regular intervals to keep a roof over their heads.

            The question for me is, who buys STEEM from the creators, and why?

            As far as I can see from a search there's two answers to this question, from various community members:

            1. They think the value of STEEM or Steem Power will go up in the future, and so they are speculating.
            2. They want to be a more significant presence on the platform, so they buy STEEM and convert it to Steem Power.

            Neither of these reasons, in my mind, seems like a sustainable source of buyers for the crypto rewards. I may be wrong about that, and I would love to see the project succeed in spite of my doubt. Perhaps if they could move the image away from "Buy the token in case it goes up" towards "Buy the token and support your favorite creators," it would be more sustainable. Something more in line with Patreon or Liberapay is what I am imagining.

            Keep in mind that I am definitely someone who doubts the suitability of cryptocurrency as an application of blockchains, though I do see potential in blockchains for many other applications.

            Aside from the financial limitations, the points in the other comment chain about absolutely no moderation bother me. I don't think I would be comfortable supporting a platform that has no recourse against illegal material and would make it much simpler for illegal material to be monetized.

            2 votes
  2. [9]
    ThatFanficGuy Link
    To be considered a viable alternative to YouTube, it has to be superior to it in a lot of aspects. What does DTube provide that YouTube doesn't? What does it do noticably better than YouTube?

    To be considered a viable alternative to YouTube, it has to be superior to it in a lot of aspects.

    What does DTube provide that YouTube doesn't? What does it do noticably better than YouTube?

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      Hypersapien Link Parent
      Well, if it treats content creators better, creators are going to start moving there, or at least duplicate their content there. We need an alternative to YouTube. YouTube knows it has a virtual...

      Well, if it treats content creators better, creators are going to start moving there, or at least duplicate their content there.

      We need an alternative to YouTube. YouTube knows it has a virtual monopoly and thinks it can get away with anything.

      9 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
        Big "if". I doubt PewDiePie will gladly move outside of YouTube unless forced to. Or Markiplier. Or JackSepticEye. Or any creator with more than a million subscribers. There's also the issue of...

        if it treats content creators better

        Big "if".

        I doubt PewDiePie will gladly move outside of YouTube unless forced to. Or Markiplier. Or JackSepticEye. Or any creator with more than a million subscribers.

        There's also the issue of DMCA strikes. Someone like SovietWomble, who gets struck regularly for a whole load of bullshit reasons, is not likely to move to a different platform where strikes are nearly-impossible, simply because he has a great established audience, and losing those people (remember, any kind of signing up is a lot of friction, and users don't like friction) might not bode well for him as an independent creator. For one, it's an audience: if you've ever been in his place, you'd know that people who care about your art matter, no matter how many or how faceless. For another, if people "lose" access to his new videos, or will have a hard time figuring out the "new" system, he may lose a whole lot of his patreons, which is maybe half of how he does well doing what he loves.

        Sure: we need a better system than YouTube for sharing videos. DTube ain't it. If people have to grasp at straws to make an appealing case, it ain't the leap of evolution that we need.

        5 votes
      2. alyaza Link Parent
        not necessarily and, at least from what i'm seeing here with D.Tube? definitely not in enough numbers to move the margins. for one thing, there is literally no alternative, sustainable platform...

        Well, if it treats content creators better, creators are going to start moving there.
        We need an alternative to YouTube. YouTube knows it has a virtual monopoly and thinks it can get away with anything.

        not necessarily and, at least from what i'm seeing here with D.Tube? definitely not in enough numbers to move the margins.

        for one thing, there is literally no alternative, sustainable platform with the sort of payouts youtube can give you if supplemented with something like patreon, and while d.tube seems to be more flexible, i still just don't see that as being enough to capture attention. people will probably follow the money, and pound for pound d.tube just can't match youtube payouts (does it even do payouts beyond cryptocurrency?). that alone will stop a lot of people from adopting it even as shitty as youtube is.

        for another thing, there are also really no stable alternatives (basically every youtube alternative which has ever marketed itself that way has gone under) and the few which are "stable" insofar as they haven't collapsed under their own weight yet like stream.me tend to end up catering to alt-righters or actual fascists because in their effort to find someone to sustain their platform on they'll often start out with little to no moderation. since d.tube looks like it's going to be in that vein as well by design, that really means whatever group gets in first can basically shape the platform however they want, so aside from the fact that d.tube might not be stable (who knows, even though it's technically decentralized), it runs into the reddit problem. if the site takes on radical leftists, all the non-radical left content is going to get pushed down; if the site takes on neo-nazis, all non-neo nazi content will, etc. i think we can all sorta agree that downvotes as a form of curation are just too sensitive to group pressure to work the way they seem to think they'll work, and that pretty much handicaps how many people are going to be willing to move to it (and probably the types of people, honestly). i for example expect if stream.me dies before it does, d.tube is where all the alt-righters who don't have a youtube platform anymore will take off to. that might be appealing to some content creators, but most of them probably aren't going to like slumming it with literal nazis or radical anarchists who have been forced off of the other major streaming services.

        or, in short: i think there are just too many structural issues that would need to be addressed here for this to ever be viable for the sorts of content creators that you see on youtube to even consider making the jump to d.tube in even the long-term future.

        3 votes
    2. [5]
      Zargurkhan Link Parent
      Their main thing, from the average user's perspective, seems to be the lack of ads - decentralised file storage does mean drastically lower hosting costs. Also, the complete lack of moderation...

      Their main thing, from the average user's perspective, seems to be the lack of ads - decentralised file storage does mean drastically lower hosting costs. Also, the complete lack of moderation will probably appeal to some people.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
        That's the worse part. Child pornography. Hell, pornography, period. Gore videos. Extremist propaganda. Racist rhetoric, or any sort of warfare ignition. If DTube gets any traction under those...

        Also, the complete lack of moderation will probably appeal to some people.

        That's the worse part.

        Child pornography. Hell, pornography, period. Gore videos. Extremist propaganda. Racist rhetoric, or any sort of warfare ignition.

        If DTube gets any traction under those rules, this is what you're gonna get. It's going to attract the worst of the worst kinds of human beings, willing to share the worst kinds of videos for those like themselves.

        There's a difference between loosening the rules, and leaving them out completely – especially when anonymity allows one to express their deep, dark, troubling desires in a way public may not be able to filter out.

        11 votes
        1. Zargurkhan Link Parent
          They are quite serious about the whole concept of moderation by downvotes, and to their credit, I didn't find any of the things you've mentioned while scrolling through trending videos. As...

          They are quite serious about the whole concept of moderation by downvotes, and to their credit, I didn't find any of the things you've mentioned while scrolling through trending videos. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread: whichever group gets in there first will be able to decide what the platform is.

          I personally believe that moderation is essential for building a good community (that's why I'm here), but it will definitely be interesting to see whether DTube manages to work with their model.

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        KapteinB Link Parent
        Is there really a complete lack of moderation? What do they do when someone uploads copyrighted material, or something blatantly illegal?

        Also, the complete lack of moderation will probably appeal to some people.

        Is there really a complete lack of moderation? What do they do when someone uploads copyrighted material, or something blatantly illegal?

        3 votes
        1. Zargurkhan Link Parent
          Definitely looks like it. This seems to legally put them next to torrenting programs, which might allow them to get away with it - could any actual lawyers comment on that?

          Definitely looks like it.

          Because of the decentralized nature of IPFS and the STEEM blockchain, D.Tube is not able to censor videos, nor enforce guidelines. Only the users can censor it, through the power of their upvotes and downvotes

          This seems to legally put them next to torrenting programs, which might allow them to get away with it - could any actual lawyers comment on that?

          3 votes
  3. nsz Link
    I don't get how this is supposed to work. Ipfs hosting is not free? They can't be abusing the free 2-3 hour pin feature? Video is a lot of data I just don't see how they can host it all and still...

    I don't get how this is supposed to work.

    Ipfs hosting is not free? They can't be abusing the free 2-3 hour pin feature? Video is a lot of data I just don't see how they can host it all and still have something left over to give as rewards. I'm guessing the browser makes you a host while you're watching something, but even then, I don't see how that's enough, not to mention a stable always online copy has to exist somewhere.

    I really don't understand where the money is coming from, and it smells of a ponzi scheme. Just watched a video where a guy is arguing you need to buy steam power? so that your investment can grow? pff.

    My gut feeling is it's relying on the vast, probably 99% of users purchasing this currency, and then spending it as upvotes, which get dolled out to creators. I don't see how else it could ever be sustainable, I'm not even sure it is then.

    Not to mention this monetary value attached to literally everything, even comments ... it feels scummy? maybe my upbringing, idk. Definitely could be a black mirror episode. I couldn't take anything at face value when there is always this perverse monetary incentive.... was that comment because they really though it, or just for that upvoat money?

    9 votes
  4. jlpoole Link
    What is the reward or incentive for the people sponsoring dTube? If they are not going to receive ad revenue, then what? Customer patterns? It costs a lot of money to have storage and network...

    What is the reward or incentive for the people sponsoring dTube? If they are not going to receive ad revenue, then what? Customer patterns? It costs a lot of money to have storage and network bandwith, so somebody's financing this with a hope for what?

    3 votes
  5. Akir Link
    Realistically, I think the only thing that will help YouTubers in a real helpful way was if there was a service with a business model like Spotify. Something where people pay the service a flat...

    Realistically, I think the only thing that will help YouTubers in a real helpful way was if there was a service with a business model like Spotify. Something where people pay the service a flat fee, consume as much video as they want, and creators are paid a fraction of each viewer's subscription. They can continue to produce content for youtube, but they should have their special content exclusively on the platform.

    Basically I just want Youtube Red minus Youtube.

    I think the only way this would be financially worthwhile is if there was curation to the content. They would only allow creators who demi-professionally create content on a regular basis.

    2 votes
  6. [3]
    Rainreck Link
    DTubes layout is a lot like YouTube that is supported by the Steem blockchain. Comparing it to other alternatives to youtube, it hits the mark much better and while the users get paid through...

    DTubes layout is a lot like YouTube that is supported by the Steem blockchain. Comparing it to other alternatives to youtube, it hits the mark much better and while the users get paid through cryptocurrency instead of advertisements.

    What do the tildes users think of DTube as an alternative to YouTube?

    1. [2]
      StellarTabi Link Parent
      What does it mean to be supported by the steem blockchain?

      What does it mean to be supported by the steem blockchain?

      8 votes
      1. friendly_contrarian Link Parent
        DTube distributes videos on IPFS and incorporates the Steem blockchain for voting and rewards to content creators and curators.

        DTube distributes videos on IPFS and incorporates the Steem blockchain for voting and rewards to content creators and curators.

        1 vote
  7. lol Link
    My first question is what is the funding? Contrary to what others are saying, you can probably afford to be somewhat sloppy in your layout/functionality as long as the service itself is ethical....

    My first question is what is the funding? Contrary to what others are saying, you can probably afford to be somewhat sloppy in your layout/functionality as long as the service itself is ethical. What tends to kill video platforms however is a lack of income. Hosting in itself is not a profitable service, and last time I looked into it YouTube is a net negative for Google/Alphabet. Without its’ external funding and all the ads it probably wouldn’t exist either. Vimeo managed to hang on this long by erecting a walled garden, but take a look at vid.me or any other video hopefuls, the common denominator between most of them is they couldn’t find a way to effectively monetize themselves