Exclusive: Can LBRY replace YouTube? Interview with Chief Marketing Officer of blockchain video platform

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YouTube is undoubtedly the most popular and largest video platform today, but it is becoming increasingly unfriendly to the video creators who use it as it grows. In addition to frequent errors in detecting copyright through artificial intelligence, YouTube videos are often marked “Not suitable for most advertisers” because of politically sensitive issues, which affects YouTubers’ revenue. As a result, many new English language video platforms have emerged, including Rumble, Gab TV, and more. Among all these platforms, LBRY stands out because of its use of the new technology of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Besides, they offered the choice of a Mandarin inference earlier than other platforms.

A month ago, Nice Chord, a famous Taiwanese YouTuber with 420,000 subscribers, announced that he would gradually “migrate” from YouTube to LBRY, a decision that sent a shockwave through the YouTube creator community in Taiwan, including Bailingguo News, Taiwan Bar, Super Y, and more. A few days ago, Shasha77 Daily, a YouTuber famous for discussing current events, released a video listing many of LBRY’s shortcomings and questioning whether or not LBRY might be able to replace YouTube.

To discuss this possibility, Eat News secured an exclusive interview with Julian Chandra, the Chief Marketing Officer and Former Vice President of Growth at LBRY, on February 4. LBRY currently has two video platforms, LBRY.tv and odysee.com. The former is the original platform, while the latter is the new interface, and videos by creators will be synchronized on these two platforms. Shasha77 Daily questioned the resulting streaming speed provided by LBRY’s “decentralized” approach, since the streaming speed of some videos with less views is slow, which affects the viewing experience of the audience. Eat News asked, “How will LBRY solve this problem that acknowledging in some locations might currently offer slower viewing?” Chandra responded, “LBRY desktop is decentralized, but odysee.com is adding additional capacity across APAC to provide more seamless playback to users.”

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Eat News then asked, “As for LBRY’s new interface, Odysee, will they stop operating LBRY.tv in the future and focus on developing Odysee as a platform?” Chandra replied, “Yes, exactly.”

Shasha77 Daily also pointed out in his video on LBRY that LBRY will need more servers to store videos over time as the number of videos grows. How will LBRY solve this problem? Chandra replied, “Advertising is one revenue stream for Odysee, and we expect it to be added to the protocol. As we grow, we believe we’ll be able to match demand.” As for how LBRY will prevent piracy, Chandra says, “Piracy of copyright-infringing works is not permitted on Odysee. We take pirate videos down. For pirated content appearing on the protocol, various blacklisting methods can be employed.”

Eat News asked that the current proliferation of fake news has led many Big Tech companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to introduce fact-checking mechanisms. LBRY is an entirely decentralized platform. How will LBRY handle fake News or hate speech if video or articles are spread on your platform? Chandra replied, “We need to preface this answer by explaining LBRY is a protocol, a type of technology. For LBRY to get involved with the moderation of content is equivalent to SMTP interfering with email being sent between people. This is not possible.”

Chandra emphasized, “We understand the confusion, however, as the LBRY name is used as the name for our desktop app, our company, and it’s also the name of a cryptocurrency. Odysee is our video platform. Think of it as a rebranding of the LBRY video site/platform. To speak more directly to the themes of your question, though, Odysee – our video-sharing platform built upon the LBRY protocol, takes the opposite approach of Big Tech insofar as certain moderation goes.”

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Chandra said Odysee as a platform will not ‘handle’ fake news as to do so would be to editorialize. He said, “When it comes to our News & Politics, all we can do is ensure that there is a diversity of viewpoints available for people. It’s up to individuals then to discern for themselves. We think this is the best approach as news outlets are becoming increasingly hyper-partisan and quick to label their competition as ‘fake news.’ In terms of hate speech, this is not permitted on Odysee as per our community guidelines.”

Eat News asked, “As the world’s largest video platform, YouTube uses ‘algorithms’ to recommend videos to users. What will LBRY use to let users see the videos they want to see?” Chandra said, “Odysee will ensure you see all the videos from the creators you follow, and it is continually working on improving its algorithms.” Chandra told us that they have no plans to release the LBRY app on iOS, but the iOS version of the Odysee app should be available any day now!

Chandra also told users and creators in Taiwan, “We’re overwhelmed with joy that you’ve chosen to be a part of our community. We hope that Odysee is something you truly fall in love with if this hasn’t happened already in the coming months. We have many plans for Taiwan, things like regionalized categories, live streaming for a select creator pool, user resources in Traditional Chinese, etc.”

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Fausto Chou is a Taiwanese journalist. He has been the executive editor of the Eat News since June, 2020. He previously worked for the Eastern Television (ETTV) and Formosa Television (FTV) as a journalist.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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