Making income from watching YouTube? Some projects are making it possible

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Published: Tue 24 May 2022, 10:44 AM

The maturity of the internet as a global cultural phenomenon proved Bill Gates right when he proclaimed in 1996 that 'content is king'. Fast-forward nearly 30 years and internet content creators have risen to become the influencers of their time, transcending content creation and using their clout to branch into areas like venture capital, property development, brand creation, sports promotion, and more.

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But the empires that content creators built up in the past decade all started with a single click - yours. The flow of money on major video sharing and streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube has tended to flow in only one direction. Creators and platform owners take their share of advertising revenue, while viewers are left only with the privilege of buying a product from one of the ads they’ve been forced to sit through.

But what if the audience could be rewarded monetarily for the time they spend watching content on a specific website, or from a specific content creator? This concept is taking off in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space as XCAD is popularising Watch-to-Earn (W2E). As an offshoot that emerged amid the rise of the Play-to-Earn (P2E) movement in the GameFi (gaming finance) industry, W2E seeks to build an economy around an activity that has become as normal for current generations as reading the morning newspaper was for previous generations. Players spent $4.5 billion on NFTs linked to P2E games, demonstrating the P2E and the W2E market potential.

Audio and visual content has taken over from the written word as the main form of technological communication in the age of the internet, and thanks to the implementation of DeFi (decentralised finance) tools like Watch-to-Earn, now the viewers of video content can themselves start to earn from the ongoing video revolution. XCAD project – the main proprietor of W2E – is building a browser-plugin for Chrome that allows users to implement Watch-to-Earn mechanics directly into their favorite sites. XCAD currently focuses on the two video titans in YouTube and Twitch, with plans to expand to other platforms in the near future.

With the aid of a simple browser plugin, and with the cooperation of YouTubers and Twitch streamers who opt to make their channels available for the Watch-to-Earn dynamic, loyal viewers can receive automatic rewards for the time they spend watching and sharing video content.

Combining such a reward system with a native ecosystem tools such as token swap portals, staking mechanisms, token bridges, and a DAO-based governance structure, creates a vibrant financial apparatus around the concept of Watch-to-Earn that allows viewers to put their tokens to work, either in pursuit of passive income through Proof-of-Stake (PoS), by trading tokens with other users, or by purchasing NFT moments made by their favourite YouTubers. Watch-to-Earn has the potential to not only reward communities on video streaming sites, but also to forge stronger bonds between a creator and their audience by strengthening engagement and interaction overall.

Gone are the days when the person in front of the camera was the only one who could generate income from the video streaming industry.

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