Monetization has been the issue of the year for YouTubers making controversial or politically incorrect content. A scaremongering article by Alexi Mostrous of British left-leaning publication The Times kicked off what has come to be known as the “Adpocalypse” back in February. That piece of journalism-cum-activism and others like it frightened away many of YouTube’s major ad partners, who left en masse after the pseudo-revelation.
Since the springtime exodus of advertising partners from YouTube, those content creators whose work isn’t deemed “advertiser friendly” have increasingly been turning to Patreon, a online patronage platform, who itself has come under fire for banning right-wing users from its service. Worse still for YouTube creators, regardless of political persuasion, is the video site’s long-term strategy of pivoting from an incubator of original content to a television streaming service akin to Hulu or Netflix.
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These events have left a vacuum for a monetization platform to fill, one that is apolitical in nature and offers a payout not subject to the whims of corporate partners. Enter Bitcache. Kim Dotcom, the internet mogul behind the Megaupload and MEGA cloud storage services, released a video over the weekend introducing an upcoming website which promises to allow users to “distribute to dozens of platforms from a single place.” A corresponding tweet invites YouTubers with a large following to participate in beta testing.
The service was first teased back in April and an interview with Quartz from that time revealed Dotcom’s target release date of “about six months,” which would roughly mean October. That it is entering beta now, at the end of August, falls in line with his roadmap. The teaser and interview also give us a glimpse at http://k.im and the bitcoin-based monetization scheme behind it. As Google and others begin to police dissenting viewpoints online, this cryptocurrency-powered content delivery engine will be the one to watch when it goes live later this year.