The great Oracle of Crypto Chuck Norris of Crypto and all around the world today, we have a very special guest, this is the first time that we’ve done this on our channel, we have Adi Sideman– he’s the CEO of a company called Younow.com
A few weeks ago we did an update video where David and I, we came to New York and we tested some ICO software and at that time we could not really share with you the name of the project was
Because we were not done with our research to where we were a comfortable announcement to the public. Since then we’re very comfortable about it based on the research we’ve had
And now we’re coming back as we promised, we’re coming back to the YouNow office here in Times Square in New York City to interview Adi and his team. We finally got a hold of him today they had a very busy day today
It’s past 5 pm, the workday is over so we finally found some time to at the catch up with Adi here
Before we get into the PROPS Project and YouNow and everything, can you share with our audience a little bit about your background and where you came from, how you get into the live-streaming video business and how we got to where we’re at today
Adi Sideman: I started in an interactive video back in the 90s. Before the internet, that dates me and I look young. At the time before the internet if you were doing I started in 94 with laserdiscs program interactive video
Then another audio that was sold in Tower Records and on them the most advanced ones I was working on Nine Inch Nails at the time and Peter Gabriel and Marilyn Manson they would be a digital track
When you put your audio disc into the computer they’ll be a little folder come up and you click on it the executable would have basically an electronic press kit. And I would do video game where could mix your own Nine inch Nails audio or you can watch videos from Peter Gabriel
Then when the internet came a lot of people came to me and said hey we want to put that online, can we do this type of interactive online. So I started doing make
I co-founded the world’s first online karaoke solo karaoke which was sold to fox my space at the height of MySpace and became Myspace karaoke
Did user-generated radio ads which were called Target spot that I co-founded in 2006 or 2007 which was a joint venture with CBS Radio to allow consumers to create radio ads and traffic them down to the ZIP code and get reports on how many listeners in and the reach, the payment was all done online
That was sold a few years ago Bain Capital invested in that and Union Square Ventures invest in that. And broadcasting we didn’t call it live streaming at the time, we called it personal broadcasting has always been this Holy Grail of sorts in my circles
Because it didn’t require any kind of consumer authoring, it was just a button. And when mobile and social was available in 2011 I dropped everything and decided to go for it
We were actually the first mobile live streaming in the US, in 2014 we added a business model to it which was microtransactions. On the one side, users could purchase into virtual currency and non-crypto virtual currency at the time
On the other side, creators could earn, we were the first to do that and since then a lot of folks came into space, Facebook live, Youtube live and Twitter
We are extremely excited that the economy the two-sided market that we built continues to grow and we have 60,000 microtransactions a day today
Tai Zen: And your time on YouNow on complex
Adi Sideman: On Younow.com we have 40 million registered users we have several million unique users every month
And now we’re coming out with the PROPS platform and we are leveraging that community video experience
Tai Zen: If Leon and I on our team we always look at the big picture of things, can you help share with our audience what is the current state of the social media that content creation Arena such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat
Because you had a lot of experience on this content creation social media Arena for many years now, and you have some insight behind the scenes at a lot of us as viewers and users may not be aware of from the business side
Adi Sideman: We are part of that ecosystem because the business model today is whether you’re Youtuber, Facebook or are YouNow, you are rent collector you take 40-50% of the fee of all the transaction and that’s business model
When you look at really this duopoly of Facebook and Youtube, they can charge what they want
Tai Zen: So basically whenever we have our Cryptocurrency investing channel on Youtube you’re saying that whenever because we don’t pay attention to the ads of what it makes
Every dollar in revenue that our channel generates then Youtube takes about 40% of this. That’s why you’re calling a rent collector so they just collecting that 40%
Adi Sideman: YouTube’s amassed I think you told me the audience in last video $75 billion and enterprise. Facebook hundreds of billions USD in it
Tai Zen: You mentioned that in that last video Facebook collect 100% of it
Leon Fu: Facebook gets at all, we do the same thing
Tai Zen: Twitter linked in all of those
Adi Sideman: And if you think about Snapchat went public for $25 billion, those creators who made the content on SnapChat and made SnapChat what it was saw nothing and without their initial contribution that would be no Facebook Snapchat
And the developers on those platforms, the content creators on those platforms the users that promote and invite their friends to join their all of those folks. Without them, those platforms would have never grown
They see very little and often nothing of the value that they are creating every day and in a decentralized ecosystem, everybody who contributes to the growth of the network gets reward automatically and immediately and Cryptocurrency allows us to do that
Tai Zen: Right now the current state of the social media content creation Arena, that Arena is controlled by one owner, one company, one organization that can control everything like Google controls Facebook, Facebook controls Facebook platform
What are some of the clues that you saw that the decentralization of this field or this industry is the next wave? Because it seems like you’ve always been on the forefront, whether you got what you do always have bleeding-edge technology
What was the some of the clues, signals along the way that what we need to transition from the decentralized model, where YouNow is centralized to where we need a decentralized that
Adi Sideman: I would say there were 2 main things. The first one content creators have come to us over the years and said I get a check at the end of the month from my share
You’re going to become a tech millionaire and I’m going to be a husband in a few years. Can I get paid in stock options and then we would see people who spend on our platform.
Sometimes they spend tens of thousands of USD and months. Can we invest now we are venture-backed company were not set up as a C-cop give stock options to everybody and then allow anybody to invest
But we are heard that demand of the creator, of those who are contributing to the network for them to have a personal stake in the platform that they helped build and they like “Adi, I bring thousands of new users, what do I get”
When we talked to folks like that in the media industry, they are also relying on Facebook and Youtube for a lot of distribution and I don’t think they’re happy with the fact that those centralized organization that duopoly can decide what revenue-share there is forever
Tai Zen: And basically they can just pretty much demand what price they want
Adi Sideman: Very little leverage and this decentralized economy we’re mathematical, according to a formula and we published our formula in our white paper, everyone can contribute gets rewarded when it is very appealing
Content creators or users who promote the network, if I invite 20 of my friends to guess what the system knows the exact value of every newly registered user, you can and should be rewarded rewarded for that and then you’re motivated to continue to grow the network
We’re a small company, we are 40 people, we’re excited by this opportunity to have asymmetric warfare. We want to harness our millions of users and new people who are finding out about us today to work with us appreciate the value of this new network
A decentralized ecosystem allows all of our interests to be aligned
Tai Zen: In addition to those, 2 points of the Youtube and Facebook controlling all the censorship
Leon Fu: In the news, in fact, you tie in the last video we talked about and Youtube is known for censorship, for variety of reasons, sometimes it’s not clear why some things are getting censored or maybe not censored but at least flagged for their content
Tai Zen: It was what we bring that up as those two things that Adi just pointed out that he saw the signals that this industry needs to be decentralized.
What I want to add to the third point was that the censorship issue. Because when things are centralized, it’s easier to sensor people like when you’re the one that’s controlling the platform, you can censor whoever you want
Going to decentralized nature allows the platform and everyone to benefit because now we have more of freedom of speech.
When you saw the signals that were letting this industry needs to be decentralized. There’s a lot of different players that came into, try to solve this problem as far as our research has shown, you are a little bit farther ahead than everyone else because you have revenues coming in each month, you have 40 million registered users or a bunch of users
What made you transition from the YouNow that you are currently running, making money, got revenues coming in
Leon Fu: What is YouNow business model, how do you make YouNow right now?
Adi Sideman: Today we are similar to Facebook and Youtube, we rent collectors and we take 40-50% of the revenues that are coming in advertised, from the in-app purchase
I wish we can show the audience right now maybe we can edit it in. Basically, the service is free and 98% of the users just use it chat with a broadcaster, they vote the broadcaster
But if you’re looking deeper engagement, if you’re looking to support the broadcaster, you can buy into a virtual currency like on a Zynga game, buy 500 bars for $5
And you can use that for superpowers, so all of a sudden you can give them instead of one like at a time, you can give me thousands and that help them trend when they trend they get discovered by more people
You actually help that, you actually created a bigger audience for them. And they get a cut, a piece 50-60% of that revenue
Tai Zen: And that match with real US Fiat dollar
Adi Sideman: About $2 millions a month right now is spent on our in-app currency, this is not Cryptocurrency, which is called bars and that works only within our app
Tai Zen: The Younow bars, the users are actually buying those YouNow bars to give to that broadcast they like
Adi Sideman: And they give them also in order to deepen their experience, so they get noticed
Leon Fu: I’m watching your channel and what is my incentive to buy these virtual goods, what I get. Because I’m spending real money on that, getting something free
Adi Sideman: We didn’t invent this business model, this business model was invented in China
Desktop broadcasting which was very big, I’m still is. And there are three main reasons why users spent. Because I blew my mind to the first time you explain it to us
So one is for status, when I spend I get more crowns, when I am in the app people see me in a crown, I’m somebody. So you get maybe more respect and status. I’m not a newbie, I’m veteran here and I have some authority
Two is they want to support the broadcaster, they genuine, I have broadcasters and I support. I love what they’re doing, they play the guitar or they’re funny or they’re engaging with me
There’s one flight attendant who broadcast everyday and she tells stories about her life and her experience as a flight attendant answer people’s question. It’s fascinating broadcast, she is a pro, she deserves to get paid
The interesting thing about microtransactions is that and Mary Meeker wrote about this earlier this year in her overview of the digital marketplace is that generates from users 50 cents or users per hour and that’s in live streaming and in gaming
If you compare that to revenue per user per hour from advertising, that’s almost 8x. So it’s a very strong model because people can actually show their appreciation and microtransactions are real in this map. So the second thing is to support the broadcast
The third thing is to create communication, so people are on their device, they’re usually alone. If you are spending, you’re catching the attention of somebody and now they’re wanting, you’re making a friend now they’re calling you out
Tai Zen: We do that on our channel as well when we initially started our channel 4 years ago, we would pay attention to the people that we’re donating to our channel, and maybe we mentioned them and sometimes they just asked to remain private
But we still thanked him anyway and that was in the beginning, now we have done well enough with the Crypto investing them to send those donations to people that need, like the new projects that they are talked was about and they support the project
They send the donation there and go spend it there but you don’t send us the donations, because we will be. Don’t send us the donations, send it to somebody else if you like what they’re doing or somebody else that needs
So that makes sense though because in the beginning when you look at it, why would somebody spend their hard-earned dollars to go buy virtual bars
Leon Fu: I was surprised with that because most people who already get something for free, then go and voluntarily, but it’s it goes to show, I guess your business model there are enough people that do even though it’s completely free that they will pay, they will basically tip somebody who they enjoy voluntarily without a charging
Adi Sideman: We didn’t invent this model in the sense that this is a classic freemium model. It’s free for everybody but if you want extra features, if you want to go up a level and here is a way to pay up and then enhance your experience
What’s our innovation is that we brought it into the interactive video realm and this was the first time when a mobile video and microtransactions were connected and so we’re leveraging this experience that we’ve had to the next generation platform that is a blockchain platform
Tai Zen: That’s a good segue into the blockchain stuff, so you are doing in this, you have your own tokens or not tokens but you own bars that people buy and sell on your platform already
So what prompted you or gave you as a transition from that into the Cryptocurrency. We see an obvious reason as Cryptocurrency traders and investors, why you would do that
Can you share with our audience what you saw, your vision of how Cryptocurrency can help your platform and your users?
Adi Sideman: So I would say a few main reasons. One is live streaming, there are many decentralized Youtube, social video apps. Our current in-app currency works only within this use case and we wanted to bring it to a decentralized economy that can do anything
For example, I mentioned Comcast is an investor, you can imagine network programming where people can watch it together with friends or where the announcer can drag somebody from the audience to ask a question these are just simple additional use case that goes beyond the regular Livestream
Tai Zen: The first time I saw that demo when your team demo for us, the thing that I noticed is that because it has a staging area and in an audience area and you can pull people out of the audience and put them on stage, so everybody else can listen to them speak and stuff
My first thought was that that’ really cool for conferences staff meetings, team meetings because you can pull them up and instead of using Google hangout like our team does
It’s a real pain in the butt and sometimes somebody needs speak and we’re not able to give him that time to speak. With your app, the new app that you are building and I was kind of surprised at how in real-time
Adi Sideman: One thing is multiple use cases and we wanted a currency is that I transcend multiple apps and multiple use cases. Tomorrow morning it can be I’m going to auction, where you can participate from home, It can be anything
Tai Zen: What was that app that you mentioned about that had a couple of requests you put a yes and no voting button on this
Adi Sideman: America’s Got Talent has been doing auditions on YouNow for the past three years and so, on one side of the screen, you have the producer from America’s got talent and on the other side they’re pulling up people from the audience
For the past three years, they’ve been asking us to put this voting button on the screen. Now we have one use case for app, they’re just one user, it’s not open for developer app, so we can’t engineer for every user the button that they want
With the new platform America’s Got Talent can you know to use the APIs and create their own experience and Project Runway can create their own experience for their interactive programming
Leon Fu: I think partnerships are going to be a big part of your business model going forward like all these different shows on traditional media. They can offer to you can come on YouNow and participate in that show, not just watch it passionately
Adi Sideman: I want to make a comment on that, everybody knows but people don’t realize eyeballs for the past 15 years are going away from traditional television, and they’re going to SnapChat and Instagram experience
These traditional media companies that create television and they’re asking themselves every day what are we doing in order to be here where the consumer is
They’re asking how can we adapt our IPR intellectual property that we’ve developed for years whether it’s a game show or a reality show or whatever it is that it has brand recognition and make it applicable here
They’re thinking how do I make it interactive, how do I make it participatory on Snapchat 65% of the people are on camera and participating that’s what this generation wants, it doesn’t just want to lean in and wants to jump in and interact.
So we with prompts are creating a platform effectively for interactive television where anyone can decide what the experience of the users are going to be, we provide the technology, we provide the economy and we provide distribution and it can be any kind of interactive television
Do you believe this type of experience will simply surpass the traditional over-the-air broadcasting TV or cable TV that we have in the future? If this is a powerful as you described, why would I ever turn on my TV to watch
I’ll tell you first of all I don’t own a television, I have a monitor that I can throw stuff on but I’ll tell you another data point, the gaming industry. 1.8 billion gamers in the world. That industry is $100 billion in a year. Hollywood is a $50 billion industry in half.
Why there is a trend toward participation, that’s a leading indicator that people want to participate, when you are playing the game, you are actually participating in the unfolding media creation in front of you, that’s very alluring and it’s very satisfying
These are the same kind of behaviors that we believe that the consumers are expecting, demanding today. They were born with iPads all around them, grandpa and grandma are on the iPads, they’re jumping into it, they’re used to being on screen.
So enabling consumers to participate is a big trend that we are providing a solution for with a PROPS platform
Tai Zen: Now this is not something that is just speculation because offline you able to share that publicly you share with some big-name companies, a big brands that have reached out to see how they can put their shows and things like that on the PROPS platform, especially on the rise after you are building
Adi Sideman: I can tell you what’s public information. Public information is that Comcast is an investor in us and Comcast owns NBC and Universal
I can tell you that a broadway video is an investor in us and Broadway video shows like Jimmy Fallon and other stuff. Sitting here in New York is part of what we can tell you that America’s Got Talent, which is owned by Fremantle they also American Idol and they do sixty other shows already working with us on the YouNow side
We’re at the center of that world and in a big push that we are planning for PROPS to make sure that some American Pie content is going to be on it.
Leon Fu: I have a question. You creating YouNow first 6 years ago, so you’ve already built up a very strong brand in terms of YouNow, why are you creating this new brand PROPS, why don’t you make YouNow into PROPS
Why are you bringing up this new brand that no one’s ever heard of, that not using the marketing and brand recognition you’ve already built up with YouNow
Adi Sideman: I’ll tell you what’s the thought PROPS has been. About a year and a half Facebook, Twitter, Youtube all stared doing livestreaming, we said to ourselves, we want to be in this margin business and find these big chance on their term
We are product innovator, we pride ourselves for inveting template for a mobile livestreaming. Let’s use our strengths, what is the next generation platform and we looked at that and we decided on three things
It took months to months to look into the data and consumer research and look into our souls and ask ourselves to know what is the next generation interactive experiences on mobile devices
And three things were. One, everybody see, is equal. It doesn’t make sense that only the person on the screen can get alike not to mention getting paid and 96% of our users don’t even get a like ever
Everybody’s equal, everybody can give and receive, everybody can earn. That was the first dimention that we decided about
The second was multiple use case, who said that this template is e template, it can be anything
And then the third thing is we knew that the economy could be much better and much more liquid. And at a time, a year and two months we started this project and we started designing it. We didn’t realize that we were talking about Cryptocurrency that wasn’t until about 8 or 10 months ago
And we knew that we wanted to be more liquid and in the back of our minds, there was our creator, who would come to us and as I mentioned before I say can we get paid in stock options.
What do we get in the end of the day I want a stake in though otherwise, so the third thing was adding the Cryptocurrency layer, where we are completely aligned with everybody else who contributes the network and us is a small company of 40 people now can a harness all this power in order to go and bring our vision to the world, because we’re very passionate
So those three things came together for us to create PROPS and we decided that we had to make a choice is it gonna be backwards compatible to our current platform or not. And we put a pot deep into this and it was agonizing at a time
And we decided that we would be more free to innovate, and I have more leverage and build it right if we were not restricted to being backward compatible to a platform the frankly it was built four years ago, five years ago
We also brought in a new too many video technology that you’ve seen her dose a lot of stuff that the current technology doesn’t do like you in allowing endless amount of people to be present at the same place, at the same time and interact a lot with each other
Tai Zen: We just want you to be full aware that do your due diligence research project yourself, we are probably going to be very biased about this project for several obvious reasons
One is that we are Cryptocurrency investors. Number two we are big content creators, we’ve been creating content about Cryptocurrencies long before we are some of these other channels just pop up a few months ago.
So there’s going to be a very big bias our team, towards a project like this, that is going to solve huge problems that we see in the video content space
And this is the first project that we’ve seen since we started investing in Cryptocurrencies, who cares about the white paper, what I care about there’s employees here, that’s what I care about.
And then there’s a CEO that we can contact and reach out, and Adi has been very gracious to us. When we came down here, anybody that we want to talk to we can just literally walk over there and just tap them on the shoulder, and asked them questions. There was no restrictions and we do appreciate that
Adi Sideman: I appreciate your diligence and bring that diligence to the folks at home
Tai Zen: We’ve never had anyone here like say hey you can’t go there, you can’t talk to that person. He just gave us Free rein to come in here to shoot videos wherever we want to talk to whoever we want, what you got to do and let me know if you need me for anything
We’re going to have other video coming up where we’ll talk to the development team, the product team and other people are involved here. Giving us access to all these people so we want to be able to do diligence and share with you and we hope you like it
If you guys like the PROPS go https://www.propsproject.com/ and there’s a link there to the white paper and get on the mailing list and get on the telegram channel and that will be in touch and continue the conversation.
Learn more at: https://propsproject.com/
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