YouTube has committed to boosting mainstream media outlets at the expense of independent creators and made censoring “misinformation” and “violative content” its “number one priority.”
Editor's Note: Even though this article is not the norm for our site, we believe it to be of public utility, given the historical moment in which we live.
Blockchain-based video sharing platform Odysee has experienced rapid growth since its official November 2020 launch and already has over 27 million monthly visitors, according to web analytics service SimilarWeb.
As Odysee has grown and continued to add creator-centric features, YouTube has committed to boosting mainstream media outlets at the expense of independent creators and made censoring “misinformation” and “violative content” its “number one priority.”
This creator-friendly attitude is just one of many factors that has set Odysee apart from YouTube.
Keep reading to discover the policies, features, and infrastructure that make Odysee better than YouTube.
1. Pro-free speech stance
Odysee was created with the goal of restoring the freedom users enjoyed on the early internet and it has adopted a “welcoming stance to creators of all beliefs and persuasions.” As a result of this pro-free speech stance, Odysee users are allowed to post a much wider range of content than on YouTube – a platform that mass censors anything that it deems to be “misinformation.”
2. Dislike button
YouTube’s decision to kill the dislike button means that it’s no longer possible to judge the quality of or public response to videos on the platform at a glance. But with Odysee, the dislike (slime) button is alive and well and the like-dislike count is visible below all videos, comments, and posts.
3. No “authoritative sources”
YouTube consistently brags about how the mainstream media outlets that it deems to be “authoritative sources” are artificially boosted in search and recommendations, even though it admits viewers don’t like them.
According to YouTube, this policy cuts the visibility of independent creators by up to 20x in search and up to 14x in recommendations. It also makes it difficult for viewers to find independent coverage of newsworthy topics because YouTube fills the search results with videos from mainstream media outlets.
Odysee doesn’t have authoritative sources and doesn’t give mainstream media outlets preferential treatment based on arbitrary designations. Instead, it ranks each piece of content based on metrics related to its relevance, recency, and popularity.
This means that independent creators aren’t artificially suppressed in search or recommendations on Odysee and it’s much easier for viewers to find content from independent creators.
4. Higher revenue share for creators
YouTube takes an estimated 45% cut of ad revenue and a 30% cut on Channel memberships, Super Chats, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks. Additionally, YouTube also deducts local sales tax and other fees (such as App Store fees on iOS) before calculating this revenue split on Channel memberships, Super Chats, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks.
As a result, creators only get a 55% share of the total ad revenue that’s generated on their videos and some creators have reported that their cut on some of the donations they’ve received via Super Thanks was less than 50%.
Odysee takes just a 5% cut on cash tips and donations. Payment processor fees (which are usually around 3%) may also apply. This means creators get to keep over 90% of the cash tips and donations they receive.
For cryptocurrency tips and donations, Odysee doesn’t take a cut and creators can keep 100% of the cryptocurrency they receive.
Creators also receive cryptocurrency rewards every time a validated viewer watches their videos and for various other actions on the platform. Odysee doesn’t take a cut of any cryptocurrency rewards which means creators keep everything they earn via these rewards.
5. Everyone can earn
Odysee’s cryptocurrency-based monetization system gives all platform users and contributors an opportunity to earn LBRY Credits (LBC) – the native cryptocurrency of the LBRY blockchain (the blockchain that Odysee is built on).
Creators receive LBC whenever a validated viewer watches their video and can earn LBC rewards for claiming their channel, uploading their first video, gaining followers, and more. Users that are eligible for Odysee rewards can also earn LBC for watching videos and referring other users to the platform.
In addition to the rewards system, Odysee users and anyone else with an LBC-compatible cryptocurrency wallet can send and receive LBC.
These earning opportunities that are available to all Odysee and LBRY blockchain users are much wider in scope than YouTube’s monetization system which only allows creators to monetize and requires creators to have at least 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers before they can enable monetization.
6. Exclusive content
Many creators that have been banned by YouTube now post their videos to Odysee. Even those who still have their YouTube channels often post exclusive content to Odysee. And since Odysee allows creators to discuss a much wider range of topics than YouTube, Odysee has lots of exclusive videos on topics that are banned by YouTube.
Some of the many creators who have embraced Odysee and have exclusive content on the platform because of YouTube censorship include former congressman Dr. Ron Paul, the non-profit Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care, and the rights group Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights.
7. Built-in censorship resistance
If Odysee ever changes its pro-free speech stance in the future and starts to censor more heavily, Odysee’s underlying blockchain-based infrastructure provides a layer of censorship resistance that’s beyond the control of Odysee’s owners.
While Odysee can remove videos and channels from the Odysee platform, anything that Odysee removes still exists on the LBRY blockchain where it’s replicated and stored collectively by network participants. If Odysee or another network participant deletes their piece of content, it will usually still be available from other network participants.
Odysee also has no control over who can access the LBRY blockchain. Anyone who wants to access content or channels on the LBRY blockchain in a decentralized, peer-to-peer fashion can do so via LBRY desktop. And anyone can view a record of everything that’s published to the LBRY blockchain via the LBRY Block Explorer.
Additionally, because all of the code for Odysee and LBRY is open-source, anyone can use it and adapt it to suit their needs. If Odysee ever implements more aggressive censorship measures, the code can be used to create a client without these censorship measures.
By contrast, YouTube offers no censorship resistance and has complete control over the content that’s censored. If YouTube removes a video that’s only available on YouTube, everyone loses access to that video and only YouTube has the power to restore the video.
YouTube’s algorithms are hidden from the public which means no one can see the specific criteria that determine when videos will be promoted or recommended. Additionally, no one knows when or if YouTube has changed these criteria unless YouTube publicly announces a change.
On Odysee, all of the source code, including its content ranking algorithms, is open-source. Anyone can see the criteria Odysee uses when recommending videos and if these criteria change, the changes are documented publicly.
You can see Odysee’s source code here.
Unlike YouTube, Odysee doesn’t restrict users to just sharing their own content and also lets users repost anything that they come across while browsing Odysee. These reposts appear in the content feed on profile pages alongside regular posts.
10. Free stickers
On YouTube, the only way to use stickers in your comments is via the paid Super Stickers donation feature. Odysee makes stickers available to all users and has both free and paid stickers that can be posted in comments.
Getting started with Odysee
If you’re ready to make the switch to Odysee, you can browse the site and sign up for an account here.
Also, check out these other resources that can help you sync content, find videos, and more:
- YouTube Sync (Odysee’s one-click sync feature for YouTube creators that creates an Odysee channel and publishes your existing YouTube videos to the channel)
- Watch on Odysee (a browser extension that helps you find Odysee videos while browsing videos and includes a YouTube subscriptions convertor)
- TubeShift (a browser extension that makes it easy to find censored YouTube videos on Odysee and other alt-tech platforms)
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