About the Livepeer

Social networks have become an indispensable part of today's life, making it easy for people to chat, interact, and share photos and videos with each other. Besides that, this is also a large advertising market that brings great value to customers and creates jobs and income for many people. Competition for the advertising market share on social networks makes advertising costs gradually become expensive, while according to Statista analysis [6], more than 42% of people watch online videos for more than 7 hours a week. Half of them spend more than 10 hours per week. This opens up huge customer access opportunities for merchants and investors who are flocking to this segment more than ever. Online video is predicted to become the fastest-growing investment segment in the advertising market, with about 77% ranked above social networks with 68%. It has become an indispensable trend in the market. And in this article, we want to bring new technology to online video: The decentralized video streaming platform, Livepeer.

Online video is growing, placing an increasing burden on the technology infrastructure. The broadcaster will have to spend a lot of money to maintain, such as:

  • Stream difficulties: Transcoding is the process of taking a raw video file and reformatting it. These days it costs about $3 per stream per hour for a cloud service like Amazon, up to $4500 per month for a media server, and up to $1500 per month in advance bandwidth for a content delivery network [5].

Video infrastructure needs a more scalable and cost-effective solution to keep pace with this growth.

Livepeer‌ logo with the earth icon
Livepeer‌. Source: Livepeer.org

Livepeer aims to provide a highly scalable, decentralized live video streaming network protocol. It allows broadcasters to connect directly with their audience in a direct way. In particular, it also provides people with a platform to have a voice without 3rd party control and an effective cost structure for profit sharing.

Flow in Livepeer

Flow in Livepeer with Broadcaster, Liverpeer network, and output.
Flow in Livepeer. Source: Livepeer.org
  • Capture a video on your camera, phone, screen, or webcam and send it into the Livepeer network.
  • Nodes running within the network will encode it into all the necessary formats to reach every supported device. Users running these nodes will be incentivized via fees paid by the broadcaster in ETH and the opportunity to build reputation through the protocol token to earn the right to perform more work in the future.
  • Any user on the network can request to view the stream, and it will automatically be distributed to them in near real-time.

Ecosystem Participants

Orchestrator: protocol-aware, operating 24/7, responsible to users for correct transcoding jobs. They stake LPT to ensure correct work and are penalized for cheating or mistranscode end-user content.

Transcoder: take a video input video and transcode to get the desired result; no need for high reliability. Users in these roles can run multiple transcoding, connecting multiple GPUs. Transcoders can also provide structures for "public transcoder pools" for orchestrators to distribute work to random transcoders.

Broadcaster: splits streams into segments for transcoding and aggregates transcoded results in a media playlist. They can determine the maximum yield and price per pixel for the transcoding jobs it sends to the Livepeer network and use probabilistic micropayments in ETH to pay for this.

Delegator: a Livepeer token holder who participates in the network by "staking" its tokens against moderators they believe are doing good and honest work. When a pay-TV station enters the network, both the dispatcher and the authorizer earn a portion of that fee as a reward for ensuring a high-quality and secure network.

Core Team & Community: the goal is to promote the development of the Livepeer protocol and the ecosystem.

Protocol role

Protocol roles flow, including Broadcaster, Livepeer Smart Contract, Truebit and Swarm
protocol role. Source: Livepeer.org

System role

  • Swarm: Content addressed storage platform
  • Livepeer Smart Contract: Smart contract running on the Ethereum network
  • Truebit: Blackbox verification protocol that guarantees the correctness of computation placed on the chain

Node role

  • Broadcaster: Livepeer node publishing the original stream
  • Transcoder: Livepeer node performing the job of transcoding the stream into another codec, bitrate, or packaging format.
  • Relay node: Livepeer node participating in the distribution of live video and passing of protocol messages, but not necessarily performing any transcoding.
  • Consumer: Livepeer node requesting the stream, likely to view it or serve it through a gateway to their app or DApp’s users.

Use cases

  • Pay-As-You-Go Content Consumption: With transaction value transfer baked into the protocol, broadcasters can now charge live viewers for the use of their live broadcasts without requiring a credit card, account, or Credit. Organizations can control user identities through a centralized platform for use in education, entertainment events, and more. All ensure viewer privacy and allow them to pay only for what they consume directly to the broadcaster.
  • Auto-scaling Social Video Services: help developers get started building their video solutions on the Livepeer Network. It can automatically scale to support any number of streams and viewers, making it an efficient resource management solution to handle spikes.
  • Uncensorable Live Journalism: Livepeer will show an almost unstoppable speech of what's really going on in this world in real-time.
  • Video Enabled DApps:  Livepeer can make it possible for an app to be fully decentralized yet still contain live video, at scale, for as many users as possible.



  • Livepeer, everyone is equal: With centralized live video streaming platforms, each of us is controlled by one organization, several large organizations. They can delete accounts, disable monetization, and go against community standards. In Livepeer, no one controls the content. Everyone is free to create their own content.
  • For broadcasters, Liverpeer is cheaper than centralized platforms: It allows participants to contribute their processing bandwidth for video transcoding and distribution, thus taking advantage of idle resources and reducing costs.
  • Livepeer, fair profit sharing: Users will receive profits based on their spending, paying for what they receive without being controlled by any party.


  • The limited understanding of blockchain and the success of online video on existing apps like Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, etc., make Livepeer very difficult to reach everyone.
  • Livepeer, difficult to use: The user-unfriendly interface is also a big minus point for Livepeer to reach everyone


  • Online video is an integral part of life, with a constant growth rate. Having a solution that can reduce costs or scale to keep up with this growth is essential. If Livepeer can prove that what it has set out to be correct, it will certainly become a popular choice in the future.


  • Currently, centralized video online platforms are too powerful, having a large user base. They are also constantly evolving to come up with very competitive products to attract more users to their platform, which is a huge obstacle for Livepeer to enter the market.


Livepeer can have what people want, like free speech, no censorship, fair profit sharing, and good use of resources in the era of data explosion. Livepeer deserves to become a platform to make up for the shortcomings of a centralized live video broadcast platform. It will probably be the solution that will be widely applied in the future. Livepeer's success may depend on scalability and offering similar services to centralized platforms at a lower price.


[1] 2022: Where is the money going?, effectivenesshub.warc.com, accessed April 11th, 2022.

[2] Livepeer Whitepaper, github.com, accessed April 11th,  2022.

[3] Welcome to Livepeer, docs.livepeer, accessed April 11th, 2022

[4] What Is Decentralized Video Streaming and How Does It Work?, makeuseof.com, accessed April 11th, 2022.

[5] Livepeer - A 10-minute Primer, livepeer.org, accessed April 11th, 2022.

[6] How many hours of online video do you watch per week?, statista.com, accessed April 11th, 2022.