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YouTubers flock to alternative, coin-based platforms to fight growing demonetization

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What, exactly, is Snakt?

YouTube is making it increasingly difficult for creators to earn a living off Google AdSense from videos.

That’s what any creator will pronounce on Twitter or YouTube. Ongoing demonetization struggles, alleged video suppression and constantly increasing competition are making creators feel they need to look elsewhere to generate income. YouTubers often sell their own lines of merchandise, or rely on additional income from subscription services like Patreon and Twitch. Some YouTubers are looking to cryptocurrency platforms, like the Brave browser or BitChute, as a way to generate revenue based solely on views.

And now there’s Snakt, an app developed by Tristan Snell, that’s looking to give YouTube creators an additional opportunity to monetize their content instead of relying on YouTube. Philip DeFranco, one of the most outspoken critics of YouTube’s demonetization issues, is the first creator to partner with Snakt as part of the SnaktCoins Partner Program, according to Snell. DeFranco, who is also an advisor to the company, will use Snakt for his new project, DeFranco Now, but it’s unclear exactly how he’ll be paid.

“The exact form(s) of monetization for DeFranco Now is to be determined,” Snell told Polygon over email. “Our overall goal, together, is to build a much more stable and sustainable system for creator monetization, while connecting creators much more closely with their fan communities.”

There are a few clues that point to cryptocurrency and blockchain methods being used for payment, though Polygon has reached out for more information. Snell said Snakt is looking to roll out a partner program to its creators soon. Creators who join the program, which has few details right now, will be included in something called the SnaktCoins Partner Program.

“The SnaktCoins Partner Program is rolling out soon, and it will include monetization both for views as well as via fan gifting,” Snell said. “We’ll be rolling out the full details when we release our next version, containing the full system, toward the end of the month.”

SnaktCoins sound like something along the lines of Brave’s Basic Attention Tokens, which employ cryptocurrency to help pay creators. DeFranco is also an avid supporter of that platform. The idea is to supplement creators’ income — creators aren’t working exclusively with Snakt or Snell, but can create exclusive series or shows on Snakt while also maintaining their bigger YouTube presence. Since Snakt is designed around interaction between creators and fans, people will also be able to post their own response videos to DeFranco’s content, which he can then use in his popular daily YouTube series.

“The viewers’ videos will have a chance to be included in Phil’s other programming, including the main Phil DeFranco Show, plus the other programming he’s launching soon,” Snell said. “There is also original programming being produced for DeFranco Now. It will be a place where Phil can engage with the community, the community members can engage with each other, Phil can source responses (and even news footage) from community members and there will be a show designed to take full advantage of DeFranco Now, which is currently in production.”

Again, it all comes back to demonetization. Creators are researching new revenue avenues in light of financial instability on YouTube. PewDiePie even jokingly said he’s become a hat salesman to offset the unreliability of Google’s AdSense. DeFranco has talked about similar problems, noting in a recent video that he can’t generate enough revenue to keep his projects going, addressing his frustrations with both the platform and the current state of demonetization that creators are suffering through.

“Creators need new partners now, given what has happened with YouTube,” DeFranco said. “We’ve been very happy with our partnerships with Patreon, Twitch and now Snakt, which is the best new video platform we’ve seen in a long time.”

Whether the app helps out with monetization woes remains to be seem, but more information about Snakt’s partner program will be rolling out soon.