Bitcoin App: Lightning Video

Lightning Video

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As the internet becomes a more media-rich landscape, video has become a more popular format; we see it embedded on websites, social media feeds, and, of course, the big behemoth of video platforms, YouTube, pumping out watch time in the trillions of hours each year.

As internet connections become faster and cheaper, we’ve seen video explode not only as a consumption medium but as a business model with live streaming, freemium video, and on-demand video.

Video popularity has grown so much that Cisco had already estimated that, by next year, a staggering 82% of all created content would be video. Now granted, a lot of this is throw-away content through the likes of TikTok and severely skews the metrics, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that people spend a lot of time behind screens and are keen on video.

Personally, I don’t see this as a good thing; the vast majority of video consumption is non-economic activities; it’s often mindless entertainment that is encouraged by a fiat monetary system. Video might be growing, but we can see the quality is rapidly decreasing, partly due to the incentive structures built into video content today.

Monetising your video content

Videos can be helpful, such as tutorials, explainer videos, educational videos, or simply fun and entertaining content, but making money from them seems to be harder than it needs to be. In 2022, that shouldn’t be the case.

If you are a video content creator looking to earn money from the time and effort you spend in creating content, editing and promoting your videos; you have to follow one of the following:

  • Paywall your content with a 3rd party provider
  • Sell merchandise
  • Sell consulting time
  • Embed sponsored messaging
  • Create videos for brands
  • Accept donations
  • Have ad monetisation on your videos

The freemium ad route isn’t going away either, rotting our brains with unnecessary messaging. When you consider that (66%) of marketers will either increase or maintain their spending on video in 2022, you can assume that you’ll be bombarded with more ads and sponsored content going forward.

What is Lightning Video?

Lightning Video is a bitcoin Lightning Network native video hosting platform that allows users to host videos behind a paywall and receive instant compensation from their supporters. There is no need to hit certain scales or thresholds to start earning, all you need to do is upload your content, and you will instantly be monetised.

  • Lightning Video users can upload content and set it behind an optional paywall to earn from views or leave the video open to view but earn from comments posted on their content.
  • Alternatively, users can also live stream via Lightning Video and earn by getting users to pay to access the stream or comment during the stream.
Video stream or upload on Lightning Video
Upload or live stream
Upload on Lightning Video
Video upload process

Is Lightning Video free to use?

Lightning Video is free to browse, and if people have not paywalled their videos, you can enjoy those for free, but you will need to break out the wallet should you want to access the paywall content. As for comments, you can set the price you’re willing to pay to place a comment under a video, but there is no free rides to leave a message.

As for those who want to host videos, the publish fee is denominated in satoshis and may vary but is comparable to the cost of a postage stamp. Lightning Network routing fees and operator margin are deducted from monetisation, totalling approximately 1%.

In addition, registering Lightning.Video/MyChannelName is free, but requires a minimum of 10 videos published or publish credits to deter squatting. An invoice to buy Publish Credits will be presented at channel registration, if needed to satisfy the publish minimum.

What do I need to get started using Lightning Video?

You do not need an account to watch videos on Lightning Video, so no sign-in is needed or passing on any data. You can pay to unlock videos with any Lightning Enabled wallet, be that a desktop, mobile wallet, browser-based wallet or self-hosted wallet with your own Lightning Node.

If you want to watch a video, all you need to do is click on it and pay the Lightning Invoice/LN-URL; once payment is settled, the page will reload, and you will have access. You can watch the video in the browser or download it to your device to watch later.

If you do want to upload content, you will need to create an account using LN-AUTH as the only login option available. Lightning Video does not touch fiat and therefore do not collect PII so no passing on of data kept on the site.

Note: Videos will remain up for a minimum of 90 days. If they receive zero engagement, they will be removed. If your videos continue to bring traffic and payments, they will remain up indefinitely.

How do I use Lightning Video?

If you’re simply looking for something to watch, all you will need is your wallet handy to pay for access or to place comments. Uploaders set the price for access to their videos while they only offer a suggested price to place a comment; you can set the price you want to pay for a comment if you prefer to change the value.

Comments can be placed anonymously as “Satoshi Nakamoto” by default, or you can use a preferred nym of your choice.

I would recommend having a browser wallet like Alby or Joule, making it easy to log in if you choose or to pay for videos or place comments with one click and sign directly from the wallet; from an ease of use perspective, it’s pretty seamless.

Video page on Lightning Video
Video landing page
Video comments on Lightning Video
Comments on a video

For video creators

As for video creators, the video upload process is pretty straightforward; you need to add the following details to publish the video.

  • Title
  • Description
  • Up to 5 tags
  • Optional paywall
  • Cost to access video
  • Optional comments
  • Suggested cost per comment
  • Suggested tip amount
  • NSFW option
  • Setting Private/Hidden video/Direct link
  • Preview video image

Note: Operators of Lightning Video are bound by US law. So any unlawful content uploaded on the site will be removed without warning or recompense and referred to law enforcement if appropriate.

Once you earn from your videos, be that from the paywall or comments, the funds you earn are held in a wallet on the site, and you will need to withdraw it to your preferred wallet where you hold the keys

Who would benefit from using Lightning Video?

A platform that provides instant video monetisation and reduces friction in payment has perks. Still, it might not click immediately as many haven’t jumped on board to set the example. If you’re still unsure about how a platform like Lightning Video can improve your video content monetisation, here are a few scenarios to consider.

Content funnelling

If you create content you think is evergreen and valuable to a broad range of users, like tutorials on how to do certain tasks, you could leverage this platform as a means of payment for your consultation services. You could use freemium platforms like YouTube to create teaser videos and have the full content behind the paywall. Since you can set any price on your video, from 1 satoshi, you can make it as attractive and inexpensive as possible for users to unlock and download your content.

Offering alternatives to your subscriber base

If you’re a video content creator looking to cut out the middleman when monetising your content, this option could be for you. Of course, if you’re using the freemium model of selling ads on your videos or doing sponsored content, this might not fit you, but there are ways of incorporating it.

If you do ad reads and sponsored content, you can offer the version without the ad read on Lightning Video and promote the option to users who don’t want to deal with ads.

Paywall creators

What I would recommend is offering your paid video subscriptions on standard paywall websites and then offering the bitcoin version at a discount. This way, you don’t limit the reach your videos can have when earning, but you punish people for using fiat, and you encourage them to use bitcoin. Since you’re saving both the user and yourself on the processing fees, you can pass on that discount to your clients and still earn the same or even more for your content.


Streamers are already used to broadcasting on multiple platforms; adding another option shouldn’t be a problem, and if you do have a bitcoin-based audience or an international audience, then this could be a cheaper way for them to pay you for your streams.

NSFW creators

If you’re dealing with content that doesn’t get you very far on YouTube before you get banned, and the platforms you are forced to use take a sizable cut of your revenue stream. Why not consider moving over or offering Lightning Video as an alternative.

Get the app

There you have it, another way to monetise your video content with bitcoin and the lightning network, reach more people and secure funds from contributors worldwide; what more could a video content creator want? Now go out there, publish some of your exclusive content on Lightning Video and stack sats in the process.

If you’d like to learn more about the app or give it a try, check out the links below.

Are you a bitcoin app affianado?

Are you using bitcoin inspired apps? Which app is your favourite? Do you have one you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments down below.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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