Rhett & Link, a popular internet comedy duo with tens of millions of followers across YouTube channels, have launched a dedicated channel on Web3 streaming video service Rewarded.tv, the service announced Friday.
Rewarded.tv, the flagship offering of blockchain streaming platform Replay, incentivizes users to watch films, TV shows, and live channels with gamified, on-chain infrastructure that tracks and rewards viewership with cryptocurrency and NFTs. The service’s media library includes both pre-existing titles, as well as original content.
The Rhett & Link channel on Rewarded, Mythical 24/7, will play the duo’s flagship YouTube talk and variety series, “Good Mythical Morning,” as well as their food-focused series, “Mythical Kitchen,” and podcast, “Ear Biscuits.” The channel previously debuted on Roku Channel in March without token incentives.
Rewarded community members who watch the channel can earn the platform’s native RPLAY token, which can be redeemed to unlock premium content and other perks. Rewarded’s tokenized infrastructure is powered by Theta, a layer-1 blockchain network focused on video streaming.
Rewarded is one of a growing number of Web3-native media offerings that are gambling on the attractiveness of gamification and tokenized ecosystems to lure audiences.
The RPLAY token is designed to keep users hooked on and actively participating in the broader Rewarded community. Viewers can amass the cryptocurrency not just by watching content on the platform, but also by competing on leaderboards, completing missions, collecting NFT badges, and joining live watch parties.
Friday’s announcement is one piece of a broader campaign by Rewarded to onboard mass audiences to Web3 with premium content from familiar brands. Rhett & Link—a.k.a. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal—boast an enormous combined following across their numerous existing channels, and their videos and podcasts have accumulated billions of views.
Such a strategy, though, will require the platform and its tokenized ecosystem to be easily navigable by the crypto-uninitiated—a feat that’s eluded many intricate, tech-heavy, Web3-native platforms that have attempted to cross over to mass appeal.
“We’re bringing in new users who aren’t necessarily familiar with crypto,” Replay CEO Krish Arvapally told Decrypt. “We understand how important it is for media brands to ensure their Web3 experiences are as simple as they are fun. Luckily, the industry is quickly catching up, and once users are watching, getting into the crypto side of things only takes an email address.”
Rewarded also recently launched a series of governance NFTs that grant holders the ability to vote on what content is featured on the app, which is available on the Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Samsung TV platforms, as well through a web browser.
Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to note the earlier Roku Channel launch.