Livepeer Builder Spotlight: Furrend

It all started with a catnap.

Browsing the Internet one day, cat lover (and owner!) Jun Gong stumbled upon a Reddit broadcasting room and found 2,000 people happily absorbed in watching a livestream of a sleeping cat. Between one feline breath and another, inspiration struck.

Jun already knew pet videos were huge on the Internet. They are some of the most searched-for digital content and there are plenty out there to view. Cat-related videos on YouTube alone are uploaded at a pace of 90,000 per day.

We also love to spend money on our pets. According to a study by Bloomberg Intelligence, the global pet industry is expected to expand to half a trillion dollars by 2030 from $320 billion as of March 2023.

Suppose, Jun thought, there was an “OnlyFans” for pets? Somewhere pet owners could showcase the antics of their fur babies and viewers could show their appreciation by sending tokens.

In that moment, Furrend was born.

Huge Potential Waiting to be Realized

Furrend, a Livepeer grant recipient, is a web3 consumer app for pet lovers. It was built by a pet-loving team from the worlds of blockchain, tech, and banking who are experts in everything from blockchain engineering and smart contract development to consumer products and software as a service (SaaS).

“Our all-girl team assembled, and my co-founder Madeline and I dove into research,” Jun said. “After chatting with more than 1,000 pet content creators, it became clear: there's a whole world of untapped potential in the pet content market just waiting to be unleashed.”

The world has had a long-standing love affair with animal videos.

The world’s first video was of an animal: Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 photographic sequence of a galloping racehorse. Almost a century and a half later, NASA broke all transmission distance records in December when its Psyche spacecraft beamed a video of a playful orange tabby named Taters back to Earth from 19 million miles away. That’s 80 times the distance from here to the moon.

The volume of pet videos on the Internet is growing all the time and shows no sign of stopping. Not only are there tens of millions of them out there already, but research also suggests that 45% of video contributors will one day create content featuring a furry friend (or furrend!).

“Video is the magic potion of pet content creation,” Jun said.

“I think video content on social media has way more engagement than other types of content. Whether short-form or long-form, you can always repurpose your video content into written posts, Instagram snippets, and more. Plus, let's face it, who can resist the charm of a wagging tail or a purring kitty on-screen?”

Creator Empowerment by Livepeer

Even though it is still in beta, Furrend has already shared more than 1,000 videos – all of them broadcast via Livepeer, which Jun called “the sturdy backbone of our journey”. Furrend uses Livepeer's transcoder SDK and backend APIs to empower pet content creators to capture their pets’ antics, which fans can then mint on-chain as video NFTs.

“Minting video NFTs is quickly becoming the new standard for likes, and Livepeer has played a vital role in making this possible,” Jun said.

Furrend is packed with features to help pet content creators engage with fans. Furrend’s goal is to help creators earn their fair share of rewards while making fans feel special.

Several top-tier pet content creators have already joined, including those behind Mini Buttercup, Poorly Drawn Cats, and Mousetales, who command Web2 audiences ranging from 100,000 to 3 million strong.

So what’s next for the platform?

Jun says there are lots of big launches ahead, all moving Furrend toward its ultimate goal of becoming the go-to platform for pet lovers everywhere.

“We're creating a powerhouse blend of monetization tools, on-chain ownership, proof of fandom, and creativity-driven features that set us apart. Imagine a one-stop shop where creators can effortlessly build, manage, and monetize their content and communities.”

Jun is a pet content creator herself. Her two cats, Dumpling and GG, have already starred in lots of videos, with Dumpling in the role of mama's boy, while GG plays the lead mischief-maker.

So what advice would she give a pet owner whose dog, cat (or bearded dragon, for that matter) has star quality?

“If you have a pet and want to try creating content for your fur baby, here's some pawsome news: the internet can't resist adorable pets,” Jun said.

“All you need to do is get started. Start small, document those precious moments, and spread your content across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube shorts, and, of course, Furrend. Pay attention to insights, engage with your audience, and be as consistent as your pet's demand for treats. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to pet content stardom.”

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