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title: What is LBRY exactly – is it a protocol, an app, a website, a company? category: LBRY 101 order: 1

For most users, LBRY will be a place where they can find great videos, music, ebooks, and more. A vast digital library that is available on all of your devices. But LBRY is many components working together.

LBRY is first and foremost a new protocol that allows anyone to build apps that interact with digital content on the LBRY network. Apps built on the protocol allow creators to upload their work to the LBRY network of hosts (like BitTorrent), and set a price per stream or download (like iTunes) or give it away for free (like YouTube without ads).

What makes this all possible is the blockchain technology developed by the creator of Bitcoin. Do you have to understand any of this to use and enjoy LBRY? No. Does it still matter to users? Yes!

Why Build A Protocol?

Building protocols, not platforms, is the future of the free, open internet. Almost every tech giant today is a centralized service that sells users’ personal information and attention to advertisers. They spend a lot of money chasing their product (your personal information and time/attention), but at the end of the day, users (you) offer it up for free in exchange for access to the platform.

We think users should own their content (and their privacy) instead of handing it over to a corporate giant and their advertising buddies. If you think we’re paranoid, there are dozens of examples of companies abusing users and acting against their interests. It’s not paranoia if they’re actually out to get you.

Open Source and Community Driven

The LBRY project is more than just a new protocol. It is also a company, LBRY Inc., which is developing a LBRY app to allow users to interact with the protocol easily.

Not only is our app completely open-source, but others are welcome to create competing apps that also use the LBRY protocol. For a content creator, your uploaded content will be available to all of these apps at the same time.

LBRY is challenging the centralized, corporate model from the ground up. Everything we’ve built is open-source, decentralized, and belongs to the community using it.

I’d Buy That For A Dollar!

Well you’re in luck because you can download the LBRY app for free and build LBRY with us today - try it out and let us know what you think!

Download the LBRY App Now