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Network Roles

The Livepeer Protocol specification lays out the various roles in the Livepeer Network, the various transactions types supported, the cryptoeconomic security measures in place to prevent collusion, and the token distribution mechanics. As a high level summary, users that participate in the Livepeer protocol have one of following roles:

  1. Orchestrator
  2. Transcoder
  3. Delegator
  4. Broadcaster
  5. Core Team & Community


An orchestrator is a protocol-aware, smart, 24/7 process that is responsible to the end user of the network for transcoding jobs being performed correctly. They stake LPT to secure the work that they perform, and ensure it is done correctly. They can be penalized if they maliciously cheat and mistranscode an end user's content.


A transcoder is a simple process that takes an input segment of video, and transcodes it to the desired outcome.

  • Transcoding is not a Livepeer protocol aware process,
  • There is no requirement for high reliability or being online 24/7, makes no representation to the end user, and it has nothing at risk.

A user in this role can run many transcoder processes, likely connected to many GPUs. It is possible to come up with constructions for "public transcoder pools" that allow orchestrators to distribute work to random transcoders.


A delegator is a Livepeer tokenholder who participates in the network by "staking" its tokens towards orchestrators it believes are doing good and honest work. You can think about staking like putting a deposit down. When a broadcaster pays fees into the network, both orchestrators and delegators earn a portion of those fees as a reward for ensuring a high-quality and secure network.


A broadcaster is a protocol-aware media server or cluster of media servers which 1) deliver video and audio content to clients that request it and 2) is connected to the Livepeer network. It fulfills the demand side of the Livepeer network by taking input streams from developers, splitting up streams into segments, sending the segments to orchestrators for video processing, and aggregating the transcoded results in a media playlist. Broadcasters are able to determine the output renditions and maximum price per pixel for video processing jobs it sends into the Livepeer network and pay for these jobs in ETH using probabilistic micropayments.

Core Team and Community

The Livepeer core team along with the broader Livepeer community drives development of the protocol and ecosystem.