Could blockchain disrupt the creator economy?
Entering the post-pandemic era, the big trend we see here is that creators are becoming more diversified in their income streams and are being funded directly by their fans. With cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) hitting the mainstream headlines, more creators are monetizing via blockchain technology, such as Gary Vaynerchuk (known as Gary Vee) launched Veefriends NFT collection. Are we about to experience a new revolution using blockchain after the Mobile Revolution?
In simple words, the Creator Economy is the businesses built by creators or what we commonly refer to as influencers on social media platforms. It is an ecosystem that helps creators grow and monetize, including their community builders and merchandise. It has become the fastest-growing economy despite it’s only been around for a decade.
Unfair Creator Economy
The rise of social media platforms, such as YouTube and Tiktok gives content creators the exposure to distribute content and reach out to broader audiences. This also opens up opportunities for brand partnerships. Despite billions of deals and cool marketing campaigns, platforms’ ever-changing algorithms and revenue models are the major concerns to creators. Creators only get a small piece of cake while investing lots of effort on these platforms. They need a sustainable income stream so that they don’t have to rely on money generated from centralized platforms or live on brand sponsorships.
The unfair economy created by these social networking tools leads to a shift from being paid by platforms with ad revenue shares and brand sponsors to being independent and creating their own businesses with exclusive and premium content via membership and merchandise. Creators are leveraging different business tools, such as Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, and OnlyFans, in content monetization.
While these premium subscription-based platforms enable creators to establish a stronger connection with a small number of high-quality fan groups through exclusive content, so as to earn more than from a larger audience through mainstream content, creators have to find ways to balance content monetization and content ownership over the limitation, control and risk of the Web 2.0 social platforms.
Web 2.0 social platforms’ censorship and authoritarian control is no secret to creators and audience. Platforms have the authority to take down and filter any content which they think violates the rules without consent. The unilateral regulation of these centralized platforms limits creativity and free speech, thus putting a thinking cap on content ownership. Creators don’t fully own their content, therefore, unable to maximize the content IP commercialization.
These underlying problems of Web 2.0 social networks have emerged, leading to the sprout of Web 3.0 Creator Economy.
Blockchain technology’s immutability, decentralization, and transparency could address the above concerns and problems through NFTs, DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), and SocialFi (Social Finance). It allows creators to redefine the Creator Economy with their content monetization journey in Web 3.0.
NFT can be used to store digital content to accommodate IP so that creators can own it, and carry out a series of innovative transactions, distribution, and reproduction for monetization. Taking Only1 as an example, creators can launch NFTs collection that serves as membership for exclusive content. Fans or supporters can purchase the NFTs to access the content or offerings. Unlike Web 2.0 social platforms where supporters won’t get any income from participation and contribution, both the creator and the owner of the NFTs can enjoy royalty, a share of the revenue from the content paid by others, in perpetuity.
SocialFi merges the concept of social networking and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) together for monetization, providing a sustainable revenue stream and financial tool for creators. At Only1, creators can register their own creator staking pools on the platform as pool owners. Similar to the concept of fixed deposit, fans who support the creators can invest an amount in the pool and earn rewards. The APY (Annual Percentage Yield) of each creator will adjust according to their social activities across various platforms. Other social networking features, such as messenger and tipping are also live on the platform.
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)
DAO can be used as a governance tool for decentralized platforms and for creators to manage their own community, which is independent of the social platforms. Since more creators are now becoming founders of their own businesses with a focus on building a community, the socially-conscious structure of DAO could be used to improve and incentivize engagement, and for exclusive content distribution.
If you are looking for the perfect journey to monetize Web 3.0 using blockchain technology, we are yet to figure that out. However, the beauty of Web 3.0 lies in the decentralization and economic incentives in collaborative settings. While industry players are shaping the fundamentals to onboard creators and users from Web 2.0, more content creators are educating themselves about the technology and leaping in. The current infrastructures and features set a good foundation for revolutionizing the Creator Economy and opening up a new way for creators to create sustainable income streams, own their content, and build their communities.
Only1 is an NFT-powered social platform built on Solana. We help creators monetize and allow fans to connect with the creators they love in a unique way, similar to a decentralized Patreon — read more on Create-to-Earn (C2E) here. Mixing social media, NFTs, DeFi and the native token LIKE, Only1 offers a Web 3.0 solution to creator economy and fan engagement.
The new world of decentralized social media is here, and it’s being built on Solana. Follow us to learn more.