Three Predictions in the Creator Economy in 2022
Monetizing content is nothing new but the pandemic and macro environment turbocharged the phenomenon of digital content creators to earn a living via social platforms as a full-time career. This creator economy includes more than 50 million creators globally with a value of over $104 billion.
Accelerating from the exponential growth of 2021, the creator economy is expected to remain reasonably strong in 2022. Content creators are now making money in four ways: from the social platform itself, merchandise, subscriptions, and brand sponsorship.
With the introduction of cryptocurrency, NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens), and Metaverse, the Web3.0 elements open a gateway for creators to engage audiences and monetize their content in ways that we have never experienced before.
The NFT wave was riding strong in 2021 and kick-started 2022 with massive monthly sales hitting $5 billion. However, the gold rush fell off a cliff with the monthly sales dropping to $2.6 billion in February. Does this caveat put an end to this new monetization method for creators? We are approaching the end of the first quarter of 2022, what do the times ahead look like?
Here are three trends that you should be paying attention to right now if you are interested in taking your creative work to the next level, influencing your audience, and monetizing from it.
#1 Creators Become Founders Now?
As a content creator, you understand the importance of your royal fans and how you should respond to their feedback and needs. In 2022, the creator economy will become more rooted in engaging fandoms and building communities with a shifting focus on owning content and communities.
Content creators are no longer in the ‘creator’ title but the founder of their own community, building out their teams in selling products and services. Moving from their originated social platforms and using different subscription-based tools to monetize exclusive content is nothing new. But the issue with this form of Web2.0 monetization method is that it is all done through third-party services such as Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee, which does not only restrict the content ownership but takes a cut of the revenue from subscriptions. What if we have an alternative to turn to?
With the rise of Web3.0 technology, we expect to see content creators continue riding on the NFT/crypto waves in truly owning their content and moving their fans off the originated Web2.0 social channels and on to their owned media in Web3.0 for monetization. For example, Joma Tech, utilizing an NFTs collection — Vaxxed Doggos, for capital growth so that he has the money for producing high-quality content for his community. At the same time, he is also offering exclusive content for fans who hold the doggo NFTs.
#2 Convergence of Web2.0 and Web3.0 Engagement?
With the uprising trend of NFTs and Metaverse, more content creators threw light on crypto-related content on Web2.0 social media platforms, particularly TikTok. According to their What’s Next Report 2022, cryptocurrency had a huge year with views for videos tagged #NFT grew by brain-melting 93,000% compared to 2020. The #crypto hashtag also exploded and garnered 1.9 billion videos. Another popular social platform, Twitter, also recorded a 320% growth in topics like NFT collaborations, NFT avatars and crypto gaming, showcasing a new era of monetization in connecting fandoms. Surprisingly, there were 17 times more tweets about NFTs than WFH in 2021.
But what is interesting is the fact that these rising demand and trending topics will create new types of content creators focusing on crypto and Web3.0 with topics such as crypto education, crypto trading, NFTs or even crypto gaming.
While more crypto education is happening in Web2.0, we expect more content creators to help brands enter Web3.0 via NFT collaborations and co-created projects, especially luxury and consumer brands. Louis Vuitton enters NFTs with digital artist Beeple and CASETiFy launched the world’s first verified NFT phone case with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
In parallel, more Web3.0 companies and projects are leveraging creators to tap into mainstream audiences, for example, Ledger rolled out a product campaign partnering with content creators on TikTok for their cold wallet, Ledger Nano.
#3 NFTs as digital art but what’s next?
The hype around NFTs has naturally bled into the creator economy in which creators sold their own NFTs to fans in exchange for exclusive access and content.
We expect content creators to add more real-life benefits or real-world values with their NFTs. The applications are numerous and the barriers to entry are low without middlemen. We expect to see some compelling ideas crop up this year which might blow the corners of the creator economy space wide open.
There will be more applications for that where it is not just pure digital artworks that people can save as .jpeg but more with utilities, particularly the formation of DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) communities and alternative ways to raise growth capital for creators’ content development.
Pplpleasr recently announced Shibuya, a new decentralized video platform (thinking of it as a mix of Netflix, Vimeo, and Kickstarter) at ETHDenver, enabling users to directly affect the platform’s content through the use of NFTs and cryptocurrency. Owners of their NFTs and digital tokens will be part of the community and production.
Influencer Irene Zhao has also monetized her content by turning them into NFTs via So-Col and created a DAO community called IreneDAO for exclusive content and offerings for members. To add an extra layer of real-life value, part of the revenue will also go towards charitable causes which will be voted on by the community.
These examples are only the beginning of revolutionizing digital content and the internet. Content creators are becoming founders of their businesses in monetising their content and creating exclusivity for their loyal fans. In 2022, Web3.0 technologies are going to change the way creators create content, claim ownership, and monetize their work. More than that, they are going to change the way we understand creator-to-fan networks and redefine what the internet means in this new era. Stay tuned to witness an irreversible movement of explosive creativity.
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.
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