The world of entertainment and news is not what it used to be. In the past, a small group of companies had control over the content we consumed, and we had little to no say in the process.
But then came the internet, and everything changed. Web 2.0 brought us the “creator economy,” along with a significant paradigm shift: we went from consumers to creators. The creator economy now encompasses a wide range of entrepreneurs and influencers who apply their passion and creativity to come up with online content and monetize it.
It has brought more options and viewpoints to the traditional media landscape and it has empowered millions to make money online based on their passions. It has also provided viewers with more diverse content, giving them the possibility to choose what to consume and in which terms.
The role of technology in this new landscape
As more and more people came online during the COVID-19 pandemic and consumer behaviors changed, the creator economy flourished. Gamers turned their hobbies into a profitable streaming business, fashion influencers learned how to monetize their online presence, and thousands of other content creators began to leverage the potential of the internet and all things digital.
But the creator economy was born out of technology, so it tends to evolve with it. And that means that innovations such as blockchain can significantly impact this new landscape. Let’s dig deeper into how blockchain is transforming the creator economy and why these two seem to be the perfect match.
NFTs are redefining the way creators share, monetize and trade their content and their work. Pretty much any piece of digital content can now become an NFT —a song, an image, a video, and even a podcast episode.
Thanks to this new technology, content creators and influencers can sell their work directly to their fans or followers without any intermediaries. For example, famous YouTuber Logan Paul —in collaboration with Bondly— launched his line of NFTs and made $3,540,456 in just one day.
The newly-gained popularity of NFTs as means to commercialize content has led to a surge in platforms such as BitClout, which promises to decentralize social media. BitClout is “the only blockchain custom-built from the ground up to power and scale a new category of decentralized social applications to one billion users.” According to the company, decentralizing social media apps holds significant value and could free content creators from the private companies that control these platforms nowadays.
Although the metaverse is still not a reality, many companies are working on it as we speak. Any day now we may find ourselves immersed in this promised digital land, and creators are already looking into different ways to leverage it. In fact, 70% of influencers think the metaverse will replace social media.
The metaverse offers new and innovative ways in which creators can display and sell their work, engage with their followers and target whole new markets. And many companies are already leading this shift towards a more virtual landscape for content creation. Every day, we’re witnessing more and more of these platforms enter the market.
Decentraland, for instance, is the first user-owned virtual space where people can build whatever they want, including galleries and virtual stages to display their creations and their talent. Cryptovoxels, on the other hand, is an Ethereum-based virtual world that is popular for its art galleries and museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF Moma).
Blockchain-based social tokens could potentially help creators give more tangible rewards to fans that support them —yes, just like reward points from your airline.
It’s an innovative way for creators to drive loyalty and develop long-lasting bonds with their followers. And both companies and influencers are already maximizing the benefits that this new solution can offer.
For instance, with the help of the platform Socios, soccer clubs all across Europe are issuing tokens for their supporters to buy and become “more than a fan.” Those tokens give them access to exclusive experiences and provide them with voting rights for certain decisions.
Rally, on the other hand, “is a platform for creators and their communities to build their own independent digital economies.” It allows pretty much anyone to create an Ethereum-based coin, and several renowned artists are already leveraging that opportunity.
Now, imagine if you could get virtual coins to access exclusive content or goodies from your favorite travel blogger or that Instagram fashion influencer you love. It’s an absolute game changer.
Unlimited creative potential
Only time will tell whether this new economic paradigm is sustainable. What we know for sure is that the way creators and influencers interact with their supporters has completely changed over the past decade.
The creator economy gave us the possibility to express ourselves online, share our talent with the world, and create all sorts of content for people to consume —a video, a podcast, a blog post… You name it!
If you combine this with new blockchain-based solutions, you get unlimited creative potential with a splash of financial freedom. Sounds promising, right?