Web3 – Power to the Creators
Let’s talk about ownership
Web3 is sparking a discussion around ownership and economic benefit.
That is, who’s creating things of value (like content) and who’s benefitting (financially) from it.
Take for example what should be a simple question: Who owns your latest social media post? And if it were to be viewed or engaged with, say thousands of times, who if anyone should benefit from it financially?
Mac Budkowski recently shared a tweet about the creator economy (those creating content like YouTube videos, podcasts, and other content for a living) that I think describes how this question has been answered during the various eras of the web:
Who creates value → who benefits financially:
- Web1: companies → companies
- Web2: individuals → companies
- Web3: individuals → individuals
To expand on this just a a bit for our context:
Companies created the content. Think articles, horoscopes, and sports scores found through web portals. And companies earned all of the money from that content. Examples included Yahoo, AOL, and The New York Times.
We saw a huge shift to individuals creating content. Think posts, videos, tweetstorms, stories, articles, etc. But even with individuals creating most of the content, companies continued to earn most of the money (in large part from ads). Notable examples include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Medium.
We’re continuing to see individuals create nearly all the content, like newsletters, courses, podcasts, and digital goods. But we’re now also starting to see individuals earning real money from their content. That’s starting to happen though platforms like Substack (paid newsletters), Podio (online courses), Patreon (creator subscriptions), and Gumroad (digital goods).
Individuals, or more often now referred to as creators, are building direct relationships with their audiences and finding new ways to monetize their content beyond just ads.
Here’s your takeaway:
We’re seeing power shift from companies (and platforms) to individuals (or creators).
This shift leads us to the brave new world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs, creator coins, and other new concepts that allow for ownership, and therefore new ways to earn money in the digital world.