The Creator Economy — More Than Just a Phrase | by Vodra | Oct, 2021

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The Creator Economy is a fairly abstract concept, with many differing definitions- which makes sense because it doesn’t quite exist yet! The term Creator Economy is most commonly used as an encompassing description for all the existing ways creators and audiences exchange value. More specifically, it often refers to the introduction of tipping/direct support features on various social media platforms. In this proposed model, creators are supposed to have control over their compensation. While this all sounds well and good on paper, where do participants actually go to take part in this economy?

The issue stems from how fractured the creator space really is. While these features give creators and audiences more options, they still exist vertically within the same platforms. A creator on Twitch who has found some success receiving donations as opposed to running ads is not suddenly apart of a new creator economy; they are still beholden to Twitch for their compensation. This is where an asymmetric power dynamic exists between the platforms and the creators, and is the reason that we currently do not have a robust creator economy.

A free market for content cannot exist while the platforms which provide the content also set the price for it. This gives the social media giants unwarranted control over the type and quality of content that is supplied. There needs to be liquidity in any good market; and providing this means reducing friction when migrating platforms and reducing fees.

We have seen this principle work extremely well with the emergence of NFTs. Creators having the ability to market a piece of their work which is then afforded a value on the open market is an undeniable proof of concept. Consider the fact alone that some creators who were already heavily engaged in the existing social media platforms were able to make much more additional income from minting NFTs. This shows that the demand to compensate creators and transact with them directly is significantly higher than what the current platforms can facilitate.

Where NFTs fall short, is with the variety and accessibility of content that they currently cater to. Currently, NFTs are mostly limited to pieces of artwork with the most popular of which belonging to well established collections. Some projects are cleverly challenging these boundaries such as 2Crazy, which is focused on the experience and event side of NFTs. While the model has proven its validity, there is still a wide gap between the average social media user and someone who would purchase an NFT. To truly realize a functional creator economy, this gap needs to be closed and there have to be ways for the majority of audiences to participate.

As stated previously, to facilitate a free market there needs to be a lack of friction and fees. Most users will only be interested in purchasing NFTs if they can somehow be related back to their favourite creators. There is no good link that exists to bridge compensation activities to the everyday operation of a creator. The closest example of this to date is livestream donations where donors can be recognized. This too has its limits, as the only feedback is a donation amount and short message read aloud.

There is a reason why we focus so heavily on donation tools and integrations at Vodra. By providing a platform where users can transact, receive recognition, and earn rewards is crucial for providing a real creator economy. Providing a toolbox for creators that doesn’t cost them anything lets them take control of their compensation.

Content compensation is certainly not being hindered by a lack of creativity on the creator’s part. There are numerous interesting ways that creators have gone about monetizing their content, and there are a lot of audience members who go through the lengths required to participate. We believe providing a platform to facilitate this will rapidly speed up adoption.

It is also important for there to be a separation between compensation tools and the social media platforms. Platforms are inclined to introduce tools in a way that primarily benefits their own activities. This can be in the form of taking large fees or only letting “affiliates” of a certain status access the tools.

It is our goal to make the Creator Economy more than just a phrase. We envision a space where creators and audiences alike can transact with one another, receive recognition and participate in an ecosystem that is mutually beneficial.

As we continue to build and iterate on the Vodra Platform, we intend to be pioneers in facilitating a real creator economy. Achieving this requires a great deal of input from the creators themselves, which our Vodra Pre-Launch Creators are instrumental in providing.

Check out our Vodra Pre-Launch Creator Interview where we do just that. For more updates and articles surrounding Vodra, consider joining us on the channels below.

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