There is a mix of excitement, speculation, and confusion about what Web3 technologies will play in the evolution of our digital lives. For Web3 advocates, the technology promises to assist individuals regain control of their data and monetize who they are and what they know and do in new and innovative ways.
Web3 has attracted billions in VC funding for projects and startups spanning its many components, including blockchain, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and the Semantic Web. For creators, the size and scope of investments in these new developments are exciting news.
What is the meaning of Web3?
Before you dive into what it means for creators, it's helpful to have a working definition of Web3. IDC defines it as "a collection of open technologies and protocols, including blockchain, that supports the natively trusted use and storage of decentralized data, knowledge, and value."
IDC is ecstatic that you are a creator, and that definition should be a source of pleasure to your ears. With current internet iterations, Web3 offers a beacon of hope. It will enable seamless, transparent, and cost-effective interactions and transactions.
The issue with centralized platforms
The current ecosystems most creators are feeding are completely centralized. And although some artists have made a decent living thanks to these platforms, ultimately, it's the platforms that make the most money. Take YouTube for example.
According to Statista, YouTube's worldwide advertising revenue increased by 14% year on year in the first quarter of 2022, yet many of YouTube's creators cannot give up their day jobs. According to a August 2022 report, 97.5% of YouTubers fail to earn $12,140, the recognized US poverty threshold.
To be fair, YouTube isn't the only platform with this tendency. Despite earning millions on popular platforms, a large majority of creators struggle to earn a living wage. According to linktree data, only 12% of full-time creators earn more than $50,000 per year.
Most creator platforms own the audience, the data, and the income. The primary way for artists to make money is by securing sponsors or attracting large numbers of followers to a platform's algorithm, which some believe favors certain artists more than others. Web3 allows creators to connect directly with their audiences and earn the majority of the revenue for themselves.
The idea behind the current creator ecosystems is that artists create the content and companies make money. At any time, these ecosystems may modify their algorithms and rules and take over the audience (and monetization) a creator has carefully constructed over the years. And if a creator decides they want to take their audience elsewhere, they can't. They don't have access to the data necessary to connect directly with their audience outside the platform's environment.
Web3 is expected to transform the current internet structure by allowing artists to make money directly without the interference of a third party. However, you may be asking, "How does that work??"
Putting Web3 to work for designers
The key to maximizing Web3 as a creator starts with choosing the appropriate platform. Of the highest importance is retaining full control of your content and the revenue you earn. It's also vital that the platform you choose provides the tools and services you need to run your business. According to a recent study, Kajabi customers earn an average of $30,000 per year.
Rarible, the NFT marketplace, is another excellent example of a way to keep track of the money you and your team earn. With Rarible, you may add your colleagues' wallets to the smart contract and share the royalties from future sales, ensuring that nobody is left out.
Rally, a company that allows creators to develop their own creator coins, is an interesting way for creators to earn money from their work and themselves while creating a community around everything they do. Essentially, fans and investors can purchase your creator coin, sell it, and use it as currency in the platforms that are built on that blockchain.
Mastodon and Diaspora, a decentralized social network, take this a step further. Creators retain full ownership of their content and identity, and they may monetize via their fans, rather than advertisers. Every account has a monetary value that can fluctuate between platforms.
We are in the early stages of Web3. Artists will drive Web3 forward in the same manner that artists contribute to the revitalization of neighborhoods. Without artists and their fans, Web3 will only grow stronger and the central Web will only become more dominant. That's why there is no time like the present to begin the Web3 journey.
Sean Kim is the president and Chief Product Officer at Kajabi.