Since 2010, the global netizen population has doubled in size reaching 4.3 billion users in 2019. This rising netizen population is generating an all-time high demand for valuable content, opening a wide opportunistic window for content creators.
In terms of numbers, audio and video content is the most heavily consumed category (89%) which continues to grow in popularity. The Cisco VNI report depicts the enormous growth in internet data traffic for audio and video.
Be it YouTube videos, WordPress blogs or Soundcloud podcasts, there is a dedicated audience for each platform. In response to which, the online content has also become pretty attractive.
Creators today go to amazing lengths to get that one video made or curate that one blog post that’ll go viral on their social media handle. But despite glittering numbers, the monetary gain for creators looms in uncertainty.
Content Monetization is Still a Struggle
If we peek into the life of independent content creators, we’ll find that it takes a long, consistent and undying effort to reach a position that actually pays enough for subsistence.
This is because, despite the popularity, the audiences find it quite difficult to compensate content creators for their effort directly.
At the same time, it’s hard for a creator to compete with the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, that enjoy a plentiful influx of subscription revenue directly from the consumers.
The top four sources of revenue for content creators today are:
- Brand Deals
- Affiliate Marketing
- Exclusive Content
None of which offers a reliable source of income. The restrictions on advertisements and bogus methods of obtaining ad clicks just make life even more difficult for creators. Case in point: Most YouTubers earn less than 100 USD a month.
Brand deals and Affiliate marketing, are more of a hit-and-miss scenario. Moreover, creators over-endorsing products on their content channels may put off their audience and decrease their engagement.
Platforms like Patreon where the audience can directly compensate creators for their content also have a very low success rate. The Outline reports that only 2% of creators actually make more than the minimum hourly wage on Patreon.
Blockchain has a Solution
Most of the big content platforms today exercise centralized power. When a creator becomes popular, it’s the platform that makes the real profit, and only a meagre chunk is shared with the creator.
Blockchain is a ledger technology which is decentralized, cryptic, immutable and anonymous in nature. The key takeaway is that it opens new avenues for protecting the authenticity and credibility of data stored on it, much more stringently than ever.
New blockchain-enabled platforms are targeting the issue and aim to shift the profits back to the creator.
Here is a list of such platforms with an explanation on how they deal with the monetization crisis.
PodMiners for Podcasts
PodMiners aims to deploy a blockchain solution that will allow podcast creators to gain legitimate profit through ads and wider content distribution. Creators can already check out their ICO.
Their ad-fraud fighting mechanism can verify every ad-click or ad engagement generated by the audience on a blockchain ledger, helping the advertisers evade investment on worthless ads.
When advertisers get a real audience, their return on investment increases. This helps advertisers obtain a legitimate distribution of their ads, which comes back to the creators as increased revenue.
In addition, PodMiners offers a ‘micropayments’ system for incentivized digital downloads of podcasts and monthly subscriptions for listeners, adding new streams of revenue for creators.
The platform is also working to distribute audio content not only on their own platform but multiple other podcast platforms to help creators expand their discoverability.
Steemit for Bloggers
Creators earn STEEM tokens that can be traded just like cryptocurrencies and can be converted into real money. While the users who read and upvote a post don’t pay anything to anyone!
This means, yes, you can use Steemit to monetize your content and earn STEEM.
Steemit runs on the Steem Blockchain, which stores all the information published on Steemit. Steem Blockchain also enables the distribution of STEEM tokens just like Bitcoin. Hence, Steemit combines social content sharing with the cryptocurrency concept.
You can manage all the STEEM tokens by downloading the Vessel Wallet made for Windows users.
DLive for Live Videos
DLive is an emerging platform that allows content creators to stream live videos that are monetized using Lino Network Blockchain.
The platform is gaining attention from video game players and live performers who’d like to monetize their streams. As of now, a significant amount of creators are video game players that play games like League of Legends or PUBG mobile live.
Just like Steemit, the creators earn in a digital currency called Lino Points. These Lino Points can be exchanged for real money later on by the creators.
The viewers have the option to donate Lino Points to creators by purchasing them from Lino Blockchain. As of now, 88 Lino Points can be bought for $1.22. Therefore, DLive is able to maintain a fair game scenario for both creators and viewers.
The platform is devoid of advertisements or paid-only content. It thrives on engagement and viewers actually liking what they see. In our opinion, it’ll be interesting to see how it battles the economic forces of viewers not wanting to pay.
Digital content is the norm for modern means of information gathering entertainment. While the consumers and the content platforms continue to grow in enormous proportions, the people who actually make the content aren’t receiving their end of the bargain.
The blockchain-based content distribution tech offers more than a fair promise to support the undervalued creators, and bring justice to their hard work. This article primarily talks of platforms for podcasts, blogs and live videos, that are heavily popular among creators.
As these platforms mature, we can expect a positive shift in revenue sharing for creators. The bottom line: Creators need to pay heed to blockchain immediately!