Cultivating A Participatory Creator Economy

Two of the most popular multimedia genres today, namely podcasting and live streaming, are fueled by passionate individuals in their niches who want to share their knowledge with their audiences. In fact, by 2020, almost 100 million people are estimated to have listened to at least one podcast each month. This number is likely to increase exponentially in the following years.

As the popularity of podcasts rises, creators increasingly see the value of starting their own series under the right conditions. Businesses and influencers in particular are paying heed to this trend. Creators believe that podcasts and live broadcasts are content gold mines. They provide an active form of communication rather than traditionally static content and allows them to cultivate a loyal following Tools for ‘clipping’ have made it easy for them to reuse various bits of these streams and podcasts for repurposing on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Most social networking platforms make the majority of their money through their advertising model, which is how they are able to keep their other services free for users. Facebook generated $84.2 billion in advertising last year, accounting for about 98% of its overall revenue. In 2018, they introduced the Facebook Gaming feature which allowed individuals to stream their favorite games live and potentially earn income through donations. Of course, this type of content also doubles as real estate for more advertisements to make their way to audiences, whether it’s a direct advertisement from the streams through brand partnerships or from the platform itself.

This approach’s success hinges largely on the involvement of the community, which has been a source of contention in recent years. Many of these platforms, according to research, are designed to encourage usage addiction and are possibly harmful with additional accusations for failing to stop harassment/abuse in various forms. To top it all off, they force creators to pay for promotions and features, earning almost nothing even though the platforms’ revenue model depends on their contributions. The current dilemma for the creator economy lies in the fact that it’s already known that creators aren’t prioritized, so what can be done about this?

Platforms Focused on Communities

Substack is a platform which was created in 2017 by Hamish McKenzie and Chris Best as an alternative to the strategy of ad-focused platforms. They recognized that internet users were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content available becoming disillusioned by the spam and toxicity prevalent on these platforms. Naturally, this meant that there would be a market for users that would be ready to pay a modest subscription fee for better content and a healthier experience.

Best and McKenzie also realized that creators needed to establish a direct connection with their audiences in order to commercialize their content. Substack provided the framework for authors to establish newsletters and generate money from user subscriptions. By the time it gained widespread recognition, even renowned journalists had left their posts at large broadcasting corporations and instead started their own email newsletters to gain readership. They were able to build a direct connection between writers and their readers by shifting the incentive structure from free to paid while shifting focus from quantity to quality.

In a similar vein, Jack Conte and Sam Yam established Patreon six years ago. The platform aims to allow even smaller creators to monetize their niche audiences. Users on the site, known as “Patrons,” are given an option to pay a monthly fee in exchange for access to the creator’s work as well as additional privileges and products. The membership model provides a direct audience contact and source of revenue for producers like Heather McDonald, who finances her Juicy Scoop podcast through Patreon.

Content creators can benefit greatly from subscription-based platforms. However because they own the networks that enable virality, ad-based platforms are still considered the default. Creators still rely on them for reach because for many, the promise of going viral and gaining influence on Instagram or Twitter is still more appealing than cultivating a smaller, committed following. Despite the fact that on these platforms, advertisers will always be the priority. In fact, both Google and Facebook have constantly tweaked their algorithms and policies to favor high-paying advertisers rather than content creators themselves, leaving them singled out or demonetized at a moment’s notice. Community-empowered sites like Substack and Patreon, on the other hand, provide creators with a long-term economic model in which they may connect with a devoted audience eager to pay for their desired content.

Many successful creators believe that finding methods to engage with your audience is critical in today’s environment, but it’s especially important for new creators seeking to establish ownership of their audience or convert their content into a profitable business.

Discord is another great example. It can be a useful platform for creating those crucial connections, building a community, and providing value so that your members can keep coming back for more. Creators can utilize Discord to transform their fans into a community, and community is undeniably powerful.

Twitter has also recently introduced Super Follows. Super Follows can help users generate revenue on a monthly basis from the discussions that they start on Twitter. Non-subscribers will be able to see regular public Tweets, but not super follow tweets. Super Followers will have the ability to quote or retweet a creator’s premium content, while non-subscribers will only be able to partially view these threads. Twitter’s creators can receive a portion of the income from premium memberships that provide their most engaged followers with additional insights and filtered discussions. Similarly, super followers might even receive a portion of the income based on their contributions.

Benefits of Participatory Communities

Hosting a community for fans offers two distinct advantages for content creators:

• It helps creators identify their value touchpoints, such as the most active and important followers, what they’re interested in, what their needs are, and how they want to interact with a creator’s ecosystem.

• It enables fans to form relationships with creators, which deepens that connection by allowing them to interact; and it can relieve some of the pressure on creators to constantly engage or produce content on a regular basis.

BitFans is a platform that helps creators host highly engaged and enthusiastic audiences through unique experiences. While it uses blockchain as an underlying technology and tokenization as its core concepts, the cornerstone of its application is far simpler than it may seem at first glance. Any individual, business, or brand owner with access to an audience can create a digital token fan club on the platform.

These creator tokens (aka community tokens) are what allows fans to become active and participatory members through interactions with the creators, other members who share the same values, and assisting creators in deciding on various aspects of their brand or content.

If you’ve never utilized your community before, it might be intimidating. Don’t be concerned. It’s vital to interact with the individuals in your community, just like on any other social network. BitFans is not an ad-driven platform which is focused on keeping advertisers or external partners happy, rather we are community-centric. We believe that the best way to expand influence is by providing an environment where creators can grow together with their communities in an organic way.

We want to position ourselves as the springboard that launches other brands rather than competing with them. As a community-driven and community-focused platform, our goal is to help you cultivate your audiences and usher in a new era of engagement through creator tokens. For more information, visit any of our socials using this link:

An evolutionary new platform that allows anyone who has access to a community or audience to tokenize their fan base and in turn create a whole new economy