GUEST ARTICLE: The role of crypto in facilitating the content creator economy

At present, 46% of creators generating content for over 4 yrs are earning more than $20K annually.


Mumbai: With technology opening myriad opportunities across sectors, it has ushered in an era of growth for the creator economy. Content creators today have a new means of monetising content, which is empowering them to become the sole owners of what they produce and engage directly with the audiences. Blockchain is revolutionising how content creators can make money from their creativity and hard work online. In the past, they relied on brands by engaging, promoting or representing them. Despite having millions of followers or influence on social media, they have to depend on brands to make money from their content. 

With the growth in digital spheres such as streaming platforms and even the metaverse, for instance, they are now able to explore new avenues to showcase their work, establishing a link with audiences and earning directly. At present, the total creator economy market size is over $100 billion, and it also states that 46 per cent of creators generating content for over four years are earning more than $20,000 annually.

Undoubtedly, the creator economy empowers content creators by giving them ownership. They now do not have to think much about the ever-changing online algorithms, worry about how much brands will value them, and can depend on their actual supporters, fans, or audiences for income. They can decide where and when to work and how to engage with audiences directly to make money. Thus, cryptos are democratising the ecosystem by unlocking many options to make, share, and sell content across platforms.

How is blockchain boosting the creator economy?

The rise of creators, consumers, and engagement on social media have made these online platforms leverage emerging and new-age technologies to offer realistic, advanced, and real experiences to their users. It is vital to make sure that creators get paid for their hard work without relying on anyone else as the ecosystem grows. With the advent of technology like blockchain, decentralisation is happening, and as users are gaining ownership of what they create online, it is making the ecosystem more equitable for them by linking consumers and producers through a direct exchange.

Blockchain, which is the basis of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies, has made it possible to track or record transactions or exchanges in real-time. Content creators today are using NFTs to digitally trade their assets and collect royalties. Once issued, the NFTs assign a monetary value to these digital assets. Also, a token is tied to the content that makes it the original piece. The owners then sell or auction off these NFTs with cryptocurrencies, which can be later converted into real money.

How does it bring additional benefits for creators?

The most significant advantage of blockchain technology for content creators is that it empowers them by allowing them to earn directly from their audiences without the use of intermediaries. They get full control, complete rights, and visibility of their earnings. The content creators, thus, by engaging, are able to earn, which greatly boosts the creator economy. Moreover, the benefit of crypto is that it stores the value of financial incentives with the distributed ledger to decentralise each financial transaction with the help of blockchain. The networks don't hold or store a centralised source of original information, which makes it safe from hacking or exploitation.

Taking a step ahead, the creators can use creator tokens to create and offer unique resources and provide unique experiences to their followers for community building. For example, they can offer member passes to grant greater access to fans and create new income pathways. Also, such tokens let fans get closer to creators by paying extra. The creators will subsequently be able to expand their income source by possibly investing their earnings in crypto assets. Today, there are leading platforms such as Taki, Chingari Clubhouse, and others that are providing opportunities for content creators to earn money. This sector is gaining huge traction, and as technology, demand, and awareness develop further, it can definitely provide an alternative source of income and possibly higher returns to content creators.

The way forward

It is indeed welcoming to see that the Indian government hasn’t banned but regulated the crypto ecosystem, leaving scope for learning and understanding to bridge the trust deficit and address the hesitations. As per reports, the creator economy in India has grown to Rs 1,300 crore in the last couple of years as many small, medium, and even global brands are actively opting for social media creators and influencers to promote their products, which shows that the future is bright. The country, which is on its way to emerging as a resilient digital economy, has to formulate its policies to adopt the innovations and trends to not miss this bus at this juncture. India is witnessing a rise in its internet and social media population, and a conducive ecosystem for the development of blockchain, NFTs, cryptos, and web 3.0 can empower the content creators by making them sole owners of their content and selling it directly to their loyal fan base. 

The author of this article is Taki co-founder Sakina Arsiwala.

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