Want to know what’s next for the gaming industry? Join gaming leaders to discuss emerging areas of the industry at GamesBeat Summit Next this October. Learn more.
The creator economy is fueling innovation across industries, changing definitions of work and providing revolutionary income opportunities. This software-enabled economy allows people to make money by producing content through photos, videos, or music.
The creator economy is a booming industry that has only skyrocketed during the pandemic: tech innovations of the last decade have expanded the industry’s possibilities. On the front-end, various platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Cameo have billions of users around the world and have brought impressive revenue streams to content creators. On the back end of the creator economy, supporting tools like Patreon and Kajabi enable creators to produce better content more easily.
In recent months, industry-specific social platforms have also emerged in traditional sectors. For example, Playhouse launched “TikTok for real estate,” where users can browse videos of real estate listings; Hammr allows construction workers to showcase their own construction projects on their app.
The creator economy is changing definitions of work, but it too will change with the advent of Web3.
Changing definitions of work
The increasing ability of creators to monetize their content has forced fundamental changes in the way “work” looks like. The creator economy as we know it today has gone through three evolutionary phases:
Phase 1: Traditional economy
Work in its purest form is understood one-sidedly as work for a larger organization. In this representation, employees retain little autonomy over what type of work they do and how they do it. Historically, this is how most people approach work.
Phase 2: gig economy
The gig economy has emerged and exploded in recent years. In this economy, employees are able to take on smaller, easier-to-manage jobs on an ad hoc basis—like working as a grocery delivery man. While this work model improved workers’ flexibility and autonomy, most workers are still heavily dependent on their employers.
Phase 3: Creator Economy
The creator economy represents a secular shift. In a creator economy, creators do not need a parent company to function as an employer; they can work when they want, produce what they want, and have full autonomy over how they monetize their content. This new ownership structure is symbolic of a major power shift in employer-employee dynamics. In the first two phases of the economy, power lay almost exclusively in the hands of employers. The creator economy, on the other hand, allows people who create content to retain the power to own and manage their work.
Creator economy in a Web3 world
The principles of the creator economy—ownership of work, decentralization, and flexibility—run parallel to the advent of Web3. As the world moves closer to the next generation of the internet over the next few years, expect to see increasing overlap between the creator economy and Web3. It could look like this:
Creator owned content and platforms
Creator-owned content is the first iteration of the Web3 creator economy. On current social platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the company behind the platform owns the content produced by the creators. Web3 will allow creators to not only own theirs contents on existing social platforms, but also own part of the platform They continue to produce and distribute content. By using NFTs, which act as proof of ownership and confirm the authenticity of the content, content can begin to be creator-owned and platform-agnostic.
In the future, creators might own and manage them platforms they interact based on factors like their following and content quality. This could be made possible through DAOs, member-owned organizations with no centralized leadership or governance. Social platform “ownership” would be represented by tokens distributed to creators according to their relevance and impact on the platform.
Metaverse platforms created by creators
Creators will also play a key role in the Metaverse. In addition to participating in it creators can develop parts of the metaverse with either no-code tools or with technical background. This has already started to take shape in existing gaming metaverses, Roblox in particular. Anyone can create video games on Roblox and monetize them directly on the platform. In 2020 alone, developers made $329 million from Roblox alone. Metaverse Creators are likely to grow into an active and profitable vertical of the creator economy in the years to come.
While the interface between the creator economy and Web3 is still nascent and its future uncertain, if executed well, the Web3 ethos and emerging technologies could have massive implications – not just for creators, but for the future of work overall.
The best-case scenario: Web3 will enable a world where people can make a living by producing work that belongs to them directly, without the dependency on centralized third-party organizations that exists today.
Nobu Iguchi is co-founder and managing partner of Agya Ventures.
data decision maker
Welcome to the VentureBeat community!
DataDecisionMakers is the place where experts, including technical staff, working with data can share data-related insights and innovations.
If you want to read about innovative ideas and up-to-date information, best practices and the future of data and data technology, visit us at DataDecisionMakers.
You might even consider contributing an article of your own!
Read more from DataDecisionMakers