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  • #29: Hide Blockchain from Consumers, but Not Creators

#29: Hide Blockchain from Consumers, but Not Creators

VCs Failed Attempt to Get Piece of Creator Economy

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Creator League wanted to become a new gaming circuit featuring famous content creators to compete across multiple titles. For the audience, it offered a paid "Community Pass" enabling exclusive perks (akin to a paywall subscription) and "voting" rights tied to a selected Creator's community. Unfortunately, the organizers didn’t do their homework and realized too late that leading creator CDawgVA had been a loud blockchain critic, which resulted in him pulling out the moment he learned about blockchain backend. Soon after, multiple other creators also left, and the initiative was “postponed”.

The most “liked” creator on OnlyFans, Bryce Adams, reveals the statistics and workflow tools behind her business empire. With past experience from a sporting goods e-commerce business, she and her partner successfully translated the skills into scaling up OnlyFans operations ($14M cumulative earnings to date). With 23 employees and an office, she’s developed in-house workflows and support management tools uniquely tailored to help her interact with fans at scale.

Google has issued a policy update for cryptocurrency-related advertisements that allows advertisers to promote blockchain video games that use NFTs. However, it won’t allow to “wager or stake NFTs in exchange for the opportunity to win anything of real-world value”. This is great news, signaling Google recognizes the difference between games where the NFTs represent in-game items that enhance gameplay (good) versus NFTs that facilitate gambling mechanics for players (bad).

It might be harder than ever to earn $1 million/year as a creative, but it’s never been easier to make $50,000. Yet, most creator economy startups are struggling. The key reasons: 1) Zero Interest Rate Policy aka too much capital too fast; 2) 'Creator' is not a sufficiently precise Ideal Consumer Profile, but elusively attractive for VCs; 3) The pursuit of '1,000 True Fans' in reality involves cannibalization as fan wallets are fixed; 4) Creator economy startups aren’t charging high enough margins - largely because their value add is not big enough.

In 2023, you have two options as a creator: A) Post and build on centralized content platforms (like millions before you), or B) Do it onchain on decentralized platforms (like an adventurer). Ultimately, it’s a choice between algorithm-led audience growth (feels familiar) and direct audience ownership with unlimited upside (feels risky).

  • Kylie Jenner may buy back Coty’s $600M stake in her makeup brand.

  • Creators are pairing up to do brand deals or content together.

  • Adidas announced its first digital artist-in-residence program.

  • Refik Anadol’s AI-gen art will be displayed on the Sphere in Las Vegas.

  • Christie's will auction Keith Haring’s 1987 digital art as NFTs.

  • Lufthansa launched an NFT trading card app for frequent travelers.

  • Casio launched a virtual G-SHOCK community with Creator Pass NFTs.

  • Grab, Southeast Asia’s super-app, adds support for web3 services.

  • Gary Vee: 1% of NFT projects will stick - like movies, sports or gaming.

  • TikTok Shop aims to turn trendsetting creator power into sales.

  • Patreon introduced member profiles and community chats.

  • 20 NIL companies helping student-athletes get paid.

  • Notion creator who makes $1M a year from selling digital templates.

  • YouTuber scored a six-figure investment from CreatorDAO.

  • Manifold introduced text-based claim codes for limited mints.

  • Foundation launched ‘Moments’ feature for decentralized curation.

  • SuperRare launched an incentives program for open curation.

  • Holograph generative art platform is now live on Zora network.

  • Sound launched a native secondary marketplace for music NFTs.

  • Story Protocol raised $54M for open IP-collaboration platform.

  • Aspen launched tools to help NFT creators reclaim royalties.

  • Glass discontinued its blockchain-based video storage protocol.

  • Hypercuration of onchain assets and culture.

Today, [50 popular creator platforms on Stripe] have onboarded over 1 million creators and have paid out over $25 billion in earnings.

(…) In 2021, 85% of creators lived in North America; that percentage is 72% today.

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Author Bio

Kuba Szewczyk is a Director of Strategy & Ops at Consensys, helping build NFT tools for creators and brands. He previously worked at Bain & Co. Digital Assets and earned Harvard MBA.

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