What is the creator economy & how do social tokens flip it on its head?
Updated: Jan 5
Over the past several years, the term creator economy has taken hold with the ideology that everyone with a passion, no matter how niche, can monetize those passions.
The digital native dream has become to amass a massive subscriber base over several years and then eventually, someday, hopefully, monetize that subscriber base. The notion of creating content for a living is so popular that recent surveys indicate that almost a third of children growing up today, want to be YouTubers.
Whilst it would indeed be amazing to be the next Mr.Beast or Lily Singh, what’s the reality of this rosy picture we’re painting? Only approximately 1% of YouTubers make minimum wage. Do we want to keep building a future where almost 35% of Gen Alpha (born 2010 onwards) who want to be content creators, end up making below minimum wage? Some may argue the survival of the fittest, and the best in class is at this top 1% of creators, but take a second to reflect on just your immediate circle of friends alone. Folks that don’t necessarily have millions of followers but yet have a lot of influence over the decisions you make in your life because they add reasoned value, and folks you really believe are going to crush it in the future.
But for some reason, we’ve gotten comfortable with this notion of rewarding solely mass distribution driven content for years on end, and eventually, someday you might make a living from it, but in the meantime, juggle content creating and distributing with the 25 other things you’ve got going on in your life. And then of course you don’t really end up taking that bet on yourself and doing something you’re passionate about because you can’t afford to (financially) and before you know it, the YouTuber/content creator dream is nothing but a distant dream. Why? Well because you couldn’t really quantify the ROI of your time. You couldn’t determine what it meant to make a video about how to break into fashion and add value to the lives of a few but perhaps to a substantial degree, and see whether it justified the costs (time, money).
What if there was finally a way to quantify that? What if that friend you really believed in because of the value they added in your life, really blew up, and you could participate in their growth beyond just moral support every once in a while? And finally, what if, you could work to help your favorite creators actively grow their communities, whilst also getting compensated for it?
These are some of the major breakthroughs that are brought about by the concept of social tokens. For example, imagine if you spotted Justin Bieber busking on the streets in Canada way back when and there was a Justin Bieber coin that you could put your capital into, in exchange for being a part of his community as an upcoming artist. The more of his tokens you held the more access to him you would get. Justin would basically pick what perks he’d like to offer for different tiers of token ownership. And the best part is, he can make these tokens super accessible to his earliest supporters across existing social media platforms by airdropping (aka giving for free) tokens to them. Justin could launch NFTs exclusively for his community first, he could also give VIP access to all his North America gigs, or he could even allocate his social capital (the capital value of Justin coin) to community members and mobilize these members to execute different campaigns, or tasks (e.g marketing, finance & distribution).
So with social tokens, we’ve finally unlocked what it means to make the creator economy a two-way street. A place where those that add utility to the lives of others, and curate community well are able to build up a sustainable token economy which they can use as a generational asset base or a more liquid pool of capital to tap into when they need it. Whilst we use the celebrity example to explain the concept above, some of the strongest use cases of social tokens in CrowdPad’s thesis will actually revolve around upcoming talent and everyday creators. We truly believe that we will enable not just existing creators with thriving followings but also the everyday creators who will build multimillion-dollar engagements within their own economies. WAGMI.