The people who create content — video artists, writers, graphic designers and so on — are responsible for the main reason many of us visit the internet at all. They’re a crucial part of the web, but they aren’t rewarded nearly well enough for their efforts.
That’s an issue for all sorts of reasons, and it’s frustrating for the people, who see a real market for their content but struggle to make a living from it. For example, people watch a billion hours of YouTube every day — and yet most YouTubers don’t make good money from their videos.
The good news is that could be about to change, with the help of budding technologies like blockchain. Before we get into that, it’s important to take a look at exactly why the content creators and educators of the web are so underpaid.
An Unfair Ecosystem
The problems, which go along with creating content and educational materials online, come from the platforms that dominate this marketplace.
Basically, huge sites like Facebook and YouTube are so powerful that they’ve become gatekeepers to the world of content sharing. If somebody wants to share a video, he has almost no choice but to use YouTube in case he wants anyone to see it.
These platforms come with their own ready-made audience of millions, allowing contributors to pull in huge numbers of views. The fact that they’re so centralized is a big advantage here.
Unfortunately, that centralization comes with some major downsides for content creators and educators. Facebook and YouTube, along with educational platforms, tend to take fairly sizeable cuts of whatever profit is made from sharing content on their site.
The reason these companies have grown so powerful is by making money off the work of their users. Creators toil for hours to make something worth sharing, only for the host platform to take a chunk of the profits that they did little to earn.
Getting paid for that content is a hurdle in itself. Current popular payment methods like PayPal take at least 2.9% of each transaction in fees. Not a huge deal for one-off payments, but something that adds up when your entire income works this way.
It boils down to the fact that online educators and content publishers find it hard to reach their audience directly. Their only real choice right now is to go via a third-party giant platform, with all the drawbacks that it brings.
Blockchain to the Rescue
Blockchain is a great solution to the problems of centralization, as in most cases it is used to build networks that are decentralized, with no third party in control. This idea forms the basis of many companies, like AC3.
They’re working to build a platform where content publishers can interact directly with their audience and fanbase, without having to go to an expensive platform.
Fans and followers use the platform’s own crypto token (AC3) to pay for the materials they want to see, and creators of that material are paid directly. This also gets around the issue with PayPal fees, as content creators get more of the money they’ve earned.
These coins can be exchanged for fiat money or used within the AC3 platform itself to buy educational courses, for instance. In addition, AC3 can already be bought and traded on a number of exchanges.
For AC3, things are looking promising: they’ve already had over 100,000 blockchain exchanges, and are on track to forge connections with hundreds of content creators and tens of thousands of users.
The team behind the project are themselves content creators with an enormous follower base, so they understand the ups and downs of that lifestyle better than most. Instead of using an ICO to raise funds, they decided to self-fund in order to spend more time focusing on building a solid blockchain platform.
The internet depends on content. Without videos, graphics, text, and even stuff like memes, the online world would be an entirely different place. Removing the middlemen by using blockchain could bring benefits to almost everyone involved and really change the way we use the internet for education and entertainment.