The Capital
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The Capital

The Future of the Creator Economy in Web3

The creator economy has been one of the noteworthy shifts in our society over the last decade. More than 50 million people consider themselves to be creators as of May 2022, among which 46 million are amateur creators.

Platforms like Twitch, Patreon, Substack, and Discord have opened doors to new kinds of content creation and monetization by fueling the direct engagement of creators with their fans. The development of Web3 technologies such as smart contracts and virtual reality is further transforming the creator economy, changing how creators produce content, claim ownership, and get paid for their work.

Let’s look at how Web3 is changing the creator economy, and what the future holds for creators and influencers in the emerging Web3 space.

How Web3 changes content creation

The advancement of Web3 technologies is transforming the creator economy at multiple stages, from content creation to distribution to ownership and royalties.

The development of the metaverse will make extended reality (XR) experiences more accessible and prominent. By combining virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the digital world is evolving beyond games and marketing campaigns into an entire world with digital avatars, virtual goods, and completely new experiences.

Major brands such as Nike and Adidas have already started entering the metaverse to be at the forefront of this new era. Nike bought a virtual sneaker-making company, RTFKT, in December 2021. Brands are turning to future-looking start-ups and creatives to be pioneers in the metaverse. As this space continues to unfold, we will see new avenues of content creation.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will help creators in finding images, texts, and videos more quickly. They could also allow NFT creators to personalize interactive NFTs based on the owner’s usage patterns and customization. Creators can benefit from content-management systems that are more secure and intuitive than the existing content management systems.

Contracts, royalties, and ownership

Smart contracts in blockchain will redefine art ownership. With the help of these contracts, every interaction between content creators and their clients will automatically be recorded. Based on the conditions that are predefined in smart contracts, like “if/then” clauses, payments will be released automatically with the client’s approval. Creatives can send invoices with due dates set for a pre-defined period.

The ownership of content will be clearly defined in Web3, and the content license will be captured on the blockchain, which makes piracy more difficult. The content itself will be embedded within its code, so copying or reposting content will be significantly more difficult. For creatives like musicians or NFT creators, royalties will also be included in smart contracts. They can initiate payments to whoever is involved in the creative work like composer, performer, editor, etc, in the music field. They receive a share of the payment automatically with the help of smart contracts.

What comes next in the creator economy?

There are several ways through which blockchain and Web3 will accelerate the creator economy and help it become a central force in global culture and entertainment.

Exclusivity — NFTs help users to get exclusive access to gated communities, events, and parties inside the virtual world. Decentralized tools like NFT-gated access and NFT ticketing will improve the digital experience. Additionally, token gating provides unique experiences for fans such as giving access to private communities and direct messaging with creators.

Fan ownership — The Web3 world extracts value from renters and middlemen and gives it back to the creators or owners. Blockchain applications enable fans to engage directly with their favorite creators. This will result in providing a pathway to asset ownership in individual creator economies outside of traditional centralized platforms.

Low-cost streaming — Video streaming accounts for a large part of the Web2 internet traffic. Web3 developers are eager to seize this potential market without being rushed by high costs. They are seeking to provide affordable infrastructure to support creator streams. Creators are attracted to unique Web3 features such as tipping, paid entry, and live shopping to monetize their content.

Immersive interactivity — The nature of Web2 publishing is already providing immersive interactivity and rewards users for participation, and the development of Web3 space will accelerate this further.

Niche down — While Web2 was known for scaling up, Web3 will be known for niching down. With lower costs, increased security and privacy, and resistance to censorship, blockchain allows creators to build micro-communities with smaller niches, which may not be economically viable on Web2 platforms.

Placing power in the hands of creators

The development of Web3 enables creators to take complete control over their careers. Blockchain technology is giving power to creators and they do not have to rely on centralized systems and hosting platforms anymore. This new era holds immense potential to accelerate the creator economy where fans and creators are directly connected, and creativity gets the appreciation it deserves.

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