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The Creator Economy

ol-i-gop-o-ly

noun
A state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers, where few companies exert significant control over a given market. An oligopoly can block new entrants, slow innovation, and increase prices or take rates, all of which harm consumers. The conditions that enable oligopolies to exist include high entry costs in capital expenditures, legal privilege, and a platform that gains value with more customers (such as social media).

The Creator Economy Is Broken

The current ecosystem masquerades as a republic but is actually an oligopoly. We are led to believe that the system is fair and the share of the spoils equitable, but it is an illusion created by record labels, media companies, and social media platforms. In reality they dominate the economy for creative and artistic talent.
The end result is an inefficient market. The incumbents reap most of the rewards, shared with a slim apex of creative talent. A large majority of talent is never discovered, is wasted, or is diverted to more prosaic pursuits that pay the bills. There is no creative middle class.
This oligopoly also controls the investment in talent, and without avenues for direct investment the rest of us remain consumers, not participants.
Imagine if even a small portion of the trillion dollars worth of Facebook’s market cap had been invested in the creators that fuel its platform rather than being tied up in company equity. Suppose the impact that would have on content.
There have been many attempts to help creators generate more value, from direct donations (Patreon, Twitch) to services that help in the monetization of content (OnlyFans, Rally, various NFT generators).
However none of these address the fundamental issue of an oligopoly, resulting in the lack of early support for creators, poor monetization efficiency and the absence of opportunities for mass participation in talent investment.
Solving these problems requires more than smart contracts, algorithmic automated market makers or unique virtual trinkets. It requires the creation of a new economy and an equitable ecosystem of products that support both creators and participants every step of the way.
RepubliK will be the creative commons built from the ground up to help equitably distribute value by giving everyone a stake in the economy.
It will be an ecosystem of tools not rules, allowing each participant to define their own path free from the restrictions that exist today. A republic of Kin, where everyone is given a fair opportunity to succeed.

Vast Opportunity

The creator economy is huge but it lacks a middle class
It’s estimated that there are 50 million people around the world who now consider themselves “creators”. Even more significantly though, 93% are amateurs struggling to make a living out of their passion.
While the current funding ecosystem for creative and artistic talent has evolved in the last few years beyond traditional content monetisation models, current solutions still favour the top minority of creators who have access to an existing audience. Making it no easier for up-and-coming artists with talent to be discovered, let alone get funded.
Some notable examples include:
  • In 2019 it was reported that the average revenue per user for social media platforms declined by 30% over the previous 5 years.
  • On Spotify (royalties-based content monetisation), the top 43,000 artists — roughly 1.4% of those on the platform — pull in 90% of royalties and make, on average, $22,395 per artist per quarter. The rest of its 3 million creators, or 98.6% of its artists, made just $36 per artist per quarter.
  • In 2018, only 1.4% of YouTubers earn enough from advertising to surpass the U.S. poverty line of $12,140. To further compound this issue, creator ad revenue declined by 33% during COVID.
  • A 2021 survey found that 42% of TikTok creators make less than $100 from the platform
  • On Patreon (subscription-based fan monetisation), only 2% of creators made the federal minimum wage of $1,160 per month in 2017, while the top 15 creators each made over $200,000 per year.
RepubliK will ensure that those people with the talent but not necessarily the resources or existing audiences to make it, don’t miss out on a chance to succeed.