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Roughly half of all US-based nonprofessional internet creators monetize their online hustle, and such creators now have more options than ever. This makes it harder for platforms to retain the same level of control over creators that they’ve traditionally enjoyed. NFTs and digital goods allow creators to profit from their craft in new and—potentially—exponentially lucrative ways. Kevin Rose, the tech entrepreneur and investor, launched Proof Collective, a members-only community responsible for some of the most commercially successful NFT programs, including Moonbird. These projects prove the potential of new DeFi-based revenue models. Creators have earned a total of $3.5 billion on Patreon, the fan-based membership platform. Even digital resales of existing goods earn record multiples: An NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet sold for $2.9 million in 2021, and then sold for $48 million in 2022. And top creators have the power to move users from one platform to another, based on what distribution platform they choose to use. Value is increasingly created and defined around the relationship creators form with their fans. The digital economy ensures that creators have more ways to build community around their craft, and demand monetization for it. As a result, creator empowerment can come at the expense of platform power.

Creator empowerment


Economic growth