Tag: web3

This requires long-from writing, but one common myth in the decentralized industry is that content can be monetized. Web3 social nets in particular love to proclaim that they’re helping creators make a living. Content is hardly monetizable.

The simple/summarized explanation for why content is hardly monetizable is that content is growing in quantity (because of more people online) and quality (because of better content creation tools). This means the supply of content is growing. With supply up, prices go down.

By “price” I mean that people are less willing to pay for content. This is because the amount of free content is so vast, and often it’s also high quality, that it becomes hard for non-free content to compete with free content. Overall this keeps driving prices down.

This trend is happening everywhere: textual content like blogs, articles, books, but also music, images, code, etc. TikTok, with content remixability, accelerated content production. Guess what, AI content generation tools will accelerate it even more in the future.

People are less and less willing to pay for content. That’s how markets work, crypto folks know this. Content supply isn’t going to go down, and content demand is somewhat constant because it’s capped by attention, and you only have 24h in a day.

The only way this equation can change is if there’s a high supply of money to spend on content. When you have loads of money to spend, you’re more willing to pay if some content is behind a paywall. THAT is how crypto social networks have “monetized” content, by airdrops.

They create the supply of money to its users to allow them to spend it. Without this supply, the monetization would hardly ever work. And even now, it doesn’t quite work. Users are on the platform because they want the tokens, not because they want content.

I could write more, but it’s late. Bottom line is that I’m convinced that content cannot be directly and sustainably monetized anymore, apart from exceptions. Perhaps attention is a more promising way to monetize. Content is often in service of attention. Content is overrated.