From Ads, to Onlyfans, to CryptoArt: Monetizing Fans' Love

Day 4: 30 Days of Crypto-modeling

This’s post continues the previous post’s discussion of how NFTs could empower the 1000 True Fans model.

We are thinking about NFTs as a solution for making digital artifacts collectible. Our litmus test for evaluating if the value of a blockchain/cryptocurrency application extends beyond the hype is "why is simply having a third party provide this solution a bad idea?"

We suggested that it might make sense to remove Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and other big social media platforms as the middleman that connects creators and fans.

The platforms rely on ad-based models. That revenue is more or less uniform across a creator's fans, regardless of how much they love the creator’s work.

Ad-model doesn’t care about ❤️.

Cards on the table, I'm a Taylor Swift fan.

I like her folksiness and her uncanny ability to string together lyrics.

But the only thing I'll ever do for Taylor is occasionally click on her songs on Youtube, where I might see an ad. However, her diehard fans will consume more of her content than me, as well as buy her schwag, concert tickets, and buy products from her sponsors.

Imagine a “bizarro” version of me that was the same as me in every way except “bizarro me” was a hardcore Taylor fan. Speaking from direct experience with SOTA ad auction and content recommendation algorithms, I know that these algorithms would treat me and “bizarro me” as equivalent. If a concert promoter were to place an ad for a Taylor Swift concert on one of these platforms, the ad auction algorithm would charge the same amount for my eyeballs as it would for “bizarro me”'s eyeballs.

The ad models offered by social media platforms only allow the creator to capture a small and unvaried amount of revenue regardless of the levels of fans’ love.Subscription platforms enable creators to target more passionate fans

Subscription models let the creator capture more value from more devoted fans with tiered pricing.


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The rise of the subscription model for creatives has changed that. Subscriptions offer creatives the ability to target their fanbase with varying pricing that is dependent on their level of enthusiasm.

You've seen tiered pricing with B2C software-as-a-service businesses, which typically offer 2 or 3 paid subscription tiers.

For example, Onlyfans is a platform that offers creatives the ability to have fans subscribe to content.

Most of the creators on Onlyfans are sex workers, though less stigmatized classes of creators such as personal fitness coaches and DJs also use the platform. The porn use case alone proves the point; porn aggregators siphon off so much value from the transactions between sexually-themed content creators and their fans that it arguably doesn't justify the creator's risks and social costs.

Notably, like SaaS, Onlyfans offers tiered pricing through discounts based on a subscription's duration. Tiered pricing allows the creator to capture more revenue under the demand curve.

NFTs enable finely tiered pricing.

So tiers allow the creative to price differently based on the level of a fan's love. However, SaaS and subscription platforms like Patreon, Onlyfans, and Substack limit the number of tiers a creator can offer because too many would confuse the buyer.

NFTs could take tiered pricing to the next level. NFTs can be sliced and diced into a descending series of pricing tiers. For example, NBA Top Shot cards range from a few dollars to over $100K. Crypto's fine-grained granularity lets creators capture a much larger area under the demand curve.

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