By Rachel Curry (Public)
- Blockchain-powered Web3 provides digital creators with increased ownership and for Black content creators it presents an opportunity to close the racial wealth and equity gap
- Today, there is a 35% pay gap between Black and white creators on traditional social media platforms. Advocates of Web3 believe that decentralized ownership can rewrite the narrative.
Web3, let’s talk about it. It’s one of the most hyped terms in certain circles these days, but as is the case with many innovations, its meaning can feel nebulous. Kirby Porter, founder of New Game Labs and PLAY3RS, along with Amobi Okugo, former professional soccer player and founder of A Frugal Athlete, to unpack the Web3 creator economic upside on investing platform Public.com for Black creators. More than 34,000 new developers committed code to Web3 projects in 2021, according to Electric Capital’s 2021 Developer Report, meaning it’s plausible this could change the wealth narrative for Black content creators, in particular with the decentralized evolution of the internet.
Why This Matters: The creator economy, which some believe could soon be driven by a blockchain-enabled internet (Web3) has taken off. There is a major difference between creating content in a Web2 environment versus Web3, and that’s because former platforms and tech companies hold most of the upside to content created on their platforms. With Web3, creators can own more of this upside.
Porter and Okugo are both passionate about empowering athletes and the creator economy.
“We’re living at the intersection of two generational changes: One in technology where this new evolution of the internet is coming, but also for athletes with NIL rule changes,” Porter said. College athletes can now use their name, image, and likeness (NIL) to earn money as a student-athlete.
In the current creator economy, which exists primarily on Web2 platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, the racial pay gap is glaring. Black content creators are more likely to fall in the micro-influencer category, making $27,000 annually on average, while white content creators are more likely to be mainstream influencers, making $100,000 annually.
Many prominent trends emerging on social platforms originate from Black creators. But these trends are often remixed, if not co-opted by larger white creators. In these scenarios, the originator of a trend is not seeing the same financial upside as the mainstream creators.
To this, Okugo poses a question that encapsulates the debate around equity in the creator economy: “Black is the culture, so how are we not getting compensated accordingly for that?”
He sees the decentralized Web3 creator economy as a chance for Black people to have more ownership of the trends they are creating in culture, leading to more financial compensation. “We don’t have to knock at the door. We can create our own table,” Okugo said.
What’s Next: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and other blockchain use cases are just the start for Web3 content creation and community building. For Black creators, it’s a chance to shift the wealth narrative in their favor.
“Creators now have the tools to create what people call micro-economies out of their engaged fan bases,” Porter said, adding that it’s important to be critical about who has the mic in web3 to ensure the space grows with racial equity in mind.
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