Back in 2006, a simple guy from Spain registered on Youtube and started to make funny ‘Let’s plays’ on popular video games. Today his channel has reached almost 7 billion views and over 30 million subscribers. His name is El Rubius and he is one of the top Youtube bloggers. But what do most bloggers get? Nothing.
The new generation, bred by high-tech gadgets, is allergic to media seeing lots of “native” and not really native advertising. People simply don’t stand it. So, they’re switching to blogs and other platforms with independent content. Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, and Medium – these are the sites which are making real buzz among readers, viewers and content creators as well. Just think: Youtube gets over 30 million visitors per day, while there are 6000 tweets sent every second!
The big get bigger. And the small?
As blogging sites and social networks boom like never before, it becomes harder to break through and stand out in this endless stream. Have you known that on Youtube the top 3% of channels get 90% of the total viewership? It means that 90% of creators are fighting over the remaining 10% of the audience. The content itself is not always the matter: in most cases it’s about aggressive advertising or ‘big names’ that squeeze out young and small artists.
Well-known The Economist and The Washington Post are in the top 10 of most popular Medium blogs with almost half a million followers each. And the most part of authors is still struggling to gain their 100 readers. Just imagine this huge gap! On other platforms the situation is no different. On Instagram the leaders are celebrities: pop stars Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande, football player Cristiano Ronaldo. Is there a chance to compete with such giants? The answer is obvious.
Competition is not the only problem young content creators face. Another one is monetization. It’s not a secret that blogging requires advertising, while video content also needs equipment and software. Expenses can vary from a few dollars and up to infinity. Can a new blogger make at least some money out of his content? Youtube offers minimal monetization from ads, but most sites, including Reddit, Facebook or Instagram, don’t suggest this at all. Some even charge for premium memberships!
Blogs and social networks were initially created as a way of interaction and self-expression. In reality, they’re flooded with brands and celebrities, grabbing their piece of a pie and leaving basically nothing to new creators. The platforms themselves also don’t ease the burden and continue to cut ways of monetization and free promotion.
Small things – big results
Users – the people that read, view, comment and support – are the one that can bring a change. And they would bring even a bigger change if they were able to easily give more than a simple like or a clap – money. The minimum donation (just a few cents) is unlikely to make any difference for a follower, but will make a huge one for the artist. If each of 200 viewers gives a blogger just $1, then it’s already $200.
The ability to carry out direct microtransactions from a fan to an author is what the blogging and social media industries have always lacked in. Unfortunately, the traditional methods such as mobile money or bank transfers, are not suitable for tipping and donations. They are too complicated, inconvenient, require intermediaries and logically, high fees.
This is where a technology comes onto the scene, the technology which makes even more buzz than superstars in social networks – cryptocurrency. Blockchain and cryptocurrency don’t know any borders, don’t need middlemen and allow to perform transactions almost instantly. Using digital money, a follower can easily support a blogger with a small donation and be 100% sure that he will receive it.
Japanese company Nagezeni is one of those that realize such concept. It gives fans an opportunity to tip and donate to favorite bloggers and writers in cryptocurrency. The unique feature of Nagezeni is the technology it uses. Unlike most blockchain-powered projects, it works not on Ethereum, but on Bitcoin sidechain. It speeds up payment confirmation up to 20 seconds and scales up to 1000 transactions per second. A perfect option for micro-transactions in social networks.
The project went further than just tipping. Using NZE tokens, creators will be able to conduct crowdfunding campaigns or even pay for online advertising. So, Nagezeni gives content creators more room to grow, while fans will get a way to connect with their favorites and support them.
“If somebody wants to support your post in a social network or a blog, Nagezeni enables it. We truly believe our project will give more power to the creators to expose themselves, share their passion and talent with the audience”, Nagezeni’s CEO Yoshihito Matsumiya states.
Back in 2006, El Rubius started a Youtube channel, gaining the love of millions with his creativity. Today there may be millions of people like him wishing to say their word to viewers and readers. Will they have a chance to grow, develop their content and get noticed? With new opportunities opened by technologies, they will.