Zesty uses web3 to redefine content ownership for creators
Creators today are building content and reputation on properties that they do not own.
When a YouTuber or Twitch streamer turns on the camera, they are filming from a leased room in the house of Google or Amazon. They have very little control over content discovery and monetization.
The recommendation engines and algorithms that are employed by centralized platforms create a constantly shifting sand of relevance with each passing day, driven by the interests of the public. Nobody except the engineers at Google, Twitch and Facebook have any idea how the algorithms work. It’s completely closed.
Platforms work to drive attention to the kinds of content that maximize engagement and ad revenue, by collecting large amounts of very personal data and reacting to behavioural changes as people change.
With each data protection regulation being passed, it’s becoming clear that the behavioural data that Big Tech has on its users is becoming more of a liability. Decisions from hardware manufacturers like Apple (iOS 14) are also making it more difficult for companies like Facebook and Google to target individual users with ads.
These competitive pressures are pushing Facebook to diversify its product offering into AR/VR, streaming and e-commerce. We don’t think advertising is going anywhere, but soon highly specific targeting through third party cookies and unique identifiers will become less prevalent.
Looking towards non-advertising monetization, we’re keeping close tabs on platforms such as Twitch and Patreon. They are enabling superfans to support their favourite creators through direct financial means such as subscriptions, memberships and “bits”. All of which are relatively new digital goods sold in exchange for access to exclusive content and the chance to build a more meaningful relationship.
Twitch monetizes by taking 50% cut from most streamers’ ad and bits revenue. Not optimal, but it’s a system that’s working for the top creators.
Zesty will re-establish creator self-sovereignty with web3
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: the attention of its recipients. — Herbert A. Simon, winner of Nobel Prize and Turing Award
Blockchain records and maintains the ownership history of scarce assets. Human attention, which is the combination of directed focus and time, is a scarce asset. It’s a currency which has inherent value because what we spend our time paying attention to influences our decision making and consumer behaviour.
Until now, a very small portion of the dollar value of our cumulative attention accrued in the hands of the content creators (YouTube takes a 45% cut on ad revenue). Through direct, advertiser-to-creator sales using NFTs, Zesty will create an alternative revenue stream that gives people a shot at breaking free from an outdated monetization model.
As a creator, Zesty enables you to earn money by minting and renting out NFTs that represent ad space in your content. As an advertiser, Zesty is a place for brands to support creators while reaching a unique audience.
In contrast to existing advertising networks that are black boxes when it comes to pricing and the copious amounts of user data collected, all network data will be open through IPFS and on-chain. No personally-identifiable information will be collected.
Our protocol’s revenues will be publicly verifiable and the data provided by our SDK will be open for users to inspect. In addition to our open data policies, we will take zero fees to start and only enable fees by governance later. This is in contrast to centralized platforms that take between 30%-50% from creators.
We will continue to build bridges between web2 and web3
This includes partnering with creators on Twitch, building SDKs for as many relevant platforms as possible, and continuing to support monetization of immersive 3D content on the web. We will be focused on building partnerships and searching for creators who would be a good fit for Zesty’s early beta.
A special thank you to Joshia Seam, Florian Isikci, Ciaran Moore, Peter Pan, Kevin Fehring, Jonathan Hale, Daniel Adams and Brycent for reading early drafts and providing valuable feedback.