This is one of the reasons NFTs are so exciting. NFTs lets musicians make money directly from their “1000 true fans.” – Chris Dixon
Mary Meeker used to have a great metric she tracked called the “attention gap” — the gap between where people spent time and where advertisers spent dollars.
Believe it or not, back in the 2000s a popular argument was that although the internet was popular, internet businesses wouldn’t be financially successful.
Business Insider ran an op-ed as recently as 2010 arguing that Facebook and Twitter couldn’t succeed as for-profit businesses.
“Perhaps there is no for-profit business model for social networking. It’s been nearly twenty years and a lot of impressive money and brainpower hasn’t figured it out.” This was a common sentiment, the “right-click and save” of that era.
Of course, she turned out to be right. The attention gap accurately predicted a lot of things including eventual monetization by media type, desktop vs mobile etc.
I believe an analogous metric for web3 will be the “enthusiasm gap.” This is the gap between how enthusiastic a creator’s community is and how much money that creator makes.
Today, because big web2 companies have very high (50%-100%) take rates and stand between users and creators with ads and algorithmic feeds, the enthusiasm gap is very wide.
For example, if you measured people’s enthusiasm for music by looking at the size and activity fan communities, I am guessing it would as high or higher than any other form of media.
Ads monetize attention. NFTs monetize enthusiasm.
As with virtual goods-based video games like Fortnite, many fans won’t pay anything, but super fans will pay a lot. Intermediaries will have to offer real value and charge much lower take rates.
Right now the enthusiasm gap is very wide. Over the next decade, one important goal for web3 is to close it.