Episode 1: May 19, 2021
- Platforms launching Creator Funds
- Can Clubhouse Survive?
- Platforms Adopting Creator Monetization
We took a deep dive into Social Tipping and the implementations and use cases.
- Gregarious Narain (@gregarious)
- Ken Yeung (@thekenyeung)
- Bart Melton (@CentiPenny)
- Ray (@RayTheImmortal)
- Joselin Mane (@JoselinMane)
- Isaac Hayes III (@IsaacHayes3)
Gregarious Narain 0:23
Wow, we are here.
Welcome to "The Created Economy". The Created Economy is our brand new show. It's a weekly news show on everything happening in the greater economy. We trying to take a giving you like sort of a roundup of the latest news, some commentary from us. And of course some interviews and deep dives on key topics in the creative economy. We go live every Wednesday at 3pm Mountain Time. What's that? Five p 5pm 5pm. Yep, time, right. Yep. And 2pm pacific time. And so you can find out more about us over at created dot show. It's the official Show page and show notes for this show. We are streaming right now live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, clubhouse and Twitter spaces. So pick your poison wherever may be the most interesting or appropriate place for you. If you want to take a look at our ugly mugs, feel free to join on video. If you're happy with listening, then we encourage you to stay tuned in on one of our audio streams.
So we also are posting longer form content and notes over at our website so if you head over created economy calm that is our website, our blog, as you may say these days, right do people use the word blog anymore? Ken?
Ken Yeung 1:38
I don't know. It's the these young kids. Yeah, it's like it's like if it's not ephemeral, it's not 15 seconds. They're not gonna pay attention.
Gregarious Narain 1:45
Exactly, exactly. So thank you for joining us this our first episode we've been talking about the show we actually I When did I ping? You can Friday.
Ken Yeung 1:54
Oh, yeah, I mean, talk about like,
Gregarious Narain 1:56
I forgot to hit record. So now I hit record.
Ken Yeung 2:00
This is going swimmingly
Gregarious Narain 2:02
Ken Yeung 2:03
Okay. No, I think Yeah. This is talking about agile, agile podcasting, right? I mean, you you ping me, like, I think it was right before the weekend, like, Hey, you want to do a show? And I'm like, Sure, why not? Right. And I was thinking, Oh, this takes a little bit time, you know, start to plan these things out. And then you're like, oh, our first show will be this Wednesday. I'm like, excuse me. That's pretty fast. And I might as well right. It's like, you know, just dive dive feet first into into the fire.
Gregarious Narain 2:33
Absolutely. Well, by the way, if you're out there watching, and the video is see some of you out there. Please tell us where you're coming from in the comments. If you have a question that you'd like to ask, by all means, we encourage you to leave those in the comments as well. Let's do some quick intros, just so you know who you're talking to where you're listening to. I'm Greg Narain. I'm a serial entrepreneur. I've been involved in the crater economy since 2006, or something like that I was the first employee of cloud. I then went on to start my Y Combinator company shoot where we helped brands work with creators and their fans to leverage user generated content. And now I'm the founder, co founder of a company called zelis, which is helping live streamers actually create revenue streams out of their live content. And I'll pass on my friend Ken to introduce himself.
Ken Yeung 3:17
Cool. Thanks, Greg. So I'm Ken, Ken Yeung. I am currently the technology editor at Flipboard, a content and curation discovery app. Currently, what I basically do is pay attention to what's going on in the world of tech that includes internet culture, means social media, everything that everyone loves to complain about. And previously, I was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web where I covered every aspect of tech you can possibly think about whether it's, you know, the rise of the big tech giants, or, you know, the latest startups that are working on stickers for apps, ephemeral messaging, social audio, or, you know, whatever else, IoT type stuff, and venture capital. So those, so I've kind of been in this space for for many years, I started writing from my own blog in back in, I guess, before 2000s. And currently, I'm still doing that. And now I'm kind of, you know, in the swing of things and hoping to talk to Greg more about what's going on in the Creator, creator space.
Gregarious Narain 4:18
Absolutely. And we've both been creators in one form or another Ken's also photographer, I think you mentioned that. So yeah, we've been doing this for quite some time. So let's talk a little bit about the format here and how we're going to be doing this and producing this content, actually. So our goal with the show is to sort of have, you know, kind of two major parts to it every week. The first part is we'll be collecting and finding interesting news from the space. And so we'll be trying to, you know, give you some themes and to bring together some of that story about what's happening in the creator space. And then the second half, we'll be bringing in entrepreneurs,
creators to come with us and actually talk and take a deeper dive into different parts of you know, what's going on in the creative economy. Today, we'll be talking about The second half about social tipping, I did a long form or tweet storm, and then some other posts about that earlier. And we have our friend Bart, Bart Melton here to also share and add to the conversation. So Ken, why don't we jump right into it?
Ken Yeung 5:14
Sounds good. So I guess we were talking about the, this whole show is all about the Creator. economy. And it's very fascinating in terms of why, like, what is the appeal for, like, you can be any, it's easy for anyone to be a creator these days. But it's also like, but how do you? Why is it appealing for for platforms such as substack, or clubhouse, or twitch or YouTube to kind of go more go go further into to attracting these creators, right? I mean, it kind of seemed like, like YouTube pioneered this back in a day, right. And when they when they first launched at this whole creator, community, and now everybody's doing it, like immediately, one of the first strategies when you launch a social platform of some sort, is that you immediately have to do some sort of a, a fund to or some sort of incentive to to appeal to creators. And it's almost like you're bribing people to jump come on board. Like Greg, what do you what are you seeing in terms of that? Like, is that kind of the new, the new mo for for tech companies as part of their marketing and their their strategy?
Gregarious Narain 6:28
You know, it's a great question, Ken. And this week, we saw YouTube launched a new fund for their shorts, which is sort of their their competitor, I guess, to tik tok to some degree, right. And, you know, I think, I think it's a little bit twofold, right? I think some of it is defensive, right, like in the sense that the platforms that are offering the best monetization pathways for creators ultimately, will draw more creators to them. And so what I think is happening is that platforms are realizing that, hey, there's a chance or risk of our, our creators turning off platform, if we don't provide them, like the proper pathways or opportunities for monetization. Right. And, you know, I'll be the optimist, even though I know that this probably isn't really there. But But, but maybe some part of them realize that, after all those years of kind of, you know, not really paying creators, but using and leveraging them, and all these interesting ways, is that they're now sort of starting to drive towards sort of like saying, How can we balance this equation a little bit better? Right. Now, obviously, this is not a lot. And by the way, you know, as every platform tends to launch new capabilities, you know, say when LinkedIn launched LinkedIn live, or when YouTube was launching shorts, the algorithms tend to sort this kind of content to the top right, like they want, they want to increase the usage of that content, they want to make sure that these new features get utilized. So you'll see them sort of incentivize it. And I think so there's, on one side, the consumption side, the algorithmic side is actually driving that content to the top of the list. But at the same time, these funds, it seems, are often a way of inspiring, you know, creators to say, How can I go leverage or experiment with this format, this content type, right, so as a way to get to get going, right, right.
Ken Yeung 8:09
And another way to think about it is you look at, it could also be a way to to encourage different types of creators, right? I think it's, it's, it's easier to have, like, Hey, I'm gonna create $100 million fund to just get creators, it's like a catch all type of type of fund, right. But then at the same time, you look at what what Facebook's doing, it's like, they're, they have a $25 million fund, or they had one that's focused on encouraging black creators, right. And so you can get a little bit more diverse, you can get more diversity, which is very well needed in terms of tech, you can get more inclusivity and it helps these companies better, to build better tools and services that that are going to be available to everyone instead of eventually hearing, like how there's all this, you know, criticism around, you know, whether it's, it's too racist, or, or, or it's racist in general, or there's a lot of hate speech or whatever, it's like, it's just not a welcoming place anymore. So hopefully, this will help curb that. And I think what, what, what's interesting, I mean, money is always the, the ultimate Kojo that that these companies can can put out there, right? Especially, if you are a big platform, it's gonna be very hard for like, like, if Twitter did a $10 million fund, for example, for for creative, fun for like review, could substack necessarily come up with that equal amount to, to, you know, kind of balance the scales probably not right now. So there's like, it's a it's a heavy, heavy thing, but I think for small for smaller companies, these funds can be very encouraging to, to at least get onboard people and then kind of encourage them to, to experiment with their platforms. And then teach them like and teach these companies how to better use like how they're, you know, the potential for what could happen in the past. roadmap, right? And who knows? I mean, it's, it seems like it's got to be a thing. It's like as soon as you raise money, right for, for your company, like half a part of that has to be allocated towards like creators, you know, and I mean, creators went out either way. I mean, they're like, Hey, we're getting money from, from subs. From substack we're getting money from tik tok and YouTube and clubhouse. You know, it's like, I guess at some point, it's like, money is money. You know, what's, what's stopping? Is there? Are there exclusive deals as a result of that as well. So I don't know. I mean, I think it's, I would say it's the as cliche as it sounds, it's too early to tell, in terms of these funds. I kind of fascinating that how these, how these tech platforms are basically becoming creator VCs or creator capitalists, as it were, like, an invent and investing in in, in these greater so like, money is trickling down downstream from, from investors to companies to slash startups to, to the individual.
Gregarious Narain 11:04
Yeah, absolutely. So there's, there's certainly a good amount of money being spent in this universe. And, you know, I think like, let's, let's remember what it's for, it is to incentivize behavior, right, these funds for the large part. You know, some of them I do, maybe we believe in the greater economy, you know, Zuckerberg was just out recently say, you know, going on about, like, all the new ways that Instagram is gonna be offering new ways for creators to monetize, which is, I think, laughable considering that, you know, Instagram has been around for 12 years and has paid $0 to creators so far, right. So, you know, keep an eye out. We think this is an interesting thing. We'll see more of these funds, you know, substack YouTube club as everybody's got some sort of some way of supporting or we're paying the creator comedian out to sort of like, do more of the things that they're hoping they would do. Right. Let's move to our second topic, though. And just as a quick reset. Hey, everyone, here we are in the creative economy, podcast, stream show. I don't know what the right word is for this. But we are on clubhouse. We're on Twitch. We're all over the place right now. Leave us a comment and let us know where you're from. invite some friends in if you would like them to join the conversation. We are going to go to our second topic though, which is actually related to clubhouse. And the question here is can Cobos stay on top even when the big companies are coming after it? So can we saw this huge trend? You know, the app the second my club has raised its first a little bit of money. You know, everyone else does that, like announced instantly like that they were gonna have social audio features added into their ecosystem. So I'm curious like, what do you think like? Do you think clubhouse can make it I you know, I'm a fairly avid daily user of clubhouse you are more like increasingly becoming one. I think that it's on Android. But what do you think? What is your read on this?
Ken Yeung 12:50
So you're right. It's like once it hit Android, I was like, Oh, I started to see a lot more usage of it. Like previously, I've been on I use clubhouse on my iPad. It's the only thing I could iOS device that that would support it. I don't have an iPhone. And it was, it just wasn't intuitive enough for me on my iPad, right? I think it's for me that it was the device that kind of was the obstacle that caused that friction. It's like, No, I don't really want to lug around my iPad from from my desk here to my living room to you know, whatever. And plus, I can't use it outside of outside of my home without Wi Fi. So now I'm using it on my Android device. It's like I'm, I'm hearing I'm using it more. Not necessarily like I'm always on it, like many people that we know. But it's like, Alright, let's see what's what once in a while. Let's see what's going on there. But I think the question is, like, when you look at what, you know, Twitter spaces is out there, which we're now which we are broadcasting on as well. Like discord has one Facebook's toying with when they think they're sending a test went out Spotify, hope and a whole bunch of ones. I'm surprised like Google or YouTube didn't announce one today this week at Google i o and just call it like buzz or something like bring back that brand.
Gregarious Narain 14:06
I think I think they tried that one before.
Ken Yeung 14:10
But I think the the thing here is like is we've seen the reports that clubhouses usage numbers or downloads has gone down in the past couple past couple months, right? It's basically right by third party data right? Now. Okay, I can see why cuz everyone's like, oh, now there. Now you see it on on Twitter. You know, I think it's all where your your, your base application is, right? If I'm always on Twitter, if I'm always on Facebook, or I'm always on YouTube or Instagram. It's easier just to be in one single app, as opposed to Oh, let me jump to a clubhouse. Let me jump to this and this and this, right. It's like it's one it's, I think people prefer to have like one app that kind of does it all where there's a lot More of this cohesive type of strategy. And at one point you look at what you with with, with between Twitter spaces and and clubhouse is, where's where's the brand safety? Where for advertisers, you know those type of things. But it's also Where's your audience going to be like if I've taken a lot of effort to curate an audience a fan base on Twitter, right? I'm coming on to clubhouse there's no guarantee that I'm going to necessarily Garner that same type of following right? It took me many years to do that to get 17,000 people to follow me on Twitter. I'm actually surprised that it's that high. But it's like on clubhouse I have just over 1000 a lot of Russian bots out there. That's very true. I'm pretty sure I'm being I'm being a one big phishing scam. It's like really you want to you want to come after me? Like, okay. Let's no so i think but I think with with with Twitter offers there, it's like, I think clubhouse is all about the social audio. But Twitter is all about a lot more things. It's not just it. I mean, it was fundamentally about the tweets, then it started becoming about like, hey, like, how else can we define what a quote unquote tweet is? And it's like, okay, there's audio part of it, there's a video part of it, there's a photo part of it. Now there's a newsletter part of it, right. It's like there's a there's a redefinition of what Twitter is. And then you look at what discord is, it's like, oh, it's it's an additional it's an adjacency for a lot of these companies right in slack is toying with one like doing some sort of an audio like a clubhouse type of thing. I mean it but it but it's you don't see that as like, Hey, this is like a big product announcement where you're like, Hey, we're announcing this new service or whatever it and it's it's almost like it's it's second nature to what these these platforms core product is. So I think what so they can, I don't think it's a lose lose situation for big tech. They're like, Okay,
Gregarious Narain 17:00
do you think clubhouse survives, I guess
Ken Yeung 17:02
I think clubhouse survives, I think it survives, I think I think if it plays his cards, right? It could be almost like SoundCloud is and of course, we know SoundCloud has had some issues in terms of remaining relevant amongst everybody amongst the big players like Spotify, everything like that. But at some point, if they play their cards, right, and they in they start to to build more, I think they have a good chance of of kind of eventually becoming maybe like a YouTube of social audio. Or at the very least, maybe, I don't know, like, like a Vimeo of social audio. So it's kind of like, it's it's still relevant, and it's still hard to kill. Yeah, it's still very vulnerable now, but I think I still still subtraction.
Gregarious Narain 17:43
I've actually always imagined, clubhouses destiny sort of more akin to Sirius XM or something like that. Like, sort of like this new hybrid space between static podcasts and sort of real time, sort of, like, you know, programming. And, like, I think like, what I see in clubhouse is sort of the elevation of, you know, hundreds of 1000s of 10s of 1000s, at least right of like really interesting, say domain experts in various topics, where previously you might not have ever been able to, like get a contract, say with Sirius, right. And of course, like they would be paying you. But we're now people are saying I'm going to I'm going to opt into paying, I'm going to spend my time to produce this content. And the bars are really low, right, like to become a creator in clubhouse, but what you can do is build a following, you can monetize it, which seems like the normative sort of behavior in sort of the general creative economy as we're moving into, like sort of this next generation of greater economies where my audience can lift me up, and I don't need to rely on a platform to provide that, like sort of sustainability to me. And so I think like, what we see in clubhouse, for example, is a lot an opportunity for lots of people who previously didn't have a voice, right? Or say, not necessarily a voice, but a platform for expressing it. Maybe because of like, they didn't have an existing audience to tap into. They didn't have maybe the technical skills or tools or production. Right. And, and they didn't have the ease of participation for third parties. Right. And so, you know, I, for example, I went from like zero followers and clubhouse ended September and, like, almost 13,000. Right. And that was just by doing sort of like daily content. Right. And so I what I think I also believe clubhouse can survive. But I think like that survivability is sort of like, is, as you sort of mentioned as a sort of an independent content platform, because I believe they will likely be one of the few that is focused only on audio. Right,
Ken Yeung 19:36
right. And I think if you look at these big, big tech, big platforms, they have their own they have a lot of their own problems to deal with. Right. And so their focus won't entirely be on on social audio, right? You look at Facebook, they got plenty of antitrust issues that to deal with and they're all focused on like VR. They're focused on messenger. They're focused on Instagram, they're focused on Facebook, they're focusing on ads and their own content moderation issues. You look at Google and YouTube, like they're they got their own is a whole set of problems and concerns they got in their, in their roadmap. So I think club clubhouse is like, Look, let them all figure out, try and figure out what the hell they're doing, and sort everything out while we're just going to run our race. And it's like, Look, our bread and butter, our focus is always going to be on, on on audio on social audio. And you're right, and we can we can kind of stay that path and, and fix our own problems and not overextend ourselves. I think it's fine, right? Because, again, as I said earlier, it's like a lot for big companies. This is more like a, like an afterthought. It's like, oh, okay, well, just, it's a nice to have, so we'll throw it in there. And if it works, it works. But we're not going to necessarily invent like, ramp up a giant team and put like, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars into this, you know, this is not going to be a giant, you know, a profit loss type of situation for them. But I think, with clubhouse it's like they, you're right, it's like you look at all the stuff that you have, it's a lot easier to set up your own room. And you look at the success of what anchor did back Back in the day, right? It's like it made it easier just to do create your own podcast, right? A lot of these tech, a lot of these things are all about those type of capabilities. So I think it's it's, it's, it'll be worth watching. I don't I don't see clubhouse going away.
Gregarious Narain 21:27
But I certainly have no funding to do that.
Ken Yeung 21:29
Well, in addition to that, yeah.
Gregarious Narain 21:32
By the way, just for everyone listening, thank you so much. We appreciate it for you being here. Feel free to leave comments. If you're watching my video, feel free to raise your hands on the audio platforms. And we will we will figure out a way to bring you on stage and integrate you just be aware that we are recording. So you know, we want to make sure that everyone's okay with that. All right, Ken. So the last topic we had for today. And by the way, folks, um, in case you're looking for the news, I did tweet out a central link out to it, we have a Flipboard account over at the created created economy. And in case you want it if you're watching, I'm going to flash g there's so many pieces to move in, in a live stream. If you look at screen, you can see an ad for where we are, but we're flipboard.com/@CreatedEconomy, we put all the links that we source and resource and investigate like, for each episode will be up there, Ken's creating a magazine for each one. So feel free to head over there. If you want the links. I've also shared it out and we will share the show notes after. Now, the last topic we had was just sort of like how the, you know, just sort of, we kind of touched on this a little bit, but just sort of how the large platforms have started moving. And there was two interesting articles this week that came out, you know, snap is announcing a brand new creator marketplace coming out this month. And Pinterest is testing live streamed events, right. And this ultimately led to like what will be the last part of our Convo with with Bart actually when we're talking about social tipping, because this came out of an earlier report from axios, where they were talking about sort of how the major platforms were adopting all these monetization tools and how these features were being normalized. Right. And we saw this normalization in the past, right? We saw, we think about it, like where were stories like it started, like when stories was like just a snapchat thing. And then now everybody has stories. Right? Right. And then it started where like there was live streaming, and then suddenly one tool had it Oh, and then suddenly Guess what? Air twitch had it and now every tool has, right? Turns out discord had audio A long time ago, guys, but in case you didn't know, clubhouse came out with it as well. And we see now that social audio is becoming another horizontal sort of part of the toolkit. So I think it's really interesting that we see James's annual senior to tie. But you know, I think it's really interesting to see that these platforms are not not just talking about it, but starting to activate it. Right. And so what do you think, for example, like Pinterest live streaming? Right, like, What's your thoughts on that?
Ken Yeung 23:56
You know, I think it's, I should be surprised, but I'm really not. I mean, at some point, it's like, it's almost like you have a if you ever built something like a website on like a Weebly or Squarespace or something, you know, or even do writing a blog post in WordPress, right? You have these little blocks these modules that you can just, you know, just tap and presto change o it's it's part of it, right? And it's, it's for like social platforms. It's almost like you kind of have to, you know, you're just pulling from the well, the same, everyone's pulling from the same Well, it's like, Okay, alright, let's, at this point, we'll do live stream, okay, we'll just tap this box and boom, there you go. We'll now have it right. It's like, is it necessarily innovation? No. But for companies that are that are all about banking, a lot on creators on people doing like telling their story on on these things on these services. You need to you need to empower them and give them tools to do that. Right. And it's in its waste to help them promote at scale on on these platforms, right? And, and to remove that friction as well. One thing that we didn't mention here is like with Twitch, right? twitch announced this week that they're lowering subscription. I think their subscription takes Beyonce bye bye by location or something to that effect. So
Gregarious Narain 25:21
take rates are going down.
Ken Yeung 25:23
I think so localizing I'll do a quick room in there because it's I mean, but but that's the thing, right? I mean, they're, they're making it easier for for these. Thank you. Thank you, Cynthia, for that. Families watching on on on Facebook. So but here's the thing, right? I think with with Pinterest, it's like you, they're all about the creative economy. They're they want people to who are crafty, who are building stuff, they want to be able to further tap into it, right? It's like, how do you get them further engaged, because at the end of the day, it's like, hey, if I'm not going to be doing this, where am I going to show off my whatever crafts or, or products or devices, I'm going to I'm going to make, I'm going to go onto YouTube, where I'm going to go create it, go on it live, or I'm going to go on to twitch, right, and these companies don't want to lose them. So these are all tools that ways to kind of monopolize your attention as a creator and as a user, but at the same time, it's what it wants to do is to, you know, to help you help connect you with with with more of their platform, right? And, and I'm looking at this now it's like, oh, yeah, so the the twitch thing is they're lowering subscription prices, allowing streamers to earn more money, right. So it's like, they're making it, they're adding these enticements. You know, it's like, hey,
Gregarious Narain 26:50
and if folks don't realize this twitch last year, were collected $2 billion from subscriptions. And only 50% of that made it back to creators, right? Because that's their natural take rate.
Ken Yeung 27:00
Yeah. So So I mean, it's Think of it this way. Like if you're going to go window shopping for something like for shoes, or for furniture for clothes, or whatever, it's like, what's going to entice you to go to like a Macy's versus a, a Nordstrom? I recall Hons, right. And they just like it's gonna depend on, like, maybe it did have the shoe and stock? Well, if they have that shoe in stock and all the stores, what's the next differentiator? Beyond the brand? Alright, but beyond that experience is going to be what? How much? Are you paying in price? Or what? Like the overall compensation or or financial repercussions, right? And then that's going to be a big decider for a lot of these things. And of course, these big companies can do they can leverage this. I mean, they just, you know, they can just drop it as opposed to, but and it's like, how do these smaller companies survive? And it's almost like, for for, for creators, it's like, should, should they? It's like, should they be supporting small startups versus big tech? That on one hand is like, Where's your audience? versus Do you want to see, you know, if you go with like a clubhouse, you get better take for, you know, better, better results and be and appreciation versus going on to the
Gregarious Narain 28:09
movies go for? I don't know, creator supporting startups alone directly, you know, they still need a lot of reach. At least, that's the traditional thinking. But speaking of region, as we move into this sort of part of the conversation, everyone, raise your hand, if you'd like to chat, I don't know how this is gonna work out. But I'm going to try to bring you into the stream. I see, Gabby, you got your hand up. Bart, welcome to the show. We're entering the part like the second half, like we're trying to stay on time here. But in this part, what we're going to actually be talking about now is really, I think taking a deeper dive or look at social tipping, which is one of these verticalized sort of monetization features that we saw come out. There's a post over on our blog at the creative economy calm that actually talks or says a round up a sort of like two or three takes of like, what social tipping is really all about. I've got two people here. I'm going to try this. Let's see what happens. But I'm going to try to bring up someone as a guest, where's Gabby? Go? Let's see. I'm gonna bring gavia Alright, and Bart, welcome. Do you want to give a quick introduction and say, Hello? Hi,
Bart Melton 29:16
I'm Bart Melton, I founded Santa penny. It is a micro payment service. So we're trying to fill in the gap for online payments from basically a penny to $1. Because, well, I mean, when you look at apps, like Apple Pay, or Google pay, you actually have an official $1 minimum, and some others will actually charge a little bit less but with these, it's not feasible. So when we're down to the social tipping area with allowing people to tip less than $1. So interesting.
Gregarious Narain 29:55
Let's see what happens here. Oh, by the way, the idea of microphones thing is really interesting. I want to get to that in a second. But I want to just try this out. Let's see what happens here. So can you hear? Can you can you say can bark? Can you hear? Yeah, I can hear. Ray. Is that you? Yes, sir. All right. Do you have? Do you want to say hello? And do you have any questions for Bart, by the way?
At the moment, I'm just thankful. I'm thankful and great facilities for letting me into the space. Appreciate the conversation going on right now.
Gregarious Narain 30:30
Awesome. Well, this is a super interesting, I'm bringing some more front friends up in the Twitter space society clubhouse friends, if you also want to try to get involved, just raise your hand, we'll try to bring you up. literally no idea what's going to happen. So Bart, let's do let's talk for a second here now. microtransactions is especially hard, right? Because, you know, like the transaction fees themselves, right. So can you tell? Can you tell us a little bit about like, I guess, your business model? And sort of how do you support this activity? Because I think one of the challenges historically that's existed, right, is that the processing fees have usually been so high that like microchipping, was like very difficult to sort of, to operate against. And that's why we've, we've seen like, these bulk models where you know, you buy coins, or tokens, or bits or something else, how does your system work?
Bart Melton 31:17
We're basically like that we have, we work like a prepaid credit card type of deal. So you buy X number of credits on our system, then you can spend those anywhere you want any amount. So and for on the other end, we don't charge transaction fees. So our minimum tip or payment, or whatever is 1/100. of a penny. That's our smallest transaction. And we did that so that it's not just, you know, the US because in the US opinions, completely trivial. But in other places, it may not be
Gregarious Narain 31:59
and know when when someone's tipping a penny, oh, sorry. Someone's tipping a penny, what is the inherent value? That's not not the financial value? But like, what's going on? What's the psychology of that? Well, so
Bart Melton 32:12
Twitter's a great example of this. How many tweets? Do you think that you see, the tweet itself is really worth $1? TV?
Ken Yeung 32:26
Verse very, very little, very, very
Bart Melton 32:28
little, but it's the minimum you can tip somebody. So now you're left with a conundrum. Okay? Either, you know, if you really support this person, you're going to go through the process of, you know, taking the time to log into another system, leave $1 tip, but now you're left with the question. Okay. When do I tip again? Do I wait a month? Now? Do I have to remember last time I tipped you know, or, you know, is there a certain threshold of before it kind of builds up to that value? Again? On the flip side, you know, if you were if you had the option, say in Twitter, that there was a button that said, tip a penny, right beside the like button, and it was just one click, boom, you're dying? How often would you bang that one tip that one cent button? You know, I mean, for, you know, if you're in the US, I say pennies, trivial papers, I'd be going down there, you know, like, you know, I think by drop the slightest bit of wisdom, I'd be like, bang, bang, white tip, you know, move on.
Gregarious Narain 33:27
Monetary like, kind of
Bart Melton 33:29
what exactly the problem we have right now, because of transaction fees, and things like that, with that kind of a $1 minimum, you have to support the creator themselves. You know, and so, as a creator, it's kind of it's easy to monetize real fans, you know, they're looking for ways to give you money, at least oftentimes. But on the flip side of that, how do you get casual users, the people who are there just for, you know, read your one tweet, you're watching one video, they don't have a way to support that one piece of content. And that's kind of the disconnect we have right now. Because, you know, they talked about the one 990 to 1% of true fans, then 9% of casual engaged fans, and then a 90% who are just lurkers. And right now you really only monetize the, like, the 1% with tipping models, and so you know, that that's what we're trying to extend it any we're trying to fill in, is that the ability to come in and say, You know what, I support this one piece of content, or, you know, I'm a casual user, you know, I want to tip the level that's comfortable for me. And it's, you know, on the flip side of that, if you're tipping a penny, it's got to be very fast, right? A lot of credit card form, tip
Gregarious Narain 34:49
opinion and Did someone buy a dollars worth with you? Is that sort of the
Bart Melton 34:55
for us the way your first the first time you buy with us, it's $1 is the minimum, you can buy more if you want, but it's a $1. Minimum. And that's kind of as a try, you know, try it out, see if you like it, type of rate. And then after that there's a $3. Minimum.
Isaac Hayes III 35:13
Interesting, interesting. perrysville. And
Gregarious Narain 35:16
yeah, who so who's, who's that Ray?
Ray, radio mortals? That's my name. So what he's saying is correct. And when it comes to tipping, we have had to, you know, find out different various ways to get tipped, especially on Twitter now, because I've had a twin.
Ken Yeung 35:51
Do we lose, right? Yeah,
Bart Melton 35:54
I think I think so. Because it suddenly went very quiet. Yes.
Gregarious Narain 35:59
Oh, no. Did we lose? Right? Yeah, I think so. No? Oh,
Ken Yeung 36:02
yeah. There we go.
So is it so raise? So is your is it more? Are you saying? What, just wanna make sure I'm clear? Are you saying that it's more about the people are tipping their tipping more about the Creator, as opposed to the content that they're, that they're, that they're that they're giving money to?
It can be like, I've seen instances of both like, for myself, personally, it's a double thing, like, you know, I give valuable pieces of information. So they will tip me because of that. But ultimately, a lot of people have been following me for years, and they just want to hit me just because they know who I am as a person.
Gregarious Narain 37:04
Interesting. By the way, I see someone here, Isaac, oh, Joselin. I'm just going to introduce Isaac, because I know he's here is Isaac Hayes. Awesome. I met him a couple of times here on clubhouse. I see him in our Twitter space. I'd love for him to be able to chat after hustling. Because Isaac has launched fan base, which has a I forgot there's he'll explain there's a few levels inside of his his product as well. Also, did you have something as well?
Joselin Mane 37:28
Just wanted to introduce my man. I think that's all Oh, all right. Okay, good.
Gregarious Narain 37:34
How are you? Welcome. Welcome to the show. And, you know, tell us a little bit about what you're doing a fan base.
Isaac Hayes III 37:41
Thanks for having me. And thanks honestly, for inviting me. So fan base is a is a social media platform that I founded, that allows any user to monetize their content via subscription, and virtual currency we call love. And we have numerous verticals. on the platform, from photo video, long form content, live stories and audio rooms, bike spaces and clubhouse everything is monetized for every single user, the moment that they sign up. And what we're seeing is a very transactional community that loves supporting each other regardless of you know what you're posting. Just even if you're on stages, you're receiving revenue from getting Love, Love is the virtual currency. of fan base, every love is about half a penny. Users purchase that love through the Apple App Store. And in the Google Play Store, and use that to love posts. You can also love someone during a live, you can love what someone is saying on the audio stage. And you can also use love to unlock exclusive content on the platform. because things are paywalls through subscription. But let's say you're not comfortable committing to a full subscription to someone you can unlock one piece of their content for 100 loves, which is the equivalent of about 50 cents to the to the creator or the user. And as a very, very fast we're seeing really good numbers as far as the amount of revenue that people are making, especially in audio rooms and live. We do not throttle down content. We want every person to have as much visibility on the platform as possible. I did a live demo the other day with hosts me I went live for about 40 minutes, you know pretending to DJ but I think we had about 138 viewers total. And I made about $147 and it was really incredible that I made that much revenue You know that fast with that smaller group of people
Ken Yeung 40:04
Bart and Isaac, I have a that you guys raised a very interesting point is well, first question, are you? Does this your company have a digital currency? Or is it just like a like literally, I'm using my credit card and
Bart Melton 40:20
We basically have a digital currency we call them centipenny, their company name. It's all 1/100 of a penny. So yeah.
Ken Yeung 40:33
So so so that raises the second point, because that's at one point. Do and Isaac, I'm very curious to hear your thoughts as well in terms of the love currency. Great Greek currency name, by the way. It's how does this end we know many friends and people that have their own different types of currencies as well, like Francine Hardaway has karma. Jeremiah. Oh, Yang has his Jay Jay. Well, I think his his.
Gregarious Narain 41:00
So you're talking about the sort of creator coins?
Ken Yeung 41:02
The Creator coins? Right. rally? rally? rally? Yeah. So So at some point, do we wind up having this all be like foreign currency? Like, you know what? It's like? $1? Is $1 the same as a peso versus the yen? You know, it's, it's like, is it? Is it Bart? Is your like, how do I do as a creator? Do I need to trade in all of these types of currencies? Depending on based on the platform that I'm on?
Bart Melton 41:29
Yeah, and that's one of the interesting things right now. You kind of have two different approaches, because if you're, you know, twitch has, what twitch bit is it kind of the same thing. They're a penny apiece, and people, but the problem is, if you're a creator, and you're you've got a twitch channel, you've got a YouTube page, you've got a YouTube channel, you've got, you know, your own site that that embed your YouTube instead of those twitch bits only work there. So then as soon as they go to your YouTube channel, now, you know, they're having to buy into another one. So then you have the question of, you know, on the one hand, it's great that these big companies like Twitter ad monetization, and their tools are actually, you know, third party tools. But the ones like, say, YouTube, or Twitch, or Facebook has their little wax is that then your audience can't follow you. So then the question is, is it better to have a third party like Santa Penny, or Patreon, or someone like that, where you can link in and have that have a single tipping platform, or one or two, or maybe even three, you know, to appeal in different audience, but to get volume across platforms? And so then you say, should platforms try to work with these third parties? integrate, if they really want to do you know, good creative monetization? And that's another question. Yeah.
Gregarious Narain 42:58
Actually. Isaac, I'm curious. Um, so a couple things to note. If you go to my Twitter account, at Gregarious, um, I did have a post about social tipping. We I shared out a link also to the Roundup. And I'll share the graphic here for anyone who's watching. And one of the things that are trends that we sort of see surge more emerging and it's it's early in this trend, I think, but things like Twitter clubhouse, what they've and Spotify, what they're doing is a sort of a pastor. They're not actually like implementing say, like, they're actually on to big infrastructure. So I'm, I guess, in some ways, Isaac, I'm curious, do you think or imagine potentially, like, being able to bring love into the into the outside world serve as another currency for others to leverage as well?
Isaac Hayes III 43:46
You know, I don't know, maybe, I mean, it depends on the growth of our platform. But what, what really has me excited is the scalability of that currency. And in places like live in places like audio, like we've had, users make an enormous amount of revenue, in small amounts of time, with very small audiences. Like if I can make $147 with 138 total viewers. And in theory, I can make, you know, $1.4 million, with 1.3 million viewers just just going live for 45 minutes if I had 1.3 million people viewing me on live at one time, and that's the scalability of virtual currency. on platforms like this, especially with people that have a really big fan base, you know, really great brands, really great artists, very popular people, very engaging creators and users. So when you think about it, the amount of revenue that's going to be generated for creators using virtual currency. I think it's just you know, it's going to be massive.
Ken Yeung 45:00
What are some of the things you're
Gregarious Narain 45:02
sorry, guys, I just can't wait who's talking?
Joselin Mane 45:11
I do want to introduce something that could be a whole separate discussion is something that's unique that Isaac is doing is he's allowing the casual creator or user to invest in the actual company, and buy shares. So even if they're not creating, they could benefit from the whole creator economy on the platform by owning shares in the company using the startup engine. So that's something separate, but I just also want to introduce that another way to generate revenue at a
Isaac Hayes III 45:43
non creative space, if you like. And I can speak to that a little bit. So basically, what you know, the reg CF regulation that allows anybody to raise capital for that company, regardless of a network, or a low income, wipes out that accredited investor role. And so it gives opportunity for people that never had a chance to invest in tik tok, or Snapchat or Instagram, to invest in a social media platform that is scalable, it is really actually in the exact same place as a seed funded company, that Twitter and Instagram and Tiktok all were at so at the same at some point. And so what I understand is that the users are what make the platform, though they're the engine, they're the economic engine of social media, right. And I tell people that if you're not making money, off your social media, directly into your pocket, not that someone pays you to promote post clip, the platform is paying you that you are the product. So on fan base, you are not the product on fan base, everyone, every single user can make revenue, so on our raised on started, and we raised $3.3 million of a $3.5 million dollar raise. And people can buy shares into fan base in the seed round, and own part of the company. And that's great, because users can actually sit on fan base all day long as owners as well, where a lot of these other platforms, we give our you know our our clap backs, to Twitter, our dances to tik tok our conversations to clubhouse and Twitter spaces in our content, long form photo and video to Facebook and Instagram, when no one is an actual owner of the company, or has a chance to really own part of the platform. So that's very significant. And I take pride in that, especially as as a as a black founder, because I also know the significant value that African American culture black culture brings to social media platforms. So I'm really proud that anybody can own shares in this company, and go along for the ride. As we continue to scale
Ken Yeung 48:04
on On that note, like Bart, I'm sorry, Bart on the as we think about like, what was Centipenny like, is we're talking about like social tipping back at the beginning of this conversation, like what is what's the roadmap for, for your company beyond like, in the next next year or two? I mean, besides just helping to facilitate tips like you, we heard what what Isaac's doing with it with fan base? Like, are there other updates that you that you're planning on doing to kind of really scale center? Penny?
Bart Melton 48:37
Yeah, so we actually didn't start as a, as a tipping platform we have pivoted into that we started as a paywall for publishing. Because publishing faces a lot of the same hurdles, you know, getting people to subscribe is a big hurdle, even when they offer, you know, $1 for three months or whatever. But, you know, trying to get people to do paper articles, there's a lot of people who are asking for it, and publishers just don't want to do it. So, like, at least not right now. So we pivoted, then we were also just doing, we can do general transactions, from mics, a 1/100 of a penny up to whatever the realistically $1 you know, just trying to fill in that gap. Because, you know, if you're saying up and coming musician, you want to sell your music, but you don't necessarily, you know, you want to sell for 50 cents down, like, you know, I just did try to generate some, some users or you know, some fans and things like that, well, we make that possible. Whereas, you know, basically anywhere else you stuck in the dollar level. And then we moved into tipping platform. We're gonna have gaming API coming out that allow for, you know, a lot of indie creators, the big gaming companies have their own virtual currencies and things like that, but you're Any developer, you don't have time for that. Because I can tell you, you know, creating a virtual currency takes time, not something you can whip out overnight.
Gregarious Narain 50:09
They'll talk to the guys at rally, they'll they'll tell you.
Bart Melton 50:13
You know, that's, you know, that's one thing to want to move into its various things on those lines that we're trying to, if somebody is like, Hey, can we can you do this with us? We'll be like, Sure, we can, you know, we now kind of have a platform to go out and anything from up to $1. You know, somebody wants us to do something, we'll be more than happy to fill it in.
Gregarious Narain 50:35
Yeah, this this, this idea of micro patronage is very interesting. And by the way, I do want to just lasso what hustling and Isaac were saying, because I do think, you know, what Isaac expressed is really a sentiment that really existed in sort of that attention economy, like sort of this this previous generation, right? Like, where you were the product because you were providing the data, you were providing sort of the attention, the eyeballs, the to monetize. And maybe for a future episode, can we can have Isaac and hustling back with us to talk about this. Because I do think we're moving into partially this ownership economy. And I think tipping is, you know, in a lot of ways, we talked about this in a previous podcast about this, but in some ways, it's a gateway drug to deeper involvement, right? Like it could be to sort of subscriptions, right, which I think is a great opportunity for most creators. It could be to packaged or digital goods, right. And as Isaac is saying, it could be actually towards investment in the actual entity, and it's sort of forward progress and sort of its for its forward futures as well. Right. So I think there's a lot of interesting opportunities here, this, this space is growing so fast, it's why we decided to create a show around it, because these topics, you know, we have to revisit them, like over and over again. And there's so many amazing founders, creators, you know, entrepreneurs and businesses and brands all like sort of sitting around the edge of this pool, trying to figure out, how do we make this thing go forward? Right, in a in a meaningful and powerful way? You know, and I think like, that's ultimately where opportunity lies. So, Bart, I think, you know, as we're coming up on time, I, you know, I just wanted to say thank you for joining us. And it was kind of last minute. We've only been planning the show for like two and a half days, three days. We did get a website up we did manage to stream and make a mess and five platforms instead of you know, the normal one or two. Thank you for your patience today. Everyone, by the way. I'm going to tuck you back in but thanks just as Can I say goodbye. And I will make sure to include a link to the to your site as well. But yeah, can you know I think I'm experiment, you know, sort of managed to work its way through. I didn't hear any questions for clubhouse by the way. So if anyone in clubhouse wants just to make sure we touched everywhere, by all means, raise your hand. But I do think this has been an experiment we are trying to live and utilize these tools ourselves to further show and demonstrate sort of what's possible. This has been an interesting experiment, because we literally were streaming on five platforms simultaneously. And some of them were they can't see us and some of them were they can. But we are putting together stuff, all of our show notes. Once again, just I will flash some links here, but I'll mention them. Also, if you want links to anything, all the articles can and I look through about 2030 articles a week, we put them into our Flipboard magazine, you can find that over Flipboard dot com slash at creative economy. The easiest place though to find access to all the stuff we're doing is actually at our full blog, our long form content and our written pieces, which is over a creative economy calm created economy calm. And of course, if you want to subscribe to show updates, get on our calendar, get alerts when we go live, head over to zelis, which is my startup actually, where we're helping live streamers try to monetize their live activity. And that's over a creative show. It's another great place to find out about all the upcoming content has some more links, and some new features coming soon, which we hopefully will be releasing in staging here. Can I don't know how you feel I feel exasperated. I don't know which buttons not to press at this point.
Ken Yeung 54:06
Just press them all smashed them all.
next week for having by the way. Oh, thank you guys.
Gregarious Narain 55:48
Thank you for participating. By all means, send me a DM if you're if you're voiced in this, if you said something or spoke, I'll try to remember everyone I can. But what I want to do is make sure we get you mentioned in the show notes as well so that everyone knows who was speaking and and what you were doing.
I followed you already as well.
Gregarious Narain 56:06
I appreciate that. Yeah, we got to figure out better rule like you know, because I the brain is when people start talking. I'm like, are you on clubhouse or over here? Oh, man, this is a lot of fun. But thanks for the experiment hustling, I'm gonna I'm gonna need your help. Now. We're gonna have to be doing this stuff. Working on this together. Alright, everybody. I appreciate it. Peace and love. Have a great day. And we'll see you next week Wednesday at 3pm Mountain Time. Have a great one.
All right. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 56:32
Yeah, sorry about that. No, really, we, we've had to go through different channels to get to. But if we had a dedicated button, or dedicated buttons, even on Twitter, where, you know, followers can tip, I don't think they would have an issue about you know, the fees. I think it does drop down to most of the time, how much do they support the person that they're supporting?
Bart Melton 36:03
Gregarious Narain 36:04
Gregarious Narain 45:09
Joselin, possibly go ahead, please,
I was trying to mute myself because my keyboard is one of those damn mechanical keyboards. And I think that's when I'm muted Ray. I'm learning I promise, but we're recording.
So do you see like the button the corner.
Gregarious Narain 54:22
But no, no, no, the problem is that I have like all these sources coming in. So if I mute there, you won't hear me either. So I have to keep my mic on over here. But I wanted to type something. So we'll figure it out. I think I know what to do now. In a in about a month or so we're going to release the podcast. We're waiting to pile up our first few episodes before we do that, but I will have a transcript available of all of the of all the notes from here. Right. Thank You bet. Thank you Bart from Santa penny. calm. We will definitely put a link in our Flipboard magazine as well as on our website in our show notes. You guys have all been amazing. If you'd like to be a guest on the show, please Just send me a DM send Kennedy, at mentioned at creative economy on Twitter. Find me on somewhere, find one of us somewhere, go to our website, subscribe to the newsletter, let us know we'd love to have you every week, we want to have either a creator or an entrepreneur building something amazing in this space, hopefully more, right with us. Obviously, your questions are welcome, and we enjoy having them. So by all means, next time, feel free to come through and raise your hand. Appreciate that as well. If you are in clubhouse we have a club called the creative economy. If you're listening right now, make sure you click that little green house and subscribe become a member or follower of our club over there. Because we will always syndicate the show back to clubhouse as well. All right, my hair's on fire. This has been a lot of fun. We I already have like 30 links ready for next week. So we'll be back