Some of the greatest achievements in the arts and science of human history were made
possible by the patronage of wealthy institutions and families. Nowadays, cultural expression
has shifted to digital content distributed on the web. The majority of web content platforms are
using an advertising-based revenue model which makes creators dependent on advertising
dollars controlled by a few large corporations. One such platform is YouTube, a monopolist
among web video platforms.
Centralized and advertising-based platforms have total control and put maximization of ad
revenue above everything else. Unfortunately, this is not in the best interest of all other parties
and leads to the following problems: viewers are bombarded with ads and manipulated into fast
content consumption and creators receive only a fraction of revenue from value they create.
Struggling to sustain on ad revenue alone, creators are pushed into mass-consumer market.
They have few opportunities to engage with fans and grow their community when binge
consumption is inherently promoted. Furthermore, advertising businesses lose out due to
inefficiencies in reach and rampant ad fraud.
The ad-based business model exhibits inherently misaligned incentives between viewers,
creators, and advertisers. It disproportionately profits the middlemen and it is the source of
problems described above. Even incumbent platforms aren’t motivated to fix it as it would
directly undercut their revenues.