Thoughts on Digital Licensing and Beyond

Publishing vs Gallery

May 27, 2021 Mike-E-angelo 3 min read
Categories: business

Everyone is trying to get rich off of NFTs. To me, this is a natural extension of the blockchain culture, which emphasizes money and a get-rich (quick) mentality. I am not against this (much 😁), but it does warrant some caution.

To be sure, there’s no such thing as a quick buck in life. You might get lucky, sure, but can you replicate this luck at scale? Good luck with that.

Coinciding with its inefficiency, the current state of the blockchain is well-suited to reflect what I consider to be the gallery model of ownership, which is denoted by high prices and lower quantities.

On the other end of the spectrum is where (and other centralized offerings – once they see mine 😛) comes in, and that is the more traditional publishing model, which emphasizes the inverse: higher quantities at lower prices. was actually started after I read Kevin Kelly’s seminal essay 1,000 True Fans. You will be hard pressed to find any NFT author who currently pushes 1,000 units of their work, let alone on the regular. However, with a centralized approach this goal is a piece of cake and will become the norm.

Along with the efficient processing that a centralized approach offers, the key to reaching 1,000 true fans is lower prices. Think of a comic book (another source of inspiration for my efforts here). You pay $4-5 and that feeds an entire team, as well as its entire distribution network which includes issuance, all the transportation, and ultimately the shop you bought it at. The team sells this at $4-5 because it aims to sell a lot of them – as many as possible.

Now let’s take that same “spirit” and move it to the digital. With a digital offering, you can accomplish the same disbursement, but 100% of it goes directly to the originating creator(s), as well as royalties from any resale (something that is impossible with current physical paradigms).

With digital products, it becomes a direct relationship between the creator and their followers. However, I have to say there’s still something cool about visiting a store – or at least, the prospect of a visiting store 😏– and supporting it there. I personally hope the market continues to support both models.

So, with, what I focus on is more of a publishing model, and incentivize its creators to focus more on gaining a wider audience that are willing pay a few bucks a month to get the latest goods.

This is a clear departure from the NFT space, where it’s all about finding dubious anonymous “investors” (i.e. parties who bought millions of these infinite tokens when they were pennies a piece) who will dole out the most outrageous of prices in the name of shill. Hey, I am all for that, free market and all. I just don’t think that is long-term viable or a model that I could fully recommend to another creator.

Finding your audience (of 1,000) and selling them product on the monthly for a lower costs ($2-3) seems like a much more viable, natural, and long-term value proposition for creators, and one I intend to provide with ✌

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