Web3, a Different Way
Creators don't need to be trapped between chasing unrealistic audience metrics and running on a content creation treadmill
I was reading a blog post by the podcaster Evo Terra recently (unfortunately behind a paywall and reserved for his subscribers...) and couldn’t help but think: Web3 is a fabulous opportunity for podcasters, and creators in general, to free themselves from the yoke platforms have created in our heads.
Evo points out that we’ve been raised on vanity metrics:
“Download numbers. The number of listeners we have. The number of followers we have on our social media properties. The number of people who watched our Clubhouse, Twitter Space, Wisdom room, Green room, or whatever the latest popular flavor of social drop-in audio is..."
But we shouldn't pay too much attention to those metrics because at the end of the day, they don't really make much of a difference to us. They mostly matter to the platforms that are taking advantage of our work.
Advertising and sponsorships force us to chase a larger and larger audience, regardless of quality. Volume is the only thing that matters to platforms, when what makes us actually happy as creators is appreciation. Subscription-based platforms have emerged as an alternative to the advertising model, but the alternative is hardly better: creators are forced to produce more and more content to satisfy the appetite of subscribers who have been told they deserve premium content.
What creators really need is the support of an audience—regardless of size— who doesn’t want them risking burnout.
Web3 offers a new way.
A way that allows us to create a healthier and direct relationship with our audience, regardless of size, and without having to create more and more content to satisfy an illusory bulimia. It's about recognizing that the real value of what we create lies in the community around our shows more than in its broader audience or even the content.
The community we create around our podcasts is the only real purpose capable of satisfying us socially and economically. It is, in effect, the only valid and measurable goal. Content is only the means that allows us to gather and engage it. Without good content, people would not approach, would not be interested. And yet here we are: creators with audiences who are interested but kept out of sight, almost invisible by the platforms who control them. Web2 has allowed us to make our content visible and to make our voices heard, and we should be grateful for that. But we don't want to talk to numbers. We want to talk to people, no matter if there are 100 or 1,000,000 of them. We want to meet them because we do this for them and we know that they value us as much as the content we create.
To achieve this, we need to reinvent the paradigm and reclaim the value we create. The platforms can keep the views and listens since that is what drives their infernal machine. We'll let them have it if it allows us to raise our voice. At the end of the day, we simply want the community that goes with it. Because we are social animals not platforms, and what feeds us is the relationships we create through our content, not the advertising or subscriptions they generate.
As a podcaster I don't consider myself as a media, I consider myself as a hub—almost as a destination where my guests can meet and gather. I would so love for my listeners to also have the opportunity to meet, exchange, and share together.
And I want to provide that space away from the platforms that otherwise devour them.