Case study of how Web3 makes fans new creators

One of Web3’s most important trends is the reimagining of circles: blurring the lines between viewers/fans and creators, and how fan labor is funded and rewarded.

Two major shifts are proving this trend:

The gap between fans and creators is disappearing. Fans can exert significant influence or even co-create original works (questioning what “original” even means);

Fans are adopting new business models and funding sources to create spin-off projects that didn’t exist before

The end result is expanded creativity on the internet with greater access, financial advantage, collaboration, and a sense of accomplishment.

From Canon to “Fanon”

The relevance of the distinction between fans and creators in web3 is waning. Fans are creating derivative works that are as widely recognized as the original, and even creating works that are officially recognized as classics. Synergistically this is that creators recognize that fans can add value to the creative process and license derivative use of the work from the outset (usually choosing CC0 or “no rights reserved” licenses). This is consistent with the future of the creator economy as one of the themes of the community economy, where co-creation is driven and rewarded through shared ownership.

Let’s analyze some of the cases that are happening:

Shibuya is an animated film funded by the sale of the NFT Producer Pass. NFT holders can vote and influence the plot of subsequent chapters of the movie, earning tokens representing the final share of the movie. The tight integration of fan feedback and the creative process weakens the distinction between fans and creators.

Another example is Jenkins the Valet, a boring ape NFT named and conceived by its owner, Tally Labs. Jenkins’ entire character can be considered an extended fan novel — but it has become so prominent that it was signed by the CAA. Sharing IP ownership led to a single spin-off of BAYC sparking a new creative world.

The unlimited commercial rights that BAYC holders have over the NFTs they own are critical to the characters’ ability – and motivation – to create derivative works and achieve great success. This is a major shift in the traditional world of fan fiction, where there is a clear line between fan work and original work, and fan work is largely seen as unapproved (and sometimes unpopular) original work.

Now, Tally Labs is working on a longer novel, starring the expanded Boring Ape Universe, in which ape/mutant ape holders can submit their character’s story and influence the plot, earning a 50% net profit from the book. One key to unlocking profit sharing is that NFT holders license their IP to Tally to appear in the book, which effectively binds fans to the work.

Case study of how Web3 makes fans new creators

Copyright 2022 Tally Labs, all rights reserved

There’s also a Metaverse project on their roadmap called Azurbala, which will produce more characters. Even before the project was launched, community members had already constructed legends and characters in Azurbala, influencing the project’s official roadmap and story — an example of a fan novel that folds together the meaning of the original author and the fan.

New business models for fan creation

Due to the provisions of copyright law, fan works have traditionally been in a legal gray area when it comes to monetization. Because they use the content and characters of copyrighted works, most fan fiction creators are classified as amateur creators with no business model. Various initiatives have tried to solve this problem – such as Amazon’s Kindle Worlds – but all have their own limitations.

In web3’s creative projects, the basic ownership of tokens provides fans with an intrinsic business model and incentivizes the creation of derivatives. In contrast to the free work of fans of web2, in web3, fan owners are exposed to the success of their labor through tokens: as the digital scarce things they hold become more well-known, their value also increases. For example, by spreading Jenkins the Valet through additional media projects, the price of Jenkins NFT (and other NFTs in the BAYC universe) will increase, so that both fans and original authors can get value.

We’re also seeing this happen in the broader social token space and other NFT categories such as music, where ownership of tokens incentivizes fans to change from passive consumers to active participants and evangelists.

Cultivate shared strengths

In terms of fan funding, projects that have a national treasury can fund fan work to further promote the growth of their IP. Nouns’ 27K ETH funding (more than $45 million) was built by selling more than 400 NFTs over the course of a year, essentially a Nouns-focused fund dedicated to spreading projects in the Nouns-related IP space.

Case study of how Web3 makes fans new creators


It’s as if J.K. Rowling takes a portion of her income to fund fan fiction writers who use her characters — something unheard of in traditional media. The theory argues that the potential scarcity of the original set of NFTs could allow it to gain value as it grows recognized and popularized for its role universe.


All in all, new web3 creative projects are disrupting the media creation model: a community of owners is forming around nascent creations that combine their stories with derivative risks and distribute them to communities with shared strengths that are then delivered to a wider audience. Fans become creators, and fans of fans become creators, forming a prismatic creative portfolio, all supported by native business models and new funding mechanisms. The end result is the democratization of storytelling and creativity for all.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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