While online publishing has diminished the need for certain traditional media, it’s also not doing as well as it once was, either. Ad blockers, the lack of desire readers have to pay for content, and other similar factors have made the success of quality online publications more tenuous. All of these factors contribute to clickbait and other low-quality publications more regularly going viral.
So, is good content doomed? Thankfully, the answer is no; despite the struggle some publishers are facing, people still appreciate solid content and will always take the time to find it, even if it’s few and far between. Additionally, thanks to newer technology like cryptocurrency and blockchain, publishing’s future may be looking brighter than ever.
The Current State of Cryptocurrency
The past month has ushered in new volatility for cryptocurrencies. From plummeting valuations of both Ripple and Bitcoin, some consumers are wary of the long-term value of digital coins. But many blockchain and crypto experts believe this dynamic nature is par for the course, and partially a result of market overreaction.
While no one knows for sure what the futures of Bitcoin and Ripple have in store, most are bullish on the long-term implications of blockchain’s decentralized structure to bring about change, and in some cases revolution, for outdated infrastructures.
As a technology dependent on unbarred access, transparency, and security, developers and entrepreneurs alike are turning to the architecture to build scalable solutions that allow for the global distribution of both data and funds. Pilot programs committed to deploying blockchain-based technology to solve banking access in underdeveloped nations and accountability issues in supply chains have already taken off, and now, more industries are turning to this chain to build blocks for a more efficient and secure future, including publishing.
How Can Cryptocurrency Save Publishing?
Cryptocurrency has already changed the world in a number of ways. Because it’s not subject to interest and exchange rates, it creates equal opportunities for people around the world to access the funds. It also allows startups to raise the capital they need from investors and so much more. Not only has it affected business and enterprise, but there are also numerous ways it can help revive the publishing sector.
Over the past several years, digital publishing has taken a hit as social networks have increased in size and power. These networks not only serve as a source of social connectivity but now, defacto news and entertainment sources. Plus, social media platforms empower the people to become content creators in their own rights by giving them a microphone to amplify their opinions regarding current news articles and op-eds. Rather than contributing to the discussion section of publishers sites, people would rather share the link (with their opinions) on their own social News Feeds; until now, they’ve had little reason to contribute to discussions directly on the sites where the articles are first published.
Similarly, advertisers have little reason to pour their ad spends into publishing sites when they know that audiences no longer pay attention to irrelevant banner ads and spend an increasing amount of time on social platforms. But through cryptocurrency, publishers have the chance to win back these key groups and save themselves in the process. Through the distribution of cryptocurrency on blockchain ledgers, all parties involved in the digital publishing landscape can benefit.
SolidOpinion’s engagement tokens were created specifically for publishers and creators.
These engagement tokens are the key to transforming and modernizing traditional publishing models to benefit all parties: publishers, advertisers, and yes, audiences. Publishers can earn tokens by creating interesting content that invites audiences to engage. On the other end of the spectrum, advertisers can buy these tokens and use them to purchase ad real estate where the most audience traction is taking place – ensuring that their placements are seen by a high amount of relevant audience members. And finally, top community contributors can use their earned engagement tokens to receive direct payment.
This software is already being implemented by major publishers including the Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun.
This democratized ecosystem offers a win-win-win environment that just might save publishing sites from becoming overrun by banner ads, low quality sponsored content, and archaic, pre-Internet cost structures.
Blockchain’s potential is virtually limitless; its applications in the publishing industry and its potential to revive what has been called a dying industry since the early 2000’s are a case in point. If blockchain can bring back books (or at least quality content), what else can it do?
What are blockchain or crypto applications you most excited to explore in 2018? How do you think crypto could affect publishing? Share your thoughts in the comments.