From ancient times creators produced physical artifacts, such as paintings, sculptures, or jewelry. Yet what we call creators today are people creating digital artifacts, such as podcasts, videos, and music. The standard definition of the creator economy focuses on digital forms of creation, ignoring the physical forms of creation.
We believe the definition of creators should be expanded to include physical forms of creation. We call such creators physical creators.
Such physical forms are much harder to produce that purely digital creations and more difficult to experience.
Yet, after the last plague years, it is evident that people want to get physical experiences, such as travel and in-person conferences. And these physical experiences are always decorated with physical forms of creation, such as paintings, designed artifacts, and sculptures.
In terms of ownership, people want to own physical creations as they have always wanted. And people expect nowadays to be able to purchase material creations, in the same ways they purchase digital creations.
To talk about the ownership economy while ignoring physical creator misses fundamental things in our life.
With the expansion of the creator economy, creators of physical artifacts, which are often classified as a distinct community of artists, should be included in the creator economy.
Existing creator economy platforms are solely focused on creators of digital creations. Hence, they lack support for the needs of the physical creators. Consequently, the ability of physical creators to monetize their work, be it through sales, partnerships, or advertising, is limited to the traditional commercial ways of the art market. Platforms like Etsy do not cater to creators but craftsmen and craftswomen.
The traditional art market with art fairs, art galleries, and auction houses does not have ready answers to the expansion of the creators' class. In a sense, this is similar to the inability of the big Hollywood studios and music companies to answer to the needs of the YouTube and TikTok generation.
We believe we should develop creator platforms for physical creations, enabling such creators to monetize their work and facilitate building communities for such creators.