The free content available online exists because someone’s talent, time, and resources made it possible — whether it’s an awe-inspiring video (#somanyfeels), a jaw-dropping photograph (#nofilter), or a podcast that keeps you laughing on your commute (#icanteven). For creators or influencers to continue to share these gems with us, they must sustain their craft. The vast majority cannot.
Even the most popular are not making as much as you might think for our likes, plays, shares, etc. Facebook doesn't pay anything for likes on posts or content because advertisers pay only when we see or click on their ads. For video content, the average payout per 1,000 plays is $2 on YouTube, $5 on Spotify, and $1 on Pandora. The average payout per million plays is around $2,000, $5,000, and $1,000 respectively. For example, recent articles show how Pharrell Williams made somewhere between $2,500 to $25,000 for 43 million plays of Happy. All the love for Happy clearly has more value than that for both artist and fans.
What's the solution? In a world in which we compulsively consume, buy, and reflexively “like” things, we’re all missing out on a bigger opportunity. Consider if only 10 fans out of 1,000 give $1 to a music video they love, that's up to 10x more than the artist is getting from the content platform -- without affecting their content platform relationship. If just one of us shows $10 in appreciation for something awesome, that's the same as 1,000 to 10,000 plays!
Creators have exclusive content, items, and experiences, including unreleased tracks, collectors items, personalized gifts, VIP passes, tickets, etc. These are often sold on merch sites we hardly know or rarely visit. They don't always sell. When they do, no one sees or cares. These items are much more valuable when given socially as love back to supportive fans.
For example, we let a photographer know when a fan shares their photo and gets a lot of $ support, likes and re-shares from their friend network, and they send the fan a framed print of the photo. This reward is posted to social networks showing everyone the love given back by the creator. We are more likely to support what we love when we get love back and see others getting rewarded.
A DJ can share a party mix for free -- anyone showing love back of $1 or more gets rewarded with the unreleased "afterparty mix." Likewise, a comedian could reward all fans who support a free standup comedy show video with the uncensored version, and give the biggest lovebacker a front row seat to a show in their city. All of this is Loveback and the possibilities are limited only by the imagination. If we have closer, more authentic connections between creators, influencers, and fans, there are more benefits for everyone.
Since its inception, Loveback’s story has been a vision shared by many -- from emerging creators searching for ways to sustain their work -- to famous artists looking to bring attention to important causes -- to industry experts who offer their insights and ideas -- to influencers who inform us and raise our awareness -- to fans searching for more meaningful ways to connect to creators they love. Loveback is a collaborative and iterative effort built by many hands.
Every Loveback given by creators, influencers, and fans is much more than a reward or a dollar amount. It’s a way of saying I believe in giving back.