Capturing The Attention Economy

The Attention Economy came about as a result – broadly speaking – of how we consume entertainment. With the majority of what we watch for pleasure (as well as what we’re ‘loyal’ to as consumers) being violently upended to an online space, we’ve seen a shift in where human attention lies like few others in history.

How is the Attention Economy Broken?

So often, when a new concept is popularised, it isn’t always done through the best or most logical ideas, but the loudest – and this is certainly true of the Attention Economy and how it currently plays out.

User-generated content has proliferated at such a catalysed rate due to cloud computing and the transition away from Webs 1.0 and 2.0 means that we’re at a place where there’s far too much to go around – this has made audiences a valuable commodity.

It has also played directly into the hands of the platforms that host this content – as their audiences have increased, so has their capacity to influence and regulate content shown to these audiences to maximise their own marketing and commercial objectives.

Ask any creator and they’ll tell you that becoming visible on one of the big platforms is difficult, doing it outside of them is practically impossible.

Until recently, there’s been very little movement towards democratising choice regarding what content rises to the top.

This, as well as pushing back against a hyper capitalistic model that sees success come to those who are most effective at monopolising attention – in this instance, the curators.

As it stands, the creators and most importantly, the audiences, are being left severely short-changed. There’s an expectation – a built-in zeitgeist and meta – around representing your favourite creators by supporting them, whether this is directly through capital, buying merchandise or spreading the word about the creator or their sponsors. There’s no getting away from the fact that audiences are being leveraged to meet marketing objectives with practically zero reward or incentivisation to do so. That’s why the Attention Economy is broken.

The Modern Marketing Conundrum

Despite the content from which it hangs changing dramatically, marketing frameworks have remained fairly static since the heyday of print and TV advertising. There are two kinds within this model – Around-content Advertising (ACA) and In-content Sponsorship (ICS).

The former is by far the more proliferate, taking $180 billion of marketing dollars in 2020 compared to the comparably meagre $14 billion of the latter. This is despite it being proven that ACA is far less effective as a marketing tool than ICS.

The reason the pie’s split this way is simply down to the cover-all nature of ACA – it’s easier and more efficient to deliver a pre-made ad at scale than it is to curate a campaign on a one-to-one basis with a creator. Going further than that, because of the increased resources required to deliver an ICS campaign, they’re reserved for the top 4% of mega influencers.

This is all despite a global agreement between marketers that these kinds of campaigns, when done with mid-, micro-, and nano-tier influencers, drive greater ROI – these influencers are more creative, more accessible, and have more loyal and focused audiences.

The problem is connecting marketers with these channels in a scalable, efficient manner that makes sense for what they’re selling.

This model – all predicated on a binary marketing framework – is all Web2.0 and Centralised Marketing has been able to support – up until now.

How View-2-Earn (V2E) can Change the Game

Analogous to the Play-2-Earn (P2E) sector, V2E is a disruptive economic model built on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency that doesn’t adhere to traditional purchasing or freemium models – instead, it actively rewards participants for… participating.

Incent is a huge proponent of this. There’s a clear recognition that content saturation logically means that viewer activity should be the umbrella metric by which objectives are deemed failures or successes.

If a creator can rally their audiences and they, in turn, are willing (as they historically have been), to fly the flag, then reciprocity has to become the marketing currency – reward consumers’ attention in-content and they will reciprocate by engaging with sponsor/sponsors off-site, on a second screen or after the fact.

Incent is making huge strides in this space. When testing their Beta V2E technology to a single streamer, the cohort using Incent grew organically to over 30,000 micro-content creators and 330,000 content consumers, often at a viral coefficient.

As a proof-of-concept and validation for the scalability of the model, it unequivocally proves its effectiveness.

Considering this was only a Beta, there’s much more to come from Incent. V2E is an inevitability, disregard it at your own peril.