The creator economy is not good, and it's getting worse.
I looked at this argument from the fan/stan perspective, l think the one thing missing here is that true fans are presently also evangelists. They don't have to spend much as long as they do the work of worship, which includes proselytizing.
Your Cliff Notes of A Thousand Fans is the current business model for a full-time touring band or solo artist in the trenches. You touch on the results of eliminating all those parasitic middle men, but one more detail is how all-encompassing and exhausting it is. "Connecting" with your fans is a full-time job: constant content generation on Instagram, Twitter, You Tube, and a bunch of other sites, and engaging with comments. All while on the road. Your life is a self-curated open book. And managing the fan club, generating custom content for them is a big part of the engagement process. They do it because you have to work every lever you can grab to keep your head above water. The Thousand Fans fantasy is that you sit at home and self-publish and your fans will "find" you. Yeah, and buy a lottery ticket while you're at it, the odds are about the same.
And don't get me started on the Long Tail. 2 problems (among many)
Who's going to pay for hosting that ever-growing petabytes of content that doesn't generate enough revenue to cover that expense?
How do you find that golden never-been-promoted content that makes you one of those Thousand Fans?
if that niche content is "one click away", the Long Tail requires gatekeepers to host, manage, curate, promote all that content. Meet the new boss... It makes perfect sense that the Web 3.0 scam is built on older scams.
Great read. I am not sure about Problem 3 though. It feels like "100 K is not enough" waters down the problem, because 100K would be somewhere along 180K by now and for the conclusion the issue raised in Problem 2 is way more important. So it feels like getting a boomer diss into the mix, which is a tad anachronistic, as the boomer generation is not who developed that concept but the generation owning everybody who followed it in the end. The number does not change anything fundamental about the concept, time moving on is not one of its major flaws.