People are conflicted.
They want to support content creators, but they only want to give a small amount per viewing.
People who do not pay for media content such as TV shows or Films often do so because they feel that $19.99 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is vastly overpriced for 2h 33m of ‘entertainment’. As a result they either do not partake or they pay nothing and illegally acquire the content.
People are happy, however, to pay small amounts for content that they enjoy. This can be seen whenever micropayments are enabled, but also through the rise of services like spotify and netflix where the price per listen/view is very low. Steemit is the latest example of how small individual contributions from people who enjoy some original content can result in huge sums of money for the content creators.
The reason for the juxtaposition between not wanting to pay for blockbuster “quality” content but being willing to pay for lower quality home made content is interesting because the willingness to pay for content should correlate to the quality of the content in a ‘free market’ of supply and demand. Yet as we know in reality willingness to pay is currently inversely proportional to “quality” (within reason).
Steemit is fascinating because, at the moment, it has only captured the low quality end of the spectrum. Yet it has demonstrated how much money can be made by content creators (Multiple $10,000’s) when people have the ability to give small amounts to reflect appreciation and utility at a personal level.
It remains to be seen how long steemit can last and, with its future critically dependent on the value of STEEM, it may collapse as/when the currency takes a dive (as ALL cryptocurrency does in its infancy) but if it can prevail and ride out the inevitable storm we will begin to see the truly disruptive effects of large scale small scale payments for high quality online posts.
The rise of micropayments is going to be transformative for many industries including those aforementioned high quality movies. Say a team of 12 spend 2 years full time to make a film with fixed costs of $100,000 which is viewed by 8,000,000 people of which 1% make micropayments. To ensure that each member of the team earns $100 an hour for 40 hours a week, 40 weeks a year (a salary of $160,000 a year) the amount each paying viewer needs to donate is $0.4925 despite the project costing $3,940,000.00!
To help educate people about the power of micropayments I built this calculator http://ukcryptocurrency.com/micropayment-calculator/