CEO of Global Blockchain Shidan Gouran, spoke with TechRepublic on pending changes to traditional media economy: the vice token. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: Social sites, and media sites, and social media sites soak our time and attention. Well, one company wants to flip the switch. How? Using the Blockchain, of course. Tell me how you’ve kind of flipped the switch, or flipped the script, from consumers landing onsite and spending time, attention, sometimes money, to sites paying you for your time, and attention, and money.
Shidan Gouran: Attention has become a scarce commodity. There’s just so much media out there. There’s so much content we’re bombarded with constantly that, really, attention is something of value. Slowly, media companies are starting to understand this.
The traditional model of selling advertising is really limited. Right now you look at an on online video store, for example. They’re not making money. Like, your top 3% YouTuber is making maybe $10,000 a year, $15,000 a year, and it’s not just them. It’s aggregators. The media industry in general is in trouble, because there’s so much content out there.
So, we have to recognize that attention has a value. You can deal with that by paying people to pay attention to your media, and see if they like it or not, but that’s not a very scalable solution if you’re paying people from your own pocket. If you actually make attention the unit of value, and do accounting over that… Blockchain allows you to do this. It allows you to say, This thing now has value…and you look at a site like Reddit, for example, with Reddit Gold. People care about that. They want to earn more of it. Now you make it something tradable.
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So, implementing a system like that is really, I think, the future in media. That’s how you get paid to watch content. Now, the Vice Industry Token, VIT, is something that already exists out there. It’s not ours. It was a perfect fit for Playboy. Playboy’s a very forward-thinking media company. They’re a lifestyle company, with lifestyle content, and it’s very wide-ranging content.
What this token can actually do is convert a lot of their platforms where viewers are passive viewers into actual social media networks, where they have to participate and they’re incentivized to participate, because they’re gaining something of value now. That’s what they’re doing, and Playboy is the first mainstream, large media company that’s adopting this model. They’re actually ahead of the pack as compared to everybody else at the moment.
What will this token do? It will drive up engagement on their platform, and it’s a whole new economic model, actually.