As you may know, social media influencers make their money by promoting various products through their (guess) social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. In many (most?) cases these individuals are not contacted directly by major brands; rather it’s the ad agencies that facilitate these sort of deals, handling communication and terms in behalf of their clients. For their efforts, agencies get their cut.
In a nutshell, the system is currently set in a way to include an intermediary, and that’s where a decentralized, blockchain-based solution can kick-in to remove the intermediary from the equation.
Removing the middleman
The effort to establish a direct connection between brands and social media influencers comes from Japan, where PATRON is working on a blockchain-based platform to streamline the process of product/service endorsements on social media.
The company aims to create a sharing economy system that would allow brands to buy endorsements directly from influencers, or at least to get in touch with them through the platform. On the other hand, PATRON would also help influencers find new clients without hefty fees that are common with agencies.
“Influencers have the power to change the world through creativity, art, and expression. The brand have noticed this and are increasingly adding influencer budgets into their marketing campaigns,” PATRON CEO and Founder Atsushi Hisatsumi said in a statement. “This has created a situation of supply and demand global market that is currently fragmented. We want to bring all of these actions under the Patron platform and make the process fair, transparent, and secure.”
In addition, the company also wants to provide tools for social media influencers to make their lives a bit easier. To that end, it has partnered with Orlando’s Switchboard Live to enable streaming of live videos simultaneously to more than ten different platforms, including Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube, among others. This in turn would give influencers a way to increase views and grow their audience, so they could ultimately score even more endorsement deals.
The PATRON coin and funding
As expected (for a blockchain-based platform), PATRON will have its own cryptocurrency that will be used for trading on the platform. The company announced that PATRON token is going to be listed on HitBTC, which happens to be one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. This makes the token a liquid asset that can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies and eventually cashed out.
As of February 22nd, PATRON has raised $10 million in a private round, and is getting ready to finish the pre-ICO phase, after which started a public offering on March 1st. If everything goes as planned, the company will have sufficient funds to hire more developers to build the application and protocols, and establish an office in San Francisco.
Something tells us these guys (and gals) are onto something, and you may want to check them out…