Fanbase: An App for the Greater Good
In 2021 a revolution in the Monetization of content took the world by storm. Fanbase was developed to finally deliver on the promise of content creation with the recognition, and most importantly, compensation that creators deserve. Fanbase is a one-stop-shop that includes a photo, short and long-form video, chatroom, and live streaming features that allow users to monetize their content. Subscribers pay their favorite creators by purchasing loves for equal to half a penny in the Fanbase app store. From there you distribute the loves at your own whim to the content creator of your choosing. So for each love you give your favorite content creator would then receive a monetary payment with the loves you paid for earlier. I spoke to Issac Hayes III, the pioneer, and son of music legend, Isaac Hayes. Ike (as he is called) sat down with me to give a behind-the-scenes of the soon-to-be newest social media craze.
Oz: With Fanbase, how do you intend to change how music is produced and distributed?
Ike: I want to democratize the distribution of content for users, especially musicians, in a social media environment. I want to be able to have artists share their music in a community setting and be recognized for it. The two words that kept coming up were monetization and ownership throughout our discussion. Two of the most important words for an artist in the 21st century. We want products that will allow users to monetize their content in places where they normally can't.
A big draw of the fanbase app is the talent that is on it. The promise of money is alluring, and the opportunity for fans to listen and watch some of their favorite artists is well worth the price of admission. Artist's art for art's sake, but once you take your art and enter it into arenas such as the music industry, the goal is to maximize the potential and the visibility of that record. Seeing creators getting the long-overdue recognition for their passion is a sight to see, especially for black creators who have long been owed their due.
People want to be entertained regardless. I don't have an issue at all with people listening to an artist. The ownership of the copyright is what is important. For me, the fact that [Fanbase] is black-owned and a black-founded platform give us a different face to look at in the tech part of the world.
Oz: One of the biggest draws to the Fanbase is the artist that has been driven to the platform. What entices artists to obligate themselves to a new platform.
Ike: I don't see it as an obligation. It's a choice. There are a bunch of social media platforms people can use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. What separates it is that an artist monetizes in two ways mainly. Sell their record. Sell their content, and they monetize their audience at a concert. But there are significant time gaps during those processes where an artist is just chilling—they’re working out. They're working on their album. They're living their lives. Those are verticals themselves that an artist can monetize to their Fanbase. You are leaving a lot of money on the table by not monetizing other verticals that your Fanbase will want to know about.
Oz: We live in an age of Monetization. I come from the belief that art is art for art's sake. Do you think replacing the word art with content brings down the value of an artist's creation?
Ike: No because art is art for art's sake. But once you take your art and enter it into an arena such as the music industry, the goal is to maximize the potential and visibility of the record or album. Once you step into the arena of the music business, then it is all about Monetization. If that's not the case, just perform for free. Give the music away for free. Then that is art for art's sake. But people have to make a living, so the moment you step into the music industry, it is about Monetization.
Oz: What are the long-lasting hopes for Fanbase both in development aspirations and culturally?
Ike: Inside the app, I hope to bring creator tools. So we have a photo, video, and audio rooms. I eventually want to add podcasting. Retail, to be able to sell clothes. Gaming, to be able to have all that distribution on one platform. As far as culturally, I want to be able to set the standard that an African-American man can build a social media platform that is for all people and stand along with people like Zuckerberg, Spiegel, Decker, and Jack Dorsey. To be that individual.