There’s a couple of things in the press release that feel worth unpacking more. Firstly, it feels as if there’s an emphasis being put on IP rights management, which I think speaks to Zestworld’s awareness of what’s actually important to creators on an individual (and independent) level. There’s mention in the release of an “IP management tool.” Can you break that down a little? What does that tool actually do?
Creators on Zestworld own 100% of their IP. There are many ways to monetize IP rights, but it’s a confusing process. We want to help. I can’t get more concrete than that at this time, but I’m glad I got you curious, and we promise more is coming soon!
Similarly, NFTs are mentioned a couple of times; what is Zestworld doing with NFTs, and does it anticipate criticism from an admittedly skeptical comics community for doing so?
We want to equip creators with as many monetization tools as possible to build a robust independent business. Publishing is the start for us, but the comic creator’s business extends into the realms of collectibles, events, and TV & Film.
Collectibles are a huge part of the comics world, both spiritually and financially. While traditional publishers earn reams off of collectibles, there’s not currently a good solution for independent writers and artists to create their own collectibles for fans.
We do anticipate some skepticism here, and frankly it’s justified. There are legitimate environmental, financial, and even cultural concerns associated with crypto.
I can say a few things about our experience. We are building on an environmentally low impact blockchain, Polygon***. And we are not building anything in the world of tokens, DAOs, or NFT projects where artificial scarcity is imposed. (We agree there is a lot of BS happening there!)
Our experience leverages Polygon’s ability to publicly record provenance and program creator royalties into the assets, so we feel it’s a better solution than, say, warehousing these assets through Amazon Web Services.
The PR mentioned that the funding “allow[ed] Zestworld to launch the ultimate platform.” What does that platform look like, and is there a timeline for launching it?
We are thinking long term. Look for us to be in a constant mode of self-improvement. We’re building for this community, and taking our cues from independent creators. When they win, we win.
The site’s also inviting creators to join a waitlist. Does this mean fans shouldn’t expect a second round of invited creators?
There is a second cohort of unannounced creators… some really exciting ones announcing soon. The plan is to eventually open the platform to all who would like to create on it, but we’re a ways off from this goal.
What does Zestworld get out of all of this, as a company? It’s allowing creators to keep full IP rights, but is it following the Substack model and taking a cut of what readers are paying creators, or do creators pay Zestworld a fee directly when signing up? Without going into detailed figures, because of course, what’s the financial model look like here on a corporate level?
Yes, creators own their IP rights, and we take a percentage of their subscription revenue.
Comic creators drive the most franchise value in the global entertainment industry. We believe it’s the creators driving this value, not the publishers. If we provide the best set of tools for this community, there is plenty of opportunity to win alongside creators across all facets of their business.