CHICAGO – The growth of the influencer industry is a sign of how people can emerge from obscurity to become celebrities almost overnight on global social media platforms. Whether it’s teenage girl Charli D’Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok, or Khaby Lame, who amassed a mass audience with his parodies of life hack videos on the social video app, they have demonstrated the power of user-generated content.

Rishad Tobaccowala, senior adviser at Publicis and author of “Restoring the Soul of Business,” said he is optimistic about the future as creators have more tools to reap the benefits from their intellectual properties.

“If you talk to a lot of people they see themselves not just as creators, but as makers,” he said in this interview with Beet.TV, and referred to Virgil Abloh, the recently deceased creative director of luxury brand giant LVMH who also founded fashion house Off-White.

More than a third of consumers in the United States watch user-generated videos on platforms like TikTok, according to a study released at CES 2022. Combining that enthusiasm for independent creators with decentralized blockchain technology will underpin the growth of Web 3.0, as the next rendition of the World Wide Web is described.

“It will allow the creator to capture more of the economic returns of what they do,” Tobaccowala said. “Today in Web 2.0, most of those returns go to a Spotify, a Facebook or an Apple, which are all going to continue to be very important, but I believe that creators will have other choices.”

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