In an email sent to newsletter subscribers this morning, Darren Hemmings of label services company Motive Unknown flagged a future opportunity for artists who are challenged by the attention-marketing era.

Hemmings noted The Atlantic‘s article on Discord, which in the last year has moved from a real-time chat platform primarily used by gamers, to a third-party tool used by and monetised by YouTubers and influencers. Think Slack and What’s App, but with more Philip DeFranco, niche channel topics, and channels which are for voice-only.

“In some senses it is an update on the forums of old, and is doubtless just as chaotic, but it is an invite-only affair and therefore also a response of sorts to the very public nature of most social networks,” said Hemmings.

discord screen shot

“At a point where I still feel artists and creators should have owned channels that are not subject to algorithms in the manner of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al, the likes of Discord perhaps show a future opportunity,” he added. “Yes, it is doubtless chaotic – but it is still a channel in which fans could be engaged, empowered and activated.

“With similar(ish) platform Telegram also gaining 3m users thanks to Facebook’s outage yesterday, one wonders if this isn’t further evidence of that slow shift to more private spaces for communities to exist. Personally, I hope it is.”