Digitalage Reshaping the Social Media Landscape

Author: January Barnes



Often when we think of equality, we don’t automatically conjure up social media networks and the creator economy.


What if I told you one startup is driven by the mission to create the world’s leading engagement platform that is fair and equitable for the creator economy – would you believe me?


Again, the words fair and equitable aren’t synonymous with social networking but that is all about to change thanks to Digitalage.


Digitalage is a social network that aims to cure the ills of social data and innovate for good.


This decentralized social networking venture, Digitalage, is spearheaded by founder Peter D Michaels. Michaels is a visionary in technology product creation, marketing and branding. This Southern Californian born serial entrepreneur has founded pioneering companies in the hardware technology to real estate development industries.


When asked why he now wants to turn his skills and business acumen to revolutionizing the social media space, Michaels explained:


“I had heard rumblings of dissatisfaction among content creators on every social platform, but I became keenly aware when the nascent TikTok was a platform thought to celebrate their TikTokers actually joined in the abuse. My 13 year old daughter posted a clip on TikTok and receive 6M views, crazy, right? Yet, there was no reward, acknowledgement, thank you or anything directed to her from the platform. You know how hard it is to get a million views of anything?
Well, my girl did it, and for no apparent reason. That pissed me off and showed how Big Tech does not care about all their creators, only their top 1 or 2 percent. I talked with my longtime friend and CTO, Awan, and he agreed that launching a platform that cured these ills and created a fair and equitable economy through blockchain technologies seemed like a good idea to transform social media and open the door to other technologies that could help fight rampant piracy and copyright infringement. I hate bullies and Big-Tech was being a bully. I wanted to fight for the little guy, my daughter, and be that David that took on Goliath.”

Peter Michaels – Founder, Digitalage


Shortly after deciding that his next venture would be to transform the world of social media, Peter met Curt Doty.


Curt Doty also Californian born and raised is an award-winning marketer and former NBC Universal Creative Executive. His branding practice spans 25 years of experience with leading movie studio and TV networks including ABC, CBS, FX, Discovery Health, StarTV, Phoenix

Channel, The Movie Network, ProSieben, SAT.1 and the list goes on! As a creative entrepreneur, Curt has a sweet spot and passion for innovative storytelling that drives the worlds of design, content and technology.


We asked Doty how he met Michaels and came to be appointed Digitalage Chief Creative Officer.


“I had just finished launching an app after 6 months of UX development and was browsing LinkedIn at various posts and came across that meme of a hand drawn sign on a telephone poll, with pulltabs for phone numbers and scrawled very badly was “Wanted: Graphic Designer.” I appreciated the sense of humor and responded “I think I can help” with a link to my portfolio site. This was 9pm at night and within half an hour, I was on the phone with the founders explain to me that they needed an interface design for their new social media platform. We went back and forth and they shared crude wireframe. They asked for a proposal, that night, after reviewing my many relevant projects on my site. I prepared an SOW, but I included logo development as what they had was really pretty bad and gave them a fair price, actually market price, except it had to be done in one night. Peter signed, I worked all night and by the morning the brand of Digitalage was born.”

Curt Doty – Chief Creative Officer, Digitalage


Fast forward to today and Digitalage has already announced 3 key product features that differentiate them from other social media heavy weights.


These product features include:


Text to Speech – An emphasis on innovations in world’s first ADA compliant social media platform.



SocialSoundtrax™ - Adding music to your posts from a licensed library of over 20M songs.



Portability of Content – Being able to export all of your content from your other social channels and drop it in Digitalage, to re-organize, store and amplify it.





Here to talk about all these exciting product features and the Digitalage story so far are both Michaels and Doty. We sat down and asked them exactly how is Digitalage on a mission to combat content piracy whilst empowering publishers, influencers and contributors? Ultimately creating a one stop shop for content creation and management whilst compensating rights holders through ultizing decentralized Web 3.0 blockchain technologies.


1. What is Digitalage’s origin story?


Originally conceived as a journalistic and news platform with digital rights management always in consideration. Journalism/news was being threatened globally and manipulated, it migrated to include entertainment as the content strategy expanded. Then the Facebook whistleblowers exposed everything wrong with social media and “How Facebook is Stealing Billions of Views”



Tapping that dissatisfaction and exodus, Digitalage became a relevant platform strategy, based on reinventing the business model, empowering creators and supporting free speech.


One of the other things we started at Digitalage was how big tech is bullying people. No one really had the resources to fight back.


2. Who are the founders and founding team members of Digitalage?


Serial Entrepreneur, Peter Michaels and Software Engineer, Awan Nord


3. How does Digitalage differentiate itself from both existing social media platforms and potential competitors?


Digitalage is all about the creators and empowering them and acknowledging with the right accolades and protecting their IP. A one stop shop for creators to create, amplify and monetize their content, even when you are not in the top 2%.


Get higher quality encodings, better editing tools, professional user demographics, analytics, topic suggestions, and algorithms that focus on high value true fans. Import your content from other social networks. Use our granular access controls and simplified management of multiple profiles/channels to establish profitable advertiser relationships.


The keystone for creators will be democratized access to our professional content protection and rights management tools, and our online content licensing/sales marketplace.


For Consumers, whether you are a Power User or a Casual User, Digitalage has something for everyone. Consumers will find their favorite music, podcasts, creators, influencers, tv shows, news and entertainment all in an ad-free environment.


4. What 2-3 product features can we see rolling out in your initial beta launch?


Text to Speech – An emphasis on innovations in world’s first ADA compliant social media platform.


SocialSoundtrax™ - Adding music to your posts from a licensed library of over 20M songs.

Content List Management – A new way to bookmark posts, review histories and extract music playlists.


Portability of Content – Being able to export all of your content from your other social channels and drop it in Digitalage, to re-organize, store and amplify it.


Creative tools for our end users to create new content with the ability to add indelible marking to compete with TikTok, Facebook and IG


5. Without giving away your secret sauce. What is Digitalage’s roadmap to be the top destination for immersive connections powered by AI, Blockchain and Web 3.0?


Web2 was the “Creator Economy” built on Participatory Culture (2004). Our business model is to share revenues with publishers, influencers, and contributors.


Artists, creators, and publishers are not fairly compensated for their time, investment, and original content utilizing Web3 is a de-centralized “Creative Economy” built on Ownership Culture.


The ownership economy is about giving everyone ownership over the value that they create. Digitalage will use proprietary Blockchain DRM Fingerprinting across all distribution of licensed music, whether licensed, created or re-distributed to other social platforms.


This empowers creators and labels alike to further monetize and track their content. AI comes into play to create new algorithms for recommendation engines, feed management and creating your unique experience by NOT filling out fields.



How will gamification and tokens play a role in the Digitalage ecosystem?


There are so many exciting possibilities to create new economies and allowing the fan to connect in new ways. We want to experiment with rare badges, credits and with DA’s smart contract tied into “NFTs” monetizing discovery and curation in a fair and equitable way.


7. What type of monetization strategies are available on Digitalage for both creators and users?


There are 3 phases:


1. First, Paywalls/Subscriptions and Promoted Posts launch with the MVP, creating revenue for content creators and Digitalage immediately.

2. Secondly, Advertising comes into play with innovative pods built on our growing base of users.

3. Thirdly, our DRM technologies will start to track and monetize all content created, stored and transferred to our platform, generating fees for these services. All this happens Year One.

8. How does Digitalage approach the ownership economy and how does web 3.0 help leverage this mission?


We want to empower users and liberate musicians and artists all across this whole new economy we are creating. We are blending the line between the audience and the creator, creating micro-economies and richer ecosystems beyond just a one-dimensional monetization model. Think 3-dimensional chess. We also provide financial services and can manage contracts, royalties, licensing, and more. This will empower users to connect, upload and share content while compensating rights holders through using decentralized Web3 blockchain tech.


To facilitate more seamless migration and cross-pollination from other entrenched platforms, as well as sticking with the decentralized nature of Digitalage’s social media platform, much effort has been invested in the architecture, user experience, and feature-level parity to enable data portability with Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Telegram, Reddit, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ, Douyin, and Weibo. Social verification and data import are expected to be ready for all these platforms at time of launch.


9. What has been the initial response from the influencer, content production and creator communities about adopting a decentralised social media platform business model?


Influencers and creators have responded positively to the portability of their content. GDPR, CCPA and similar laws aren’t just about data privacy, but also include provisions for data ownership and data portability. That means you have a legal right to access, control, and transfer your data wherever and whenever you like. Hence the Ownership Economy

Ensuring a robust environment for creators has been paramount to Digitalage’s mobile app experience, including standard augmented reality (AR) filters, effects, titling, video and photo montage, audio effects, as well as integrating popular music from tens of millions of artists including today’s chart toppers. Having these features at launch will establish Digitalage as a premier solution for influencers to uniquely express their individual and artistic style with established fans and new followers alike


By rebuilding social media on top of personal online data storage, Digitalage is giving you full control. It’s easy to get started. Whether you want a place to back up your accounts, consolidate content from multiple services, or are ready to jump to a new platform, it’s super easy to export your data and confirm what you want to import. All data is private by default, and you have granular controls to make anything public, or if you want to share something only with certain contacts or groups. The power is in your hands.


10. Why do you think people need a “Fair” and “equitable” creator economy today more than ever before?


We believe no one actually understood how to take on Big tech who has controlled the narrative, the cash and the metrics for way too long. We want to build a transparent business, break the walls down and empower creators with the tools, new monetization models and piracy controls.


We are going to use the tools of the titans in protecting and monetizing IP.


11. Would you say with the current disenchantment of existing social media platforms might be the perfect storm for Digitalage to launch and create a social media revolution?


Yes, with Digitalage’s extensive digital rights management platform including marketplace, revenue generation, escrow, and payments features, will provide a democratized framework enabling content creators, studios, publishers, and the general public to invisibly watermark their visual content for attribution, assign usage rights and restrictions, handle disputes, place offers, review bids, manage contracts, as well as receive and pay-out royalties. This suite of features is unique in the entertainment and media industry, not just equalizing the playing field but levelling-up the capabilities, automation, and process optimization to enable a new trillion- dollar media economy, including rapid monetization of back-catalog and archival content.


Digitalage, is focused on the entertainment and journalism categories, helping to flight piracy and creating new revenue streams. Our platform is empowering studios, networks, music labels, and influencers with bleeding edge DRM, content protection, and monetization technologies. Currently we have several license agreements with music repositories.


12. Digitalage is currently on the fundraising journey having already raised 1.7 million. Can you elaborate on the journey so far and how you plan to use this funding?


Primary funding has been the founders and close personal friends like any small business. Currently we are negotiating up under a 30 million round of financing with favourable terms. For the next significant rounds, investment will be directly into Digitalage. The biggest dollar allocations will go to hosting, followed by engineering, software licensing, media buys, marketing, creative and legal staffing. We are building our teams to launch successfully initially only in the North America. We plan on rolling out to the world.


13. Can you speak to any early partnerships or collaborations Digitalage has secured so far?


Dow Jones, Megatrax, SongClips, along with majors in the music industry. Watch this space!


14. What has been the greatest obstacle and opportunity to Digitalage’s development so far?


Music Rights, label and publisher approvals. It is critical to us being in parity with TikTok, which Reels tried to copy unsuccessfully.


15. How has Digitalage leveraged a sense of “community” pre-launch via existing social platforms? For example you have a huge following and engaged community via Twitter – how important are these existing communities to Digitalage?


They are extremely important. We will not have an issue with a learning curve.


Now people have better access to social media using their smartphones. According to wearesocial.com, the total number of active social media users worldwide is 4.55 billion.


So, yes, we want to leverage all of that to encourage users to migrate to our platform, with all their friends, followers, fans and content. In sizing this digital audience, potentially hundreds of millions of users could migrate to Digitalage. We know they are looking for the next best thing. People are fed up with someone dictating what they can say or do.


16. Digital rights management also plays a role in your point of difference. Can you elaborate on this and how Digitalage is curing a lot of social media ills with digital rights protection and management?


There are many ills to cure, but currently there is little accountability on sourcing, identifying and clearing content for use in social. For every post, we are requiring authorship, copyright, sourcing, alt tagging and more to help the user understand where a post originated from. This will combat misinformation and copyright abuse. By attaching our DRM to all posted and stored content, we can then track and monetize it in new ways. Even rewarding users who amplify or alter the content creatively.


17. What are some of the key benefits Digitalage offers content producers, publishers, brands, record labels, movie studios etc?


For publishers, labels, and studios, we have built the tools and workflows with cutting edge content protection and DRM solutions. Features include monetization of back catalog discovery, high value subscription/paywall revenues, and options for guaranteed minimum revenues on consumed content. Digitalage ensures maximum value and alignment to their current and emerging strategic goals through our account management network. Ensuring a robust environment for creators has been paramount to Digitalage’s mobile app experience, including standard augmented reality (AR) filters, effects, titling, video and photo montage, audio effects, as well as integrating popular music from tens of millions of artists including today’s chart toppers. Having these features at launch will establish Digitalage as a premier solution for influencers to uniquely express their individual and artistic style with established fans and new followers alike.


18. We all know that there are a handful of “successful” social media platforms that are owned by big tech. What type of ownership model is Digitalage adopting and do you have an investment thesis as in where you’d ideally prefer to raise funds?


Digitalage has an affiliation with Hop-on, Inc (OTC HPNN) we are currently working on our investment strategies on moving forward.


19. How important is overall design and user experience at Digitalage?


The chance to create a social media platform from the ground up is exciting. Being quite familiar with the clunkiness, the inconsistency, roadblocks and the lack of basic features is astounding across the spectrum. We strive to always do better and #innovateforgood as we apply new ways to integrate ADA compliance. Our emphasis has been to celebrate the creative and content, downplay the chatter (text), and rely on relevant iconography to decrease verbiage and train the users to develop new neural paths in understanding the navigation. Strategic features are discoverable, tapping into the swipe and tap culture of mobile.


20. When can we expect the public beta launch of Digitalage and how can people best follow your start-up journey?


We are in the middle of securing additional resources. Those funds could insure we are operation within 75 days to a public beta. Currently we have a closed beta and preparing to upload our news feed once the Dow Jones approves our final API interface. People will be able to follow our journey on www.digitalage.com. We will be building our own social channels, as well.



For more updates on the Digitalage journey follow them on twitter


About the Author:

January Barnes - Founder/Head Tech Reporter and Podcaster of ParlayMe an interactive tech-news platform for startups, investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Looking for PR and digital content creation that will amplify your startup, business, profile or enterprise then become a ParlayMe Member today and #ParlayWithUs - https://www.parlayme.com/memberships