Creating a 20% “success tax” disguised as a renewal fee for the successful niches, so that you can subsidize those that have either idiosyncratic topics or did not work hard enough to either deliver content, or develop an audience, hardly seems like a strategy with long-term endurance.
I hope that the 'core team' seriously reconsiders this part of the model. I am certain that more investors will be very unhappy with this, as it becomes broadly understood. Especially as it was not clearly stated in the white paper, but rather part of the terms of condition. At the very least I think it is ethical to immediately amend your whitepapers.
I follow your reasoning all the way through until the above paragraphs.
As I detail in another thread, I support full ownership of niches, with the ability to sell them on, potentially for a profit above the price you once paid at auction, if the platform has become more popular and/or you have grown your niche enough in size and quality for it to be generating more activity. The ability to see capital gains through one's efforts is one of the primary, fundamental reasons why capitalism is a functional basis for economic success (not perfect, but functional). I identify other extremely important advantages to real ownership of niches as opposed to the lease system we currently call ownership, here:
So you'll see that I'm with you on not charging a success tax, which can also legitimately be viewed as rent on something we have all been encouraged to believe we will own, and which we have been told we will have paid fair 'market price' for, through a public auction.
The one aspect of your approach that I cannot get behind is the notion that the problem is that it subsidises other smaller, less successful niches. I'm not concerned by that at all, and in fact I propose that Narrative generates the rewards it was trying to get by charging rent to 'owners', by instead allowing niche 'owners' to sell their niches, just like any owner can sell their property. At the time of sale, a commission, or network fee can be charged (I would suggest anywhere between 4 and 10%).
Niches and their content cannot and should not be judged merely by popularity, otherwise Narrative will become a top 100 of the most popular topics out there, and miss out on perhaps 90 percent of the bandwidth of human expression. Please be mindful that the 10 percent it would contain would not be the best 10 percent, only the most popular. This would not represent evolution towards quality, only a narrow focus on what humans focus on through group think. In a sense, the lowest common denominator would be the predominant factor, and I doubt that's what you want.
Please also note that to cut out less popular niches by out pricing their ability to renew their niches, we would be making an economic mistake of consequence. One less popular niche generates less income than one popular one. But there may be 30 such less popular niches for every one top 100 niches in popularity. We would deny the network an extremely consequent source of income by deciding small niches are not valuable.
So my approach is for us to change the system to allow true ownership. Niches will be far more valuable in a true ownership system where capital gains can be realised, so they will sell for more than if we are still in the paradigm of paying an initial auction price on a lease scheme. Also the network will be more successful with true ownership and niches will be of higher quality (reason enough on its own to adopt it), so all niches will fetch higher sale prices. So the commission charged on selling a niche will net substantial income for the network rewards.
This can be combined with other slight adjustments to the percentages of the Narrative distribution system, so the network rewards remains healthily aprovisionned.