I somehow missed this great post by Kevin Kelly titled The Propriety Path Platform.
The Proprietary Path, Kelly explains in the article, is about making a living curating to a small audience—1,000 True Fans—, and also about the control of the channel, to be the proprietor of the content and audience:
On the propriety path, the creator would own, or control, which tools they use, and would own or control any improvements, or customizations. They would have control over the data about their customers and audience. They would not need to ask anyone about what they could or could not do to improve. Most importantly, if they want to move, they would take everything they had built with them. This is ultimately the mark of a propriety path: can you take everything with you?
Worth reading the whole article.