Podcasting 2.0 ushers in a new era for podcasting
The podcast is back. You may be wondering: is he gone yet? Yes, he did. A real podcast is based on an open protocol (RSS) that any gamer can use to subscribe to any broadcast. The creator of the standard, Adam Curry (The Podfather) is back with Podcasting 2.0, bringing podcasts back to their open nature built on protocols with new tricks and features (Value4Value, etc.) to take the industry to the next level. superior while returning to its open character. Read on to learn more about Podcasting 2.0, Podcast Index, Satoshi Streaming, and the future of RSS-based audio.
I listen to podcasts long before they were integrated into iTunes. I used an app called iPodder X to upload MP3 files to iTunes to sync to my iPod. When Apple launched the iTunes podcast directory, it became the default directory going forward. Apple’s podcast directory had an API, so it became the default for third-party apps as they hit the market in the coming years.
Apple has done a good job of keeping a hands-off approach to the market and letting third-party apps innovate where they can. What was left was an open protocol (RSS) that allowed somebody to subscribe to any show in any app. The good times didn’t last though. Over time, other companies got involved and some shows were siloed to specific platforms/apps. Spotify has signed exclusive partnerships, as have Amazon, Apple and others. The open nature was still a bit there, but show after show, it was going away. Adam Curry was unhappy with the direction the industry was taking. To combat the trend towards the closed nature of podcasts, he developed the Podcast Index to preserve, protect and expand the open and independent podcasting ecosystem.
An open directory is behind podcasting 2.0
Podcast fans have fortunate that Apple has kept an open repertoire for years. It was the only phone book. Today we have a directory of Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, etc. Podcast Index is an open directory with the promise to stay open because it’s crowd-funded. I would like to see Apple adopt it as the default directory in the future and promote the independence of podcasts as a technology. Podcasting is based on the RSS protocol, just as messaging applications are based on the IMAP/SMTP open standard. We need Apple to commit to protecting the open ecosystem by changing the Podcat index. I would love to see every business switch to Podcast Index.
When Dave Jones and I started this open project with an open source policy and mission transparency, we unleashed over a decade of pent up creative energy from app developers, hosting companies and podcasters. Podcastindex.org offers a rich API that 58 apps and services rely on today. Thanks to our value4value model, all participants in the ecosystem are in the value stream. This is a huge departure from the traditional App Store sale. Passion is rooted in collective success that rewards everyone individually, with real value that users determine. No meager crumbs of great technology.
Paying creators for their content has always been something I’ve been passionate about, but it’s been difficult. Apple has a premium option, but that locks you to Apple Podcasts. Spotify has connections to third-party subscription systems, but again, it locks you into that platform. Patreon and other services have open RSS subscription options, but that also adds a layer of complexity. Podcasting 2.0 is pioneering a direct-to-creator option where podcasts (and their guests) can receive payment through the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Before commenting on Bitcoin, its energy consumption, etc. – this article is not the time for this discussion. The Bitcoin Lightning Network enables (layer 2 on top of the base layer Bitcoin network) ultra-fast payments at almost no cost, accessible to anyone in the world.
You can use an app like Strike or Cash App to load $10 into your Lightning wallet on an app like Fountain and then “boost” your favorite shows with 100 satoshis (1 bitcoin equals 100,000,000 satoshis when split) or even stream 1 satoshi per minute for your favorite show. As of this writing, $1 equals 4,868 satoshis. Fountain recently came up with a way for users to stream Satoshis to their Lightning wallet during their time and listen to advertisements.
You might be wondering, “Why can’t you do this with Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, etc.? ? There are two reasons. The first is that it is not possible to send someone $0.05 as a thank you for their podcast episode due to transaction fees. The Bitcoin Lightning Network also brings final settlement almost instantly. On the Visa tracks, it takes six weeks before you can be assured of not having a chargeback. By using Value4Value, listeners and creators have a direct path to monetization. The second reason is that using Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, etc. assumes everyone in the world has access to a credit card and/or bank account. The reality is that they don’t. Billions of people around the world do not have access to a stable banking ecosystem or the Visa network. Podcasting 2.0’s Value4Value system offers a way to monetize your passion, wherever you are in the world and whether or not you have access to a bank. All you need is a Lightning wallet and you can participate in the trade.
What’s next for podcasting 2.0?
There is a whole ecosystem emerging around Podcasting 2.0. Here is a quick video on the WordPress plugin adopting Podcast 2.0
The team behind Podcasting 2.0 is building protocols for live audio over RSS, improved tags, and more. Instead of relying on individual apps to define functionality, the Podcasting 2.0 API sets the standard at the protocol level. There are tons of apps, hosts, and podcasts that support Podcasting 2.0, so check out the full list. One of my favorite aspects is how Podcasts can set up automatic distribution between hosts, guests, and others without the need for a third-party service. Payments can be made directly to each host/guest’s lightning wallet.
I was a fan of podcasts long before Apple supported it. I love the medium and want it to survive in an open nature, and I think Podcast Index is the direction Apple should be taking to support and encourage the rest of the industry to get on board. In the meantime, check out Fountain for a fantastic Podcasting 2.0 implementation and start encouraging your favorite podcasts and podcast apps to set up Value4Value. Today, there are a total of 58 apps and services using the Podcasting 2.0 standard.
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