Artwork for podcast The Podcast Accelerator: How to Grow Your Podcast
Podcast Monetization in the Future with Sam Sethi
Episode 3235th October 2023 • The Podcast Accelerator: How to Grow Your Podcast • Mark Asquith
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What does the future of podcast monetization look like?

Today I'm joined by Sam Sethi, founder of https://www.podfans.fm, a new platform embracing creator culture and a pioneer of the value for value movement within podcasting and beyond.

Fan of the show? Find it helpful?

You can become a supporter of the show via a one-off tip that I'll use to buy a beer at this link: Support The Podcast Accelerator: How to Grow Your Podcast.

Your next steps

I teach podcasting a lot and for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next:

  • Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: YouTube (Captivate)
  • Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: Twitter

If you need help with anything at all regarding your podcast, get me on Twitter (Twitter ) and I promise to respond.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

OP3 - https://op3.dev/privacy
Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

Speaker:

What does the future of podcast

monetization look like?

2

:

And in particular, what does the future

look like for the independent creator?

3

:

It's something that a lot of podcasters

concern themselves with, especially in the

4

:

world of minimum revenue guarantees and

minimum download thresholds for

5

:

advertisements and big words being thrown

around like programmatic advertising.

6

:

The good news is that as an indie, maybe

we don't need to worry about any of that

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:

so much.

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:

That is what we're going to dive into

today here on the podcast accelerator.

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:

I'm your host, Mark Asquith, and I'm

joined by a great friend and a wonderful

10

:

industry thinker and an actual industry

doer, of which I believe there should be

11

:

more.

12

:

But we'll talk about that on another

session.

13

:

We are going to talk all things value for

value.

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:

We're going to talk all things

monetization.

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:

We're going to talk all things the future

for the indie creator.

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:

And we're going to talk about the brand

new platform called

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:

hot fans.

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Welcome to the show, Mr.

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Sam Sethi How are you my friend?

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Wow, I need to have one of you just lead

in me, go in front of me in rooms and just

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introduce me.

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That'll be amazing.

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Toastmaster.

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like a David Brent thing.

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We'll get a nice boom box on my shoulder.

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We'll play a little bit of Tina Turner.

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You're the best.

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We'll just any room you need, my friend,

I'm there.

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I'm ready.

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I'm ready.

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That's it.

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We're done.

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Right.

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Hello.

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Hello.

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I don't like doing this because I know

that everyone really should know you like

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I know you because I know the fantastic

work that you do in the industry.

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But I want to get to some of the cool

stuff that you're up to with, with the

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product that you've got and some of the

thinking that you do, which I think is

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vital, but I'm going to do the thing that

everyone else does at the end.

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I'm going to say, Sam, tell us what you

do.

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And importantly, give us your bloody

website, mate.

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Okay, what I do, I co-host Pod News Weekly

with James Cridland.

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We've been doing that for about three

years.

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And so that's great fun.

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It allows me to interview cool people and

talk with James about what's going on in

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the industry on a weekly basis.

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And it's so, so hectic every week.

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Beginning of the week, I think, Oh God,

what we're going to talk about this week.

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And by the end of the week, it's like,

Jesus, cut that we haven't got enough

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time.

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And invariably, the Pod News Weekly

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We tried to make it a half hour podcast at

the beginning.

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It's invariably 90 minutes on average.

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It's ridiculously long.

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So apologies to everyone about that.

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And then on the side, just to keep myself

busy, I've got a new podcasting platform

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called podvans.fm.

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I love it.

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I want to dig into that in just a second.

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And before we do that, though, I do, I

want to set the scene.

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I think that pod news weekly 30 minute

aspiration is actually a really good place

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to start because that has been the

situation in podcasting.

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I mean, I want to say at least for the

last five or six years, it was felt a

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little different before that.

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It was there was a lot going on, but it

didn't.

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It wasn't I don't want to say mainstream,

but it wasn't as close to mainstream as it

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is now, which then incurred the fact that,

you know,

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wasn't as much money coming through it

because of that there was much less

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interest and then there was this startup

boom there was this money boom there was

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this boom of acquisitions and everything

just seemed to go crazy:

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things started to change so as someone

that's really at the forefront of the news

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and the response to the news every single

week it's easy for me to sit here and say

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things have changed things are slowing

down and for other people to comment and

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say things are slowing down but like is it

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Is that true?

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It doesn't feel like what you're saying

matches with some of the narrative that we

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see online.

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It seems as busy as ever.

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I think what we're seeing is that people

are still actively involved in podcasting.

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Yeah, there is a slowdown.

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I mean, we all know that COVID resulted in

people sat at home bit bored, got a mic

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out, started a podcast anchor gave it away

for free.

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We got a influx of podcasts that you know,

let's be honest, some were not very good

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and some were okay.

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But but it wasn't

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professionalizing it.

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Now what we've seen post COVID, of course,

is a lot of that's gone away, people have

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gone back to work.

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And that's fine.

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We've seen also companies now the stock

markets are beginning to say to companies

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like a cast and others look, oh, you,

you've got some money.

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Now we want to see some profit.

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Yeah, great that you are still revenue

generating.

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But Spotify, a cast, podimo, all these

others, let's see the money.

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And so there's been some downsizing of

people and cuts.

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I think the exclusives that were out

there, it was a good idea to start off

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with.

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Let's get, you know, big high profile

names, see if we can generate some numbers

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around it in terms of people and that will

lead to more revenue and profitability.

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Hopefully didn't quite work.

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But I think again, looking at global,

there have been some amazing alternatives

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where there's actually been a very clever

strategy.

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So the news agents been brilliant.

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I mean, the numbers you guys are hitting

are knocking it out of the park, but also,

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you know, look at.

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The rest is, you know, Goldhanger

Productions podcast.

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They've got, the rest is politics, the

rest is football, and they're doing really

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well with all of their titles.

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And I think crowd networks, there's a lot

of good solid companies who are producing

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good solid podcasts that are generating

real income and real revenue.

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Now, what does that mean going down the

long tail?

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Yeah, it's still hard work.

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I mean, you know, most people are, you

now, if they're getting above:

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listeners, they're still in the top

quartile, right.

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So podcasting is not quite yet, you know,

s of:

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But it is, I think an industry that's

gone, I liken it to remember web one.io

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when everyone had crazy valuations, and

there was a pop and everyone went, Oh,

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well, that's the internet over and done

with in law, let's all go home.

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And then suddenly web two came and it

stabilized and real business models

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occurred and real revenue occurred.

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And we are where we are today.

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And I think that's exactly what podcasting

is.

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It's, it's seen its early days.

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It's seen its massive pop rise with crazy

money coming into the industry.

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And now there's been a downturn and then

slowly, I think 23, 24, the end of 23,

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early 24, we're beginning to see proper

businesses and proper podcasting models.

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different revenue models, but proper

models.

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And so, yeah, I think we're a good

industry.

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It's okay.

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Yeah, I hear that.

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And I love the comparison to web one and

web 2.0.

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And we're going to talk about web 3.0.

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And I'm always amazed how it's taking so

many hosting companies in podcasting to

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get rid of their web 2.0 interfaces.

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And some of them still got them.

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You know, we all like stuff that looks

nostalgic, but time for an upgrade,

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people.

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Let's just move ahead with that one.

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And I think that's representative of where

the industry was, though.

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There was no real need to shift.

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And you know, all sort of flippancy aside

with that one, it was a genuine, that was

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a genuine issue.

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There was no honest reason to shift

because, you know, you think about the

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creator economy and you think about the

way that that's always worked and that's

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always generated revenue.

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And suddenly you get something.

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And I don't want to be the guy that

invokes cereal, but I've got to do it.

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You know, you get something like cereal

that puts podcasting on the map for the

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consumerism in a much bigger way.

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And.

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you know, the boom can be directly

attributed to that kind of feeling where

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everyone started to look at podcasting as

a media, as an industry.

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And I completely agree with it now that

we've come out of the end of what appears

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to be that talent boom, which, you know, a

lot of people say that was a silly move,

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you know, let's why, why acquire Joe

Rogan's the best example, if you're not

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going to be profitable.

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I do think there was a lot of strategy in

that around just acquiring users.

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And I don't think there was necessarily a

need for profit.

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I think it was a loss leader in many ways.

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Um, and it's.

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I think to a lot of people in the

industry, it hurt their feelings a little

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bit that podcasting was like the loss

leader for a platform.

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And again, I understand that because we're

close to the industry.

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But what interests me about the way that

you think and the way that you do things,

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and I think we think pretty similarly on a

lot of these issues, is that podcasting is

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sort of bundled in now.

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Everything that is on-demand audio is sort

of called podcasting now.

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And it's not, you know, if I go and watch

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a Marvel movie, whether that's on Disney

or whether that's in a movie theater,

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that's not bundled together with a home

video or something necessarily on YouTube.

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And I feel like podcasting has got that

yet to come where, you know, crowd,

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global, wondering, whoever's producing top

tier multifaceted IP that happens to be

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delivered via a podcast to start with,

eventually starts to sort of not become

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podcasts because

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we feel that the creator economy is where

podcast is.

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And we saw that last week or it was last

week, wasn't it?

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With the new Batman original from Spotify

that just doesn't have the word.

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It's an audio original, audio drama,

whatever the wording was, it just not got

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the word podcast.

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So do you think there's a challenge there?

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And well, I want to bring this back to the

independence in a bit because I think this

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is where pod fans work so well.

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But do you think that is, is that pie in

the sky thinking or is there something in

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that logic around why are we bundling

everything now under podcast?

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Well, it's become the Hoover of the words,

right?

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So when you say I'm going to go and Hoover

the lounge, you're not talking about

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getting the brand Hoover.

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It could be Dyson, right?

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It's the generic word.

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Google, we don't say search, we say we're

just gonna Google it, right?

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I mean, so I think podcasting has taken

that generic mantle of anything that's

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audio video that I can consume digitally

online.

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And the

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pragmatist, and I'll put myself in that

camp, you know, would say, well, it's not

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really because it hasn't got RSS.

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But look, 99% of people who are what we

call the normies are not bothered whether

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it has RSS attached to it, right?

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They open up Spotify, they open up

YouTube, they consume it.

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And to them, it's a podcast.

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So therefore it is.

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And we just have to get over ourselves.

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I think where we will evolve possibly is

new words will come out.

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maybe as you said, we talk about films,

then we talk about DVDs, and we talk about

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on demand, and we talk about streaming in

the video homeworld, you know, Netflix.

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But equally, I just said, I'm going to

watch a film on Netflix.

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And it doesn't really have to have that

connotation of a cinema attached.

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So I think language is loose and flexible.

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And I don't think we should get too hung

up on it.

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But I think as podcasters go, yeah, I

mean, I think

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think it's I'm I was against YouTube was

against audible in many ways, you know,

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calling them podcasts.

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I've sort of flipped I've gone like, you

know what, let it be because if we get a

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secondary glow from the word podcast have

been picked up by some 18 year old or 25

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year old who's just getting into it.

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And then they go, Oh, what other podcasts

can I use or listen to or watch?

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I'm happy.

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They will they will eventually

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get their education curve to where we want

them to be, but they have to start

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somewhere.

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Yeah, I felt that way about Anker back in

the day.

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You know, you get a lot of the incumbents

having a real good cry about Anker.

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You know, well, Anker's coming along and

it's free.

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And if you're free, you know, if it's

free, then you're the product, which is

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ironic, given, you know, that many of the

hosting platforms have freemium, which is

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wild.

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And I'd sort of treated that.

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That's how I treated Anker as a, in my

mind was it's just a freemium product that

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doesn't have a premium tier and guess who

was the premium tier?

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You know, here we are at Captivate.

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My logic was always the same that if

someone, I would rather someone start a

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podcast using anchor and it was free and

then realized, oh, do you know what?

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Okay, I enjoy this.

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Now it's time for something different and

Captivate was an option for them.

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Not even saying that we were the only one.

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I would just rather we were in that mix

rather than them just say, oh no, I've got

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to pay money for this thing that I might

not enjoy doing.

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And yeah, it's a...

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I feel exactly the same way about that.

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So I'm with you on that.

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I think that the evolution and the halo

that we all feel with regards to the word

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podcasting, taking on various different

meanings.

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I'm all right with that.

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I think that's OK.

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And there's merit to there's merit to open

in that market, because then to bring it

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back to the revenue stuff, which I really

want to dig into, you can.

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You can't bring more money in if you are

not making more people aware of what

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podcasting is.

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And if this is the way that it really goes

mainstream, then we can't.

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I don't think we can be that sad about it.

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So let's, let's switch up to the creators

then.

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So let's talk about pod fans.

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You know, even, even now, a lot of people

still think that monetizing a podcast as

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an indie with.

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You know, a hundred downloads, a hundred

listeners.

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is super tough.

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You know, they think it's difficult to get

sponsorships regardless of whether they go

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direct and they've got a super niche

audience or not.

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And many people are put off by that.

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There are other ways.

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All right.

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So we know about that.

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You've been a big pioneer of value for

value.

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And pod fans is there, this new product

that you're launching this week into the

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public domain properly is right at the

bleeding edge of that.

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So can you spend a second or two just

educating the audience on, okay, what is

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this whole value for value thing?

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What is pod fans?

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How does it work?

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And actually, why should we be interested

in this?

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Yeah, before I do, sorry, before I do, let

me take a quick step back because it looks

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blame why value for value is important.

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So when I was at Netscape, I was the

product manager, we created the browser

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HTTP was the way that people learned about

the language.

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And I remember going out and saying to

people, oh, by the way, Mark, it's called

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a browser.

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It's called a URL has starts with HTTP and

people were going never catch on.

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don't understand what you're talking

about, first of all, and secondly, you'll

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never catch on.

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It did, as we all know.

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So new vocabulary is always hard to get

into the lexicon of people's minds.

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The second part of that was Mark

Andreessen, my boss never created a micro

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payment system.

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So in the absence of it, we got hearts,

likes, thumbs up as sentiment analysis.

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So people wanting to tell the creator that

they like what they've done, that was all

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they could give them.

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There was no form of payment.

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Then the creators went, well, I need

money.

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I can't keep doing this for free.

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So that they ended up creating advertising

around the content.

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And that's where we got to today.

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Now fast forward, and we have something

called Bitcoin.

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Now, most people rolled their eyes the

minute you say Bitcoin.

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And if I say it's a digital wallet, and

it's called a micro payment, and they call

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Satoshi's.

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Again, these are all new words, people

look at you going that'll never catch on.

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It's all Swahili.

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I don't know what you're talking about,

Sam.

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Well, as I said, people didn't understand

what HTTP was either.

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So there are about 50 million people using

digital wallets today.

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So it's not, you know, small chump change,

there are a good number of people out

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there.

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And it's slowly catching on.

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We're seeing the numbers, you know,

through various wallets increasing.

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So what is a micro payment?

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What is value for value?

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So a micro payment is 100 millionth of the

Bitcoin, it has to be that small.

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And why do you need it at all when you've

got PayPal and Stripe and Visa and

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MasterCard and Apple Pay?

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Well, because all of those take payment

gateway fees.

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And because they take those fees, if I

just wanted to give you Mark 50 P or a

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pound for this show, I couldn't do it

because actually most of that money would

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go to the payment gateway provider, even

if they accepted that payment, because

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most won't even accept those small

payments.

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So

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This micro payment model came about and

that's the first part of it.

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Now value for value is just a simple new

economic model.

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It doesn't have to include micro payments

and Bitcoin.

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Value for value is simply you mark set a

value for the content you're creating and

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means the listener can agree with the

value you set or disagree and if I agree,

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I just pay it and if I disagree, I can

make it higher.

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I could say Mark you're stupid.

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boy, this is the best show ever.

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I'm doubling or tripling the amount I want

to pay you or I'm sorry, Mark, I'm a

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newbie.

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I haven't got quite into your show.

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So I don't want to pay you.

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I'm going to pay you nothing now.

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I'm going to listen for free.

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But when I become a fan, I will trip over

into paying you.

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So value for value is a very simple model.

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We have it in real world.

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You know, if somebody walks into a shop,

they see a sale ticket price, that's the

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offer price, they can legally go to the

counter and offer a different price, but

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we just too British, and we don't do it.

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But bartering is that way.

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It's a value for value is a very simple

real time model.

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Now, what's nice about it with podcasting

is because you get a digital wallet and

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you get these micro payments in them,

think of them as tokens, then, you know,

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it's a direct payment between you, the

listener and the creator.

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There is no third party.

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There's no middleman.

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There is no I'm going to do, you know, go

up here and I'm going to hold your money

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until I'm comfortable.

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There's no none of that.

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So direct payments.

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which is the root of what Web Wando 1.0

was.

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You know, if you remember Linewire,

Napster, Skype, it was a peer-to-peer

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system.

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It was Web2 that made it client server

again.

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:

And yes, you mentioned it earlier, Mark.

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So I'll say it again.

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Web3 is very much about decentralization

and peer-to-peer monetization.

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And so we're going back to the roots of

the web and value for value is a new

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economic model that really will benefit

podcasters

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And sorry, Mark, this is the last part.

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So the average CPM rate for an advert is

about $25.

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:

If you're a creator with less than a

couple of you know, 100 users, you're not

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going to get that $25 CPM rate, you're

just not.

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:

So what can you do, you can go and get a

sponsor if you're lucky, maybe you might

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:

get a few of your mates listening.

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Great.

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And who might want to pay you buy your

coffee or whatever it may be.

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:

But again,

365

:

Kevin Kelly's seminal blog post was a

thousand true fans and all he said was

366

:

look, stop chasing millions of people.

367

:

None of us are Joe Rogan.

368

:

So if you've got a couple of hundred

people willing to pay you 50p an episode,

369

:

a pound an episode, that covers your

hosting costs and gives you a little bit

370

:

of money.

371

:

Now scale that up to the likes of a news

agent at global with 10 million users and

372

:

you know, then the revenue numbers

outweigh anything you'll get through

373

:

advertising.

374

:

But we're just in the early days.

375

:

And so when this

376

:

crosses over and it will, then people will

probably not want to be interrupted by

377

:

advertising and they will willingly pay to

listen to content that they're a fan of.

378

:

We're starting to see that shift as well.

379

:

We're starting to see the trend of people

saying that podcasts have too many adverts

380

:

because that is the only way when you have

a large audience and the only extra thing

381

:

that you can do outside of listener

support, so through subscriptions,

382

:

memberships, or whether it's taking tips

as you alluded to earlier, the only way is

383

:

to simply insert one more ad slot, and

then again and again and again and again.

384

:

So you do start to see now that people are

starting to just say...

385

:

Hmm.

386

:

This is becoming a bit of an issue.

387

:

And then, you know, conversely, what you

then get is the model that you hear

388

:

throughout, you know, everywhere.

389

:

Every major production company is doing

this where listen, add free.

390

:

If you give us money per month and what I

like about the way this works.

391

:

And I'm always a I'm massively into new

tech.

392

:

I'm always looking and playing and

tinkering right in the earliest stages of

393

:

new tech.

394

:

And then as someone that runs a hosting

company, I'm always thinking, actually,

395

:

When do you bring this to the masses?

396

:

And when are the people that aren't in to

tech going to be ready for this?

397

:

And I agree, you know, I think eventually

people will get on board with this

398

:

thinking.

399

:

Because what I see as a major issue that

this begins to solve is that if I am an

400

:

indie creator, let's assume that I've

devoted my entire creator experience to

401

:

the Kevin Kelly logic, which I totally

agree with.

402

:

I've got my thousand true fans.

403

:

How long has it taken me to get those fans

to become true fans enough that they want

404

:

to pay me?

405

:

Like that entire, if you think about it in

marketing terms, as we always do, people

406

:

like you and I, that conversion period,

that sales period is long.

407

:

They listen to X amount of podcasts, a

number of episodes, and then they've got

408

:

to discover that they like you, and then

they've got to really like you, and then

409

:

they've got to be willing to give you

something.

410

:

and then give you something regularly

every single month.

411

:

Like that sales process is tough.

412

:

Does this go some way to solving that

problem because it is such a.

413

:

I don't want to say transient, because I

think that oversimplifies it and

414

:

diminishes it a little bit, but it's very

fleeting.

415

:

The decision, if that makes any sense.

416

:

So, so what we currently have today is

what I call the Chinese buffet mode.

417

:

So let's talk about Spotify or, or

subscriptions on Apple, right?

418

:

Pay me in advance for something I've not

consumed.

419

:

And if I don't drop a new episode, still

keep paying me because I want you to

420

:

because that's all that a subscription can

do.

421

:

Whereas with a value for value model, it's

a per minute payment basis.

422

:

So let's say

423

:

you start listening to a podcast and you

only listen to 20 minutes of an hour's

424

:

show, that's all you pay 20 minutes worth.

425

:

If you're listening to a book, exactly the

same thing model applies for value for

426

:

value.

427

:

I've listened to two chapters.

428

:

I don't know how many books I've gotten

audible that I've got a third of the way

429

:

through and never listened to all of it.

430

:

The same works of video.

431

:

And most excitingly, this model is also

now working for music as well.

432

:

And that's one of the new things that's

come out.

433

:

So you might only listen to 10 tracks

instead of listening to 50 tracks, but why

434

:

pay for the 500 tracks in advance that you

never listened to?

435

:

problem with that is if anyone listens to

Meat Loaf, each song's going to cost them

436

:

45 quid.

437

:

Oh, if anyone listens to Meatloaf, you

just shoot them.

438

:

I'm going to tell that to the karaoke

group at the local pub because on Friday

439

:

night, they get wild up there, mate, for a

little bit of meat.

440

:

But no, I like that.

441

:

I like that.

442

:

I'm interested in the way that technology

thinkers like yourself will take what can

443

:

be very abstract concepts like value for

value, like, you know, Bitcoin, like the

444

:

Satoshi element of Bitcoin and do what all

the good people really have been doing

445

:

since day one, which is putting technology

446

:

that doesn't feel scary in between us and

that what appears to be the backend

447

:

technology.

448

:

So tell us a bit about Podfans because

that's exactly what this does.

449

:

It's a well thought out product from good

thinkers to simplify something that can be

450

:

complex for the creator.

451

:

So tell us all about it.

452

:

Tell us what Podfans does.

453

:

And really what was the idea behind it?

454

:

Where did it come from?

455

:

Sure.

456

:

So, complexity is fail simplicity is one

of my favorite sayings.

457

:

And that's a guy called Edward De Bono

came up with that.

458

:

When we started pod fans, there was no

point in trying to replicate Apple and

459

:

Spotify, right?

460

:

Just a subscription based model.

461

:

We would fail.

462

:

And when I started pod fans, probably a

year to 18 months ago, Bitcoin was just

463

:

forming the Lightning Network, which is

this fast real time payment system was

464

:

just forming.

465

:

So these were new ideas.

466

:

Core part of it is I firmly believe that

people's time and attention has value.

467

:

And that value is I will only pay for what

I consume and I'll only pay for the time I

468

:

listen rather than pay it all in advance.

469

:

So when we found that this micro payments

existed and it was possible to do a per

470

:

minute payment system for digital content

of any sort, that was the embryo for

471

:

starting pod fans.

472

:

So RSS, as we all know, is an open

ecosystem.

473

:

You can consume anyone's RSS unless

they've blocked it or made it exclusive.

474

:

And on that basis, we decided that we

wouldn't have advertising as the

475

:

monetization model for creators, but we

would have this peer-to-peer direct

476

:

payment system from fan to creator.

477

:

So to build that, we had to fundamentally

start with creating the database, then we

478

:

had to create.

479

:

wallets and we have to create the

mechanism for measuring in real time

480

:

across everyone who's listening.

481

:

So we do we do a per second analysis over

the API.

482

:

And we make and then we aggregate that

bundle per minute and then we pay it.

483

:

And it works.

484

:

It just works, right?

485

:

We spent a year building this and it

works.

486

:

And that's the cool thing.

487

:

So now

488

:

when you're a new user to podfans, it's

very simple, you join and in the

489

:

onboarding process, you either have an

existing wallet, or you don't.

490

:

If you do, we just verify against your

wallet, off you go.

491

:

The learning curve is great because you

already understand what a payment system

492

:

is, with micro payment and what a wallet

is.

493

:

So now you're just understanding how my

platform works.

494

:

And you know, the intricacies of my

platform compared to other platforms.

495

:

If you haven't got a wallet, and that's,

you know, again, we have to reach those

496

:

people who don't understand this.

497

:

then we've got to educate you on the

onboarding as to how do you get a wallet?

498

:

And we do that.

499

:

And then we put in 10,000 sats into your

wallet as a part of the process and we

500

:

reward you and we're trying to teach you

as well we call learn and earn.

501

:

So we're trying to say to you look, you've

got your wallet you've joined here's some

502

:

tokens here's some sats in your wallet.

503

:

Now give us your email address or pick

your first five favorite podcasts or

504

:

listen to your first show.

505

:

and we will reward you for completing

tasks that add up to 10,000 sats.

506

:

So when you get into the system and you

click play, it works.

507

:

You don't have to go, Oh God, do I have to

get a credit card out now?

508

:

Oh, I don't want to do that.

509

:

I don't know these people.

510

:

We also, as I said, we reward time and

attention so you can earn by being an

511

:

active user.

512

:

So let's say it was a fan of your podcast,

Mark.

513

:

I could be sharing it.

514

:

I could be boosting it, which is a comment

with a payment.

515

:

I could be clipping in a piece and putting

that out to my social network.

516

:

Each one of those is a verb, boost, clip,

share.

517

:

And we've put a gamification engine inside

of pod fans.

518

:

So we know there's 30 verbs.

519

:

We know what exactly you do when you're in

the platform and we can allocate points to

520

:

that.

521

:

So yes, you pay if you choose to listen to

a podcast, you don't have to, but you also

522

:

can earn by being an active fan of a

podcast.

523

:

So we think that two way value for value

model.

524

:

is what we've built and that's pod fans.

525

:

the element of rewarding the attention of

a listener as well.

526

:

I think that's really, really useful.

527

:

Even the gamification element of anything

is always so powerful.

528

:

And I do think that podcasting is yet to

really capitalize on that.

529

:

We see words like engagement banded about

so much, but no one really does anything

530

:

with it.

531

:

So I really like this idea that you've

embraced that.

532

:

And a lot of people are going to start to

say things like, okay, well, actually

533

:

I listen to most of my podcasts on the go.

534

:

I listen to most of my shows when I'm

doing something else.

535

:

And it's usually on a smart device,

usually on a phone or whatever.

536

:

So how do you handle that?

537

:

Are you available mobile?

538

:

Can people listen using mobile and using

pod fans?

539

:

Yeah, the good news is we've created

what's called a progressive web app PWA.

540

:

And all that means is browser based.

541

:

It's not in the iOS store or the Google

Store.

542

:

We don't pay Apple a 30% tax for any

transaction, which is why we did it.

543

:

And it means it works across iPad, laptop

and mobile in the same way.

544

:

And we just size the screen down to based

on the size of screen.

545

:

So that's really cool.

546

:

The one thing I was going to slightly

change one thing there was a report this

547

:

week Mark just bear with me.

548

:

Ashley Carmen from Bloomberg put out a

report saying that podcasters now

549

:

beginning to fake their numbers in terms

of downloads.

550

:

And why are they doing that?

551

:

Well, fake until you make it is an

expression that you hear many

552

:

entrepreneurs being told to say but

553

:

reason they're doing that is because they

want to get that $25 CPM.

554

:

Oh, how many how many people download your

book?

555

:

Oh, yeah, a couple of 1000 people.

556

:

All right, well, we'll sign you up.

557

:

There you go.

558

:

You can have some advertising.

559

:

And then they find out it's a couple of

hundred people.

560

:

So that is something that is quite common,

I'm afraid in the in the community.

561

:

And also, we all know if you use something

like an Apple podcast, it auto downloads,

562

:

that doesn't mean you auto listen.

563

:

So you could have a back catalog of

hundreds of podcasts you've never listened

564

:

to.

565

:

But that gets reported back as a download

and therefore the advertiser thinks, oh, I

566

:

should be paying for that.

567

:

The last part of that mark is also we

don't know how far along in a podcast the

568

:

person's listened to.

569

:

So let's say there's three adverts, the

one at the beginning, middle and end.

570

:

We all know the one at the end generally

doesn't get listened to.

571

:

We know the one in the middle probably

gets skipped.

572

:

If it doesn't get skipped, it will get

listened to.

573

:

But we can't 100% know for certain.

574

:

Now with pod fans, we know for certain,

because we know exactly how many minutes

575

:

you've listened to, at what point you

dropped off.

576

:

So we've got three metrics that we've

worked with a company in Canada who have a

577

:

similar thinking called Bumper.

578

:

And it's time listened, percent completed

and value paid.

579

:

And you bring those three metrics together

and you can roll that up to a creator so

580

:

they know exactly how long each listener

listened, but also in aggregate how...

581

:

where people dropped off in your episode.

582

:

You also know how much value was paid for

it.

583

:

And those three, when you go back to an

advertiser, if you still want to put

584

:

advertising into your own podcast, you

can.

585

:

And then the advertiser is going to be

confident that yeah, actually, you know

586

:

what, Mark?

587

:

80% of your listeners listen to that

advert.

588

:

Great, I'm going to continue paying it.

589

:

So again, we've got this old download

model.

590

:

We've got this fake it until you make it

and use a number model.

591

:

And again, that's all changing as well.

592

:

So...

593

:

The way that we're doing micro payments,

it'll be not just good for creators

594

:

linking to their fans, but it also be good

for advertisers trying to be 100% certain

595

:

that their adverts are even being listened

to.

596

:

It's such a challenge that because I think

this is responsible for a lot of the

597

:

downside of the boom that we saw.

598

:

So where we are now basically in the

industry, you know, the renewals of big

599

:

brands looking at partnerships and looking

at even programmatic and so on where

600

:

they're doing big ad buys across various

networks or different types of show.

601

:

You often find renewals are so much more

challenging than the original sale because

602

:

you're absolutely right.

603

:

We can report on downloads, but that.

604

:

That was only sexy when podcasting was

really, really new and it was the only

605

:

metric.

606

:

But now those same people are walking into

the meetings and saying, actually, all

607

:

right, downloads are fine, but what did we

get?

608

:

And you can't you can't constantly just

use brand positioning as the answer to

609

:

that.

610

:

And we know that's happening.

611

:

We see that at the highest levels of

podcasting.

612

:

We see that at the highest levels of ad

sales.

613

:

And we see it reported very, very often,

which, as you said, leads to what we saw

614

:

reported.

615

:

today through Ashley.

616

:

So yeah, I get it.

617

:

I think it's fascinating.

618

:

Now I think the thing that I would say is

the indie producer, so the person that's

619

:

really, really busy, the person that is,

you know, getting the 50 or the 100

620

:

download, you know, good loyal audience,

but actually, they've not got that much

621

:

time.

622

:

What's this going to do for them?

623

:

Is this a challenge from a timing

perspective?

624

:

Do they need to put piles of time into

working with something like pod fans?

625

:

Or how does this accommodate those?

626

:

Really simple.

627

:

So we we've ingested probably about

500,000 podcasts and we'll increase that

628

:

over the next few months.

629

:

Obviously, all 4 million aren't what we

want.

630

:

We talked about anchor earlier.

631

:

So but we'll get all the best podcasts we

think they're out there.

632

:

If yours is one of those podcasts, all you

have to do is then claim it.

633

:

And when you claim it, you get access to a

backend dashboard for pod fans.

634

:

Now

635

:

A pod fan sets a default value for every

podcast out there at 100 sats per minute.

636

:

So an hour show is six thousand sats.

637

:

What's that in real money?

638

:

About 50p.

639

:

Right.

640

:

So it's not a big problem.

641

:

So once you've got a value for every

episode, you as the creator, once you've

642

:

claimed your show, can go and change that

value.

643

:

You can say, oh, OK, I want my show to be

10 sats per minute or a thousand sats per

644

:

minute or zero.

645

:

You can pick what you want.

646

:

In the value for value model that will

just change at the front end and the

647

:

listener will go Oh, that's the new value

that's set by the creator.

648

:

But in the value for value model, I as the

listener have that final say I can still

649

:

change that value as well.

650

:

So as a creator, no, you don't need to do

much you go in and check that the podcast

651

:

that you that's yours is there you claim

it and verify it and it has to be verified

652

:

and we'll

653

:

And then once you've done that, you set

your own values and then you market that

654

:

out to your listeners that this is what we

do and your listeners then have choices,

655

:

pay it or not pay it right.

656

:

But there isn't much more you have to do.

657

:

There's no, Oh my God, do I need to know

how to do a tag in the middle at minute

658

:

one with a DAI link here and something

else and do I need to rub my head and

659

:

scratch my tummy to do this?

660

:

No, it's fairly self-explanatory because

you've got to, you get given a wallet when

661

:

you joined.

662

:

So it, you know,

663

:

It's the same for creators as it is for

listeners.

664

:

You just need a wallet to be receiving

your sats into.

665

:

That's what I like about this concept is

that, well, like we said earlier,

666

:

simplifying the complexity of all of these

mechanisms and moving parts that are

667

:

required to benefit from blockchain

payments and so on and so forth.

668

:

I think that's the real strength behind

the scenes of this is that I can set it

669

:

up.

670

:

And I know the word wallet, I know that

works, but I don't generally have to worry

671

:

about it.

672

:

So I commend you on that, my friend.

673

:

I think that's fantastic work.

674

:

What's the timeline for pod fans then?

675

:

So this is, we're here, we're at 28th of

September.

676

:

2023, what's the status of pod fans now?

677

:

What's the next six months look like to

wrap this up?

678

:

So earlier this week, we took off the

wrapper.

679

:

It's now a beta product.

680

:

It was an alpha.

681

:

And so it's mobile, it's desktop, it's in

all those screens in between.

682

:

That's great.

683

:

And yeah, please go and use it.

684

:

We've also built a really, I mean, talking

about paying SATS, Mark, we've built a

685

:

feedback model where if you give us a bug

report, we pay you in SATS as a thank you.

686

:

So we give you some SATS for reporting

bugs.

687

:

If you give us a brand new feature

suggestion,

688

:

give you some slats as well for that.

689

:

So again, there's ways of getting earning

it.

690

:

But fundamentally, yeah, you can go in

there.

691

:

You can use it.

692

:

Now what we are doing is increasing the

servers.

693

:

We're building this.

694

:

We talked about it very tangently.

695

:

We're building a new music element to it

as well.

696

:

So lots of independent music artists are

now being said, I don't really like

697

:

putting my music on Apple and Spotify.

698

:

I don't really make any money, but they're

beginning to create RSS feeds for their

699

:

music.

700

:

and uploading those to the index and then

we can download those and using a payment

701

:

model value for value, they can get paid

directly by their fans and Ashley Ainsley

702

:

Costello, sorry, an artist on who's done

this said on Twitter or X that she made 20

703

:

or dollars when she did it across 60

streaming platforms and she made $400 in

704

:

one day doing the same thing using SATs.

705

:

artists are beginning to understand and

artists more than podcasters have a deeper

706

:

connection to their fans.

707

:

I mean, we all love to think our fans love

us, but realistically they are a little

708

:

bit flirty.

709

:

If we went away, they'd go away.

710

:

Right.

711

:

They wouldn't chase us down and find us.

712

:

But if a music artist goes, you're like,

Oh my God, I love you.

713

:

Where have you gone?

714

:

Right.

715

:

And, and their commitment to music is much

higher.

716

:

So

717

:

The value for value model works really,

really well with music.

718

:

So we're adding a music element very

shortly to it as well.

719

:

fascinating work as someone that builds

software, my friend, I know how difficult

720

:

this is to pull off.

721

:

And yeah, come on, commend you on the

work, but also just the way that you lead

722

:

in the thinking as well.

723

:

So yeah, absolutely commendable workers

always.

724

:

And I think everyone should just give that

give this a whirl, even if I'm always a

725

:

fan of trying things anyway, I think even

if you don't stick with it, I'm not saying

726

:

that would be the case with pod fans, but

please, anyone listening, just go over

727

:

there and try this and you can find that

at podfans.fm.

728

:

So I heartily recommend that you do that.

729

:

Well, Sam, it's always a pleasure.

730

:

I know you've held an event this week with

James, which I'm sure was absolutely

731

:

fantastic.

732

:

I was out of the country for it.

733

:

So I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but if

it's anything like the Manchester one, I

734

:

know it would have been a roaring success.

735

:

And yeah, look forward to seeing you in

person soon, my friend.

736

:

Indeed, indeed.

737

:

And we're going to a Liverpool game

together.

738

:

So that'll be even more fun.

739

:

That sounds good.

740

:

Speaking of that, I appreciate that.

741

:

I cannot wait for that.

742

:

I'm looking forward to that.

743

:

If you would like to send Sam and I some

beer money for that, you can do that at

744

:

mark.live slash support.

745

:

It's like we planned that, Sam.

746

:

It's like this smooth segue into sending

747

:

Thanks for watching!

748

:

Any industry events outside of your own?

749

:

No, no, I mean, I think we're coming to

the end of those.

750

:

So we did our own one and I also went to

the British Podcast Awards this week and

751

:

gave out an award.

752

:

The next big event, Mark, for me, and

maybe you might be there, is the one in

753

:

the LA podcast movement.

754

:

I will be there.

755

:

It'll be the first time back on the West

Coast since COVID because of the family

756

:

and travel.

757

:

So I'm excited for that.

758

:

We actually booked the hotel.

759

:

We booked the flights.

760

:

We are there.

761

:

So I'm excited for that.

762

:

And for you listening out there, if you

are interested, go to podfans.fm.

763

:

And if you've got any questions, just get

in touch with us on the usual channels.

764

:

The Twitter's all, I'm not gonna call it

X, the Twitter's the best way to do that.

765

:

And I'm at MrAsquith and Sam.

766

:

You're over on Twitter as well, aren't

you?

767

:

at Sam Sethi or at JoinPodFans.

768

:

Just come and ping me and I'm more than

happy to give you an answer to whatever

769

:

question you have.

770

:

Amazing stuff and for you listening, enjoy

yourself.

771

:

Thank you for tuning in.

772

:

It's always a pleasure until the next

time.

773

:

Keep on doing what you do.

774

:

Keep sharing your voice, your thoughts

with the world and look after yourself.

775

:

Bye bye for now.

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