A boostagram is a short text message attached to a voluntary value-for-value payment integrated into modern Podcasting 2.0 apps. The payment and the message are direct, peer-to-peer, enabled by Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. If all of this sounds like gibberish to you, you are in good company.
To get to know these novel concepts and the people behind them, we launched Closing the Loop, a podcast about Bitcoin and the entrepreneurs, developers, and thinkers pushing its evolution. It also serves as a playground to explore and experiment with the technological and financial possibilities that Bitcoin brings to online publishing.
Today, if you enjoy listening to a value-enabled podcast such as ours, you can send small amounts of Bitcoin to show your support. The easiest way to do this is to use a Podcasting 2.0 app, such as Breez. These apps, essentially, are podcast players that you can load up with sats—the smallest unit of Bitcoin.
When listening to a podcast, most new podcast apps let you choose between streaming a pre-configured amount of sats per minute as you listen to a show or sending one-time payments—also called boosts—at any point during an episode.
You can think of boosts as clapping: if you especially like a part, you show your enthusiasm by pressing the boost button—as often as you like.
When you decide to press the boost button at a certain point of the episode, you have the option of including a short message as well. Such a message is called a boostagram.
Currently, people often use one-time boosts to highlight a certain part of an episode that they particularly enjoyed—a funny joke, an interesting insight, or a great quote. In the future, boosts and boostagrams might be used as the base for censorship-resistant discussions of the content that is being broadcast. Time will tell how it all develops.
This mechanism flips the publishing model for online content on its head. Instead of maximizing clicks or view time, creators can focus on providing actual value for their audience. And if the audience likes what they see or hear, some value will flow back to the creators.
It is not a “pay-to-play” model. It is the opposite. Everyone is free to play and consume the content, and payments are made during or after the fact, voluntarily. No strings attached. No paywalls. This model of monetizing digital content is known as the value-for-value model.
The open and programmatic nature of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network enables much more than just micropayments.
Content creators have the option of automatically splitting payments with people in the value chain, be it producers, guests, engineers, or even charities and the like. All payments are sent directly to the recipients—no middlemen required.
When receiving a boost or boostagram, you receive more than just a payment. You also receive objective information regarding what is most valuable for your audience. But that is not all. In Podcasting 2.0, for example, most apps include an episode timestamp and some other data that might be of interest. We are currently working on tools and other things that will help you make sense of this information, both on the creator and the consumer side. Imagine a visual timeline that shows the peaks of monetary engagement for each episode, for example.
We are hoping that this can be a fun way of interacting with the show and letting everyone know what you thought of a particular episode.
We are still experimenting with these concepts and hope to build out and integrate more Podcasting 2.0 technology in the future. So let us know what you think! We are more than happy to hear your suggestions, feedback, and criticism. We are @seetee_io on Twitter. You can also drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are building all this out in the open at github.com/seetee-io. If you are a podcaster or creator and want to build on top of our work or simply reuse what we built—you are more than welcome to do so!
- Podcast Index, Podcasting 2.0, and Podcaster Wallet
- Value4Value for Podcasters: value4value.io
- Hosted wallet for Podcasters: satoshis.stream
- What are Boostagrams? by Castos
- The Freedom of Value by Gigi
- It’s Time to Short Subscriptions and Go Long on Lightning by Roy Sheinfeld
- The Mental Accounting Barrier to Micropayments by Nick Szabo