- Value 4 Value is a new form of monetization and a way for publishers to earn back the value they provide to their followership.
- The value time split is the latest innovation in Podcasting 2.0 allowing alternating payment recipients and cross referencing of content.
- This advancement sets the foundation for a new economic model driven by a direct relationship between consumers and publishers.
Podcasting 2.0 sets the ground for innovation
Podcasting 2.0 keeps advancing podcasting technology by introducing features that improve the listening experience with two important initiatives: the podcast namespace and the Podcast Index. What was started as a project in 2020 has grown into a whole movement of companies incorporating both initiatives into their business models and building new services on top.
One key aspect of this novel standard is the Value 4 Value (V4V) system, enabling podcasters to directly receive value from their listeners in return for the value they provide through their content. Based on the podcast namespace specification listeners have the ability to stream payments, which can be scheduled based on a per-minute model or can be designated for specific moments within an episode, referred to as "boosts". Moreover, an increasing number of Podcasting 2.0 apps allow for brief messages to accompany these boosts, known as "boostagrams".
The Value tag sets the ground for a new monetization model
Up until recently the owner of the RSS feed, i.e. the podcaster, could specify all recipients of V4V payments for a whole episode in the <podcast:value> tag. The split feature introduced the flexibility for the creators of the feed to add several payment recipients. Typically these are guests, other contributors of the show or service providers such as podcast hosting companies. All incoming payments are split automatically among the recipients according to a defined ratio.
But what if the podcast episode contains content from other contributors. This is regularly the case in music shows playing songs from different artists. One single value tag per episode cannot fully respect the split for each of these contributors.
The Value Time Split enables real time payment attribution
This is where the value time split shines. By adding a time and external content component, this element allows different value splits for a certain period of time by respecting the source. The latest innovation coming out of the Podcasting 2.0 initiative is essentially a combination of existing Podcasting 2.0 features such as <podcast:soundbite> and <podcast:remoteItem> where a start time and a duration is supplied with alternative value recipients. This effectively enables alternating payment recipients even during a single podcast episode. Every time a new item is played a new value tag can be defined. All payments from listeners at this moment can be attributed and programmatically sent to all recipients being part of it.
The Value Time Split in use today
Content creators are now able to be compensated as defined within their individual RSS feeds. Podcasts featuring multiple content contributors can now conveniently direct listener payments to the primary content originators, establishing a foundation for an equitable, contribution-driven payment model.
The stage is set for music shows to adopt this innovation. The Boostagram Ball by Adam Curry is one example and the first of its kind to allow contributors earn V4V payments from listeners. Adam plays a series of songs, each with its own value tag defined by the artist and creator of the RSS feed.
By allowing to reference content and value recipients across any podcast, the value time split rethinks content monetization in completely new ways. This innovation empowers music artists and grants them the capacity to receive payments directly into their pockets whenever their content is played on a different podcast, independently of labels and music rights organizations.
Apps for artists and publishers
Setting up an RSS feed for your content is the key component for making it accessible on podcast apps or music players. By adding a digital wallet (i.e. the value tag) you can now receive payments from consumers for songs, podcast episodes, videos or even blog posts thanks to the different medium types specified by the podcast namespace.
There is already a list of options available for publishers of traditional podcasts to value enable their podcasts .
With music becoming an increasingly popular medium for podcasts, we will see more services dedicated to the needs of music artists. Wavlake, for instance, is a great website to get started allowing you to upload your songs and get paid from listeners. Wavlake provides musicians with a wallet and the RSS feed with a value tag. The Music Side Project, another option, lets you construct the RSS feed yourself and for instance add all band members as recipients to the value split.
Apps for podcast hosts to include the value time split
Are you interested in establishing your own music podcast, much like Adam Curry or James Cridland, as former radio disk jockeys did? If the alternative value recipients have their own value tag it can be referenced or directly indicated within the respective episode's feed. This is useful for recipients who might not yet possess an RSS feed of their own for referencing purposes.
The Split Kit allows you to follow the value time split specification quite easily. Just compile a list of single songs similar to what's demonstrated here, and then modify the starting time as needed. The Split Kit will automatically produce the appropriate segments of the value time splits.
In this case you see two items (here: two songs) each having their own dedicated RSS feeds. You can directly reference their feeds and share all incoming payments.
Simply paste the value time splits into the value tag of your episode’s RSS feed and you are done.
What apps can listeners use
Where can you as a consumer try out this feature? Early adopters of this exciting feature are: Castamatic (v8.7.6), CurioCaster, Fountain (0.8 Beta), Podfans, Podfriend or Podverse. The payment will be automatically directed to the correct recipient as you listen to the podcast. Get yourself one of these apps and show your appreciation for the artists of The Boostagram Ball show.
As a result, the value time split feature enables a new economic model driven by a direct relationship between consumers and artists. It is exciting to see a number of pioneering services already endorsing this model with numerous others to follow suit.
If you have questions about the value time split or about podcaster wallets as a creator or application developer, reach out anytime.
 RSS.com or Blubrry offer a fully-automated setup for creators. Self sovereign podcast hosts find a good partner in Sovereign Feeds for creating an RSS feed and link a wallet. If you want to create your RSS feed manually or use WordPress you can follow up with this guide. If your podcast host does not yet support the value tag, you can use tools like Conshax or Podcasterwallet.com. Please have a look for a complete list of podcast hosting companies here.