With each iteration of the web, Carlos Diaz has innovated and undertaken. With the arrival of Web 3, the investor that many know today from his Silicon Carne podcast has set up a new box: Uncut.fm. This platform for connecting content creators and their audiences aims to revolutionize podcast monetization. We received it on Tuesday, June 21 on our Twitch show, 20 Mint au Carré.
Why did you start Uncut.fm?
As a podcaster, I had the frustration of not knowing my audience. Silicon Carne is a great podcast. I got numbers, but these are what we call vanity stats† I have some downloads every month, but I don’t know who listens to me. We wondered how we could use these new web 3 tools to establish a new relationship with our audience, because today centralized platforms, like Spotify or Apple Podcast, don’t want creators to interact directly with their audience. . It’s their business model. We think it’s our audience, but it’s not our audience. It is an audience that we rent to these platforms.
What will change about Uncut?
Uncut.fm’s motivation was to create the first blockchain infrastructure for podcasters. To enable them to convert their content into tokens and offer these tokens directly to their audience. These tokens can be a full episode, an episode excerpt, something else, an image, a video, a 3D object, etc.
Today, podcasters on our platform have a dedicated page for them. And they can drop useful tokens on this page. For example, with Silicon Carne, the token gives access to the Hacienda, a gated community around the show. I host a lot of things with these people who have identified themselves as my super fans, who trust me and support the show. I give them access to exclusive stuff and we do a lot of funny stuff with them.
Why talk about token and not NFT?
The problem with the term NFT is that it is overused. It is often seen as a speculative object. I don’t think my audience will buy a Silicon Carne token because it’s going to make a profit. Perhaps there is a secondary market for these tokens, but that is not the point. They are fantokens, community objects around which people gather. But technically they are NFTs.
Does it change the minting of NFTs?
You are no longer dependent on a centralized hosting server. When you mint NFTs, on Uncut.fm, the media portion (the content) is automatically hosted on Arweav, a decentralized IPFS server, and therefore it is available forever. An address has been created for this content. Which means if I, the creator, remove it from my RSS feed, it will remain accessible. I no longer have control over this content, the community has control over it. It has become a public good.
And the right to be forgotten?
There, it’s over. From the moment the content was minted, it was made public and eternal. Unless each of the owners of this token asks Arweave to burn it…
And if you turn into Joe Rogancan we not delete the episodes…
But that’s also why we created Uncut.Fm. We know very well that centralized platforms play a moderate role, sometimes positively but also very negatively. They decide to promote this or that creator based on their economic interests. Spotify is a real threat to independent podcasters. They have their own podcast production which they are going to promote at the expense of independent podcasts. Web 3 allows us to free ourselves from this dictate imposed on us by the platforms and to come back to power.
Blockchain was not invented to make us richer, but to make us freer. This is the real problem. We were wrong about this euphoria from last year, especially around NFTs. Today, power is concentrated between a few platforms and is highly problematic. With the web, we invented a protocol that was open and at some point we screwed up because we needed technological capabilities that we could no longer offer for free. Companies have taken advantage of this to invent tools that are certainly brilliant, but have come at a price: our freedom.
How does Uncut.fm fit into this?
By eliminating middlemen. Our idea is to put the podcaster and the listener in direct contact. We do not take cuts in the sales made by the maker. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the tokens will go to the podcaster. The maker is allowed to devise his own economic model.
And how are you paid?
That’s a big question (laughs). We will definitely be in a model where the platform will be free. You can mint X tokens for free and if you want to mint more, you have to pay a price per coin. In fact, I’m selling you the vinyl wafer, the technological stuff, but the price at which you sell the contents is none of my business. I will not cut.
The idea is to win just enough to run the platform?
You say I’m not going to make any money, but I don’t tell my investors that at all. If I have a creator who has a huge community, he will have to mint large amounts of tokens, which is why I will make a lot of money with the big ones. Okay, I’m not going to do very little with the little ones, but I’m not here to steal candy from the kids. We need to get out of the dictates that we need millions of listeners to live. It is a model that relies solely on advertising. I think you can fund your podcast with a community of 1,000 fans. I may not make a lot of money with these creators, but I will make money with the biggest ones. She, I’m going to take a lot of money from them (laughs).
You’ve been experimenting with Uncut.Fm for two months with your own show. It functions?
As I speak to you, I minted 205 tokens. They all sold out within hours of their release. This allowed us to collect 3.37 ethers (EUR 3500 at the time of issue). I keep 80% of the sales of these NFTs in the wallet. And I’m using this money to build a war chest that the community will use as it pleases. There were sick ideas. There are people who want to set up camp at Burning Man and distribute chili con carne there. And why not?
Can you find out why people are willing to pay to buy your tokens?
My message to my community is very simple. I tell them “we don’t want a sponsor for Silicon Carne”. I don’t want to become a mattress salesman with this show. I don’t want an advertiser. I refuse to put my content behind a paywall. It’s a huge injustice to say “if you have money, you can access my content, pay. And even pay every month”. No, I want to share my content with as many people as possible. I don’t want to ask for charity either. I want to make things for you, offer them to you and if you like them, buy them and that takes the form of a token.