THE CURIOUS COMPANION is the world’s first generative podcast NFT collection.
It’s an experiment in podcasting on the blockchain, designed to explore how podcasters can make creative, unique content for their audience, and earn from their work without sacrificing the environment or the value of their work.
The result is a very short story with 6000+ possible variations. We’re minting a very small selection of these on the Solana blockchain to show how it works.
Listen to Some Examples
Below you can hear 3 examples from the Curious Companion collection. There are 100 of these, in total, in this collection. Every one of the 100 is unique, telling a slightly different story.
Which one do you like best? More will be available to view on the Solsea marketplace linked below.
Can I get my Own Copy?
We had originally planned to release 100 variations of this NFT into the wild, for podcasters to own. You would have been able to buy them on the Solana Blockchain and keep them forever.
When the announcement for this went out, though, we got a lot of feedback. And most of it quite negative.
To be honest, we knew that the world of NFTs isn’t perfect. Scams, theft and plagiarism are rife, still.
It’s very, very early days.
But, despite that, we thought there was a lot of promise for the future, and it seemed a really cool idea to play around with.
The feedback to our announcement, though, highlighted to us how many issues still remain in the space, and how passionate many in our community are about them. How many questions there still are unanswered, from security issues to the environment.
In the end, we decided to change the plan.
Instead, we released a much smaller number of NFTs, just 5, and we haven’t listed them for sale. We’ll just leave this tiny collection online as an example of what we worked on and created.
Then we’ll release the full collection of 100 in a normal podcast feed to demo the generative audio element. That’ll be added to this page, as soon as we’re able.
Why Have you Changed the Plan?
We’re sorry for the change of plan, but after all that feedback, we just weren’t comfortable encouraging people to put money into Crypto, or to spend anything on NFTs.
We were going to sell them for around $20 and give the launch proceeds to charity. So this was never about earning anything from them.
But, the last thing we’d want is one of our readers getting into this for the first time, putting some money in a wallet, and losing their funds. That’s not entirely unlikely in Crypto right now, and there’s nothing anyone can do to recover the money when it happens.
But, we still want to be able to write and talk about the process, because some of our audience are interested. Those passionate podcasters will go ahead with it anyway.
And if there’s one thing we’re here for, it’s to teach.
So, we don’t want this whole experience to go to waste, even if a big part of our message, as a result of all of this, is that we believe NFTs aren’t worth getting into, right now.
What’s an NFT anyway?
No doubt you’ve seen the hype around NFTs growing over the past year.
An NFT (non fungible token) is a digital ‘object’ which is unique and trackable, because it’s created on the blockchain. That means you can own the original, and do what you like with it. That digital object could be an image, an audio file, a video or any number of other more weird, intangible things.
Think of it like the Mona Lisa.
Only one person owns the real, original Mona Lisa (or is it a gallery…? I don’t know!). But millions own copies of it, from posters to photos of it. Those copies only serve to make the original more valuable, though, since it shows the popularity.
You can own an originally minted digital object – an image, a song, a video – and people can copy it, but only you have the real original which you can sell to others or use to get special access to interesting places and content.
What Could this Mean for Podcasters?
Artists and creators have shown that it’s possible to earn from selling digital creations online as NFTs. Although this comes hand in hand with many potential pitfalls.
Some are selling limited copies of real paintings, and others are selling generative art collections which are created using code, but aren’t any less cool and beautiful as a result.
In the audio space, bands are getting on board by selling albums or songs as NFTs, so you can own one of a limited number of album NFTs for your favourite group. And in many cases, those NFTs can get you special privileges, such as:
- Entry to live gigs or performances
- Entry to online gatherings or communities (eg. discord)
- Access to future content releases
Despite all of this, there are many reasons to be wary, as we’ve discovered throughout this process. We don’t believe it’s a mainstream approach, at this moment in time. But we’re curious, keeping an eye on it, and hope to keep podcasters updated, incase you’re interested in doing it yourself.
For podcasters, here are a few ideas we’ve had so far around how they could be used.
And bear in mind that each NFT could do ALL of the below, not just one!
- Sell a limited edition run of your 100th episode – 50 copies of it, minted as NFTs.
- Sell a generative collection – creative combinations of parts of your content, to create unique outputs.
- Offer access to a private community.
- Access to coaching time, with yourself.
- Early access to podcast episodes, or to premium content
Why is The Podcast Host interested in NFTs?
We’re interested in NFTs, first and foremost, because they might… might… allow creators to gain more control over how their art is shared and funds their future work. And could… could… allow those same creators to offer so much more to their own communities, building loyal trusting fans around their art, and giving them so much more than their art alone.
There are some huge issues around NFTs in their current form.
Their environment impact, security, accessibility, copyright and more.
We’re interested in finding ways to solve those issues, and use NFTs for good.
Learn more about why we’re interested in NFTs here and the potential pitfalls