ContentBoxPodcast app creator Castbox has launched Community, a new feature which enables both creators and listeners to participate in the ever-expanding podcast ecosystem. Available on both iOS and Android versions of the app, Community gives users a new way to connect and engage with other listeners who share their love of podcasts. Community builds on the blockchain-based ContentBox ecosystem.

Renee Wang, founder and CEO, Castbox
Renee Wang, founder and CEO, Castbox

We want to give the growing podcast community new ways to share their thoughts and experiences, expand their interests, and discover new shows through crowdsourced recommendations,” said Renee Wang, founder and CEO of Castbox.

Podcast listeners are already some of the most engaged audiences in digital media, so the new Community feature will encourage them to keep coming back while also giving dedicated fans a voice in the conversation.

Castbox Community

Community is a dedicated social feed within the Castbox app. This enables podcasters:

  • post about their favorite shows and episodes
  • join trending conversations
  • discover popular new content.

The feature provides users with an interactive way to stay current on community activity. The hoped-for result is a richer, more immersive podcasting experience.

Listeners can use the Community feature to share their opinions and spark new conversations by posting about a particular show, episode, topic, or hashtag. The Community tab provides a live feed of the top trending user interactions on the app, including comments, listens, subscriptions, and more. Podcast creators can use Community to stay connected with fans, take a pulse of their community, and get feedback from their most devoted listeners.

As such Community is the latest offering from Castbox. It seeks to move beyond that of the traditional podcast player focused solely on content discovery and delivery. As the podcast industry expands and more listeners tune in to the medium, Castbox wants community engagement to be at the center of the user experience to make podcasting more social.

The blockchain dimension

As bigger audio platforms expand into the podcasting space, Community builds on the company’s mission to provide dedicated podcasters and power users with a positive podcasting experience. Castbox’s growing lineup of podcast-specific features includes:

  • in-audio search, to assist users find relevant shows
  • a blockchain-based infrastructure (ContentBox – see below).

The latter provides:

  • podcast creators with more ownership over their content
  • native paywall solutions which, in turn, create new opportunities for publishers to grow and monetise their podcasts.

ContentBox

The ContentBox Platform seeks to foster a blockchain-based ecosystem for the digital content industry of tomorrow. With ContentBox, podcast creators will obtain:

  • a shared content pool
  • a shared user pool
  • a unified payout system.

Unlike traditional open platforms – such as the App Store or WeChat Open Platform – the ContentBox Platform is:

  • decentralised
  • autonomous
  • driven by the open source community (rather than any industry platform giant)

ContentBox help web and mobile applications to:

  • share digital content and user bases in more eicient ways than before
  • process payments without ceding control to a third party.

For content creators, ContentBox’s payout system will enable them to obtain rewards every time their content is consumed. While creators of the most popular content will reap the biggest rewards, everyone else will also receive compensation – related to individual content popularity. In addition, ContentBox will connect creators to their podcast consumers – by streamlining and automating business transactions (in effect removing intermediaries chipping away at a creator’s revenue share).

Consumers will receive rewards in the form of tokens according to their (consumer) contributions. These contributions will be based on:

  • social sharing
  • voting
  • commenting on content
  • reporting spam content.

The key factor is that consumer contributions must be are beneficial and add value to the platform. Once obtained, consumers will be able to spend tokens on content consumption – whether viewing a movie or streaming a song.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Blockchain is penetrating the entertainment arena in novel ways. With ContentBox and Community, Castbox wishes to gives users a stake in the success of the platform. The presumption is that if they have such a stake they will put more effort and research into curation and advocacy – akin to what happened with Bitcoin.

While Enterprise Times has reservations (as do others) about cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, these (reservations) apply to fiat currency substitution. In the case of Castbox and its Community, the use of tokens seems much less of an issue. A better analogy might be with earning rewards in certain types of digital game.

Yet CastBox is operating in a highly competitive space. Whether podcast content creators will join up is the key question for the future.

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Charles Brett
Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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