Fountain Rewind 2022
The most comprehensive year-in-review of podcasting on the Lightning Network including commentary, charts, insights and awards.
Podcasting on the Lightning Network has taken off in 2022 - if you’re not paying attention, you probably should be.
Following a number of major controversies this year featuring the likes of Spotify, PayPal and Twitter the threat of censorship, deplatforming and demonetisation is creeping into the mainstream conscience. Creators are beginning to realise that their freedom is at stake - but there is a solution.
In the summer of 2020, The Podcast Index was born and the term Podcasting 2.0 first started appearing. The objective was to preserve podcasting as a platform for free speech (through decentralised content) and to retool podcasting as a platform of value (through decentralised money).
In November 2020, Adam Curry published the first video demonstrating how listeners could stream small units of bitcoin called satoshis directly to a podcaster over the Lightning Network from a podcast player. Value for Value - the idea that audiences can choose to give back value which was so freely given to them - is not new. However, with Lightning we now have fast, frictionless and low-fee payments integrated seamlessly into the listening experience.
Against the backdrop of a bearish year for Bitcoin, the number of Lightning Podcasts has almost trebled and it's now easier than ever before for podcasters to start getting paid in bitcoin by their fans. In February 2022, Fountain launched the Podcaster Wallet, which allows podcasters to add a value block to their public RSS feed in just a couple of clicks. Since then, hosting companies and service providers have also started offering this service.
Not only are there many more podcasts you can support on Podcasting 2.0 apps like Fountain, it's now much easier to get onboarded as a listener than it was 12 months ago. In June 2022, Fountain launched Listen to Earn, which allows you to earn sats by listening to your favourite podcasts or by creating clips. When Fountain 0.6 launches in January 2023, you will be able to top up your Fountain wallet with a credit or debit card. It is no longer necessary for listeners to own bitcoin in order to begin. For mass-adoption of Value to Value, this is vitally important.
While there is great momentum behind Podcasting 2.0 and Value for Value, we have yet to reach an inflection point. To read more about the work that still needs to be done, follow the link below.
Most Supported Shows
Here are the ten most supported shows on Fountain by value in 2022. To see the full list and see the other awards click here.
It should be no surprise that Adam Curry and Dave Jones’s weekly board meeting is the most supported show for a second year running. If there was no PodcastIndex there would be no Value for Value via Lightning - and Fountain as we know it would not exist. Every sat you send to Podcasting 2.0 helps protect, preserve and extend the open podcast ecosystem - money well spent.
Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak are the original pioneers of Value for Value in podcasting. Their seminal news and politics show has been 100% audience-funded since 2005. No ads, no sponsors - just contributions from their loyal legion of listeners in the form of time, talent and treasure. A great example of the non-monetary support the show receives is the No Agenda Art Generator, where fans can upload show artwork for Adam and John to choose from. Every No Agenda listeners is a producer - this is completely unique.
Since Rabbit Hole Recap launched on its own podcast feed in June 2022, barely a week has gone by where the show has not featured in the Hot on Fountain charts. It also has one of the most engaged community of listeners (affectionately known as ‘freaks’), so the comments are always charged with opinion and debate. Like many of the other successful shows in this list, they read out the comments from listeners who boost on Value for Value podcast apps - a tried and tested method for garnering support and getting the audience involved.
Citadel Dispatch is an interactive live show about bitcoin and freedom tech hosted by Matt Odell. In passionate conversations with inspiring guests such as cypherpunk Adam Back, Odell covers open-source projects and sensitive subjects like privacy and censorship in greater depth than anyone else and with unwavering humility.
LINUX Unplugged is a weekly talk show about open-source collaboration with no script and no limits, hosted by Chris Fisher, Wes Payne and Brent Gervais. The Jupiter Broadcasting network is also behind a handful of other popular shows that you can support on Fountain, including Office Hours, Coder Radio and Self-Hosted.
Episodes of Moe Factz with Adam Curry don't come around often - but when they do, they never miss. Each one opens in exactly the same way - the two friends spin a roulette wheel to set the topic then riveting discussion ensues for the next 3-4 hours. And of course it wouldn't be an Adam Curry production without a generous serving of audio clips and effects. An absorbing experience from start to finish.
With more than 3,000 episodes under his belt, Jack Spirko is a true veteran of the game. The Survival Podcast was the most boosted show on Fountain in 2022 and had over 1,000 supporters - more than any other show in the top ten. If you value your own freedom and independence, you should listen to The Survival Podcast. Why? Because in this world you can't rely on anybody except yourself.
Yes, Adam Curry has four shows in the top ten - don't act surprised. On Curry and The Keeper, Adam and his wife Tina discuss life, love and wine with levity and laughter. Since the show launched in December 2021 it has quickly established itself as a feel-good favourite. The coolest thing is it's only available on Podcasting 2.0 apps, so you won't find it on Apple and Spotify.
Tales from the Crypt is a podcast about Bitcoin hosted by Marty Bent. Its mission is to offer the world a media company that fights against the noise and brings the populace out from the fog created by the mass psychosis that has gripped the world.
Spencer and Laurien may have the fewest number of supporters of all the shows in the top ten but earned they have earned their place due to the sheer number of sats their loyal listeners send. Don't be fooled into thinking Bowl After Bowl is a show about getting high (although there are bowls involved). Some might place it in the global affairs category. We would put it in a category of it's own as there really is nothing else quite like it.
Share your 2022 stats
Check the Fountain app to reveal your stats and most supported shows in 2022. Go to your Profile and press Share Profile to open it in your browser.
Share a screenshot in the comments of the Twitter thread below and you could win a pair of custom Fountain AirPods and 1,000,000 sats.
We want to thank everyone who has supported us in 2022 and wish you all a Happy New Year. See you on the other side…