FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ainsley Costello and Just Loud Redefine the Music Industry in a Groundbreaking, Two-Night, Bitcoin-Powered Live Event
[Minneapolis, MN – December 26, 2023] – In a groundbreaking two-night live event, blending in-person and worldwide broadcasting, independent artists Ainsley Costello and Just Loud pushed the boundaries of the music industry, bringing together music, technology, and decentralized finance. Driven by a spirit of financial independence and artistic sovereignty, these events marked a transformative moment for music. The two-night event provided a unique live experience for music fans both in person and around the world, from Minneapolis, MN, on December 20th at the Minneapolis Bitcoin Meet-Up, hosted by O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company, and on December 21st from the historic First Avenue, 7th Street Entry.
The events marked a significant departure from the traditional roles of labels, streaming services, and royalty collection agencies as gatekeepers of music industry finance. Musicians have never before had direct access to their revenue stream, making the direct and instant transfer of value to the artist a historic milestone in the evolution of the music industry. At the core of these revolutionary events was the use of Bitcoin and its Lightning Network, enabling music fans to interact with artists in unprecedented ways. More than just a concert, the events represented a fusion of cutting-edge technology and artistic expression in several unique ways:
Bitcoin and Lightning Network: The events centered around the use of Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, and the Lightning Network, a layer 2 payment protocol for Bitcoin. The Lightning protocol facilitated the instantaneous and direct exchange of micropayments, enabling the worldwide audience to send Satoshi (small units of Bitcoin) directly to the artists over two nights.
Dual Technology Platforms: The event was propelled by the convergence of two distinct technology platforms, RSS and NOSTR, both of which have adopted Bitcoin lightning payments as their monetization highway.
- RSS (Really Simple Syndication): A proven technology created in 1999, RSS was promoted extensively by Adam Curry. Widely celebrated as the "Podfather" and for his work at MTV, Adam Curry once again showcased his visionary leadership through an updated version of RSS known as Podcasting 2.0. This new protocol seamlessly integrates audio, video, and Bitcoin lightning payments, known as "Boosts", within the RSS feed. Combined with the modern philosophy of "Value4Value" (V4V) the technology calls on fans to place their own value on music and compensate the artist directly via lightning payments. London-based RSS Blue, founded by Dovydas Joksas, distributed the live events via the new Podcasting 2.0 standard, allowing fans to listen, watch, and boost Satoshi live via modern podcasting 2.0 progressive web and mobile apps such as Podverse, Truefans, Podcast Guru, Curio Caster and Fountain.
Dovydas Joksas, CEO RSS Blue: “Adam Curry played a pivotal role in making these events happen. In the months prior, listener payments sent during his openly distributed music show proved the feasibility of value-for-value music. It also inspired the idea of utilizing this model during live concerts, where a new generation of artists would no longer need to rely on financial middlemen to earn a living.”
Sam Sethi CEO, TrueFans: "The two live music events in December in Minneapolis were truly historic. They were the culmination of two years’ work by many people in the podcast 2.0 community, who created the building blocks, that allowed for fans around the world to use a modern podcasting 2.0 app like TrueFans to live broadcast these shows in audio or video while streaming or boosting bitcoin micropayments. This is just the start and 2024 will see more live events where fans pay the artists directly to support them. Remember Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Nostr: A nascent, decentralized open protocol, also marked a significant accomplishment as these events represented the first value-for-value live concerts to be broadcast on the protocol. Nostr, which stands for “notes and other stuff through relays,” was created in 2020 and has generated recent attention due to the support of Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, touting it as an alternative to centralized social media. Users of various Nostr clients were able to view the events through Tunestr, a service that provided a twitch-like video client and chat room where users could directly connect their online identity and bitcoin wallets and contribute publicly on a visible leaderboard. Developers and supporters of Nostr-based apps have also embraced the “Value 4 Value” philosophy channeling micropayments known as "zaps" (an alternative term to "Boosts") directly to the artists over the two-night event.
Dovydas Joksas, CEO of RSS Blue: “The ability to transfer real money directly to an artist, instantaneously, both in small and large amounts, and from anywhere in the world, is revolutionary. Distributing the events with both technologies — RSS and Nostr, essentially doubled the income paid out to artists by reaching Bitcoiners in both communities. The two communities - the 'boosters' and the 'zappers' - showed up in a very real way to prove what the future of independent music might look like.”
Bitcoin as a Monetization Highway: As a globally accepted, well-established, and fully decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin Lightning Payments provide the perfect avenue for musicians to instantly monetize their work on a global scale and to regain control over their revenue stream. Earlier this year, Ainsley Costello became the first artist to receive §1 million Satoshi for a single song "Cherry On Top" when she released it on Wavlake, a new music distribution platform that allows artists to collect Satoshi directly from fans. Building upon that success, Ainsley and Just Loud joined forces to demonstrate that artists can maintain both creative and financial control over their work. For first time ever, the Bitcoin lightning network, empowered audiences to engage with artists in real-time, sending Satoshi directly to the artist during a live performance, from anywhere in the world.
Oscar Merry, CEO of Fountain: "Music has a profound effect on our lives - providing joy, comfort, consolation, and many other fulfilling emotions. The artists behind the music shouldn't have to struggle to make a living and connect with their fans. The live concert with Ainsley Costello and Just Loud proved that we can use technology like RSS, Bitcoin, and Nostr to create a stronger connection between artists and their fans, and help artists make a living from their music. Fans were able to watch or listen live from anywhere in the world, participate in the conversation, and send money instantly from their preferred platform of choice thanks to the lack of platform lock-in, low payment fees, and interoperability of the underlying messaging and payment protocols.
Financial Independence and Artistic Sovereignty: The events were a groundbreaking financial success for both artists. Ainsley Costello received an unprecedented §12 million Satoshi over two nights, translating to an astounding $5,085.25 (based on the USD value of Bitcoin at the time) and Just Loud received another §8 million Satoshi. Together, the two-night event surpassed §20 million Satoshi equaling over $8,500 in (USD) value payments sent via the lightning network and instantly deposited (from around the world) directly to the accounts of the artists without a single middleman.
Ainsley Costello: “Growing up around the music industry can instill a very idealistic perception of how the industry works. It’s sold on us that if you work hard enough, write the best songs, and do enough shows then you’ll be able to “make it.” At 19, I have been pursuing music professionally for over half my life. In just over 4 years of professionally releasing music through traditional apps like Spotify and Apple Music, I’ve made about $700. In just 5 months in the “Valueverse” I’ve made over §15 million SATs, the equivalent of about $6,000 USD. Since releasing my music, via Value-4 Value, my hope has been restored that there is a chance that independent artists can live off the art they create.”
Just Loud: "Value for value is the heartbeat of independent artistry – a reminder that every record, note sung, lyric written is a labor of love. The support we receive fuels our passion, and in return, it's that very inspiration that keeps the artistic flame burning."
The two-night event not only delivered a transformative technological experience but also etched a historic milestone in the music industry. Its success reverberated not just for the artists involved but also for the Bitcoin Lightning Network and technology developers in both Nostr and Podcasting 2.0. Beyond serving as a virtual tip jar, the utilization of Bitcoin Satoshi has revolutionized the way music enthusiasts and artists engage. By Introducing the innovative concept of "Value 4 Value" the unique approach empowers fans to decide the amount they wish to reward an artist for their work. This groundbreaking method signifies, for the first time, the direct flow of revenue from fans to artists, a paradigm shift that has the potential to reshape the financial landscape of the music industry.
Adam Curry, Founder, Podcasting 2.0: "This is why Value4Value works so well; all stakeholders were able to receive a split of the streaming payments and boosts. From the app developers around the world to the hosting providers, production crew, and most importantly the artists themselves. Peer to peer value exchange. No middlemen, no BS. Welcome to the future!”
Sam Means & Michael Rhee, Co-Founders Wavlake: “We are thrilled with the continued success of Ainsley Costello and Just Loud. Their willingness to embrace new ideas not only showcases their adaptability as artists but also marks a significant step forward in how we think about value exchange in the music industry. As early adopters, they are at the forefront of this innovative movement, demonstrating how artists can connect more directly and meaningfully with their audience through technology.”
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