Michael Rhee and Sam Means founded Wavlake to disrupt the music industry using bitcoin, RSS, and the value4value model of monetization.
Michael Rhee and Sam Means founded Wavlake to disrupt the music industry using bitcoin, RSS, and the value4value model of monetization. The notoriously opaque and corrupt music industry has been prioritizing the profits of labels and distribution companies over artists for over a century. Wavlake aims to change this by giving artists more control over the publishing and monetization of their art. In this episode you'll learn about the extreme hurdles artists currently go through to make a living by monetizing their music and how distributing their art directly to their audiences and monetizing via bitcoin over the Lightning network can enable them to support themselves and their work.
0:00 Intro, boostagrams, sponsors
6:14 - Technical issues right out the gate
8:04 - Artist monetization struggles
11:43 - Wavlake explained
15:02 - The publishing company model
19:48 - V4V audience interaction
21:56 - V4V artist profit
25:01 - Other models to integrate
29:17 - Building a music index
33:17 - Changing the artist mindset
38:34 - Podcasts vs music
43:50 - Orange pilling through music
46:38 - Nostr
57:41 - Artists are sick of the current model
1:03:07 - Playing the slow game
1:06:50 - Wavlake causing incentive change
1:10:56 - Using V4V to improve recommendations
1:13:16 - Future of LN
1:17:20 - V4V boosts are growing in general
1:22:54 - Lightning store
1:28:15 - Plugs and final thoughts
Sam: [00:00:00] Oh,
Marty: we're live. Oh, Logan, just ninja and launched on us. Um, cool. So we're live now I'm sitting down. Best way.
Sam: That's the best way. Oh, cool. That's the best way to start. Something always is the just, yeah. The soft intro.
Marty: Yes. Here we go. The soft intro freaks. I'm sitting down, uh, with Michael and Sam from the Wave Lake team who are doing some incredible things too.
I don't even want to st like start with the Bitcoin aspect of it. We dive into it, but I think you're trying to solve some pretty massive problems in the music industry and Bitcoin just so happens to play a part in that. Um, so number one, welcome to the show gentlemen. It's glad to finally have you on.
Michael: Thank you Marty. It's great to be on. Longtime listener. Thank you. First time
Sam: caller. Well,
Marty: hopefully this is the first of many episodes cause I think what you guys are building is going to disrupt the music industry. Um, Before we get into Wave Lake, I, I think [00:01:00] just as a, a music nut myself who loved music and has recognized that artists sort of get the shit out of the stick, uh, in a lot of instances.
I think, Sam, I'd like to, to hear your experience in the music industry and some of the, the pain points that exist for artists, particularly, did we lose Sam already? We went live and lost. Sam. Sam, if you can hear us, you might just need to go out and come back in. Michael .
Michael: That was quick.
Sam: That was really quick.
Yeah. Now he's back. I, I, I died for a second.
Marty: We all die for a second. Every once in a while you have these existential things that happen. Then you reborn
Sam: the way things work. Yeah. Sorry about that. No, it's okay.
Marty: Did you hear my. No before he died. I was asking before we jump into Wave Lake, like just having had many conversations with you guys over the [00:02:00] last six months, I think, uh, you guys are attacking a big problem, which is, uh, artists getting the shit end of the stick in the music industry.
And Sam, you're an artist yourself who has been working in the music industry for quite some time now and have seen these pain points and artists getting fucked over, up close and personal. Uh, I think, yeah, your perspective on what the music industry's like and how artists are getting scammed is, uh, very enlightening.
What, what are the big problems that exist?
Sam: There's problems pretty much everywhere, um, which is kind of the, the main problem. You know, there's a lot of, I always like to preface this, you know, Shit talking ramble on the music industry with like, there are a lot of good people internally, you know, just like with like, you can have this, this big empire or something.
There's, there may be people attempting to do things better, but it's just a systematically broken [00:03:00] thing as many things are in this country and around the world. So, um, you know, it's a, it's a hundred year old issue. I mean, all the way back to like sheet music publishing. People have been getting screwed over now.
The main problem that we're, we're seeing is just, you know, the, the way that the artists are having to, um, I just, the pressure to, to take on these other elements, uh, that kind of hover around the music business, like Patreon touring, um, super elaborate merchandise, um, live streams. You know, there's just all these extra things that you have to do and you have to do these things because if, if you wanna survive as an artist, you need to make money.
And if your, if what should be your main revenue stream, your music, Cuz that's, that's the, the main thing you're doing is not generating revenue for you. Then you have to branch out to other, other things. So, um, yeah, we're, you know, Spotify, iTunes, or not iTunes, what, I guess iTunes is still around Apple Music, all these [00:04:00] streaming services.
They're just, the, the rates that are going to the artists are just getting watered down and watered down water down, water down there. There was a point, you know, maybe when these things were first started or you saw some, some other streaming services, like, I forget which ones. Maybe it was like Google Play or I think Sony even had one where maybe at that point the artist could get over a penny.
I think even in the early days of Spotify, you could get over a penny for a screen. Now you're seeing like fractions of a penny. So, um, we just think there should be a outlet for artists to upload their music, to have all their information and be able to, uh, interact with their fans. , uh, and provide the value that they provide, which is their music, and receive value from their fans, which most fans do.
I mean, that's the reason we listen to music. We love it. It sparked some sort of emotion in us and generally we want our favorite artists to continue working. So I think this is the answer. I mean, once we started, [00:05:00] you know, seeing things like the Lightning Network and streaming stats exist, then uh, this was just kind of like a no-brainer thing.
So, um, I've been advocating the last few years to just wanna see this happen and luckily I caught up with Michael who was thinking the same thing, and, and now we have Wave Blake That's hopefully going to at least solve a big portion of that problem for a portion of people. You know, maybe, maybe everybody won't use the wavelength, but at least there's gonna be a large group of people that are gonna find it incredibly useful.
And I think over time we'll see a lot more things like this
Marty: come up. Yeah. And so you guys, I guess, Michael, to make the freaks privy, About what Wave Lake is, how it operates, how it leverages the Lightning Network. For those who may be unaware, what is the whole idea, uh, behind the technical aspect of, of Wave Lake?
Michael: Yeah. Uh, so Wave Lake is uh, essentially built on two main foundational [00:06:00] components. The first is open content. So content's just, that's just available and openly distributed. It's not behind a paywall. Um, much like 99% of podcasts are distributed today. Uh, the second component is open payments. And what we basically do is integrate every single piece of content that we distribute for our artists.
Um, we integrate that content with a lightning address, um, more technically speaking, it's a key send. Um, Instruction that allows any podcast 2.0 app or any app that understands how to interpret that key, send data to be able to shoot a payment, uh, over lightning to that node. And then using the metadata we can apply the payment to the artist, uh, and the track and then we can tally that up, um, to [00:07:00] ultimately present to our listeners, um, how much a track has earned, not only within our platform, but also from outside of it.
Um, and it's building on a lot of what the podcasting 2.0 crowd has done, um, over the past few years. Um, Sam and I saw a lot of, uh, promise and potential in that and we're just trying to bring music into that sphere.
Marty: Yeah, I think it's great cuz it's, particularly when you get into like splits, I mean, that's.
one of the, not only is it a problem for artists, but it's a problem for the teams behind them. Right? It's like, it's not only the artists producing the music. You have a producer, you have a band, you have a marketer, an agent manager, all that stuff, all of who fall under the umbrella of people need, who need to get paid by this art.
Sam: Yeah. That's what I think it's gonna, it's gonna be a good thing from top to bottom. I mean, right. We, we don't, we haven't activate splits yet. We're going to, and I think it's gonna be, [00:08:00] um, a little bit of an easier solution than maybe we've seen in some of the podcasting splits, just because, uh, for the time being this, the account is a custodial account, so you'll be able to manage the splits within the dashboard of Wave Lake if you're the, the person who's uploading the, the music or the podcast.
Um, but yeah, I mean, right, right away, once we have splits, you'll be able to just assign, you know, the drummer can have his split. The, the producer can have his split. And then down the road, once we start getting into even bigger problems in the industry, like, uh, Publishing royalty splits, copyright, things like that, then that's gonna solve a lot of problems there too, because, and I, and I think it's gonna be something that will ultimately be embraced by these other facets of the music industry, because it's gonna save them a ton of time too, to not have to do this accounting, this quarterly annual accounting, mechanical royalties, uh, broadcast piece, all these things.
So I think it's gonna be really cool.
Marty: Well, yeah, let's jump into that. I mean, you guys mentioned how artists get paid from Spotify and how that's been getting [00:09:00] diluted. You just brought up licensing and distribution On top of that, how do these business models work for these companies? For Spotify, for the people who controlled the licenses, how, how are they making money right now?
Sam: How are the companies or how are the artists, the companies? Cause I think that's important. Yes. I mean, yeah, it's, it's. , it's an incredibly convoluted system. It's not even really a system. Every, each thing sort of has its own way of doing things, which makes it really difficult. And that's not only within, like companies based in the US or artists based in the us but it carries over into a, a, a global thing too.
So if I as an artist had a song licensed to for some product in the Netherlands, uh, the way that, that, that way that those broadcast royalties and that licensing works is completely different than it works over [00:10:00] here. So there's an example where that did actually happen for me, and I didn't even know it, but I had, um, I had a, a semi hit for a small European country and I just didn't know because there's no, there's no way to connect that really back to me.
It's something that I have to seek out. So the way it works now is like, , you need it. It's a, it's a bit of a gatekeeper thing, I would say. Like in order to maximize your access to your global col collections, you have to sign a publishing deal. I, I personally have never signed a publishing deal. I don't really believe in them.
Um, but you know, a lot of people do, I guess for good reason because they, they might be able to maximize, uh, their, collect their collection. So maybe I'm leaving a bunch of, you know, little scraps on the table that if, if over time those add up to a, a great sum, but maybe I get that commercial or that song placement in a movie or something.
And if I [00:11:00] control that, I get a hundred percent of that revenue. I get the master side and the publisher side. So that's a huge benefit for me. So that's why I would never want to sell my publishing. But the way people do it is, so yeah, you would sign a publishing deal. It would be for a term, maybe for a number of years.
It may be for. An amount of tracks. And the reason you would do that is because these publishing companies are the only ones who really have this access to, they're the only ones who really have like the access to all these individual things. So they, they go and collect data on your behalf and you in turn are getting up 50% or whatever you're publishing side is.
Um, so, you know, uh, that's not gonna change to, to, to some extent. We're always gonna have, um, we're always gonna have, uh, record labels that own the masters of records. We're always going to have publishing companies that own publishing rights to two songs, whether that's the artists who own it or if it, uh, if it goes through something like [00:12:00] through ASCAP or some other publishing, uh, company.
But, um, you know, it's the, the main benefit there is if we can get the artists. To be on this platform. If we can get the record labels to be on this platform, if we can get the publishing companies to be on this platform, at least if they're doing that collection, if you are in that situation where you do have to have those deals, you'll be getting that, that money faster.
So if, if we're able to do this transactions instantaneously through the Lightning Network, that's a huge benefit because right now the way it works is when they go, they spend months collecting the money, then there may be like a, a, a term of months, you know, typically it's quarterly, sometimes it's, sometimes it's annually, which really sucks.
So I might have to wait six months before this data is even collected, and then I have to wait another three months before I even get the check. And by the time that happens, you know, any number. And, and the, the craziest part about it's, I have no, there's no accountability. So I have no way of really knowing, I just have to [00:13:00] kinda trust it.
I have to trust their math, I have to trust their accounting. You know, it's like you could do an audit on a publishing company, you can do an audit on a record label. , but there's no way to see these transactions other than what they give you.
Marty: Looks like Michael just dropped off. You can't probably failing us today, but No, that's like when you brought that up, Logan, just be on the lookout from Michael entering the chat again.
But again, going back to transparency does, and I think it does the Lightning Network again since it's instantaneous, but not only that, auditable and you can see the flows of, of paid invoices. Yeah. Does it help with that, that
Sam: aspect of it? Yeah, it helps a lot. I mean, just, I think that's what's gonna happen.
You know, there's, even if, um, I don't know, let's say it'll take a while to get a, a star over onto something like Wave Lake or Value for Value, but um, you know, all it's gonna take really is one medium sized artist [00:14:00] to give this thing a shot and to be the advocate for that. And a, as soon as people see, , the other artists see like, oh, this is a better thing.
So this, you know, maybe we can compare it to something like Patreon. I guess let's just, let's just do that. Even though it's, it's nothing like that. But it's, it's a platform where bands can go directly to support this artist and have an interaction with this, that artist. So that's why maybe I would compare it to something like that, whereas you don't really have that interaction on Spotify or streaming service.
Um, they, they'll see those. Yeah, it's like they're seeing the transactions in real time. You get a Wave Lake right now, you go listen to one of Michael's tracks, go listen to one of those killer Vertigo kid tracks on Wave Lake. And uh, if you like it, you know, it's like you send a boost to Michael and you say like, this song rules.
And he sees it and then he can reply back like, cool, thanks. And there's an exchange and now you've it. I don't know. It's an inspiring thing. Like, I can't wait for this to really, I can't wait to be making new music and be introducing it on something like Wave [00:15:00] Lake because that feedback loop is really important for musicians.
Uh, typically we would get that. We wouldn't really get that until, you know, touring. Like, let's, let's say you put out a record, you get some emails, you'd have like a, you know, I don't know, you have a website somewhere at some social media. So people are, are, are communicating with you in some way. But the best connection there is just because you're, you're, you're on a stage, you're playing a show and your people are singing back and returning back.
But to have that like instant feedback as they're listening to tracks in real time is probably the closest thing you can get from a on, on the internet, you know, other than maybe, I guess like a live stream or something. But we'll even be able to get into things like that, which is gonna be really fun.
Marty: Yeah. And then in terms of like business models for the artists, like, I think particularly for indie artists or smaller artists, medium sized artists, like this is definitely, uh, a better way to make money. Uh, like to, I think [00:16:00] diving into, trying to conceptualize that or. Um, help the freaks visualize, like when it comes to actually monetizing art.
H why is this a better medium to do it through? Like, how much more money could these artists potentially make?
Sam: I feel like I'm talking too much. Michael. I'll throw that to you, Michael.
Michael: All right. Um, yeah. Uh, so just as a quick example, I mean, we've, we're still, wave Lake is still a, a baby. It's just like, it's, it's like learning how to, it's not even learning how to crawl yet. We're just like learning like how to not spit up at this point.
But things are moving along and, and working for the most part. Um, and some of the artists that have generated the most boosts since we launched, uh, a week ago, um, they're making the equivalent in US dollars. , uh, you know, about five to [00:17:00] 10 US dollars equivalent in SATs, um, in, in the matter of a week. Um, from, you know, a, a handful of different listeners, pretty small scale, I realize it's not like, you know, that much to write home about.
But, uh, at the same time, they, like, those same artists would theoretically need hundreds of thousands of streams on a major streaming platform to generate that kind of income or revenue. Um, and, and so I think like the, the big takeaway for me is just seeing that, is that there are people out there who are kind of hungry for this, who are hungry for not only discovering new music, but being able to support it, um, and promote it and, This just gives a, gives like a really clear interf, like a really transparent interface to be able to do that.
[00:18:00] Um, you know, be, because Bitcoin enlightening is such a universal instant open payment rail. Um, we're just, we're just essentially leveraging that technology to enable this kind of a connection between listeners and artists. Um, and so I think, like, I think it's, you know, we're, we're waiting to see how this is gonna play out, um, in terms of like bigger numbers for our artists, but I think as we grow, as we get a bigger listener base, um, the potential is there.
And yeah, it's, I think that's really exciting just to be able to, even early on, just see these, um, you know, kind of independent artists getting a lot of love from the listeners on Wave Lake. It's just, it's just great to see and I just hope it
Marty: keeps growing. . Yeah. No, I mean, it's certainly early days. We can already see with your, the beta product that you launched [00:19:00] last year and now that you're fully launched, like the, like Sam mentioned, like the interaction between the artists and the user that's boosting them is, is new in the digital music space.
But like that, that is only the tip of the iceberg of the types of interactions that you guys can design for an artist and their audience. Like where does this go from, uh, a simple boost and a recognition that, that an audience member likes a song? Like what, what, uh, what other types of models can be built on top of this platform?
Sam: Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean, I think the, the obvious one will be, I mean, we'll be able to potentially, I mean really kind of everything. So, um, we'll be at integrate. Merchandise, I think in a really effective way. I have a, a very strong background in, uh, in band merchandise and e-commerce there. So, um, that's something that's really on my mind.
Um, [00:20:00] concert tickets, like fan fan, fan club type tickets. Like there's a, a rule typically in every deal on a, with a promoter where you get like a certain percentage, the band gets a certain percentage of the, of the door to be able to, um, offer their fans at it through some other avenue that isn't a ticket company.
So I used to do stuff like that back in the day. So let's say it's like 8%. So could do like, you know, the first 8% of the door, these tickets could be sold and offered through with some additional value over something like Wave Lake, um, live streaming. Absolutely. I mean, I think that there's a lot of really cool integration there where again, same, same type of thing like, you know, you might see today, you can have.
maybe you're live streaming on Twitch, or you're live streaming on Instagram, or the last few years, live streaming kind of became a way for people to, um, generate some revenue. I worked with a lot of bands that did that, you know, but they were typically selling tickets to these things, [00:21:00] and that model didn't really work great.
It worked for a minute. Like, just because people were excited to be seeing anything. You could, we, we would see like, oh, you could do like a teacher bundle and sell this like livestream ticket. But then at a certain point people were just like, you know, we'll watch this later. Or, you know, or I just don't wanna pay for this experience that I think it to be able to a model.
We do see work in other things, like on Twitch, like with gamers, you can sort of tip as you're watching these things happen. You, you know, I I, I've never really been a Twitch person. I, I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I think it's some sort of credit system or something, uh, where you're giving tokens or credits or something like that.
So we could do something similar except it would just be sad. So like, as a, a band is playing, people could be communicating. Um, directly as they're watching and they can be boosting artists. Also just streaming stats in real time and we, we launch this with Boost, but like we see with podcasting, uh, and apps like Fountain, some other where you can stream stats in [00:22:00] real time.
I think that's something that we're gonna wanna be doing too. Also, just our player that is live now is really just an example. Like, we created a top 40 just to have a fun thing for people to use and like, um, incentivize people to wanna upload tracks for exposure. You know, it's not like a ton of exposure, but it is kind of fun to see your track going up the chart every day when this thing resets.
Um, but we're, what we're really hoping is people will just build players that like, are pulling for this music tag and formatting things properly, um, for music and see a lot of different things happen, you know, so seeing genre specific players, you know, like, like people would curate a playlist. We think people with an open source player, we think people would just start.
Creating random players. And you may have these different music experiences like you have now on some things like indie rock underground stuff on band camp, um, you know, mixtape, hip hop type things. On SoundCloud, you have these like, uh, or like electronic music. You have these things that sort of tend to [00:23:00] lean into particular genres.
We think we'll see that happen to you down the road with, with, uh, this music 2.0 or whatever we wanna call it.
Marty: Yeah, no, that, that doves tail dovetails into an interesting aspect of what you guys are building. Yes. You have the Wave Lake player with the top 40 and things like that, but at the end of the day, you guys are really building a music index that people can leverage.
Yeah. Is what you're getting at there, Sam?
Sam: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That was the, I think that was the big aha moment was like there, there needs to be, um, you know, the biggest, the biggest thing in music is distribution. You used to have to be on a record label because you had to have distribution, otherwise no one would be able to get your records.
That was, that was what made. The music business successful. Um, aggregates to digital platforms are easy to find. You can go to as an independent artist, you can find it, you can get access. But then those things were then sort of gobbled up by like, um, putting pressure [00:24:00] on streaming platforms from major industry to, to highlight tracks and playlists.
And so like the idea of music discovery became something that was basically impossible to achieve unless you were on a major label. So they're, they always, labels, always find some way to get this stuff just back into this package that works for them and doesn't work for anybody else. And think that's the, you know, we're not like, we're trying to make this an easy experience.
We're trying to make this something that's gonna be able to scale to normal artists that maybe aren't particularly, uh, invested in Bitcoin. Or maybe they don't even know about it. Maybe they don't, they don't have to know about it, is really the idea. We want to just have something that's easy and works, but, um,
Yeah, I mean, I think, uh, I think this is gonna, this, this is at least a situation where as long as we stay true to the cos, which I, which I know we're gonna do because we're incredibly passionate about it, uh, I think we'll have a pretty cool thing here where it's gonna be difficult. Um, you know, labels and publishers and, [00:25:00] and people like that will be able to participate, but I don't think they'll be able to commandeer it like they have in the past.
At least. I hope not.
Marty: Yeah. And so how does this index work from like a technical aspect? Sam, you mentioned the music tag, but what's going on on the back end, Michael?
Michael: Yeah, sure. It's, um, it's a podcast two Oh. Spec r s s feed. So we essentially just have an r s s feed for every album that's kind of our basic unit, um, for a feed on Wave Lake.
So if you have 10 tracks on an album, um, that, uh, gets generated into a publicly available r s s feed. Um, and then in that feed, it's, it's just like a podcast episode or, or sorry, a podcast. And each track is like an episode of that podcast. Um, it, it actually looks very similar for the most part, to a podcast RSS feed.
Um, except it's just got a little bit [00:26:00] of extra data in there that indicates, uh, the track, um, on Wave Lake. And then when, um, when a podcasting two oh app, uh, sends a payment to that address, and we just can, you know, we can interpret that and then, uh, uh, apply the payment to the correct track and artist.
Marty: Yeah, so you guys are essentially building, if we're analoging this to podcasting 2.0, you're building like the podcasting index. But for, for music,
Michael: yeah. We don't have something as quite as robust as the podcast index. I mean, those guys have been working on that for a long time and um, kudos to, you know, like the, the whole team that's put that together and all the contributors to it.
Um, cuz they've got a solid index over there. So I think we don't, we're not quite there yet in terms of um, you know, the inter interactivity from an application standpoint, but, [00:27:00] um, but we do wanna get there at some point, um, for
Marty: music. Yeah. And this is, I mean, it's a pretty big thing, right? Like to, to apply the podcasting over RSS to music, right?
Because as we've been discussing, music distribution has been pretty siloed and obviously RSS is this, Open source broadcasting mechanism, and it seems like distributing music via RSS feed is gonna be pretty damn disruptive.
Sam: Yeah, I think, I think we'll have a little bit. I mean, I'm already, you know, I'm always like overly excited and think when people see this, they're just gonna be like, this is the best thing ever. I'm gonna use this, I'm gonna stop using everything else. This is just the way to go. Um, but of course that's not the case.
So I think we're gonna have a little bit, I, I know we're gonna have, I mean, it's come up a lot and we're already, it's probably, it's our biggest hurdle is like, how are we going to educate people to make them, [00:28:00] to make, to make it click in the brains that like, your music is already free. You know, it's, it's gonna be a big line to cross for a lot of people because I just don't think, they don't, a lot of people don't think of it like that.
They think my music isn't free. My music is on Spotify, my music's on Apple Music. It's on wherever. and I get paid for that. And they know that they don't get paid a lot. They know that their royalty checks might be, you know, $12 or something, but at least they, it's just a mental thing where they're just like, it is behind some sort of a paywall.
So I am protected in that way. People can't just like go and listen to it for free when the reality of that is obviously we know they can, I mean, if you really wanna go, if you don't have a subscription to one of these music services, you can go find music anywhere. So maybe that's being monetized through the record label on YouTube or something where there's license agreements or loyalty agreements place where they're still able to collect money on that.
But even that, there's [00:29:00] ways to get around that. I mean, you'll just see, um, you can go find a song anywhere if you want. It's basically the point, you know. Um, so I think once peopleI get over that and they realize, like Michael was mentioning with some of the artists that we're seeing, , the, the gap, the stats between the amount of plays and the value that you're getting on those plays.
So I might make five or $7 on, you know, 10 or 15 plays instead of, like Michael said, you know, I might make $5 on 15,000 plays on something like Spotify. I don't know exactly what the math is, but it's somewhere around there, you know. So I think just having those use cases out there, it's gonna take us a minute to just to create some good examples and see that ramp up.
But once we have some of those, once we have some that are, for lack of a better term, in like normy land, you know, people are, are good use cases that are maybe outside of the Bitcoin e I think we'll see it grow very, uh, organically and I think [00:30:00] we'll see it grow exponentially too. Just like almost all other things have happened in the music business in the last 30 years.
It's just, it's immediately looked at like a, you know, digital music in general was immediately targeted. very strictly. Like they were suing 16 year old kids for downloading Metallica songs, you know, and they're in Ohio. And then within three years it's like, you have screening services and it's like, it's fixed.
It's like, problem solved. Cool. Well, I guess we just fixed that. We didn't, you know? Um, so yeah, I think, I think that's gonna be a big hurdle for sure. Um, I'm gonna stop talking
Michael: don't, don't feel afraid to stop talking. . I mean, there, it's, it's interesting along that line that, you know, there is a pretty big movement.
Um, I, I, I don't know how big it is, but there's a vocal movement of musicians and artists, um, who are fed up with, you know, the streaming industry, um, and just the, the lack [00:31:00] of sort of accountability and rights that they have as artists who are basically, um, doing all the work to put all this content on these services.
And they're not really, they don't feel like they're seeing. , um, their fair share, which I think is a totally, um, justified point of view. Um, but at the same time, I've spoken to some of these folks about Wave Lake, um, and yeah, there's, you know, there's, there's some pushback about, you know, like putting, putting the content out openly, not having a paywall, um, and things like that.
And, and also just skepticism about Bitcoin. I mean, we're in a bit of a bear market now. Hey, we're
Marty: pumping. We're pumping
Michael: now. Yeah, I'm looking. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm talking to like the three year Oh God no, I kidding. I'm kidding. Yeah. Yeah. But, um, yeah, I mean, and we've, it is been a rough year for like the cryptocurrency space, you know, as you, as people call it.
Um, and Bitcoin just gets sort of lumped into that unfairly. [00:32:00] Um, and so, yeah, I think the, like that skepticism piled onto sort of how different this. sy how, how a different wavelengths approach to music is compared to how, you know, traditionally it's been approached. Um, yeah, that makes it a, a little bit of an uphill climb, but I think like, yeah, I'm, I'm hopeful that we're gonna get to the other side.
Marty: Yeah. Well, and we've talked about this in the past and again, comparing it to like value for value in the podcasting world, and I think it definitely works there, obviously for no agenda, rabbit recap, TFTC, we're getting a lot of boost and all of that, and it's working well. But I think particularly for music, for artists, I think, yes, I'm a podcaster.
We're on a podcast right now and I love my work and, um, talking to gentlemen like yourselves and everybody else that's been on the show, but I, I'm not afraid to admit that people have much more of a spiritual connection with music as a medium [00:33:00] compared to podcasting. Yes. There maybe learning a lot here and getting enjoyment out of iBot or something about music that really.
Taps into our animalistic spirits and makes us feel
Sam: ways. It's just, yeah, it's a different, it, it's a different kind of value. I mean, I love podcasts because podcasts are primarily educational, you know, so whether it's like some sort, it could be a, it could be storytelling where you're just, you're getting something out of that.
But it's, uh, it, it, it's, it's mostly an educational experience, I think, for people. Like they listen to podcasts to learn something. Um, and there's a lot of value there, and I think that's why it does work and will continue to get better. But I do agree, um, music is incredibly special to people. It does things to people that really nothing else can.
Um, and I do think that it will scale a lot faster. I know there, there's been criticism even within, I mean, I, I, I have a podcast I do, I use. You know, it's, it's cool. I'm making more [00:34:00] money through value for value than I would've ever made on anything. You know, what's that money? It's, it's just like we're seeing with music, it's like small amount of plays, but statistically the value for those plays is actually pretty good.
If you compare it to what I would maybe get in like, the advertising space for a podcast that only has 300 listeners or something, you know? So, um, I, but I think, yeah, I think we will see this scale a lot faster with music. I think. We'll, we'll see it. Um, I'm really excited to see too, like just with publishing, you know, getting rid of those paywalls for publishing platforms, um, being able to stream stats as you're reading articles.
I'm really, really pumped for that. I know you have some experience with that team, Marty, with like, uh, the newsletter and there's some stuff on your website too that had some of that stuff going for a while, right? You still do that? Yeah.
Marty: Yeah. Yesterday's letter. Um, I've cha I'm, I'm like working with the model just to experiment with it.
I sort of feel dirty putting the. The newsletter behind a paywall because it's been free for five years. But the model I'm [00:35:00] working with is you can become a paid subscriber where you pay monthly or annual fee and you get it for free. Or if you don't wanna do that, you don't wanna put your email address in or pay with a credit card and you'd rather just consume, um, one piece of content that you particularly wanna read.
I'll put a 75 cent Lightning Network enabled paywall on that, and that's how you access it. So the first three bins of the week are free, and then if I write five, the last two are paywall. Yeah. And I know
Sam: there's, there's things being worked on for that where you can even, you know, you can read in real time and you can stream mm-hmm.
paragraphs. So that's, I mean, this idea, it's just, it's just so new, you know, it's like conceptualizing all this stuff and how it's gonna work. It's just these things only work once they get distributed enough that they become normal for people. Like people didn't understand the concept of like, you know, something like Apple Pay that probably would've been really difficult to understand.
10 years ago, if you're trying to explain to somebody that you were gonna [00:36:00] have this thing in your, in your pocket, that, you know, whatever, you know, there's just, it just has to become normal. And the more things that get implemented, the easier this is gonna be. The more, uh, things like Cash app, uh, strike, um, breeze and these other cool, I don't, I'm hesitant to call them wallets because I, I tend to agree with Roy that they're not.
But, um, once you have these things on your phone where you can transact with, uh, transact easily, you know, like, like the Cash app. Cash app right now, having, uh, turning on lightning payments for everybody, it's incredible. I mean, how many people out there who don't even know what Bitcoin is, have Bitcoin capabilities in their pocket right now and tens of millions.
Yeah. And Cash App works really, really well with Wave Lake, so that's gonna be a. easy thing to do. Like once we can just start telling people like, yeah, just go down like Cash app, because everyone, no one knows what value for value is in the, the normal space. A lot of people aren't educated on Bitcoin at the Lightning Network for sure, [00:37:00] but they know what Cash App is, you know, so for like, just go download this and you can fund your wallet through here and you can pay your favorite artist through Cash App or Strike or Venmo or any of these other things.
I guess that, um, ultimately will, and who knows, maybe it'll be an Apple Pay too at some point in time. People are talking about that. I don't know if that story was real this week, but somebody was posting around a, some tweet somewhere that Apple is, uh, has all this stuff in their code base. So, but whether they're doing it now or not, it, these things will be everywhere at some point in time and it's just gonna make this process incredibly easy for people.
So we just have to build and as long as like we're building the infrastructure, as soon as the people are ready, the stuff's there, then it's just gonna take off.
Marty: Yeah. And then on top of that, like not only are. , you guys changing, like the technical aspects of how these artists get paid with Bitcoin.
Lightning Network value for value over, um, RSS or syndicating the music over rss. But like we discussed this [00:38:00] too, there's gonna have to be, uh, and this is probably a big hurdle, but I don't think it'll be that hard, which is changing the interaction between the artist and the user. For the artist being like, Hey, if you wanna support me, go listen to my music on Wave Lake over Spotify and directly, um, boost me over the Lightning network.
There's, there's that aspect of the value for value model that will certainly, um, need to develop in, in the music industry. But again, going back to the emotional connection that individuals have with music, I think it'll be a relatively low lift for the first movers from the artist's perspective that begin to, I think they'll see a ton of engagement.
Sam: Yeah, I agree. I think I'm hoping so. Sorry, Michael, man.
Michael: Uh, no, I was just gonna say like the, the one thing that Sam and I also think a lot about is, um, just teaching people about Bitcoin through Wave Lake. Um, because as you mentioned, you know, [00:39:00] um, music is such a universal, universally valued thing. It's just a special thing that Mo you know, everyone can connect with.
And so, um, yeah, we just think something like Wave Lake is a great way, not only to solve a lot of these accounting and, um, fairness problems in the music industry, but it's also a great way to introduce a lot of people to the utility of Bitcoin. Um, and you know, I, I think we try to like, play down a little bit of, um, you know, you know, the, the, the common sort of, um, I guess vocabulary or, you know, signals that, um, we use in the Bitcoin space, just so that's not so intimidating for people that aren't familiar with something like SATs.
Like I had a friend who's followed what I've been doing for the last year and we finally launched last week, and he, he asked me like, so are stats [00:40:00] like the wavelength token that you use ? And, um, and so, and, and like it's a, it's a totally fair question, um, from someone who doesn't underst, who doesn't know what a SAT is, who doesn't know much about Bitcoin.
Um, yeah. So I think like that, that, that's one aspect of the music. I guess using music as, um, a way to just introduce people to this amazing technology is, is one thing, you know, we'd like to do as well.
Marty: Yeah, and I think we've seen an example of this, uh, in recent weeks over on Noster. I'm not sure if you guys have been.
Playing around with Noster, but, um, I've been on there and it's actually been pretty incredible to see the amount of people who have come to the Noster ecosystem, uh, downloaded a client like DOIs or something like that and joined it cuz they saw Jack Dorsey tweeting about it or Edward Snowden tweeting about it.
And then within a few days you're like, oh, like Bitcoin's integrated here. And like, they learned [00:41:00] Bitcoin and you can easily tip. I mean, Edward Snowden got on an noster and wrote his first message there. He had to tell people to stop sending him Bitcoin. Like
Marty: Uh, cuz they were just tipping him so much.
Um, you can like, and that's an, he just went on and people just started sending him stats because they really valued the whistleblower work he did in the past. And it, it isn't hard to imagine, um, something similar happening to artists where they get on to Wave Lake and they have a bunch of rabbit fans that just start sending them stats.
Sam: It, it's, it's, yeah, it's, uh, it's a new way to monetize attention, I guess. You know, it's like, I guess the advertising model is you are the, you are the product. If you're listening to a podcast with advertising, you're, you're, you're valued to the podcaster and the advertising network is your attention to this ad.[00:42:00]
Um, but that's the really cool thing is like, yeah, you can, the really fun thing about an no Star is you can just engage with people because it's, it's just fun and it's new and it's not like flooded with people. It's like small still. So it's just very exciting to be able to go on there and engage with people, because even the people that normally, like you wouldn't be able to have like someone like Jack, like maybe you wouldn't be able to have.
As much engagement with, with Jack on Twitter as you could on Noster, because Jack is just particularly jazzed on what's happening there. And he's just like hugging everybody and, and giving him the shocka symbol and everyone's just super pumped and like excited. So, um, yeah, I mean that's, it's new Technology is fun, it's exciting and I we're gonna see that, I mean, I guess maybe that will level off as Naster gets bigger, maybe like, uh, boosting as Wave Lake gets bigger, maybe people won't be bo boosting as many stats as they are right now because they're just like really excited.
Like, we just had to increase the, the capacity for the [00:43:00] boost because like, I wanted to boost more and I was like, I, I need to be able to boost more. I wanna send more stats. Uh, it's, it's cool. I mean, and, and yeah, the, it's just adding more to the plate, but like the, all the fun stuff we can do with Noster.
I mean, I had to get, Michael had, I, I, I think I jumped on there first and so I just kept like sending him links and stuff like, Hey dude, we gotta like, , we gotta, we gotta do some stuff on this thing. You gotta sign up, we gotta check this out. We gotta figure out how to integrate wavelength with Nostros stuff because that, that technology that's moving so fast, I mean, will got a major shout out to Will with Donis cause Yeah, that's pretty incredible what he's been able to do in the last 30 to 45 days.
Marty: Yeah. Well, I mean, particularly with RSS feeds, like I'm, uh, like I want to, for the newsletter, like I want to like set up like an R like I want to like immediately syndicate every newsletter to Yeah. Noster over rss. And since it's, you can easily integrate RSS with Noster. Like you guys could do [00:44:00] it with the Wave Leak index as well, or somebody per state.
Yep. Goes out to noster, Nora's got Lightning Network enabled tips, uh, included already. You just take the metadata of your users' Lightning addresses and you syndicate the noster. It's sort of like a, a growth hack for you guys. I can imagine.
Michael: Yeah. Sam and I have been talking about
Sam: is, is is nuts between all these platforms.
Just to be able to Yeah. Connect it all simply is miraculous actually.
Michael: Right? Yeah. We've been talking a lot about ways that we might be able to l like integrate with Naster, potentially publish feeds through it, potentially like link payments to tracks that all trace back to, you know, events in Noster. Um, I think the identity aspect of non noster, like the pub private key, uh, private key, um, you know, way of, uh, proving identities has a lot of potential [00:45:00] outside of just, you know, messaging.
Um, so yeah, it, it, it's, yeah, I, I've only, I I'm pretty new to it still, but I did, I did, um, I did see the hug train. This past week I was able to catch that , which is pretty, which is just great. Which is just great to see. Um, but yeah, it's, uh, yeah, the, the, the more I learn about it, the more I see a lot of opportunity there.
Marty: Yeah. Um, we're gonna have a, a tftc relay hereby by the end of Q2 2023. I'm putting that timeline on myself. Not gonna rush. Nice. I can't build it. I'm depending on others to build it, but , um, yeah, no, it's fascinating where this can all go. I mean, like noster, it seems like it opens up just like a whole, like you mentioned, new world of interoperability and just really supporting and emboldening and, uh, equipping [00:46:00] independent content producers.
Whether it be somebody pedaling a disgusting newsletter like myself or artist putting music out there. Um, it's really gonna be fascinating. It's crazy. , uh, the technologies that we have at our fingertips right now that are being enabled by like open source data distribution and open source money, it's gonna be fucking
Sam: it's interesting. What a
Michael: time to be like. How seriously? It's really interesting to me, like, just to see how the whole web three kind of hype train was like, everything's gonna be on a blockchain. We're gonna have a blockchain for this, a blockchain for that. Like, we're gonna have tokens and, and like I feel like all of the really interesting stuff was actually happening outside of that.
It was, it's like the things happening in podcasting 2.0 is the stuff happening on noster? It's all of this stuff that's sort of happening behind or, or to the side of all of that, [00:47:00] um, that hype in quote unquote web three. Um, and I think. . Yeah. I think for the people who are sort of paying attention to that, like we're, we're able to see that this is, this is where like, I think all of the innovation and the advancement's gonna happen.
Marty: Yeah. All this shit with value. I mean, I wrote a newsletter about that early last year when the web three meme was really blowing up. It's like these people have a completely wrong, blockchains don't really make sense for any of this. What you're gonna do is just combine a bunch of open source technologies and using podcasting 2.0 as the per proxy, like RSS and Bitcoin over lightning.
Boom, combine them. That's web three, direct peer-to-peer monetization of podcasts. Wave lake, boom. Distribute music over RSS feed. Combine that with the Lightning network. Boom. Peer-to-peer music monetization. No. , let's spit up a bunch of relays that communicate via web socket, and then you can [00:48:00] inject Bitcoin into that boom.
You have, uh, distributed , uh, you have distributed communications technology with that, a bunch of crazy clients, UI different, very unique experiences can be built to top of, you don't need an A 16 z backed, uh, token to do any of this ,
Sam: right? We're, we're building a real foundation here. That's the, that's the difference.
You know, just over, everyone's had a different journey with this, but some have been similar, you know, where you've gone through like these different phases throughout the, the technology, however long you've been at Bitcoin or however long you've been paying attention, I've been paying attention for a while and that's, I think that's what really ends up getting the, the Bitcoin person in the right place is.
you know, you, there's so many distracting things over the course of that journey that you're taking, but there's one true, consistent thing. It's like, oh, I see when all at, [00:49:00] at the end of the, the cycle or at the end of the day when all these things collapse, like what's still here? Like, this foundation is still here and the foundation is just getting stronger and stronger and stronger for every one of these cycles.
So it's, it's impossible after a certain amount of time to not see that. And I think that's, that's why this is happening. You know, it's like why we're seeing the Lightning Network from the, the first, uh, casa node that I set up down here in my basement in 2018 or whenever it was. I can't remember whenever those came out.
So what's happening now, you know, like early 2020 or late 2020, early 21, seeing like what was happening with Umbr and you're just getting, like, you can't, you couldn't even get a raspberry pie because everyone was just like flocking to Amazon to to buy everything, to, to buy out all the supply, to build nodes.
And you're just like, The exponential growth of lightning network, that whole time period of all the businesses. I mean, we all know, we've all seen the, just the sheer amount of like incredible businesses that have popped up in the last [00:50:00] five years. Um, especially lightning businesses has just been absolutely incredible.
So just building an, a very strong foundation. This is not a house of cards. This is something that's like going to work and uh, it's very, very exciting.
Marty: Yeah, no, and I think wavelength particularly is very exciting. Cuz again, going back to music, massive market, massive emotional connection for people. Like, I think if you guys are successful in sort of tipping over the domino of artists really getting hooked into this model, it could be massive for adoption and just awareness of.
Sam: for sure. Yeah, there's, I'm, I'm happy to have this thing out out there because there are, we were talking about this a little bit yesterday, but there's just so much potential with all of this. It's hard to know where to start, you know, but you have to start . So now we've at least done that part. We've, we've gone gotten over the hurdle of like just getting a product [00:51:00] out there, and now we can just get it to work.
So I'm hoping, I'm really hoping to see, I mean, it, it's weird because in a lot of, in a lot of, um, most companies wouldn't wanna see a lot of competition pop up. They'd wanna control that. But like, we really wanna see this grow. We're hoping that we're just, just the beginning of what we see happen with music and lightning and, uh, RSS and the, just all these and Noster and all these things.
Like, I hope there's just like a flourishing community of these things start, that, start, pop up in the next 12 to 18 months. Yeah.
Marty: And then particularly for you guys, um, in terms of like artist adoption and syndicating. , uh, their, their work via Wave Lake and Wave Lake Index. What, like, we've talked about this in the past too, where particularly for artists who are either miffed at the streaming services or their labels, I mean, we've talked in the past about Taylor Swift and the Scooter [00:52:00] brawn blow up and there's been this trend of some artist, uh, going back and actually re uh, recording some of their past albums.
Taylor Swift being one of them and then putting them out Yeah. Independently so they can reap the reward of that album and the label doesn't get everything. Um, I could see that, like, that would be an interesting sort of Trojan horse to get people in the Wave Lake cuz I go find all the artists that are pissed off at their labels or the streaming services and just get them to rerecord and post it on, on Wave Lake.
Sam: Yeah, it's, I think it's, it's, it's in the air with everybody. It's in the air from, you know, people. I mean, it's why band can't work so well for a lot of years. It still continues to be a successful platform for small artists because they just wanna opt out of that system because they can, there's a better system for them and a better community for them, [00:53:00] somewhere like that.
Um, and then you're, yeah, you're seeing Swift and these bigger artists that have just had it. I mean, I keep referencing this TLC video that I saw as, like, Lisa left I Lopez talking about how they sold 10 million records or something, and each of them walked with like $300,000 at the end of the day. And they were basically broke after they, you know, bought a house.
And it's like that, that should not be happening. And that's only gotten worse actually because the, you can't sell 10 million records anymore. So it's even, it's even worse. Like, there's not even the same amount of money out there to, to be, uh, To cut out of. So, yeah, I mean, I think, like I was saying before, it's gonna be tough to get, to get, um, artists moved over, but it's just gonna take a couple key people to do it.
But I even, even, I was talking to one sort of notable, semi notable person, uh, the other day and I was just like, who I know is interested in Bitcoin and [00:54:00] is a musician and I just, it's one of those examples where I just thought they would be like, yeah, this is rad. I'll do it right now. You know? Um, but that skepticism is there and I think, uh, without use cases it's just gonna be tough to pull those people over.
But I think we'll get those pretty soon.
Marty: Yeah. Then some of the, are you gonna say something, Michael?
Michael: Oh, no. Well,
Marty: I was gonna say, like, like you were saying, you're still learning how to spit up properly, but I imagine for the artist too, obviously distribution is a big thing. So you guys need people to build popular players on top of the index.
Yeah. Like apps that people can download
Sam: for sure. That's, that's a major, that's gonna be a major milestone to actually, yeah.
Michael: More things out there. Yeah. I mean, we, like, I think that's the disadvantage we're at right now is that, um, like all the ears are on these major streaming platforms. Um, and I think the best way [00:55:00] to, um, yeah, the best way to kind of fight against that is not only for us to create a player, but for like anyone who's interested in this, to.
Music players on top of this content, um, and other people to also create distribution services like ours that are interoperable with our player and our content is interoperable with their player. Um, then it's, then it's truly, it truly becomes a upload once, distribute everywhere situation. Um, and in that kind of environment, if you're an artist and you essentially can attach a universally payable lightning address to every single song that you put out, um, by just uploading it once to these distribution services like ours, why would you go and, you know, try and piecemeal, uh, upload tracks to each individual streaming service, either yourself or through some company that does it for you?
Um, [00:56:00] you know, you'd have, you, you, you can have massive exposure to this way, um, as long as. The, the players are out there and the audiences are, are going to them.
Marty: Yeah. Interoperability. I think it's gonna be a big trend as we head toward 2030, what you guys need as a rapper to drop Wave Lake in a song and then, then you have overnight success.
Sam: It, I'm, I'm keep my fingers crossed it's gonna happen.
Marty: I mean, that's how Cash app went viral. Like Yeah. Started in the inner cities and got, and they didn't like go to rappers and say, drop us in your songs. They just started naturally happening. I could see a phenomena like that happening, uh, in this area too.
Sam: I dropped my track record. You're already seeing like some small community things happen and that's gonna be really fun when we just start being able to foster these just all different types, types of communities within music. Um, it's gonna be really, really cool to see.
Marty: Yeah. How have the, um, [00:57:00] like the B2B conversations been going?
Like you mentioned publishers. They're a big aspect of this, like license dealers and stuff like that. Like you said, it could potentially make them more money as well. Have you really convinced any of the players in that part of the industry to, to seriously consider this?
Sam: No, I think we're like a little hesitant to even try to shell wavelength too hard yet. Like I just wanna see some more. I, I love the slow game, so I just wanna see like a few more things in place before we really start, um, working that angle. Um, but I think we will, I mean, like, you know, I, I know a few smaller labels that I think would be interested at least in the conversation and that that's something.
we'll be approaching soon, but yeah, I mean, before the end of the year, it's, we have a goal to have a thousand artists on the platform. I [00:58:00] don't know if it'll happen, but it's a little lofty, but you never know. I mean, I think we have like 15 now, so after the first week. So it's a good start. Um, but if we could get a record label on board, that would help that growth, uh, pretty substantially.
So I think, I think it'd be cool. I, I think we just have to, uh, yeah, we, we need to work on the education piece. It's, that's a really, that's the missing piece here for us, just because we've been so busy with the, the design. Uh, Michael's been so busy with just building everything. I mean, the dude is like an absolute machine.
It's super impressive. Um, but now that the dust is settled a little bit, we can get a couple more of these features in and then start attacking the education piece. And once we have good education in place, then I think that's when we'll be, you know, talking more openly to random bands and, um, publishers and record labels.
Marty: Yeah, and then you'll undoubtedly get the Bick winners to just annoy their favorite artists. Like, put it on Wave Lake. I'd like to [00:59:00] support you directly.
Sam: There you go. Yeah. I can't wait. I can't wait for that. The, the Street Street. Teamers. ,
Marty: that's what I actually, you guys will have at least 51 by the end. I mean, there's this day I'm gonna go to my buddy and just released an album.
Tell him to put it up there, and he definitely will.
Sam: Oh, awesome. Rad. Thank you.
Michael: Yeah. There, there's a, there's been a, I mean, I've been surprised at like the crossover between Bitcoin people and musicians. Like there's definitely, I was surprised at how big, uh, that demographic was just in the last week.
There's just a ton of musicians who are also bitcoiners and are just like, interested in a tool like this.
Sam: and just the Bitcoin genre. I mean, there's, that's almost like becoming a genre in itself. Just songs about Bitcoin. It's, there's, so I think we have like the entire Bitcoin genre catalog up there now at this point, which is pretty, I, I had no idea.
I knew there were a few, but I was like, dang man, there's a ton of these.
Marty: [01:00:00] Yeah. And then, I mean, I'm not sure if Sean Lennon's an artist, obviously is dead, was, but he's a massive Coiner as well. Shalon
Sam: is a killer artist. Yeah. He's got some, he's got some great music. Yeah.
Marty: Yeah. I mean, he's low hanging fruit.
He's shot. I'm sorry if you're listening. I know he is listening to the podcast before. Um, I've not found your music yet, but yeah, put it on Wave Lake and I'll be listening to,
Michael: we would love
Sam: to have Sean. That would be, that would be, that would be incredible. Yeah. Big, big fan of Sean Lennon. Yeah. And if you haven't listened to his records, go listen to To Dead Meat.
It's a really good, really good album. Hell
Marty: yeah. Where else does this go? , what are, what are your biggest hopes for, for Wave Lake? Why, I mean, obviously we've talked about the problems in the music industry, but how do you see this changing and does it incentivize better, better music? Does it incentivize more touring?
Does it incentivize [01:01:00] more interactions with, with the end user? I'll,
Sam: I'll just go really quickly and then I'll let Michael jump in. Cause I'm, I'm just like, yeah, talking way too much today. But, uh, yeah, I think just having a low pressure experience for the artist to be able to monetize without the need to think that I have to, you know, if, if you have a Patreon or something like that, the content that you have to generate to keep up with that commitment for your subscribers can be a huge burden.
Um, the, the, the burden of having to go out and. for having to front a bunch of money for super unique merchandise items or things like that. It's a lot, it's a lot. All that stuff's a lot to bear when you're an artist and you just wanna like go make some music and do what you love. So I just hope to eliminate a lot of that pressure and for people to just be able to comfortably make music and in return, um, I wanna have a very seamless experience that can be really engaging [01:02:00] with the artist and the fan because that's, in my experience as a musician, I've had, um, I've always attempted to put that as a priority, that, that fan connection and it works really well.
I've seen firsthand like how well that can work. So I want to be able to achieve what you might be able to achieve through a concert or, you know, signing stuff at the end of the night at a merge table. Things like that, that are super important to have that fan engagement and that, um, and create that special situation for a fan.
Wanna be able to replicate that in some way. through Wave Lake?
Michael: Yeah. Uh, for me, I mean, one of the reasons that I started Wave Lake was selfishly because I just wanted to find cool new music that I like wouldn't find through the major streaming platforms. I, um, I just, yeah, I think I was just kind of, I wasn't really happy with the recommendations and the playlists they were making for me, and I just felt [01:03:00] like I could just tell it was made by a computer, like the, the playlist that I was being recommended.
It just felt like, you know, oh, you're just, you're just identifying the traits of the songs that I listen to a lot and you're just matching it in some algorithm and then sending me more of that stuff. It's not like you're thinking about, Hey, if you like this, here's something like completely off that track that you might like too.
It's like a friend saying, you know, just recommending some random band or artist to you. Like that's, that's what I was. Sort of missing. Um, and so, I don't know. I just hope, I hope we're able to foster kind of a new era of better music recommendations, um, powered by SATs, you know, like using SATs as that value signal, that true value signal for, um, music that people really love and enjoy and want to promote and support.
Um, like [01:04:00] I, I would love to see that really grow and flourish. Um, and yeah, just if, you know, people around the world are more easily able to discover music they love and, um, like we're, I've, I've been hearing stuff the last week that like I never would've come across, um, on a streaming platform. And that's just been every morning I just check like, who's uploaded stuff.
I'm gonna listen to that. Um, and there's a lot of great music that people are uploading. that, you know, it, it is, it is just awesome to experience. And so I just hope that continues and like that more and more people can have that same experience.
Marty: Yeah, and I, I thought about this on the written content side of thing.
So like what we're doing at TFTC with our B T C pay server ghost integration, we're adding more payments too, but like I think we can compete with CK on the Croatia model, and you can create these really [01:05:00] unique social graph based off of SAT flows. Um, you can do like sat flows per listen, like there's like, we, like you can get like very strong signals.
Like yes, somebody may upload it, it may only get, um, 10 views, but if that those 10 views produce a hundred thousand stats, like, oh, this may be a good song you want to do is you can use that signal to like populate like some curation. Then on top of that, if you do. Let's say you like integrate Noster Pub Keys as an identification tool, then you begin to create these social graphs of different songs that people, uh, with those pub keys are, are liking.
And then you can have like a trusted circle. Like, I want to know whatever they're liking and, um, how much they're boosting to see how much they, like you can, there's so many creative things that you can pull out of this from a creation perspective.
Sam: Yeah. Yeah. That's another fun thing too that we're hoping to do, is incentivize fans [01:06:00] to share music.
Um, you know, it's like if you, if I discover a really cool song and I wanna like put it out, if I was say, say I shared a no, that'd be really cool to be able and, and people, I mean, I think similar to what you were could do at one point on spx, I'm not, I've, I've had a little bit of trouble with SPX lately, unfortunately, so I, I haven't been able to use it as much as I, as I did when I first heard about it.
But I know at one point in time on SPX you could share like a clip. and if somebody listened to it or boosted from that clip, you would get a percentage of the, the, the boost that happened. We wanna do things like that too. You know, like if you're just have a whole army of, of kids out there, like sharing cool songs and like, um, making stats back from that too.
Like that's gonna be really just incentivize that circular situation for, for everybody I think is gonna be a huge part of it as well.
Marty: Yeah, you can like mechanical Turk, like Rap Genius or something like that for like lyrics. Yes. Yeah. Like somebody's like describing what the lyrics are and like other [01:07:00] users can tip them for, for that.
Sam: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah.
Marty: Michael, in terms of the technical aspects of this, um, what are some of the hurdles that you're experiencing building on Lighten? What are, what are you looking forward to in terms of things that, that may be coming to the Lightning Network that would, that would make your, your product easier to use or, or just simply better?
Michael: Yeah, I think the big one that, um, Sam and I talk about a lot, I think about a lot is, um, custody. So, you know, and, and I think the, the, kind of, the precursor to that is just user key management. Um, you know, until, until people are familiar with and comfortable with managing their own private keys, um, it's gonna be really difficult to get to a situation where, um, you know, people [01:08:00] can custody their own lightning wallets.
And so, um, yeah, that's, that's just, I, I think that's the biggest, um, . Yeah. That's one of the biggest challenges I think in the, in the broader lightning space right now, is the custo, the custodial question. Um, I think for now it's, I, I think custody is a good enough trade off. I think the trade-off is worth it in order to, um, you know, onboard more people, get them comfortable with how lightning works.
Um, but I think in the longer term, I think, you know, some, some better solutions need to and better ux, um, uh, you know, we just need better UX and solutions for key management and self custody and all that. So, uh, you know, I would say that's like the, the one of the things that are priority for us is just like always being on top of sort of what products are coming out, what innovations are coming out in the space.
Um, I think Noster is like a really [01:09:00] good example, speaking of it again, um, of like another way that people are learning about private key management. Um, and so hopefully that helps push that, that, you know, that envelope forward a little bit. And then, you know, with that, if we can have, um, more self custody and just more sort of responsibility over, uh, funds, I think that would be, that would be great to
Yeah, completely agree, but also agree that UX is getting better and I think over the last three years, particularly like all the walls that have come to market, um, have certainly made a better experience. But agree, it's got a far ways to go before it's ready for. , Joe Schmo in the corner just wants to listen to a, a track being able to custody their Bitcoin.
Yeah. I say that in, I wrote a newsletter last [01:10:00] night was like, Bitcoin custody's not that hard. You just downloaded an app and hit received. But it's more, we just gotta get people comfortable with private, public key. Just the whole concept. It's not that hard. Yeah. You write down some words, keep 'em safe, you're good.
Michael: Yeah. Yeah. That scares people. I think that, I think it, you know, I would imagine kid like teenagers growing up today, like they're gonna be very familiar with it. Like it won't be as big a deal for them as it is for us older folks that, you know, had to learn this along the way. I think like for, for peop, for, for like key private key natives, it'll be, you know, it'll be second
Yeah, I agree. It's actually stoked. An interesting thought in my mind. Like, I wonder if. , it'll be similar for Wave Lake, where just younger artists are like, no, this makes more sense to me. I'm gonna publish here.
Sam: Yeah, I hope so. I think so. Yeah. I think that [01:11:00] that will be the case. Yeah.
Marty: Yeah. I'm excited for you guys.
Sam: the launch. Thank you. Thank you. We're so excited. Um, absolutely could not, could not be more thrilled with, with, uh, the way this last, this last week has gone. Just, yeah. Like Michael said, such cool music. I, I've discovered so many just same as him, like music that an algorithm would never feed me in a million years, I have now listened to and have, and have boosted, and I'm, I'm thoroughly enjoying, uh, all the new music that's coming on.
So I encourage people if you, uh, if you, if you make music, you're listen. Whatever it is. That's the cool thing about it too. It's like there's no pressure. Like you're, are you working on some beat that, like for the last three years that you've been scared to release on Spotify or Dunno how to, it takes like 30 seconds to upload it on wavelength and you can get some stats.
It's really fun. It's fun to just try it out. So, um, yeah, hopefully we can, we can get even just like a whole group of people using [01:12:00] this thing that normally wouldn't even be releasing music because they just would feel too much pressure. Like it's a big deal and it's, this, this isn't, it's just fun. Like we're just trying to build like a really new, fun, exciting music library and, uh, I think, uh, yeah, I think people are eager to hear new things, so I encourage everybody out their use it.
Marty: Oh yeah.
Michael: Yeah. And, and if it helps at all, we have a pretty rabid fan base, like a listener base that's just hungry for new music and they're hungry to support it. So, um, yeah, hope, hopefully that encourages people to share their stuff.
Sam: Yeah, this is, uh, yeah, I've been seeing some users do some heavy boosts and it's like, I like, oh man, I gotta like up my boost game.
Like I'm not boosting enough here. I gotta, I gotta keep up with these. Yeah. Are
Marty: you a weak booster, Sam? It's not a good look.
Sam: I was a weak booster. I'm not anymore. I'm a strong booster now. That's, but that's, I mean, I don't know. It's cool. , I think, I think that's gonna happen for a [01:13:00] lot of people. Yeah.
They're gonna see if you're, if you, that's why when we raised the limit, I think this is gonna be kind of cool cuz we're sort of setting a new standard where like when we were testing wavelength, I think we just got in habit of like, we are doing like 10 sets or something because we were just testing random shit back and forth for, for months.
And so then when the thing launched, I just had our preset set low and then I realized like, oh yeah, we should definitely be, be sending more. But I think it the more. , you know, if, if you go and you see that, like this new standard, if you're looking down the list and these comments and you're seeing boosts that are like 10,000, 20,000, that might encourage you to do the same.
And so that just creates even more value. So as the, as the standard, as the bar gets raised, I think the more value we're gonna have for bands. Yeah.
Michael: There's, I also, there's also like this ki I feel like there's a competitive nature among fans too, where they see that like other tracks are getting boosted to the top of the chart, and so they're like, well, I want this chart.
Yeah. I want this track to go [01:14:00] off. And so they'll boost it sort of the same amount or a little bit more just to, just to, uh, get it up there.
Sam: Yeah. Well, yeah, like your, do didn't your daughter the other day say that she, she didn't like the song that was at number one? She wanted the song that was like further down the list to be number one and it's just like, cool, just boost it up there.
Like easy .
Marty: No, I, I mean we certainly experienced this on, on the podcasting side, like Rhr. Particularly, um, since we read the top four boost of each week on the show, like we've seen week over week, like the top Boost has, has gotten larger in SAT size because, uh, freaks are like competing to get, uh, into the top four.
So we read it on air.
Sam: Yeah. Nice. It, it's the attention, it's, it's the engagement. It's wanting to feel connected, you know, to something that you really love. It's just all those things that's the, that's the true basis of value [01:15:00] for value. Like, that's it in a nutshell. Like, you want to, I, I want to give you value, you want to give me value in that exchange just keeps getting stronger and stronger and stronger.
Marty: It's a, it's a beautiful thing. It's a fun thing to be a part of. Do you guys ever pinch yourselves? Like, oh, I feel like I'm on the cutting edge .
Sam: Oh yeah. It's, no, it's, it's, so, it's ridiculous. It's totally ridiculous. I can't believe that I even had any part of this at all. , what about you, Mike? How
Michael: does it feel for you?
No. Yeah, it's, it's crazy. No, it's, it's totally, I mean, being on your show right now is like surreal, you know, with the, with the, I see the logo in the banner around here. It's, um, but yeah, it, it's, it's been a, like, it's been an amazing, I don't know, year and a half since, you know, trying to like, just attempt something like this.
Um, and it's, the, the weirdest thing is I had an interaction with Sam on SPX before we [01:16:00] ever like, knew who the other person was before I, like, I barely knew what value for value was, or you know, how Lightning worked. And one of the first things I ever did on SPX was like, look for music. I happened to find lightning store music.
Um, Which was like the only thing I could find , and I think I accidentally boosted like a thousand sat or like, just had no idea what I was doing. Thanks. Yeah, no problem. Um, and then, and now here we are. So, uh, yeah, it's been, it's, it's been an amazing trip and yeah, I'm so excited to see where this goes.
Marty: Yeah. Well that's probably something we should have touched on in the beginning of the episode is, uh, like Sam, like you're like recognizing that's fx you solve for podcasts, and you're like, I'm gonna put music on here. And it's sort of Yeah.
Sam: Yeah. I this, I mean, this is just proof of like, perseverance works out their kids.
Uh, you wanna see something happen. [01:17:00] I've been screaming on Twitter, you know, I think my, the Lightning story, I think today actually is two years. I just got like a notification on there that I, I, I have my Twitter birthday or whatever. Um, so yeah, over the course of two years, I, I think I heard Paul on here.
It was like one of the most inspiring things I've had heard ever. I sent it to a ton of people. I was like, this is going to, this is like gonna change the world. Like this is, this is crazy. Like, everyone, let's go listen to this. Like listen to the possibility of the potential there. Um, yeah, I immediately figured out how to create, uh, an RSS feed on podcast 2.0, got my music, created this like lightning music store and then from there it was just like, this needs to happen.
Let's do this. Like how I, I don't know how to build anything. I'm an idiot, but like somebody do this, somebody figure out how to like, make this work for music. Cuz this is incredible technology that no one is taking advantage. Uh, no one's taking advantage of this yet. So yeah, it's, it's, we say it's kind of [01:18:00] serendipitous.
Like he, you know, he stumbles, he's thinking the same thing probably after listening to, to the exact same I. , um, stumbles upon this in his quest, like just, I just happened to have been there and now we own a business together that was doing exactly researching for two years ago. So it's really, it's, we've, we've said it's serendipitous a lot.
I mean, even the first time we met, it's just kind of hilarious. Like, he, I think he thought I was Keyon from Stacker News, like we had some panel, we were sort like alike and he's like, oh yeah, I, I think maybe I had a little bit more of a beard at that point or something. But, uh, but yeah, I just think, you know, these things, it's important.
I know, you know, in, in the grand scheme of where this is gonna go, we're playing an incredibly small part, but just to be able to be a part of it at all is absolutely. Um, it's an honor, you know, really, truly. And I'm just excited to, I've, I've been trying to find a place in this world for a long time and, and I'm so happy [01:19:00] to have finally found a spot to be able to do something that's going to help.
Marty: Yeah, no, I mean, I mean, number one, I'm very happy that the Paul Toy episode inspired you guys. It's weird to think that that video
Sam: potentially led us here. No big
Marty: time. . It's crazy to think, but then number two, yeah, I think
particularly in Bitcoin, like scratching your own itch is like the best way to get to like success in the industry. Like for me it was, I had a bunch of family members and friends who were like trying to learn about Bitcoin. I had no resource to point into it. I was like, all right, I'll start fucking writing about it for you.
And that's what dovetailed into . And then for you guys, like, I wanna see music on like a podcasting 2.0, like system. And then, all right, nobody's building it. I'm gonna scratch my own edge. You go build it. Like I think that your story particularly [01:20:00] highlights the nations of this industry. Like if you want something.
It may seem daunting, but you can go fucking build it. Like if not you, then who?
Sam: Yeah. And even if you don't know how, I mean, I have, I have no idea how to build anything, but just like the, the sheer motivation of just wanting to see it happen has led to this, you know, so it's just the drive you have. I think that's the coolest part about, part about this and why we've seen so many incredible bitcoin companies start because it, it is so overwhelming and there are so many things to do, but if you as an individual take what you're passionate about and what you're, you know, like your part, like what's my role?
What's my role here? Like, I'm signed up. Where do I, you know, what do you need? Um, like in any situation, everybody has their, has the things that they're, they're really good at. So it, this is one of these incredibly rare experiences in, in the, the scope of time of all time where we're able to potentially change [01:21:00] the way kind of everything works.
So, . Everyone is gonna eventually be able to play a role here and use their abilities to everyone's advantage. You know? So whether it's music or, uh, journalism or, or broadcasting or banking or whatever, I mean, this is all, everything is going to shift into what it's gonna be a better situation for Earth.
Yeah. It's a beautiful thing, really
Marty: is. I'm pumped to be on this journey with you guys. That's the best part about doing this show. Yeah. It's pumped to be here. Everybody's just so jacked up about what they're doing.
Sam: so, so jacked up. I'm gonna say, I'm gonna say I'm jazzed again. That's my favorite thing to say. I'm just so jazzed . As long as you're not doing jazz. I'm trying to bring that back. No, no jazz hands. I'm just trying to bring back that term jazzed. It's, it's pretty, uh, it's. Jazz to the tit. Old, old timey [01:22:00] terms are are are gonna come back.
Yeah. Yeah. .
Marty: So where can people find more about Wave Lake?
Sam: Wave lake.com and uh, yeah, at Wave Lake on Twitter, Instagram, I guess there's not much there. and it, and it's
Michael: Waves. Wave Lake,
Marty: uh, wave. Like a Wave
Sam: file. Like that's, that's a good thing. Yeah. Waved. Yeah. So a couple people have referred to it as Wo Lake. Um, I'm here to, to, uh, let everyone know it's Wave Lake.
Wave is a music file. W a So that's W A V L A K e.com. Yeah. Go
Marty: check it out. If you wanna listen to more music, new music, you wanna support artist, that's the best way to do it. If you're an artist looking to engage in a new monetization model, this is the best way to do it. Like what, uh, what should we lead the freaks with?
words of wisdom. I know we just waxed poetic for a [01:23:00] bit, but I'm sure we can get a little bit more
Sam: give us some closing
Michael: words here. Michael, you're, I, I don't know. I, I think, um, I'm, I, I, I don't have any
fancy words to say here, but it's been awesome to be on this show, Marty. I'll just say that. And I think, you know, what we've been saying about people being able to like, get involved and build whatever they want. Um, it's totally true. Like if you, if you see a need for something, if you want to get involved in some way, um, yeah, like people are really encouraging, supportive.
Um, so yeah, definitely would, uh, say if you're even remotely thinking about doing a little something in the
Sam: space, go out and do it. . Yeah. And I'll just, I'll reiterate, it's something [01:24:00] I said on Twitter the other day, but it's, it's, it's so true. I mean, it's like, don't, don't be afraid to ask stupid questions on this journey, cuz this is so new for everybody.
Even people that know what, what's going on, you know, or think they do still have a lot of questions because there's just so much to uncover still. So I would say yeah, if you're interested in, especially Lightning Master right now, as we've talked a lot about today, like go check it out. It's super fun.
And if you're confused or, or intimidated by it, um, ask questions. Everybody is here to help. Some great
Marty: advice. There are no stupid questions, uh, especially in this space. Yeah, exactly. You'll, you'll find that even some of the smartest people in the space don't have answers to the questions.
Michael: Um, yep. That's what makes it interesting.
There's a, there's a lot,
Sam: there's a lot to learn. , there's a lot going on out there. Yeah.
Marty: Well, gentlemen, I'm gonna go recruit your next artist. Uh, to the Wave Lake platform.
Sam: Thank you so much Marty. This has been a blast and an [01:25:00] absolute honor. Really appreciate it. Well, yeah,
Marty: thank you. The pleasure was all mine.
Again, like I said, this is, uh, I get to talk to people that are jazzed up about what they're doing and being political stuff. Yeah, .
Sam: So it's catching
Marty: the pleasure is all mine,
All right. Go enjoy the rest of your Friday, uh, and we'll wrap up. Peace of love freaks.