It’s a dream as old as time: Get paid for doing exactly what you normally do with no extra effort whatsoever.
Geoff Cook, founder of Podcoin, aims to make a reality with what he calls “loyalty points program” for podcast listeners. The platform, which launched in January 2019, pays each user one “podcoin” for every 10 minutes spent listening – or between $ 0.015 and $ 0.04, depending on your frequency of usage and which podcasts you listen to. Users can cash out via gift cards to outlets like Amazon and Starbucks or use their earnings to make charitable donations.
Over the past four months, Podcoin’s usage has grown to 15 percent week-over-week, according to Cook, and reached one million listening minutes per day. It’s backed by another company, now called The Meet Group, which has exceeded $ 400 million in acquisition costs. How does the app make money? Podcoin is focusing first on building an audience, according to Cook, but it has a future plan for profit: Content creators will pay Podcoin to boost a podcast’s value in terms of monetary gain for listeners; the more Podcoins users can listen to a certain podcast, the more listeners the podcast should amass.
Here are the four strategies Cook used to build the company – and what he recommends for the budding entrepreneurs pursuing their own business ideas.
Combines “deadly sin” with “heavenly virtue.”
In 2011, LinkedIn Hoffman Reid Hoffman Told The Wall Street Journal that the most successful startups tend to correspond to one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook taps into ego, he said, while LinkedIn could represent greed. Cook adopted Hoffman ‘s mindset but it’ s one of heavenly virtue. For Podcoin, he said, that is greed and charity (listeners can donate what they earn to the cause of their choice). Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Action Against Hunger.
Find a “parade,” and jump in front of it.
Identify emerging trends in business or the zeitgeist – Cook calls them “parades” – and tailor your business idea to one of them. One good place to start: Study today’s most successful startups. Within a 10-day period, the Glossier, Rent the Runway and Casper all topped $ 1 billion in valuation and joined the unicorn IPO club. Glossier and Casper both jumped into the direct-to-consumer market early on with high-quality makeup and mattresses, respectively.
Add a new twist by connecting two different “parades.”
Two parades are better than one. Exhibit A: Rent the Runway ‘s success, and the younger generation’ s predisposition to rent instead of own. With Podcoin, Cook aims to connect to podcast listening and gamification, and more social media into the fray.
Deploy typical mobile app concepts like “bottomless bowl” and “streaks” in pursuit of fundamental good.
Mobile apps often use strategies to boost user engagement, such as “bottomless bowl” content (a feed that refreshes ad infinitum) or “streaks” (consecutive days of app use). As they gain traction, these strategies have incited some controversy, but they say they’re viable as long as they drive engagement for something that’s a fundamental good – for example, podcasting. “Podcasts and longform content (are) an elixir for distraction-based media we all consume,” said Cook.