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Permacast V3 brings web2-like UX to the web3 creator economy

When permacast.dev launched in 2021, the Arweave ecosystem was still in its infancy. We built V1 using vanilla SmartWeave contracts, without bundling or caching, and with a very basic UI. Despite permacast being the only solution for permanent podcast hosting, it was certainly not the most UX-friendly.

With permacast V3, all of this changes. Unlike the legacy version of the app, which would often take more than 10 minutes after uploading to see see an episode and drop transactions, V3 features:

  • Web2-like UX with instant finality via EXM

  • Video support

  • Creator profiles with ANS and PASoM integration

  • Tipping (easily get paid by your fans in crypto!)

  • The ability to pay AR token to feature your show on the app homepage

  • everPay integration: pay AR instantly using your everPay balance

  • Follow your favorite creators

Permacast seizes control from centralized hosting providers

In the web2 model of podcast hosting, you pay your host 'rent' monthly for their service of storing your audio files on their server and providing an RSS feed. We say rent because it is clear you do not own your content in this model.

If you miss a payment, they are in their right to delete your files. If you say something they don't like, you're at risk of being deplatformed. If they change their pricing or terms, you're subject to that whether you like it or not.

What's the difference with permacast? Well, permacast uses Arweave for storage, which means creators aren't paying rent, they're on a pay once, store forever model. Once a file is on the Arweave network, it's there forever. This is a huge benefit for creators, because the cost of storing an average podcast episode on Arweave (1 hour long, ~100mb) is just $0.66 at current network rates.

If you're paying your host $10-20 per month for hosting but only publishing 2 hours of audio weekly, you're overpaying anywhere between 2-4 times what you should be. And permacast provides the same feature set, with hosting and RSS feeds that can be used with your standard web2 distribution platforms like Spotify and other clients.

Now we have that out of the way, let's look more in-depth at each new feature:

Web2-like UX with the security of web3

Uploading your podcasts and videos on the blockchain should be just as easy as uploading them to YouTube or another centralized provider. We've been hard at work to break down these barriers and make it as accessible as possible. A big part of the reason why we were able to offer this level of UX while being backed by the security model of Arweave is because we rewrote the core permacast contract using EXM.

EXM is a smart contract L2 for Arweave, offering instant transaction finality and a huge degree of developer flexibility that has accelerated our progress significantly. Give it a go now at permacast.app and see for yourself!

Permacast's transition to a decentralized YouTube-Spotify hybrid

Permacast now supports video! Both for viewing inside the app and for feeding to Spotify as audio/video or video-only shows. This gives us the opportunity to take on YouTube as a decentralized alternative.

A major benefit of Permacast's transition is the introduction of video content support, which users can now view directly within the app. This change sets Permacast apart as a strong, decentralized alternative to YouTube, giving both content creators and viewers the chance to experience a platform without the constraints of centralization and censorship.

With this new feature, users can share, explore, and watch video content without depending on conventional centralized platforms, leading to a more varied and open media environment.

Rich creator profiles using decentralized IDs

Permacast has integrated both Arweave Name Service (ANS) and Portable Arweave Social Metadata (PASoM) to create a richer creator profile experience creators can use to make themselves stand out.

ANS is a decentralized username layer -- comparable to ENS, but with a pay-once-own-forever model that makes it possible for creators to keep the same handle permanently.

PASoM is a flexible and composable contract layer designed to store and display essential social metadata such as bios, profile pictures, and cover images, with the security and decentralization of Arweave.

Combined, these two layers form the permacast creator profile layer including unique usernames alongside bio, profile picture, and cover image. All of these elements are portable to supported Arweave dApps like everPay, ViewBlock, ArConnect, and more.

Get tipped in crypto by your fans

permacast.app features a tip button for each podcast creator so you can get paid in crypto by fans:

The tipping feature is powered by everPay to ensure AR is transferred instantly and gaslessly.

Feature your shows on the homepage

The new permacast.app UI has a featured section on the homepage. You can pay AR token to be displayed in that section for a set amount of time, and stand out from the crowd:

Pay storage fees instantly using everPay

A big part of the permacast.app architecture is formed around everPay -- an instant way to spend AR token on storage fees. To upload, you'll need to transfer AR to your everPay balance at app.everpay.io. After that, uploads are processed instantly over everPay, a gasless L2 payment layer.

Follow and get followed: the permacast social graph

Alongside a better social experience for creators with rich profiles, permacast.app also features a following function which will eventually be used to create personalized feeds for fans. The social graph is powered by a decent.land EXM contract, meaning it's instant and free to interact with, exactly like web2 but backed by the security of a blockchain.

What this means for existing permacast creators

If you have already been using permacast V1 at legacy.permacast.dev, you should now switch to V3 by using the permacast.app front end. We have already migrated all existing creators' materials to the V3 contract, so no content has been lost in the process.

What's next for permacast?

The next version of permacast is already underway! We will introduce:

  • The ability to mint your audio and video as NFTs either on Arweave or EVM chains

  • An option to log in with Metamask and pay using any everPay-supported token for uploads and tips

  • Livestreaming via Livepeer

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