It's been an incredible year for us here at Wavlake and we wanted to take a moment to look back and see how far we've come since launch. We also wanted to send a special thanks to all the great artists and fans who have been creating, supporting, and spreading the word about what we're trying to do here. None of this would have been possible without you. So thank you!
We officially launch the site in January with the couple dozen artists that had been trying out Wavlake during the alpha phase. Joe Martin joins as an early adopter and supporter, and becomes our first number one artist on the Top 40 with "High Gravity".
We launch Wavlake Radio, a way to shuffle through our entire library automatically. We also decide to make the site go full-on dark mode. No regrets.
More artists join and we hit a total roster of 100. Other early adopters like Richard and The Higher Low start uploading full albums to the site, and with Podcasting 2.0 spec-compliant RSS feeds those albums become available and boostable via any value for value-enabled application.
Around this time we also start looking more closely at Nostr for its social capabilities. Our interest in the protocol motivates us to build an embeddable widget that can transform a Wavlake link shared on clients like Snort to an interactive player. With the power of WebLN, this means people using Alby in their browsers can now zap directly from their Nostr client. As ManLikeKweks put it, "This is insane 🤯🤯".
Speaking of ManLikeKweks, we get our first collaboration between two Wavlake artists in late March – ManLikeKweks and Paul Birken. After a brief exchange on Nostr, NPUB is born and quickly makes its way to the number one spot. It is also, we believe, the first time "Wavlake" is dropped in the lyrics of a track.
Curious to see how we might be able to use Nostr for music, we build and release Wavman after a feverish two-week sprint. This is a pure Nostr client that reads a custom metadata event to find and play music for the listener, who can then zap the track if they like. It's never meant to be more than a proof of concept, but it teaches us a lot about how we want to build our mobile app later in the year.
We also release this 🔥 t-shirt.
Hello, Party Mode.
We begin working on a revamp of Studio to make the process of uploading and managing music easier for artists. This work sets the stage for enabling other features such as splits later in the year.
At Bitcoin Park in Nashville, we present a demo of Wavlake at the Power of Lightning Summit. It is at this event where we happen to meet an artist named Ainsley Costello. She decides to give Wavlake a try with a song called "Cherry On Top".
Later that month, Adam Curry launches the first value for value-enabled music podcast called Boostagram Ball. The innovative show is the first of its kind to enable listeners to send bitcoin Lightning payments to both the show's host and its featured artists simultaneously while listening. "The Ball" heavily features music from Wavlake. One of those songs happens to be "Cherry On Top."
"Cherry On Top" becomes a hit, and Ainsley becomes the first artist on Wavlake to have a song hit 1 million sats. We scramble to create a new icon to signify the milestone.
Other value for value music podcasts like Boostagram Ball start popping up, many also using the Wavlake library for their content. With all the excitement around this new form of music programming, we hit a new high of tracks uploaded and sats earned.
Late in the summer, we start building our first mobile app.
The Wavlake charts get featured in the Withdrawal Issue of Bitcoin Magazine.
We launch Artist Splits in October, which enable artists to split earnings for tracks with up to three other Wavlake users automatically.
At the Nostrasia conference in Tokyo, we release the beta TestFlight version of our first mobile app for iOS.
We also have the opportunity to present a great panel with Oscar Merry from Fountain and Mike Killeen (aka OpenMike) from First Avenue about the potential of Lightning and Nostr to transform the way we discover and support artists (panel starts around the 43:00 mark).
We launch the beta version of Shows on Wavlake, which makes it easier to create a value for value-enabled music podcast. We experiment on ourselves first with a preview of our upcoming music show, Wavform, set to launch in January '24. We also update our site to feature and support great music shows like Phantom Power Music and the Sidestream Music Podcast.
We release an early preview of the Android version of our app (see our Telegram for more details).
We also adjust our Top 40 to rotate on a rolling 7-day basis. This is made possible only because we have a sizeable roster of artists (over 480) and enough regular, supporting fans to fill all 40 song slots every 7 days.
Then, to cap off the year, we see this happen:
Ainsley Costello and JUSTLOUD perform together in a series of hybrid live/online streamed shows organized by OpenMike in Minneapolis. Each reportedly earn thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin from viewers.
And with that, JUSTLOUD gets his first number one track on Wavlake.
It's been an amazing 12 months. So much of what has happened was unexpected and went beyond our imaginations. It's been inspiring. Again, thanks to everyone who has helped us get the word out to support all the great artists on Wavlake. We can't wait to show you what we have planned next and see where the new year takes us.
We'll leave you with our final playlist of the year, the TOP 9 tracks of 2023.