Dedicated broadcasts, exclusive issue and even new publication: various traditional or specialized media are seizing the frenzy around the “web3” to decipher the problems associated with the new evolution of the Internet, such as the “blockchain”, the technology behind cryptocurrencies and the “NFTs”.
A paper magazine dedicated to “web3” and distributed free of charge to 400,000 copies in the middle of June in the main cities of France? That is the bet of the newspaper 20 Minutes, a sign of the growing interest in this complex topic that has been in the public debate for more than a year.
If its supporters describe it as the new version of a freer and more decentralized internet thanks to the “blockchain”, the technology behind non-fungible tokens (“NFT”) and cryptocurrencies, the “web3” for its opponents still remains a concept that especially agitates the tech and communicators atmosphere.
Called “20 Mint”, one of the magazine’s ambitions is to give readers “a maximum of information so that they can form their own idea of these technologies that will have an impact on their daily lives,” explains AFP Laurent. Bainier, editor-in-chief of 20 Minutes, was the founder of the project.
Hence, the gamble on a paper format to allow “arbitrary” access to information on these topics remains the preserve of a technophile audience, he adds. “You really have to address people who don’t care.”
– Interview with Macron –
BFM Business, a channel specializing in economic topics and belonging to the same group as BFM TV, has also launched programs devoted to the “crypto” universe since April, a podcast and even a dedicated website.
About 8% of French people have already invested in cryptocurrencies, according to a survey by the consulting firm KPMG published in mid-February, while 30% of them plan to buy them, according to a January Ipsos survey.
Based on this potential audience, in early April, former journalists from L’Express and Capital, Raphaël Bloch and Grégory Raymond, with their partner Dimitri Granger, founded “The Big Whale”, a media that aims to become the “reference” in France and Europe on the “web3”.
Inspired by the success of US specialty media such as the newsletter with more than 200,000 subscribers “Bankless” or the information site “The Block”, which they describe as the “Financial Times of crypto”, “The Big Whale” offers two weekly newsletters: one free, more for the general public, and another paid, enriched with premium content.
Their first big hit? An exclusive interview with Emmanuel Macron between the two rounds of the presidential election, in which the then presidential candidate revealed his digital ambitions and his vision for “web3”.
– Journalism 3.0 –
Enough to draw a start beyond expectations.
“We reached the numbers we had planned for six months in one month,” Raphaël Bloch told AFP, namely nearly a thousand paying subscribers and 10,000 free subscribers, while the three co-founders themselves invested “a few thousand euros” in money to get started. to go.
“Most of all, we have a lot of interest from + business angels +, who are seduced by our view of things”, especially “on the need to innovate the approach in the media, as in any industry”, adds. -he.
By agreeing to payment in cryptocurrency, “The Big Whale” also hopes to “revolutionize” the link with subscribers.
Because showing an interest in “web3” also means having the ambition to transform the practice of journalism, as well as its economic model, in the age of NFTs and “decentralized governance”.
For example, to fund “20 Mint”, 20 Minutes puts 999 “NFT” typewriters on sale. Result: the equivalent of 280,000 euros collected in cryptocurrencies in less than 20 hours.
As a reward, the holders of these “NFTs” can join the “editorial community”, propose topics and even vote for those who will be written by the editors of 20 Minutes for this special issue. Like a touch of journalism 3.0.