- Rapper Jim Jones and co-hosts Nakia Booth and Gregory ‘Beef’ Jones will launch a podcast and video series aimed at Black entrepreneurs.
- The podcast will be distributed by Steve Stout’s UnitedMasters record label and royalties platform.
- Episodes will tap into timely lessons in business and bring Black entrepreneurs from history out of obscurity.
The contributions of many Black and African Americans across industries have been lost to time if not intentionally suppressed, but Nakia Booth, Beef Jones and rapper Jim Jones have announced the launch of the Mining Diamonds podcast, a biweekly podcast and video series highlighting lessons for Black and African American entrepreneurs.
The podcast will be distributed by UnitedMasters, a music royalties and distribution platform backed by Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz and helmed by industry maven Steve Stoute.
The Mining Diamonds podcast will feature entrepreneurs and industry experts aimed at educating and informing the Black-business minded community and shed light on the stories of African American entrepreneurs.
“We co-developed this new series with Jim Jones, it’s all about Black founders and entrepreneurs, about their story, what they’ve built and where they’re going,” Jon Weidman, Vice President Content Strategy at UnitedMasters, told The Plug. “This is a great example of partnering with the artist community to bring new stories to the world, and it will be educational for artists as well.”
The new show may deliver a timely message in a medium that has a growing engagement, especially among diverse listeners. A 2021 Nielsen report found that non-white audiences are fueling podcast audience growth.
As a whole, 41 percent of U.S. podcast listeners are non-white. For Black listeners, business podcasts were the most sought-after genre after music and health and fitness, according to the study. This spike in podcast consumption is driving an increase in ad revenues, which are expected to reach $2 billion by next year.
Cohosts of the podcast feel they can resonate with listeners because they represent a range of entrepreneurial experiences and craft their message in an accessible way.
“Our whole approach is to ask the stupid questions from smart people because, I’ve made mistakes in business, because of all these things I didn’t learn because I come from a Black community,” Jones told The Plug. “I was in my 40s without having learned key business strategies of how to manage money, or what to do with money and invest it. As I wanted to move forward into the finance space I had to be open to the fact that I didn’t learn a lot.”
Jones has had a long and prolific career as a music producer for over 20 years and has held roles at large media companies like HBO, Hulu, Vice and FX, but he said he would like to pivot into a career in finance. Thus, the podcast will also cement learnings for both the audience and Jones.
When Jones approached Booth for the podcast, he already had a weekly captive audience on Clubhouse that measured into the thousands of listeners, but he owned none of the content and wanted to foster greater ownership as they delved deeper into being bonafide hosts.
“We need more podcasts that are going to explain these [business] concepts to people and encourage people, especially Black people, to have ownership and understanding. Our intellectual copyright was a big part of the reason why I didn’t want to be on Clubhouse anymore. We didn’t own that IP and we were attracting thousands of people in the room for hours but we couldn’t monetize or leverage that,” Booth told The Plug.
The deal Beef Jones, Nakia Booth and Jim Jones struck with UnitedMasters will allow them to retain greater ownership of their content while distributing it across all major podcast streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and videos from the series will be hosted on YouTube.
It would seem that there are a plethora of podcasts these days, with Spotify announcing in October the platform was home to 3.2 million podcasts, a growth rate of 1500 percent over three years.
With seemingly innumerable choices, the Mining Diamonds hosts intend to differentiate themselves through authenticity.
“The differentiator for us is, we’re genuine, we’re not selling additional products, we’re just having a conversation because we are trying to figure it out. I’ve been an independent contractor for 30 years and I come from a background where I thought people wouldn’t give me an opportunity. I speak for people who are in the mix but too afraid to say, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’.” Jones said.
Approaching listeners from an authentic place is a part of a larger plan to normalize a long history and current culture of Black business savvy.
“We have all this amazing rich history, diamonds, people that existed that were successful entrepreneurs and business people, and they’re in the history books, we just don’t know about them so we have to start digging through all this rubble to get it,”Booth said.
“When we bring on these successful entrepreneurs we are mining their business, the details that people don’t go into the weeds about and making sure everybody has access to this information.”