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Hearing Voices - Issue #33

"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound."- William Shakespeare "The ESPN app in Flash News Briefing

Hearing Voices

October 27 · Issue #33 · View online
This week's news about voice computing apps, delivered directly to your inbox.

“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”
- William Shakespeare
“The ESPN app in Flash News Briefing makes the loudest sound. Alexa, volume down. ALEXA, VOLUME DOWN.”
- Schmilliam Shmakespeare

Hi Everyone,
New Format this week: Just 3 things to try, and a Q&A Interview. Let’s get to it:
To Try:
> Skimm Notes - Audio breakdowns will talk you through some of the biggest issues happening in the world right now, in 10 minutes or less. This is part of the Skimm’s paid app.
> Spokata - Streaming audio for real-time news and information. They capture text content—as it is published—summarize it, and then convert it into short, streaming audio using text-to-speech technology. Pretty cool, I’m looking forward to trying this one out.
> Curio - Listen to The Guardian, The Financial Times and Aeon magazine on the go. Included this last week but putting the link here again since I interviewed the app’s creator below.
Q&A w/data: Traction of a Paid Audio App
This week, I interviewed Curio cofounder Govind Balakrishnand. He shared some great insights into his paid audio app’s traction. Here’s what I learned:
MFH: Thanks so much for agreeing to share some private data about Curio. First, can you give me the quick description of what it is?

GB: is a subscription based app (IOS and Android) where people can listen to curated, professionally narrated articles from premium publications like The Financial Times, The Guardian and Aeon at home or on the go. The bigger idea is to fundamentally transform how people consume content by building the voice platform for the future.

MFH: How many users do you have? How much do they pay and what does retention look like?
GB: Nearly [premium subscribers only, join herepaying users @ $7.99 each. Churn is [premium members only, join here<5%

MFH: How much do you pay for the content? What was the process of getting the content on to Curio?
GB: 2% the cost of a top podcast. The content is curated using our AI based recommendation engine, then the appropriate voice actor is chosen from our network of high quality narrators that spans a wide palette of ages and accents.

MFH: What’s the main way you’re acquiring users? Do you pay for it is or it in social? Which paid channels do you find are working best?
GB: We have grown thus far organically. But we are experimenting with multiple channels including partnerships with publications, social and paid marketing. Currently Facebook works the best. 

Thanks so much to Govind. You can download the curio app here.
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
- Matt
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