With Vurbl, you can listen to real people and broadcast your voice; An audio streaming platform generating huge interest from the audio market among listeners, creators and brands. The Vurbl CEO Audra Gold shares more details with us in an exclusive interview with TechBullion.
Please tell us your name and about yourself?
Hi I’m Audra Gold the CEO and founder of Vurbl. For the last 20 years, I’ve worked with early-stage startups building cutting-edge technologies that bring game-changing ideas to life that grow into scaled businesses. Through many successes and failures alike, I’ve gained a unique and deeply informed perspective in building and scaling digital products in several tech verticals, utilizing various web-based technologies with teams of all sizes. Before creating Vurbl, I founded a Product Management consulting firm focused on helping early-stage companies go to market. I also ran Product for Pluto.tv, The Mighty, Rubicon Project, Break Media, Fourthwall Studios/Nantworks, and held product management positions at several other LA based technology companies.
What is Vurbl?
Vurbl is a home for audio of all types, including user generated audio, like YouTube is for video. The platform gives audio creators a place to host, build an audience, and earn ad revenue from their content. For listeners, it’s a one-stop-shop of learning and entertainment in the form of audio and is a mix of user curated and Vurbl Expert curated content in the form of Playlists and Stations. Listen to all types of great audio across 40+ categories, thousands of playlists and millions of audio files, all in one place. Oh, and it’s all free.
In your recent announcement, AlphaEdison and Halogen Ventures are among the top investors funding Vurbl, how will these funds be used?
Funds will be used to build and launch the platform on web and mobile as well as to curate content/playlists around themes and categories users care about.
With this amount of interest and funding, Vurbl must be really special. What unique features and services are you bringing to the audio streaming market?
We allow anyone to upload any kind of audio, then allow them to stream it immediately. We also allow users and creators to “cut” short clips out of long form audio (like a long podcast), then embed those clips on web pages, social platforms, or a playlist they created on Vurbl. We also allow anyone to earn money on their creatives – we’ll find the buyers and share revenue. Users and creators can also build playlists with any mix of content they want and allow anyone to follow them. These playlists can be embedded on other websites as well.
Apple and Spotify do nothing like this, they are merely distribution outlets for podcasters. They offer no revenue share programs either. Apple never pays creators anything, and the only way to make money from Spotify is to be a superstar and get a killer Joe Rogan type deal with them to be EXCLUSIVELY on their platform. Creators also cannot control their landing pages on either platform – only what comes through the RSS feed.
Tell us more about the creator-first Vurbl formula and user generated content, what does this actually mean?
We allow users to upload any audio files they own or have created. They can add it to a personal “Station,” which is similar to a YouTube channel. User generated, by definition, means it is not a studio creation made by a large corporation, but rather audio created by one or a small group of people that are simply looking to share their audio, and build an audience. Because it’s their personal content, they have the rights to allow us to serve ads around their content, which we in turn share the ad revenue with them.
Vurbl seems to be opening up an entirely new audio market for listeners, creators and brands, what is the market size of audio streaming and what is the level of demand for Vurbl’s services.
About 200 million Americans listen to radio and about 180 million Americans consistently consume some form of online audio. We consider anyone that “listens” to anything a potential user. Then there are additionally 100’s of millions more potential users when you look beyond the U.S. market.
2020 has become the year of “Work from Home” due to Coronavirus, how could Vurbl help users specifically during this Covid pandemic?
We give people stuck at home looking for content they’ve never heard of something entertaining to listen to, learn from or sleep to. If you are a creator stuck in your bedroom, creating audio is easier to make and easier to find an audience for, because anyone can consume it while doing something else – like driving, exercising, cooking, cleaning, working, etc. Video requires absolute attention and can result in “screen fatigue,” while listening to audio only requires passive attention, which means there are a lot more audience hours available to capture.
The Vurbl web-based platform will launch in Q4 2020, at what stage of development is the project and how excited are you?
We are in closed beta and have invited a few select testers. We are not yet “feature complete,” so we are staying “closed” until we round out the MVP in October.
Could you tell us more about the brains and team behind this project and why users should be confident to use Vurbl?
Our leadership team are all consumer internet veterans going back to the birth of the consumer experience online. We all have a minimum of 15+ years proven experience in streaming, online content distribution, online advertising, UGC/social, subscription and commerce at some of the biggest brands online. Many of us have also invented a lot of the technology, products and UX that powers entertainment for 100’s of millions of users today across many platforms. In short, we know how to create a fun, sticky, scalable user experience where the consumer, creator and advertising can coexist harmoniously.
Do you have more information for our readers?
We look forward to the opportunity to change the way you consume, share and collaborate around audio entertainment. We hope you try us out!
To learn more about Vurbl, please visit: https://vurbl.com/.