April 23, 2019

I'm building the Audio version of Youtube


I’ve been looking into creating an “audio Youtube but for bloggers”.

What do you guys think about a platform where the bloggers get their posts narrated and posted to their channel for audiences to listen, not like the free flow podcast style, but professionally narrated audio articles.

Listeners can browse articles and add to a playlist or subscribe to their favorite bloggers. For those with the proper equipment and sound quality, they would be allowed to self-narrate their posts.

For those who remember Umano, I want to create a community-powered version of that app.

This is from a personal pain point I have where I favor audio over text but I hate text-to-speech and there are some great blogs that I would love to get to consume more of their content.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about what you think would make this an awesome product.

I am building it in public so if you would like to contribute to the process, follow me on Twitter @frazras see a mockup below

  1. 3

    I like the idea. I prefer articles more than podcasts because they have a clear purpose and deliver the message faster.
    Podcasts on the other hand have too much fluff and chit chat and they take so much time to listen to.

    But the issue with bloggers specifically is they make their money when we go read the article and then see an add or click an affiliate link or buy something from their site.
    Won't they be losing money if 30% of their readers start listening to the audio version.

    1. 1

      The intention is to make this its own platform with its own income generation tools. Similarly how some podcasts post to both youtube and their podcast player. I want this platform to offer its own perks plus the extra listeners who would not have regularly listened to that article anyway, so consider it more like a 30% increase in readership.
      Similar to Youtube all the links can be in the description.

      1. 1

        Oh I get it, that makes sense. I have a blog about productivity, development and would love to get on this when it becomes available.

  2. 2

    This sounds great. I consume a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. One feature I wish I had is to pause the podcast/audio and share a few lines that I Just heard with a friend. Either as audio or text. Do you think this “audio youtube” can do that?

    1. 1

      Bookmarking sounds like a great feature, just like Youtube, you will be able to share articles a specific time period.

      I am building it in public so if you would like to contribute to the process, follow me on Twitter @frazras

  3. 1

    While traditional TTS has always felt really artificial there have been some impressive advances lately with technologies like WaveNet. I recently built something similar to what you're proposing using these new advancements in TTS technology. Here's an example audio generated by an article. While human voices are definitely better, I'd say the effort of manually narrating doesn't justify the cost.

    1. 2

      Awesome work @m1guelpf, this is impressive work.
      I too went through all the current AI TTS options from Amazon, Google, and others and I still wasn't impressed. I guess I am hard to please because I read about 2 books a month on Audible and subscribe to tonnes of Podcasts, maybe I am spoilt, but TTS needs another 5-10 years for long-form articles in my opinion.
      People spend hundreds of dollars to create Youtube content so a few dollars per article should be in the range of spending for a fraction of the market who like really well narrated human voices.

      Also, my platform is about creating a platform for content sharing where users can view all the content posted by all the bloggers, it is more than just a tool, it is also a community.

      However, I still think there is a place for your app, in the space of narration, the more options we have for content consumption, the better.

  4. 1

    I love this idea, let me know when its up.

  5. 1

    Sounds cool! Podcasts are normally constrained to their authors and you can never explore countless other podcasts/episodes. If you'll somehow manage to sort relevant content recommendations, this will have a chance to very quickly become top 1 audio learning platform for me.

    1. 1

      The fact that articles are shorter makes it far easier for you to sample a new podcast. There is also a feature I am adding, that will allow you to import your reading lists. Then make suggestions based on what you have read before. Consider it like Spotify but for articles.
      I am building it in public so if you would like to contribute to the process, follow me on Twitter @frazras

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