Audm, a startup that turns longform journalism into audio material, has been acquired by The New York Times Company, it announced this morning. While there are other services that turn news articles into audio, including read-it-later apps like Instapaper and Pocket, Audm differentiates itself by exploiting professional utter performers to chronicle the content , not automated voice technology.
That establishes the content more enjoyable to listen to — more like listening to a podcast, for example.
The startup was founded by Ryan Wegner and Christian Brink , both 2007 Columbia grads with backgrounds in psychology and software improvement, respectively. The two didn’t know each other during college, but eventually congregated up in 2014 when their thought for an audio news app began to come together. Initially, the founders experimented with crowdsourced narration, but later landed on the utilization of professional articulate knack to make their app stand out from others.
The company participated in Y Combinator’s startup accelerator in 2017 to help strengthen Audm’s business. At the time, Audm was working with a range of publishing marriages, including Wired, The Atlantic, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Review of Books, ProPublica, London Review of Books and several others. According to its website today, it also is in contact with The Atlantic, Outside, BuzzFeed News, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, New York, Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly.
Of course, The New York Times had also is collaborating with Audm, but on a more limited basis. Currently, Audm only has a couple of NYT narratives accessible, and both are from 2019. That should soon vary, having regard to the brand-new acquisition.
The app allows users to subscribe to Audm for $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year, after a 3-day free test. The Times Company hasn’t yet offered any detail as to if or how its business simulation will evolve or if Audm’s work is likely to be further integrated with its own NYT app.
On the App Store, Audm was well-ranked as No. 20 in the Magazines& Newspapers category, according to its App Store sketch. The app is also available on Android but is not well-ranked there.
According to The New York Times’ bulletin, Audm will continue to introduce hours of new narrations every week, including the use of The New York Times and other publishers.
Wegner, the director of spoken-word audio production, and Brink, conductor of commodity for Audm, as well as the rest of the team, are to intervene in the Times Company for the purposes of the deal.
Audm had raised early-stage funding from Y Combinator, Hack VC, Precursor Ventures and Switch Ventures, per Pitchbook’s data.
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