Yesterday I was a guest on TechZulu Live, an up an coming technology news show that tapes live every week from the new TechZulu studio in LA. You can watch the full interview in the videos below. It begins with a recap of the weeks tech news and goes on to cover a number of topics including Audioo, the public sharing of voicemails and prank calls, entrepreneurship, startups, and more.
From the category archives:
Life really does go by fast. In less than 3 years I’ve gone from a bean counting accountant to the creator of 2 companies, one of which is a ridiculous new website that shares people’s entertaining voicemails publicly. Since Audioo’s launch on May 24th, we’ve been getting a lot of press and attention – TechCrunch, Silicon Alley Insider, Gizmodo, Gorilla Mask, as well as a Los Angeles Business Journal cover story. Traffic is really nice right out of the gate. I won’t give exact numbers but let’s say I think we’re really onto to something big and it could just be a matter of time before we break the next big celebrity voicemail scandal and Audio blow ups bigger than a Michael Bay film. Audioo’s content is quite entertaining. Who couldn’t use a good laugh these days?
In light of Audioo’s attention, I’m humbled to have been asked to appear as a guest on This Week in Social Media with host Sean Percival today, June 17th at 11am PST. Past guests include Brian Solis (principal of FutureWorks PR, author of Engage, and all around PR maverick) and Muhamed Saleem of Digg fame. I promise to be opinionated, direct, and maybe a little sarcastic. Perhaps they’ll let me give a little background as to why I even joined MySpace / Facebook in the first place and why I’m still using these services today. Overall, it should be a good time.
Watch the full TWiSM episode 3 above.
BTW – I’m NOT a social media expert in any way. I fact I cringe every time I hear people claim they are. The attention on Audioo is actually natural. By doing something ridiculous (taking voicemail, which is traditionally private, and making it public), we’ve been able to cause a lot of controversy / polarization and its exactly this controversy that’s working to our advantage, enabling us to attract attention and new users of the service.
In my opinion, Audioo is not about privacy, it’s merely about entertainment. Who doesn’t enjoy a little comedy? However, the entertainment is not what’s getting us all the attention. Scaring the heck out of uptight people into believing that their voicemail is not public is what’s actually getting the attention. It’s pretty funny when you step back and look at it. Privacy is dead. It was dead a long time ago and I think we’re all just now getting used to it. You really think your social security number is safe with the hundreds if not thousands of outlets that you’ve given it to over the course of your life? I don’t think it’s safe for a minute. So why’s it so surprising that your voicemail, email, and text messages could be publicly shared? Really, why is that so surprising?
Yesterday we gave birth to our second child, Audioo (pronounced AWW-DEE-YOU) exactly two years to the day from the birth of our first child, AudioMicro, who was born on May 24, 2008 out of a two bedroom apartment in Sherman Oaks, CA. This delivery of this glorious new child (Audioo.com) was a little different from that of our first born (AudioMicro.com), in the sense that the entire delivery process went down live on stage in front of a crowd of over 1,700 people including The Jerky Boys, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. Watch the live launch here…
The short story here is that AudioMicro, Inc. has acquired Manhattan Beach based Audioo.com and relaunched it as a social destination for the public sharing of voicemails. Think of Audioo as “Blippy for Voicemail”. If you are not familiar with Blippy, it’s the darling of Silicon Valley and place for people to publicly share their credit card transactions. If the public sharing of credit card transactions can get a $46.2 million post money valuation, then the public sharing of voicemail can be an even bigger business! In fact, I’m willing to bet that there is more interesting and entertaining information in voicemail, than there is in both credit card transactions and tweets. Have I lost my mind? Maybe…I guess we’ll find out in due time.
I’m pasting a copy of the press release below and I encourage you to watch the Audioo live launch video above and leave your comments below. To anyone reading this, thanks so much for your support.
I wonder what we’ll name our next child? Got any suggestions?
AudioMicro Acquires Audioo, Launches Outrageous New Voicemail Sharing Service
New Service Provides Hilarious Way to Hear and See What People Are Saying in Voicemail
NEW YORK, TECHCRUNCH DISRUPT, May 24, 2010 – AudioMicro, which offers the world’s largest collection of user-generated royalty free music and sound effects, announced today it has acquired Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Audioo (pronounced AWW-DEE-YOU) and has relaunched the site as an outrageous new voicemail sharing service that enables people to search, browse, and listen-in on other people’s voicemails. The service—now live—publishes users’ voicemails with transcriptions to the Audioo website and to users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. The new Audioo was selected to participate in the “Startup Battlefield” at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, being held May 24-26 in New York. To register for a free Audioo account, visit www.audioo.com.
Audioo is hosting a contest, “Jerkin’ with The Jerky Boys.” All voicemails submitted to Audioo through June 30 will be judged by Johnny Brennan, creator of The Jerky Boys duo and best known for his prank phone calls and other comedic skits. The winner of the funniest voicemail submitted during the contest period will win an Apple iPad. More information about the contest is available at http://audioo.com/#/pages/ipad.
“Audioo users are already sharing every conceivable type of voicemail, including drunk-dial calls, the ramblings of crazy ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, and much more,” said Ryan Born, chief executive officer, AudioMicro and Audioo. “The service has only been up a short while, but some of the voicemails already posted are just insane.”
The Audioo site enables visitors to browse and listen to voicemails by area code, sort voicemails by category, including “Drunk,” “Funny,” and “Sexy,” and share voicemails with others via Twitter and Facebook. Users who submit a voicemail to Audioo receive text transcriptions of uploaded messages. Audioo is ad-supported, free, and open to all major wireless carriers. Users can submit messages through a variety of methods: Google Voice subscribers can upload directly through a Mozilla Firefox add-on, or users can upload voicemails to the Audioo site, email an audio file to Audioo, forward messages from a handset, record a voicemail through a computer’s microphone, or leave a message at 1-405-4-AUDIOO.
AudioMicro will operate Audioo as a separate division, and the entire development team will remain with the company. Audioo President Yuri Baranov will assume the role of chief operating officer for both Audioo and AudioMicro. Audioo founder Ben Padnos will remain a company advisor.
Audioo is “Blippy for Voicemail.” The company is building the largest searchable archive of transcribed voice recordings, including localized real-time streams and trending topics. The Audioo platform allows users to auto-stream, publicly share, and store voicemails from handsets and services, including Google Voice. Audioo has teamed with The Jerky Boys on an iPad giveaway contest dubbed “Jerkin’ with The Jerky Boys” – submit your voicemails, win a freakin’ iPad! To submit, call 1-405-4-AUDIOO (1-405-428-3466) or visit www.audioo.com.
An industry pioneer in licensing music and sound effects through credit-based and subscription packages, AudioMicro offers a discovery and distribution platform for stock audio content. Its collection of stock music, sound effects, free sound effects, and ringtones includes over 300,000 tracks of both crowd-sourced and premium, record- label-owned content. AudioMicro also operates the Audioo voicemail sharing service. The company is venture-backed by DFJ Frontier. For more information, visit www.AudioMicro.com.
About TechCrunch Disrupt
TechCrunch Disrupt (http://disrupt.techcrunch.com), May 24-26 2010, at 570 Washington Street, is TechCrunch’s inaugural conference in New York attracting over 1,500 leading technology innovators and investors and over 150 new startups. The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches. Morning executive discussions debate the most timely disruptions in media, advertising and technology. Afternoons host the Startup Battlefield where 25 new companies will launch for the first time on stage, selected to present from more than 500 applications received from around the world. Another 100 early-stage startups will exhibit in Startup Alley. TechCrunch will award a $50,000 grand prize along with other award recognitions at the conclusion of the conference.
TechCrunch (www.techcrunch.com) is a leading technology media network, dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites reach over 8 million unique visitors and more than 25 million page views per month. TechCrunch operates a global network of websites including dedicated properties in Europe and Japan as well as specialized industry websites including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, and TechCrunchIT. TechCrunch’s CrunchBase, is the leading, open database about start-up companies, people and investors. In addition to Disrupt, TechCrunch hosts other conferences and events, including The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.
Prequent, Inc. (for Audioo)
+1 (408) 275-1419 office
+1 (650) 223-4085 mobile