Podcasters have another hosting option with the launch of Sounder. The company, founded by former Google and Spotify executives, says its main mission will be to make podcasts it hosts more discoverable. It will do that by employing what it is calling its Pinpoint Audio Search technology. The patent-pending system allows consumers to locate and share precise moments in any podcast through simple text search.
“We’re experiencing a renaissance in audio, as voice becomes a new mode of discovery and streaming becomes mainstream,” said Dan Daugherty, COO and co-founder of Sounder in the announcement. “Through our Pinpoint Audio Search technology, we’re making millions of podcasts instantly searchable, drastically increasing their appeal to consumers, their shelf life to individual creators and large media publishers and their relevance to advertisers.”
Through a proprietary method of indexing, Sounder says it has eliminated the need for a listener to scroll with their fingers on smartphone devices to search content within a podcast episode. It also works to allow a listener to share precise show locations within a podcast with others.
“Search is a universal behavior, and until now, it hasn’t existed for podcasts,” said Kal Amin, CEO and co-founder of Sounder. “Through our new Pinpoint Audio Search technology, we’re making the content infinitely more discoverable, which will dramatically improve the user experience and make it easier for creators to grow and understand their audience.”
While the technology is currently focused on podcasts, Sounder is building a solution that will make all audio content, including voice content, more searchable and sharable. “Given the significant investment being made into the audio ecosystem and the exponential growth in content creation, consumer behavior to pinpoint specific content moments within audio content will become increasingly critical,” said Amin.
Sounder’s pitch to individual podcasters is that it will offer free hosting, transcription and Pinpoint Audio Search services to users of its platform. The platform’s Pinpoint Audio Search technology is currently offered via a licensing fee to large-scale publishers and platforms. In the coming months, creators will be able to edit their podcasts directly within the platform, as well as opt in to monetize their content through select partner demand-side platforms (DSPs).
Launched earlier this year, Sounder’s management team includes a roster of tech veterans. Amin previously worked at Spotify and Google, and most recently was COO of content discovery platform Flipboard. Daugherty is also a Google veteran and he also was CEO and co-founder of Rentbits, a pioneer in real estate search. The company’s CTO Goran Krgovic previously ran vertical search technology development for DashLocal and Verteez. Sounder’s team of advisors includes Jeff Levick, a former CRO of Spotify, and Shiva Rajaraman, CTO of WeWork and former VP of product at Spotify and director of product at Google.