Callin, which bills itself as a “social podcasting” platform that will allow users to create, discover, and consume live and recorded audio content in one place, has announced a roster of hosts that will produce live and on-demand content. The new creators include high-profile journalists including Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Briahna Joy Gray, Antonio García Martínez, and Andray Domise, and the company says more are slated to join its lineup in the coming weeks.
A mashup of live audio and podcasting, Callin offers listeners a live-stream audio listening experience to call in and ask questions similar to what they have done for decades on talk radio. Once the show is over, it becomes an on-demand podcast.
"Callin is like taping a pod in front of a live studio audience,” said Callin cofounder David Sacks. “Listeners can call in and be part of the conversation, yet hosts maintain total creative control during the room and in post-production. The ability to interact with audiences is a priority for independent journalists and thought leaders like Glenn Greenwald and many of our other creators."
Greenwald will launch The Glenn Greenwald Podcast which will include commentary, reporting, and interactive discussions. "From the time I began working as an independent journalist, I viewed the ability to have an interactive relationship with my audience – rather than the traditional monologue form – as both a crucial form of journalistic accountability and a key innovation that moves us beyond traditional media,” said Greenwald. “The fact that Callin encourages this kind of open dialogue between hosts and listeners while also giving me creative control over the content that I produce made joining the platform an obvious choice for me."
Author and journalist Matt Taibbi will launch TK Live on which he will hold discussions based off of the investigative reporting he publishes on TK News on Substack. "Callin fits nicely into my independent journalism content strategy. My Substack subscribers are extremely engaged and active in the comments, and Callin provides a way to continue the conversation live, dig deeper into interesting topics, and for the live audience to raise questions or present opposing views,” he said.
Journalist and attorney Briahna Joy Gray will host The Debrief with Briahna Joy Gray, a show debriefing the day's pop culture and political happenings. Technologist and author Antonio García Martínez hosts The Pull Request, a show that covers technology, culture, and religion. And journalist Andray Domise will team up with Greenwald to host Unredacted, a show covering global politics, and surveillance and privacy issues in tech through two political lenses. Domise will also host his own still-untitled podcast.
“Creators like Glenn, Matt, Briahna, Antonio, and Andray take Callin to the next level,” said Sacks. “As independent thinkers with sharp points of view and large engaged followings, their shows will provide insightful commentary, lively debate, and a unique opportunity for interaction.”
Sacks – a former COO at PayPal – acknowledges similar features exist in other apps, but says they are piecemeal and only Callin puts them into an end-to-end experience
Callin beta-launched in July and it has raised $12 million in a Series A financing round co-led by Sequoia Capital, Goldcrest Capital, and Craft Ventures. The company was also incubated at Craft, where Sacks is a founder and general partner.