As Vurbl closes in on its first birthday, the company has expanded its management team with the hiring of Alex Underwood as its first Chief Revenue Officer. He will be responsible for developing Vurbl’s monetization strategy, including its advertising business and developing its content partnership strategy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Alex to the team,” said co-founder and CEO Audra Gold in the announcement. “He brings years of audio industry experience and ad agency relationships to Vurbl. He’ll be leading the charge in building and growing our revenue foundation as we continue on our path to become the largest and most diverse audio streaming platform in the world.”
Underwood most recently was General Manager of Advertising and Commerce at Team Snap. Prior to that, he spent six years (2014 to 2019) at Spotify, including as the streamer’s Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Head of Global Agency and Partnerships. Prior to that, Underwood worked for five years at Google (2007-2013) including as Head of Media Agency Strategy and Media Segment Team Leader. Earlier he worked at the Radio Advertising Bureau from 2004 to 2007 and at the ad agency PHD.
Vurbl launched last November and is positioning itself as a sort of library of audio content. While most streaming apps focus on audio, Vurbl is aiming to carve out its position with spoken word content led by more than one million podcasts as well as audiobooks, old-time radio recordings, and historical speeches. Vurbl has already signed ad deals with DAXand Magnite.
Listeners can find more than 35 million audio tracks on Vurbl. Beyond podcasts, Vurbl pulls content from public domain audio, libraries of educational and non-profit audio, and user-generated content uploaded onto the site. Looking ahead, Gold said they plan to build a licensed content library of user generated content that performs well on the site. It also sees YouTubers who produce audio-centric content as a source of potential partners.
Los Angeles-based Vurbl announced last September that it had raised $1.3 million in seed funding. Since then, Gold said they have secured an additional $1.2 million from investors.