As you may have noticed on our website, articles published since this spring are now available in audio format. Put on your headphones, turn up the sound and listen to our content differently. Whether you are at home, at work, in traffic jams or walking, you can now listen to our latest news and stories. In a few clicks we transform our static content into dynamic content thanks to the artificial intelligence developed by the Italian startup, Vocally.fm. Its founder tells us more about its concept and what’s next.
photo: Marco Addante, Founder & CEO of Vocally.fm / Credits © Serge Deuces / Silicon Luxembourg
Tell us about your startup.
Vocally.fm is a web platform that enables bloggers and online magazines to take advantage of the emerging audio economy. It allows them to connect with their premium audiences, who are getting busier with lesser time to read long articles. Vocally is the easiest way for publishers to create, share and monetize audio versions of their written articles.
How did you come up with the idea?
Through my university years, I was always in the search of new information from startup and tech ecosystems to improve my skills. I used to read dozens of interesting articles daily. But, as soon as I left university and started working, I realized the amount of time I was able to dedicate to research and reading was diminishing by the day.
I ended up reading articles faster, skipping from one word to another and eventually, saving reminders on my favorite list, which I ended up forgetting and never reading again. It was such a pity to see I actually had many empty slots during the day to read on my device but this would have been extremely unsafe to do as I’d have been commuting.
I started to love the idea of listening to authors’ voices interpret their own articles. Enthusiasm and passion is often the most critical part of the storytelling. I started to wonder how online magazines, bloggers and online publishers had not created audio versions of their articles. I wanted to support this transition and allow people to listen to writers express themselves. I was thrilled that this would also make written content accessible to those with reading disorders or blindness. Inclusion became, by far, the most important mission for us.
“Our clients are mainly publishers such as online magazines and bloggers.”
What are your products/services?
Vocally.fm is an online platform, designed to allow anyone to generate the audio versions of articles with just one tap.
We provide two core features, Human transcription and AI transcription. The first allows the author to simply read his or her own article. And, the second one is magic. You can input any text and voilà, an advanced AI neural network algorithm, synthesizes it into natural voices! It’s mind blowing. I invite anyone to go to our beta website to test it.
What is your business model?
The tool is completely free. Our income is based on a revenue share model. This means we only generate revenue if our users also do.
Customers will be requested to subscribe for a fee in order to get access to their premium content. Running automated advertisements on open profiles or setting up a paywall for premium content brings in revenue.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are mainly publishers such as online magazines and bloggers.
We are testing the platform with Silicon Luxembourg and other similar companies. We would like to thank Silicon Luxembourg for this as our test with Silicon Luxembourg has helped us move from our first MVP to the current beta version.
Along with online publishers, we are currently testing the platform with players from event organization ecosystems and the educational world. With these industries, we want to help provide a simple way to record and share pitches from speakers or lessons from teachers. With vocally.fm events, masters or specific courses will no longer be confined to the walls of a building or limited by the number of seats. It will finally be possible to generate and pack valuable content under one dedicated profile and earn additional revenues by selling it online.
“We are focused on evolving voice as a powerful tool for new and old generations of creators.”
Vocally.fm has a clear company vision. We are focused on evolving voice as a powerful tool for new and old generations of creators.
In our near future, we are looking to create something incredible. To combine our two current features, Human transcription and AI transcription, to literally be able to synthesize author’s voice for deep AI transcription personalization. Also, directly connecting voice with text, it will be possible edit the audio output by simply editing text, and vice versa.
Creating audio versions of any article or podcast series will become as easy as writing it down.
We know our plan is extremely challenging, but Vocally was born to disrupt a business which has remained untouched. We are looking forward to merging the ePublishing sector with the high potential voice economy and bringing it to the next level.