As the digital age continues to evolve, long-form journalism has witnessed a steady decline. The reason? Online readers today are busy, distracted, and simply don’t have time to stare at a giant wall of text. People absorb 140 character tweets and short-form blog posts with greater frequency – rarely reading web pages word for word. Research conducted by Nielsen found that 79 percent of test users always scan any new page they came across and only 16 percent read it word for word. Atlanta-based startup, SpeakPage, solves this problem with their narration technology that allows readers to consume the entirety of written content, even if they’re busy multitasking with other apps or tasks.
“At SpeakPage we’re on a mission to narrate the web,” explains Co-Founder, Peter Stacho. “We’re creating a future where you’ll be able to press play on any internet article and have it read back to you in a real human voice, just like an audiobook. And because SpeakPage works directly in the browser, there’s no need for visitors to download or install any additional apps. It’s as easy as pressing the play button. Your audience will enjoy listening via bluetooth while driving, at the office on their desktop, or even at home lounging on the couch with their eyes closed and tablet open.”
“With SpeakPage there’s no app installation or monthly subscription needed. Listening is free and takes place right where it belongs: on the article,” he continues. “And as a publisher you get to provide readers with a great user experience and improve accessibility, all while monetizing your existing traffic and content!” For publisher subscriptions, SpeakPage is using a freemium, tiered model based on amount of plays and publishers pay monthly. They are also white labeling their tools to larger organizations who pay annually.
According to Co-Founder and lead developer, Quinton Pike, SpeakPage’s technology is built with “Redbull and Unicorns.” In addition to energy drinks and mystical creatures, Quinton tells us that “SpeakPage uses the latest web technologies like Node.js and part of the reason our player works so well is because it’s actually based on the standard HTML5 audio player. We also use a number of open source libraries, like ffmpeg, that make our lives a bit easier! We also have a patent pending: “Navigable Web Page Audio Content” (U.S. Application No.: 62/108,14).”
A UX designer himself, Peter is a self taught product designer who previously led the design effort for Turner Broadcasting’s internal applications platform. He met Quinton while building FIT Radio for Russell Greene. Pike is a three time Google veteran who has had Ogilvy & Mather, CNN, and Cartoon Network as clients over the years. “We work constantly, surf the web simultaneously, and as avid audiobook listeners this seemed like a no-brainer,” recalls Stacho. “This is a product we want to use.”
“Forever, we Love Atlanta! This city is growing fast, and overflowing with opportunity. SpeakPage was recently awarded a scholarship to the Atlanta Tech Village and we plan on representing for the East Coast’s tech scene for many years to come,” he boasts. “Fellow entrepreneurs here are always encouraging, but recognize that building startups means losing a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Forget the scooters and bean bag chairs, in Atlanta you better be generating revenue. This city has definitely prepared us for the hustle.”