Podcasting continues to grow as a medium to tell stories, entertain audiences, and provide information — 21 percent of Americans age 12 and up listened to a podcast in the past month, up from 17 percent in 2015. However, in an era where social media marketing is also growing, podcasters may have difficulty promoting their work in an audio-only format.
Charleston-based Wavve solves this problem by allowing podcasters and other audio creators to turn their content into a video format, which they call a “social card.” Founders Baird Hall, a startup scale veteran, and lawyer-turned-full stack engineer Nick Fogle say they see notably higher social engagement when comparing audio turned into a Wavve social card with a plain audio clip.
Hype talks to Hall about bootstrapping their product, what led them to social audio apps, and got a glimpse at how Wavve actually works — you’ll have to check it out for yourself!
Number of employees?
Right now, it is only us founders!
Funding or bootstrapped?
We are bootstrapped. Only 3 months after launching our newest product, we are excited to have paying users to fund the business.
How about I show you, rather than tell you?
For those that can’t listen at the moment:
This video created by Wavve explains what we do. Wavve combines audio, images, and animations to create custom-branded, rich media cards like the one you are listening to right now. We help podcasters, radio shows, startups, coaches, consultants, and other marketers to easily create shareable, multimedia social cards by simply uploading or recording audio.
Wavve is a natural fit to help podcasters & radio hosts to promote clips from their show. However, anyone can record audio through Wavve and create engaging MP4 video files to share. Our users are seeing a 3x to 5x increase in social engagement when posting a video created by Wavve (compared to photo or audio link posts). Wavve videos can be shared to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog posts, and any platform that support MP4 video uploads.
What problem are you solving?.
Have you ever tried sharing an MP3 on Facebook? You can’t. Audio has never been a medium that shares well. Wavve solves this problem by converting audio clips into a custom designed MP4 video card that looks drives engagement and impressions on social media and blogs.
Audio has been overlooked as a content marketing medium for a long time. Thanks to the recent boom in the podcasting, that is starting to change. When done correctly, podcasts are (in my opinion) the most effective content marketing tool available today. Audio provides a personal, direct, and intentional marketing channel directly to an audience member’s brain. It’s like having a private conversation with a potential customer.
Unfortunately, podcasts are difficult to create and share. If you already have a podcast, Wavve makes it easy to pull clips from the show and share them as video files on social media. If you don’t have a podcast, you can simply record up to 2 minutes of audio through our web application to create a social card.
Please describe the market/industry impact.
Premium plans for Wavve are offered as a monthly subscription. Premium users pay a monthly fee based on the amount of content they want to create. Each plan comes with with the ability to configure a custom social card template and an allotted amount of audio that can be converted into video cards.
How did you come up with this idea?
Before launching Wavve, we spent 8 months working on social audio apps which launched to both the iOS and Android app stores. We had thousands of users and partnerships with multiple ESPN Radio & iHeart Radio shows, but no scalable revenue model. We had over 100 hours of user generated audio content submitted via the apps with no way to share it. We built Wavve internally as a tool to market our own audio content and promote our B2C apps. It didn’t take but a few days until people started reaching out and asking how to create these “cards.”
That is when the proverbial “light bulb” went off and we decided to shift from a B2C company to a SaaS platform.
Who are your competitors and why do you stand out?
There are a few products on the market that offer something similar to Wavve as a secondary feature (Clammr, Omny Studio, Libsyn). However, to use these features you must also pay for or use their full platform and share branding space on the video card with the provider. Also, because they offer this as a secondary feature, there isn’t much flexibility available in regards to the design, clip length, animations, etc.
Anyone can use Wavve. We are constantly building features that give users full control of their design to ensure their brand is front and center.
We just launched a few months ago, so our product is still very young. The next few months will be dedicated to product development for building features that our current users are requesting. Our goal is to continue providing features that help audio creators promote their content while making Wavve accessible to anyone trying to increase their social marketing efforts.