Anne Wootton

Anne Wootton

CEO of Audiosear.ch and Pop Up Archive

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON February 16, 2016

Discussion

Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
Hello Product Hunters! I co-founded Pop Up Archive and Audiosear.ch to bring radio and podcasts to wider audiences in better ways. Since 2015, Audiosear.ch has been collecting data about podcasts and make it accessible via API — for example, full-text, timestamped transcripts, info about the people in podcasts, who's talking about them, recommendations, aggregated charts data, and easy ways to share audio segments on social platforms. Pop Up Archive started in 2013 and is used by organizations like This American Life, KQED, KALW, and the New York Public Library to search recorded sound, log interview tape, and make audio more accessible on the web. When I'm not working on Pop Up and Audiosear.ch, I am most likely thinking about Abraham Lincoln's Classical influences or dancing.
Greg Urquhart
Greg Urquhart@urqness · President at UPGmedia.com
How do you see podcast networks (Gimlet Media, Earwolf, etc) affecting audiosear.ch and popup archive? Are they potential customers, partners, or competitors? Also, if older episodes of a podcast go behind a pay wall, does that change the rights/permissions for the transcripts and metadata you're creating and collecting?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@urqness The growth of podcast networks is definitely a good thing for us. While the Audiosear.ch site functions as a front-facing showcase for the technology we're developing, we never set out with the intention to create our own original audio content or build a consumer-facing platform. We think of Audiosear.ch as the plumbing behind the scenes that helps distributors and platforms build better podcast experiences for their audiences — whether that means helping listeners discover more audio to listen to (and stay in the app longer), helping advertisers target ads to more nuanced listener demographics, or providing tools that make it easier to share audio so that it can spread across the web as easily as a URL, tweet, or Facebook post. We've worked with the fine people at Gimlet and Earwolf on a couple of experiments and projects already and look forward to more of it in the future. Plus, the more producers there are creating audio content, the more customers we find coming to Pop Up Archive for help logging tape and searching all that audio! And oh — if content goes behind a paywall, while we certainly won't continue providing access to it through the public-facing Audiosear.ch site or API, we do hold onto the transcripts and metadata we create and can work with developers on both sides of the paywall.
Steph Garrett
Steph Garrett@ongarrett · Founder, Product, https://www.podDB.me
Are there any unique traits you've learned working with audio content or introducing a robust API to the audio/podcast community that you can share? Maybe lessons learned developing tools for the podcast/audio creators, media companies, archivists, audio or rss file issues?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@ongarrett That's a big question! I think the main thing we've learned is that we're striking a chord at this particular moment in the development of audio communities and the industry as a whole. We see more and more developers finding the Audiosear.ch API and building with it, whether for their day jobs or for side projects. Many of them are looking for things as simple as a comprehensive index of podcasts, which they can't find anywhere else. Developers are among the quickest to pick up on the new capabilities (i.e. searching spoken word) afforded by the technology we use and build — which plays into a big part of our work educating people about just how big they can go with Audiosear.ch. At the same time, one challenge (despite the beauty of the fundamentally open nature of the protocol) has been the inconsistency and lack of metadata in RSS feeds. It's fun to watch how various platforms are compensating for that — or completely reinventing the wheel.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What do you think of new audio platforms like Anchor?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@bentossell It's awesome to see new audio-centric platforms like Anchor. For as relatively long as podcasting technology has been around, there is still so much more experimentation and innovation that can (and, I think, will) happen in terms of audio formats, content, sharing, and communities. Have you used Anchor? What do you think?
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@annewootton yeah I was one of the lucky few at the very beginning when in stealth mode. I dont like the sound of my own voice but I'm coming around that. It's an interesting concept that is in its infancy for sure. I can see a lot of ways it would be a cool way to use the format so I'm excited to see it evolve.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What's your favorite thing about Product Hunt's Podcast discovery? Least favorite?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@andrewmettinger Well, I love the upvotes. It's pretty crazy that of all the audio platforms out there, it's virtually impossible on all of them (for now, at least) to get a sense for how popular a given episode is amongst that platform's user base. Sure, iTunes and Stitcher (and soon, Google Play podcasts) have charts, but the algorithms behind the charts aren't particularly transparent or directly/clearly tied to user actions like "likes" or "favorites" or upvotes — or even listens/downloads, for that matter. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to search or filter Product Hunt podcasts in any way. Also, I have to go to my podcast listening app of choice and look them all up because from the PH site I get linked to audio all over the place.
Danielle
Danielle@danielle0090 · Customer Success
What are your thoughts on building an engaged and inspiring leadership team?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@danielle0090 It's been enormously satisfying — and of course, challenging — to learn how to delegate responsibility and build a team of leaders to work alongside me and my co-founder. The biggest thing I've learned there is that when you give people responsibility, or ownership of a project/process/etc, they typically rise to the challenge and thrive on the pride and satisfaction of knowing how instrumental their contributions are to the company and product. And if they don't, they're probably not a good fit. Also, for as much as I've worried and read articles and done workshops and thought about how best to build an "engaged an inspiring leadership team," as you put it, at the end of the day I show up and be myself. People apparently like working here for a reason (!!), so I try to trust my gut rather than forcing my style or our company into some predetermined mold. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hey, Ann! I'm a big podcast fan. Which ones are your favorite?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@rrhoover Hi Ryan! I like Reply All, Another Round, Wolf Den for keeping up with podcast industry news, and Backstory with the American History Guys (obviously all their episodes on Lincoln are great, and they've also done cool ones on the history of work, speed, and advertising in the U.S.). I check in on Longform and Fresh Air every once in awhile. I also recently discovered Israel Story, which I've heard described as the This American Life of Israel, and I adored the episode "Love Syndrome." Made me laugh, made me cry, all the things.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Apple Music or Spotify?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@tomstocklein Great question. I use the iTunes podcast app to listen to podcasts still, but I use Spotify for music. That could all change, though. On one hand, I like the idea of being able to get music and podcasts in the same place. On the other, I'm rarely in the mood to listen to both interchangeably — I either want podcasts, or I want music, but not both. I think podcast discovery and listening is a pretty different behavior from music discovery and listening. I'm looking forward to seeing if/how Spotify builds on their podcast integration. Also, Google Play Music and Acast!
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@tomstocklein PS. Which do you prefer?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are your goals for Audiosear.ch for 2016? Are there specific milestones you'd like to achieve?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@tomstocklein Right now we are collecting and synthesizing data like CRAZY! There's a dearth of podcast/radio data, especially when you think of all the data that underlies other media platforms i.e. for music, film, television. So this year our main goals are scaling and automating as much data collection, and intelligence derived from that data, as possible. You can check some of that out already at www.audiosear.ch/charts, www.audiosear.ch/tastemakers, and of course www.audiosear.ch/developer.
Dhananjay Yadav
Dhananjay Yadav@dhananjay_yadav · Growth Hacking and Performance Marketing
Since Audiosear.ch was completely new concept, How difficult was it to make people understand, and at same increase the adaptation ? Do you have any suggestions for the upcoming entrepreneurs with unique ideas, as sometimes adaptation and reach becomes difficult with new concepts ?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@dhananjay_yadav I've learned a lot so far about patience and timing, that's for sure. Podcast and on-demand audio listening (and distribution, and advertising dollars) is steadily growing, but we're also talking about a more fundamental (and gargantuan) shift from broadcast/terrestrial radio to on-demand audio consumption, and that takes time. We've been careful about our spending and runway for that reason. For both Pop Up Archive and Audiosear.ch, we spend a fair amount of energy educating the various communities we work with through newsletters, developer showcases, blog posts, and hackathons/meetups. We've put a lot of thought into our developer docs and SDKs (which are ever-evoloving works in progress, so let us know what you think!), and we try to be as responsive and receptive to feedback as we possibly can be. We want to make it easy for people to try out new tech and we also realize that we can learn a lot from them.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Anne - what have been some of the biggest challenges you've had to overcome setting up not one - but two - businesses? How did you overcome them?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@ems_hodge Hi Emily! Great question. One benefit out of the gate was that Audiosear.ch is fundamentally built on the exact technology that we've been developing at Pop Up Archive since 2013. We saw the buzz and interest building around podcasts, and obvious gaps in the ecosystem where better technology and data could help with discovery, sharing, recommendation, distribution, advertising — and we couldn't resist taking a stab at that. In terms of challenges, my co-founder @baileyspace and I had to think hard about how to split the energies and attentions of our small team without making people suffer from too much context switching and mental overload. Luckily, we'd had a couple years of building Pop Up Archive, its community, and a robust and growing customer base under our belts, so it afforded us the opportunity to wade into Audiosear.ch with a series of short experiments last year that ultimately led us to double down on the Audiosear.ch API.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What would you suggest to someone who wants to listen to more podcasts but can't concentrate on listening while working?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@bentossell Hi Ben! I can't listen to podcasts at work, either! I'm one of those freaks (no offense intended, it takes one to know one) who obsessively rewinds 15 seconds when I accidentally tune out and miss a sentence or can't understand a word/phrase. I've been enjoying the double benefit of walking more often and listening to podcasts while I walk: it compensates a little for all the time I spend sitting on my butt in front of a screen *and* gives me an opportunity to listen to more shows. I also listen sometimes at the gym, on planes, driving, cooking — things I do no matter what when I might otherwise be spacing out, thinking, or listening to music. It's pretty rare that I commit to listen to every single episode of a show, with the exception of the first season of Serial and the StartUp podcast (which struck so close to home it made me simultaneously cringe and compulsively listen to it). Unlike some podcast power listeners I know who are always desperate for more content, I find that my queue fills pretty quickly with recommendations from people I know and Twitter. There are a couple of feeds I usually check because I know they're likely to cover topics or interview people I find interesting. But yeah — in terms of how to start listening more, you need to find something really incredible that will get you hooked, then find times within your normal routine where you can fit it in.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What is your favourite Abraham Lincoln quote?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@ems_hodge This is undoubtedly the hardest question of the entire Live Chat.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@annewootton @ems_hodge how about your favorite Abe tattoo?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@ems_hodge Okay. The quick answer, though I want to back it up with a source and can't find it right now, is this: "I may walk slowly, but I never walk backward."
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@eriktorenberg @ems_hodge If only I could embed photos in this Live Chat, I would surely include a photo of my own. Thanks Erik. ;)
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
Also this is funny: "During one political meeting—as the story goes—an agitated man made his way up to the front and accosted him, saying, 'Mr. Lincoln, I declare, you are a two-faced man!' Thereupon Mr. Lincoln (knowing full well his well-earned reputation for looking rather homely and unkempt in appearance) looked down at his interlocutor and said, 'My dear sir, if I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?'" http://americamagazine.org/conte...
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you used to fervently believe that you now see as fundamentally misguided 1) personally, 2) professionally, and 3) re: Abe Lincoln?
Anne Wootton
Anne Wootton@annewootton · CEO, Audiosear.ch
@eriktorenberg Personally, that I'm in some sort of race to get somewhere. Professionally, that thinking about work all the time will somehow benefit my work. Re: Abe Lincoln, that he must have been just a little boring because he didn't drink.