Startupland continues to throw out some innovative websites and interesting business models, and as such we've decided to launch a new feature called 'Start Me Up', which will profile new startups.
We kick things off with Voisse.com, which allows users to tell stories by combining audio with images.
If you run a B2C-focused startup and want a 'Start Me Up' profile then let me know by emailing email@example.com.
In one sentence, what is Voisse?
Voisse is a web-based audio service, which lets people brings images to life in a creative way with the power of their voice.
What problem does Voisse solve?
Voisse ensures people can capture stories forever in the words of the people involved.
The old adage of “a picture can say a thousand words” is only true if someone actually says them. If they don’t the story behind the image could be lost forever.
All over the world millions of people are taking photographs and then sharing them with friends and family, often by posting them to social networks. In fact over 2.5 billion images are posted to Facebook alone on a monthly basis.
People add notes and tags but they cannot begin to tell the story in the words of the people who were there, in their voice. This can be anything from a bride’s thoughts on her wedding day, a new mother capturing her feelings, grandma’s wartime memories or a student’s gap year travel diary.
For those users who have popular or unique recordings, podcasts and creative audio slideshows, Voisse has created a Marketplace where they can be bought and sold.
When and why did you launch it?
Voisse was launched to the public in May 2010 to take advantage of the surge in growth of social networking across the globe and particularly people sharing their life experiences with photographs.
Who is your target audience?
Voisse can be used by anyone. However, we are targeting all age groups who use social networks, from teenagers to silver surfers. People who are already capturing their lives through the posting and sharing of images, albeit without the stories behind them.
In addition the embedding capability within Voisse lends itself to the bloggers of the world who will find the addition of audio slideshows in their pages an interesting and valuable medium to enhance their posts.
We are also targeting businesses as there are a number of uses for Voisse including the creation and distribution of educational content, museum guides and travel guides for use on iPods, iPhones and iPads and the sharing of corporate and conference presentations as audio slideshows and for various internal communications.
What are your immediate goals?
To help people around the world capture and share their experiences and stories through images and the spoken word and ensure they have them forever.
To make the business sustainable in order that we can continue to enhance and develop the services to make them useful to everyone.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Voisse?
From a technical point of view, Voisse has been built on standard platforms (CF, Flash and .NET) but this type of integration of images and streaming audio had never been done before. Our challenge was to make a complex process (capture, stream, transcode) as simple as possible for our users as well as ensure the quality of the output was high.
From a business perspective, getting it to market as quickly as possible in order to get valuable feedback from users and trying to implant the name of Voisse in the psyche of as many people as quickly as possible!
How will the company make money?
Our current model is based on two revenue streams...
1. Users paying, either PAYG credits or subscriptions, for high quality outputs – audio slideshows either viewed on-line or remotely on portable devices such as iPods as enhanced podcasts.
2. Micro-commissions for content sold through the Voisse marketplace.
Future revenue streams could include page sponsorships of communities e.g. weddings and targeted audio based advertising, gifts, partner based advertising and licensing of the technology.
In the future we will look at advertising models on audio content where appropriate and targeted traditional advertising on dedicated content portals.
What is your pricing model?
PAYG: Enhanced podcasts are £1. Online audio slideshows are £3.
Subscriptions: £29 per annum for 50% reduction in enhanced podcast and audio slideshow charges, plus a reduction in Marketplace fees or, £99 per annum for unlimited enhanced podcasts and audio slideshows (and a further reduction in Marketplace fees).
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
The current team comprises the co-founders Alan Back, CEO and Tim Peacock, COO, an advisory board of senior executives with relevant experience to Voisse and service partners comprising Lightmaker (strategy, design & development), AWB Partnership (legal) and BTagile (phone-in services).
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years time?
One year: have a growing reputation in traditional and digital media for delivering valuable services to thousands of users.
Three years: have a worldwide reputation as the pre-eminent creator of multi-platform audio applications for both consumers and business.
Five years: be an instantly recognisable worldwide brand with a reputation for always giving users maximum value.