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Renee Wang - The Podcast Report

The Podcast Report podcast.

Renee Wang the founder and CEO of CastBox is here to talk about how CastBox connects users with podcasts, radio, audio books, talk shows and more in one app. This episode will be an interesting look into some of the opportunities in the podcast space.

I have not been a big fan of more podcast directories or apps, yet Renee is willing to come on the show and answer the question of does the world need another podcast directory or app. Renee is based in San Francisco.

Tip of the Week:

It’s always easier to set the audio up correctly from the beginning than to try and fix it later. It’s always smarter to set everything up the best possible way to begin with to get the best possible results. You can always edit and change things from there.

Interview with Renee Wang the CEO of CastBox:

  • [04:23] Renee majored in psychology, but she taught herself how to code and then ended up working at Google for four years. She has experience with apps on a global scale.
  • [05:13] Renee quit Google to go back to China and code the first version of CastBox.
  • [05:44] Renee was an OPG Account Manager at Google. It was her job to help developers to promote and monetize their apps.
  • [06:46] Renee sold her house for seed money for the project. She has now closed a B round.
  • [07:40] How at the end of 2016 a lot of investors are now interested in audio again. Because of the audio connectivity between Alexa, Google Home, and car connectivity. It is believed that by the end of 2020 all cars will have Internet connections.
  • [08:47] Now investors are proactively looking for her business. She has now closed four investment rounds in a year.
  • [09:53] The app will help content providers augment information. Other investors are looking for a technology play. Both sides are important from the aggregation and the technology.
  • [11:56] How there is still an opportunity for audio aggregators the same way that when Yahoo existed there was still a door for Google to break in to.
  • [12:31] How CastBox is organizing audio, understanding text, tags, and time stamps. It can search to the specified minute and second of the content that the person wants. Renee still feels that there is room for improved technology to create a better audio experience. Including the ability to search inside of audio.
  • [14:07] The CastBox search feature will give timestamped results from a search.
  • [15:12] Audio is like a Pandora's box. You never know what is inside. We are trying to open the Pandora's box of audio and make content easier to find.
  • [15:56] The challenges of putting content into your smart device. CastBox is leveraging technology to reorganize content and give users the ability to access it.
  • [16:56] CastBox is trying to index all available open source content.
  • [18:03] Amazon's S3 transcription service.
  • [18:46] The last round raised $16 million total. There are several ways to monetize. They are co producing original content and providing distribution.
  • [19:56] They are also looking at a premium revenue share model. They are number 1 in Korea.
  • [20:54] How they are trying to conquer the audio portion of AI as well as indexing and providing better services to content providers and listeners.
  • [22:14] There are still more opportunities for startups to grow.
  • [23:25] How it is important for content providers to grow their audience by having their work more easily available, and it is easier to monetize globally and worldwide including specific niche content.
  • [27:37] How Renee is on email every day to see the user experience and make CastBox better, and CastBox is constantly being updated to upgrade the user experience including to help visually impaired people.
  • [29:28] They are really flexible and moving fast to understand needs and create a better user experience.
  • [31:01] How Paul is well-known in the industry, and Renee was interested in Paul's input.

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