Mark Bridge writes:
Two years ago we talked to Mark Smith about a new company he’d just launched. It was called ipadio and it offered a straightforward proposition: you made a phone call and ipadio would turn it into a live online broadcast with a permanent online recording - either as a free service for consumers or as a premium service for businesses.
This week I caught up with Mark again and started our conversation by asking him what had changed.
“There have been three significant developments since we spoke”, Mark said. “The principle of live streaming a telephone call is our bedrock, that’s what we do. But we’ve also introduced a service called Voice Forms, which is a form of IVR. We’re testing a podcasting studio service to allow people to rather more elegantly create podcasts - and thirdly has been some work we’ve done in live-streaming video.”
After talking in detail about those new services - and the company’s firm commitment to audio technology - we went on to discuss the company’s growth over the past couple of years.
“We’ve managed to secure the kind of clients that I wouldn’t have believed we’d secure two years ago. And that sort of success has made us a reasonably-attractive proposition for the investment community. We went through an investment round that began a year ago and was closed at the start of this year with the London Business Angels network. It’s sort of Dragon’s Den for grown-ups, I suppose.”
And the secret of ipadio?
“Most people just want technology to be invisible, they just want to use it - and then walk away from it and the job is done. That’s the overriding mission for ipadio: to make things incredibly simple.”
“What we’ve basically done is very elegantly bridged the telephony system into the web. Once the call is made, it’s simply an MP3 file that we can fire around in any way we want; we can cross-post it to social media, stick it inside an embed, punt it off to a telephone number, initiate text messaging... but the essence of what we do is a phone call. Say what you want to say - and then lots of other people can hear that.”
|You can listen to the full interview with Mark Smith on our website, via iTunes, by downloading the MP3 file... or on my personal ipadio stream.