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Michael Levy of WildVoice Interview

Posted by michaelshawnlane on September 19, 2006

Recently I had the chance to interview Michael Levy, co-founder of WildVoice. Here is how the interview went.

What is WildVoice?

WildVoice is a free end-to-end Podcasting service geared for people who are interested in sharing their own audio programs and recordings. What is unique about WildVoice is that our site and tools make it easy for anyone to create and publish audio recordings, but many of our users may not even know what Podcasting is. WildVoice offers free software and tools for creating personal recordings and Podcasts, WildVoice provides each user with a mini-web site within the WildVoice.com community to publish their shows and recordings. Users can personalize their space, publish their audio, and include rich formatted text. All audio published within WildVoice is part of a user’s Podcast. RSS is automatically generated for each user’s channel.

Why would someone use WildVoice to Podcast?

WildVoice is easy and fun to use. With WildVoice, a user can quickly sign up, create a recording, and publish it to the site. Some people may have ambitions to have a second career as a Podcaster. However, just as most bloggers are not professional writers, not everyone interested in creating their own audio programs wants to be a professional or commercial Podcaster.

WildVoice makes it easy for anyone to create and publish their own shows as Podcasts. The shows can be as simple as a short joke or story, or complex like professional talk radio hosts. WildVoice provides the tools users need to record their audio. WildVoice provides both a rich Windows application called WildVoice Studio that lets users create a show in the style of Radio DJ or talk show host. WildVoice also provides the “Shout” web recorder for Windows users to recorder short recordings or to leave audio messages for other users.

Do you consider WildVoice a social networking site?

WildVoice does have social networking features. For example, users can establish relationships with others as a Friend or as a Fan of another user. WildVoice uses these relationships so users can control who can see their shows. A user can post a show on WildVoice and limit it so only their friends can see the post.

As our community grows we expect users to enjoy the social networking features of WildVoice. However, WildVoice is primarily a site for sharing audio programs. The social networking features built into the site are to enhance that sharing experience.

WildVoice just announced the ability to add audio messages to blogs and social networking sites. Why did WildVoice decide to offer this additional service?

Certainly, MySpace is a phenomenon that all new web companies must understand and learn to co-exist with. As we looked at MySpace one thing what was surprising was MySpace users place a good deal of personal information on their MySpace profiles. Today, they post photos of themselves and write about themselves. However, all these users include music in their profile. It seemed that MySpace users in particular would embrace an easy to use method to post their own recordings in their MySpace profile. Most MySpace users write about themselves and their friends, they post pictures of themselves and their friends. Now with WildVoice MySpace users can include their own voice welcoming their friends to their profile.

With more and more Podcasts available each day and now you have Podcasts with advertising in them. What do you see for the future for Podcasting? Do you see companies willing to put more of there advertising dollars toward Podcasts?

If you look at how web technology spread in the mid-nineties it followed a pattern that we believe will be duplicated as Podcasting is further adopted. First, the early adopters and technology companies embraced the technology, then businesses started to publish their corporate information or “brochure” sites, then the greatest success of the Internet came when individual users found ways to publish their own content: this included early personal web publishing, social networks like MySpace, and of course the explosion in blogging.

Podcasting today is following a similar path. Twelve months ago only early adopters and technology enthusiasts embraced Podcasting, so there were many great Podcasts covering the technology industry and Podcasting itself. Lately, corporations have embraced Podcasting and they are using Podcasts for marketing and customer communications. At WildVoice we believe that the biggest success in Podcasting will come from ordinary users publishing their own recordings. Just like social networks and blogs, each personal Podcasts may have a small audience. However, we believe personal Podcasting (or personal media broadcasting) overall will become the largest use of Podcast technology.

Right now WildVoice is free to users. Will the service continue to be free and if so how will WildVoice generate revenue to operate?

Today, we are advertising sponsored. Our goal is to draw users to our web site as their primary place to create and share audio. We intend to always offer our current level of service for free to users. In the future we will offer subscription premium accounts for subscribers who require more advanced features or more professional levels of support.

What is next for WildVoice?

We still have many features we consider critical to our vision that we are working on. That is why we continue to call ourselves a Beta. We are constantly updating and improving the site and our tools. In the next weeks you will see a new release of WildVoice Studio and improvements on the WildVoice.com site to give our active users better statistics and feedback from other users in the community. We’re also constantly refining the user experience to make the site easier to use and more enjoyable for both creators of audio and their listeners who come to our site.



2 Responses to “Michael Levy of WildVoice Interview”

  1. Sovereign John said

    nice site, thanks for the link.

  2. cctv said

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