New York-based audio startup Anchor unveiled a new version of its podcast creation app Thursday that aims to bridge the divide between amateur audio recording and professional podcast creation. In addition to revamped versions of its Android and iOS apps, Anchor also unveiled a new web ab as well as free, unlimited podcast hosting.
Anchor originally launched in 2016 with the goal of giving everyone a tool to record and distribute short audio snippets. “We want to democratize audio,” said Anchor CEO Michael Mignano. The original version of the app was focused on social sharing of amateur short-form audio, but Mignano said that the addition of call-in features and other easy content creation tools quickly resulted in more experienced uses flocking to the app. “We started noticing professional podcasts come over to Anchor,” he said.
That’s why the startup decided to fully embrace podcasting with the new version of the app, which lets anyone record audio with their phones and then add sound effects, music from Spotify, call-in segments and more. What’s more, users can also for the first time record, edit and publish podcasts from an Anchor web app.
These podcasts can be listened to directly on Anchor, and also syndicated to iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify and other podcast destinations. “It’s the easiest way to make a podcast ever,” said Mignano.
Anchor is launching the new version of its app with partnerships from a variety of publishers, including Buzzfeed, Cheddar and Atlantic Records. The startup hopes that other professional podcasters will follow suit, and is sweetening the deal by offering podcasters with free, unlimited audio hosting.
“In 2018, it’s really cheap to store data,” said Mignano. That offer even stands for podcasters who produce their shows with other software and then simply upload it to the service. Said Mignano: “We think you should move your podcast onto Anchor and never pay for hosting again.”
The startup currently doesn’t monetize these podcasts in any way, and Mignano remained vague on plans to do so in the future. “Our view is: Let’s never change creators,” he pledged, saying that the company would instead look to help creators monetize their podcasts via advertising or patronage.
Anchor has raised more than $14 million in funding from funders including Google Ventures, the Chernin Group, Betaworks, Homebrew and Accel Partners.