- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
PimpMyNews Audio Feedreader – Next Layer of Multitasking
I’ve been playing with a new text-to-audio startup called PimpMyNews for a couple of weeks now. The basic idea is simple: the PimpMyNews service takes your blog posts and converts them on-the-fly to audio that you can take with you or listen at your desk. This tool can add a new layer of multi-tasking to your day. Let’s say you read CenterNetworks on our RSS Feed while sitting on a train on your Blackberry or iPhone. Now, what if you could listen to CenterNetworks while typing a reply to your boss who wants an update on the TPS reports by 9am? Another idea is that you can listen to your favorite feeds while at your desk and instead of reading the text, you can hear it. I am impressed with what I’ve seen so far.
I spoke with PimpMyNews co-founder and CEO John Atkinson to learn more about the application. John is very passionate about making this successful. We started by reviewing how they convert the text to audio. John noted that it’s a 2-stage process; first they clean up the HTML then they convert the text to audio on the fly. They currently have 950 feeds and 159,000 stories in the system and are adding 3-5k stories daily.
Mark at Mashable reviewed the service last month and seemed to not be impressed saying that it’s fun for ten minutes. He discusses the voice aspect and how it’s not a real person speaking to him, but rather a computer voice. I disagree strongly and think Mark got this one wrong – sure it’s not perfect and it’s not like listening to a British woman speaking to me with her wonderful accent, but from all of the crappy computer voices I’ve heard over the years, this is one of the best. The ability to multi-task overcomes some of the difference as well.
Once you select your feeds, you can choose a podcast which you can put into iTunes and then each day it will download the latest feed items directly to your iPod. Monetization will come in three forms: advertising on the site, short ads in the mp3s and premium memberships. I could see a revshare model working well too – bloggers could receive a portion of the income earned when someone listens to their feed or purchases a premium membership.
Currently CN is a "featured publisher" on the home page, but I couldn’t find CN inside the directory so unfortunately I can’t advise you on how to add it to your playlist. They have default bundles and feeds categorized by type with the usual suspects in place. As I always suggest, it would be great to see a wider variety in tech than just tc, go, rww, and mash every time.
The other big suggestion for PimpMyNews would be to create a branded widget so that blogs can stick the player inside of the site. PMN could inject an ad into the widget and then CN readers could click play and boom they are listening. This could also help the app to take on more of a viral nature. They do offer a link now but it’s not the same as a rich widget.
The team is split in location between Ohio and Oklahoma City and has four employees total. They are currently running as a bootstrapped startup.