- Audio platform crowdCaster launches its completed suite of online broadcasting services.
- Launch highlights include free-to-use, instant creation of short audio ‘casts’ (broadcasts) on desktop and mobile devices; users can also upload audio content. Premium users can upload longer podcasts.
- Content available to all, free of ads or sponsored content, through many forms of discovery.
UK-based Online Radio Broadcasting (ORB) announces today the full launch of its online audio platform crowdCaster, which enables everyone, with or without expertise or recording equipment, to broadcast audio content across the web and social media. CrowdCaster’s mission is to give people a voice: to share ideas, raise awareness and build communities. It is a new home for audio.
CrowdCaster offers the ability to broadcast audio of three different lengths. At the core is the 140 second ‘cast’ (audio broadcast) which can be pre-recorded and uploaded or created instantly via crowdCaster’s free-to-use desktop site and iOS and Android mobile apps. For longer segments, casts can be grouped together into ‘shows’, while premium users can upload podcasts of up to an hour.
Kevin Martin, ORB’s creative director, explained: “Casts can be anything from talking about your day to sharing your ideas or music, reporting on the latest news or highlighting information and raising awareness of causes. CrowdCaster is founded with the intention of being socially valuable – enabling individuals, communities and grass roots organisation to be broadcasters and to share audio content across social media. Our focus is on the authenticity and convenience of voice.”
Casts, shows and podcasts are discoverable on the crowdCaster site and mobile apps in a variety of ways, not least using search, exploring hashtags and following individual users, who may have single casts or whole portfolios of audio content. Everything can be shared widely across social media.
Kevin Martin continued: “With crowdCaster’s powerful ability to democratise the voice, a new era of information sharing, through audio, is being ushered in. CrowdCaster offers greater discovery, providing a new global opportunity to hear news, tap into thoughts, stories and ideas, and rediscover voices from the past.”
Iain Rawlinson, ORB’s chairman, said: “Short, snackable audio content is a new frontier. The brevity of a cast is a large part of crowdCaster’s appeal; however, it can also provide a gateway to the discovery of longer audio content by drawing a new demographic of listeners and showcasing the content of longer shows. The full launch of crowdCaster, with its technological advances and social sharing, creates an opportunity to open up broadcasting to everyone and to share it in different ways, whether it’s simple and concise or in longer segments.”
Sara Martin, ORB’s CEO, said: “When someone takes the step of broadcasting it can often be a revelation. People often think, ‘I’m not good enough to be heard on the radio’ but through crowdCaster they may find they have a lot to say, which they never knew they could. CrowdCaster is all about what you say, not who you are, or how you say it. By being inclusive, crowdCaster is thinking about all the people who have something to contribute.”
CrowdCaster has been in development for 3 years and in open beta for 12 months. Further facilities and services are scheduled for roll-out through 2016/17 but today’s announcement brings crowdCaster into full service, without the annoyance of ads or sponsored content.
Users can sign up to crowdCaster at https://app.crowdcaster.com/register or by downloading the crowdCaster app from the iOS App Store or Google Play for Android.
Notes for editors
CrowdCaster has been developed by Online Radio Broadcasting Ltd (“ORB”), which is based in Oxford, UK. It has three main elements:
- Discover – direct from the homepage users can select and listen to the most popular casts, shows and podcasts, follow other crowdCasters (thereby creating a network) or search hashtags and users to discover the variety of audio content across the platform.
- Record – casts are created through the ‘record’ function or by selecting an audio file to upload. Podcasts can be published by uploading a selected audio file. All content can be previewed and published after adding an image, title, description and hashtags to make the audio content more easily discoverable, or branded with an image or logo.
- Connect – the platform is designed to help crowdCasters connect with people who interest them, worldwide. Users can listen to audio and respond instantly with audio comments through the audio response feature or by text, and users can respond to commentary on their own audio. Use of hashtags and channels help crowdCasters connect with each other and their content, and create a community. CrowdCaster’s sharing functionality allows content to be heard across social media or posted on a user’s own website, enabling more people to listen and then create content they enjoy.
The South African Bookmarks Awards 2016 saw crowdCaster taking the bronze award in the category of Mobile App Development, a highly coveted accolade in the digital industry reflecting the emerging success of the application, which had its soft launch in late 2015 and then became available on both Android and iOS devices early in 2016.