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Audio platforms: Changing the future of social media

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Audio’s days of being overlooked in the social media space are over.

It was in 2011 when Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks Animation told a “gasping audience” at the Technomy conference in Tuczon, Arizona that the future of social media will move from “text-based communication to video- and audio-based.” It appears like he was right on the money.

Within two years, social media analysts saw a rise in the usage of Google Hangouts, Twitter’s Vine and Instagram’s video platform for video recording and sharing. Invodo noted that 92 percent of those who watched videos on these platforms are more likely to share them within their network.

The same was true for audio platforms, albeit at a slower pace. Latest research data, however, points out that audio platforms have since picked up the speed as audio consumption grows.

Thanks to audio consumers’ evolving tastes and motivations, it did not take long for audio platforms to capture a highly engaged audience.

Gone were the days when consumers dropped by online audio streaming sites just to listen to their favorite music or perhaps let their friends know about it. Consumers have become warmer to the idea of recording their own audio clips and sharing them to the world.

Audioboo and Dubbler are two digital audio platforms worth noting in this context.

Audioboo is a service software platform designed with content creators, from audio bloggers to broadcasters, in mind. “It is a social media platform based around audio. Some people liken us to YouTube for audio, or Twitter for audio and that's essentially correct,” said Rob Proctor, CEO of Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM.L). London-based Audioboom designed Audioboo.

For business and media clients, Audioboo serves as a recording and publication platform allowing them to create audio live from their beats or in the studios and share those clips to web-based audiences.

“From Audioboo, we can automatically syndicate these to Twitter and Facebook via Twitter and Facebook media cards that automatically play out the audio in their followers’ feed, and through a whole range of embedded players that push that back to our content partners website,” Proctor explained.

The audio recording also goes to Audioboom.com and is accessible through a whole range of mobile applications on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and devices, according to Proctor.

Startups like Dubbler in the United States have also recognized the need for social media pages that feature an audio sharing and recording functionality.

Dubbler allows users to record and upload 60-second audio clips on its platform, and share them to the Dubbler community and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Tumblr. Dubbler allows users to use audio filters and photos to spruce up their audio posts.

“I saw a lot of people texting and posting photos on social media, but no one really communicating with their voice,” Appsurdity founder Matthew Murphy told Mashable.

“The whole idea is you don't text your personality, you voice it. We wanted to give people a platform to share their voice and be heard,” Murphy said.

Like Audioboo, Dubbler is also available on Android and iOS.

Dubbler has nearly a million users on its database since launching in January 2013, according to Pando Daily. Murphy noted that Dubbler “has engagement levels comparable to photo and video category leaders.”

Brands and personalities using Dubbler include Common, Mac Miller, RuPaul, LogoTV and College Humor, Pando Daily reported.

Audioboo meanwhile has 2.5 million registered users on its platform, while some 12 to 13 million active users access it across different platforms and touch points.

Data from Nielsen revealed that online audio streaming grew by 32 percent in 2013.

At least 72 percent of web users are active on social media, Social Media Today reported. It also noted that 71 percent of these users use mobile devices to access their social media accounts.

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