A search engine for radio and podcasts is already making waves
Thanks to Audioburst, millions of minutes of daily audio content is now available to instantly comb through.
While we have search engines for web content and services like Spotify and Pandora for music, very little exists to help us sift through the enormous content produced daily by podcasts and radio.
Israeli startup Audioburst, creators of a new search engine that indexes radio and podcast content, recognized the need for innovation in this neglected area of search after experiencing the same frustrations as the rest of us.
"We started Audioburst with a great need to find an interview that was aired on the local radio station and we felt very frustrated after spending a lot of time to get it from the station," VP of marketing and strategic partnerships Assaf Gad told From the Grapevine from Audioburst's offices in Tel Aviv. "Then we thought why it can't just be searched as any other content through a search engine like Google or Bing. The other frustration was that we wanted now to share this interview with our social network, but there is no simple way to do that with audio... so then we decided that 'that's it,' we should help bring audio to be a first class citizen on every platform just like video, music and any other content in our life."
Three years later, the engineers at Audioburst have delivered on their eureka moment, leveraging artificial intelligence and natural language processing to listen, understand, segment and index millions of minutes of daily talk content from thousands of top audio sources.
So how exactly does it work? Well, let's say you're searching for the latest audio interview with a celebrity like Israeli actress Gal Gadot. As Gad describes, the minute you hit enter on that query, Audioburst looks for the most relevant and up-to-date audio clip from their constantly growing library.
"Our advanced technology can also deliver these clips when the user asks other terms and do not include the explicit name – Gal Gadot, like Wonder Women, the most popular Israeli actor, etc. [It can] also bring relevant results in case the explicit name Gal Gadot is not mentioned with the audio itself, but the audio is decently relevant for this query," he says. "This is done by understanding the current trends and contact for every topic in the news, and creating a 'word cloud' for every trending news topic based on that."
While being able to sift through mountains of audio is a boon to consumers, content producers are using the Audioburst platform to amplify their reach and attract new subscribers.
"When a creator joins Audioburst, his content is automatically processed within the platform," Gad explains, adding that the company also has a revenue-sharing model for content creators. "For each burst that is created from his content, the platform generates metadata that includes full transcript, keywords, tags, entities and a web page that is open to the web and can be discovered by search engines."
Audioburst's partners, which include top brands like Samsung, Bytedance, Bose, Harman, Radioline and others, then push this content through different interfaces like in-car infotainment, systems, websites, mobile apps, voice assistants and more. As shown in the video below, the software's news feed skill for Alexa is lightyears ahead of what other AI assistants are capable of doing on their own.
Like Silicon Valley in the States, Gad says that one of the biggest benefits of placing its headquarters in Israel has been access to some of the world's best talent to help craft an advanced search engine like Audioburst.
"Tel Aviv is a great hub for technology, which of course is very useful when you want to have the best data scientists and developers," he says. "So we definitely leverage the location of our HQ to gather the best people. We also have local offices abroad, mainly for content and partnership teams, since it is very important to make sure that we provide the best contact locally. That includes offices in New York, Palo Alto and Tokyo."
The company also recently scored some serious investment from the likes of Samsung and Nippon Broadcasting to expand their audio search platform even further. Only a few years from now, the gaps left in our ability to scour the airwaves for points of personal interest will officially be conquered. Audioburst, Gad tells us, fully intends to empower people with the same accurate and tailored results that we've come to expect from services like Google and Spotify.
"Two years from now," he says, "we believe that every piece of audio will be part of our platform and users will consume audio content on-demand and in a fully personalized way."
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