Racket launches an app for 99-second micro podcasts

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If it seems like everyone is listening to the same podcast, it’s probably not a coincidence. Audio-based entertainment and social media is more popular than ever right now, but the medium still suffers from issues with discovery. While hit podcasts climb in popularity, expand their media empires and secure major brand deals, it’s difficult to find audiences for upcoming shows.

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racket Interested to find out. Outside App Store now on iOS, Racket offers a TikTok-esque endless vertical feed of audio snippets that are all 99 seconds or less. In the app one can easily edit audio, add recordings with relevant tags, add a cover image and publish it – a process that can take less than a minute.

The company is also announcing a $3 million round of pre-seed funding from investors including Greycroft, Foundation Capital and Lightshade Ventures. Angel investors including YouTuber LaurDIY, Jason Calacanis and Steve Schlafman also contributed to the funding. Racket plans to use the money to hire more engineers, improve its design, and expand its trust and safety resources.

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The Racket team has been together since 2019 working at Capiche, a software review company that sold SaaS-buying platform Vendr in April this year. After that, the team remained intact, started experimenting with audio and came up with the racket.

Racket CEO Austin Petersmith believes in the untapped potential of user-generated audio. In a conversation with Nerdshala, Petersmith compared podcasting to other styles of content creation, arguing that if 100 million people make videos on TikTok and we only have 1 million people podcasting right now, then audio is nowhere near maturity. is not close to.

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The Racket team believes that there are barriers to entry in audio that hold the medium back. “It’s strange to have a really, really narrow group of people making this material,” Petersmith said. “It’s almost impossible to break through with new podcasts.”

Racket aims to reduce that friction by shortening the format, simplifying the editing process, and building around search from the start. By capping Racket’s audio snippets at 99 seconds, the app hopes to encourage more people to tell jokes and share their stories, without worrying about creating a long, built-in audio show.

Petersmith compared Racket’s format to a tweet-length podcast, saying, “We’ve tried to lower the stakes so that people feel more okay with flaws and don’t have fancy equipment.”

You can find and follow people you know, but Racket is mostly about stumbling upon things you didn’t know you were looking for. Users can search “racket” for relevant tags or just throw the dice and swipe to see what happens. Petersmith said, “We believe we can raise the top of the funnel to people who have really interesting, insightful things to say …

Like any social platform, the success of the racket will live and die by the content that people create out there. The app had just gone live, but during its testing period the team saw a small subset of comedians take an interest in the format and invite each other. Petersmith hopes that other communities interested in the unique format will spread the word systematically.

People often listen to podcasts while cramming something like laundry or commuting, but depending on how you want to use it, Racket has an active feel, again similar to TikTok, but for audio. You can actively swipe through to find content you like and hop into a comment section, but you can just put your phone in your pocket and let the feed run through whatever comes up. . For now, that content will seem pretty random, but that could be a good thing if the podcast is too long-winded for you.

“We want to provide a platform for people who aren’t interested in staring at their screens all the time,” Petersmith said.

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