Voice Republic is an audio streaming website based in Berlin. It is a platform to host spoken word files such as interviews, readings, talks, discussions and conversations. The service is free for users and aims to generate conversation and inspire free speech.
A free audio streaming and archiving service
Voice Republic is building an ever growing presence at conferences such as webinale to record talks and keynote speeches and make them available to the public.
Co-founder Ole Kretschmann answered some of our questions about Voice Republic.
WM: Tell us a little bit about Voice Republic, how does it work?
Ole: Voice Republic is a platform for the spoken word. You can easily stream conferences, readings, presentations and discussions live. The stream is recorded automatically and published instantly in the user’s archive. All that works in the browser. It’s effortless and easy to use.
WM: What makes you different to other audio streaming sites like SoundCloud?
Ole: You can announce, stream live and archive your talks all on Voice Republic. It’s a tool that lets anyone produce their own audio series. Our strength is the connection between broadcaster and listener — our technology enables direct dialogue. And the content on Voice Republic is unique and new.
WM: What would you say makes Voice Republic a special startup?
Ole: We are unlocking a new and exciting field of content: publishing spoken word audio. Our platform is democratic, open and participative. TED Talks meets Google Hangouts.
WM: What stage of development are you in at the moment? How are you being funded?
Ole: We launched in May and since then we’ve live streamed and archived multiple conferences: republica14, Linuxtag, DMY, Webinale, AMAZE to name a few. Reaching out to political and cultural groups, journalists, movements and podcasters is our main focus right now. We see great potential and the overall feedback is incredibly encouraging.
We bootstrapped for two and a half years. Last fall a private investor backed us with a medium-sized six figure investment.
WM: What’s the financial concept behind Voice Republic, how do you make money?
Ole: We believe the freemium model will serve the individual user and us well. Conferences will benefit from the ‚conference to podcast‘ service. Listening to great talks on your way to work or while jogging is a great service and conferences are willing to pay for it. On top of that we are licensing out our tool to universities.
WM: How did you come up with the idea for Voice Republic?
Ole: More than three years ago, my cousin and co-founder Patrick and I were discussing the possibilities of the Internet. We both felt it was missing something. That something now has the name Voice Republic. It’s our contribution towards an Internet that stands for freedom of speech, diversity, anonymity and open knowledge.
WM: And what were you doing before then?
Ole: I am a writer and the founder of www.photoautomat.de, a Berlin-based company that set off a worldwide revival of black and white analog photo booths. Patrick is a composer of contemporary classical music, and a cultural theorist.
WM: And finally, why Berlin?
Ole: I’ve lived in Berlin since 1998. Berlin is diverse, I definitely appreciate that. Patrick lives in Zürich, Switzerland, which is where we founded Voice Republic
Feature image: screenshot voicerepublic.com