What people are saying about SpokenLayer
“Disruptive: +1 Scaleable: +1 Growth Potential: +1 Kilt: +1″
- Michael Kauffman, via Twitter
“SO stoked to see this come out!! Now I can get all the content I want w/out postponing it ’til later (aka never).”
- Jesse Biroscak, via Twitter
”This is quite cool guys! Clearly read voices make this an actual functioning service, can’t wait for more sources!”
- Blake Oistad via Twitter
Recent articles about SpokenLayer
Tech Profile: SpokenLayer – Tech Profile: SpokenLayer, The Agency Post
SpokenLayer SpokenLayer Taps Audio’s Potential For – Michael Depp, NetNewsCheck
Pubmedia-funded start-up accelerator Matter announces inaugural class – Andrew Lapin, Current.org
Meet the first class: Six media startups get accelerated into Silicon Valley by Matter – Justin Ellis, Nieman Journalism Lab
Matter, A For-Profit Media Accelerator Backed By KQED, Knight And PRX, Debuts First Class – Ingrid Luden, TechCrunch
Media accelerator Matter reveals its inaugural class of six startups – Paul Sawers, The Next Web
Are These New Startups The Future Of Media? – Zak Stone, Fast Company
Matter, a media startup accelerator, picks first class of six media tech companies – Eliza Kern, Gigaom
Matter Accelerator Announces First Class of Media Startups – Eric Johnson, All Thinks D
Actually Reading The New Republic Now Optional – Joe Coscarelli, New York Magazine
Facebook Co-Founder Unveils the New ‘New Republic’ – Lauren Indvik, Mashable
SpokenLayer Wants To Add Voice To The Web – Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch
Like an audible Instapaper, SpokenLayer lets you listen to the Web - Ki Mae Heussner, GigaOm
SpokenLayer iPhone app adds AOL Tech titles for your listening pleasure – Steve Sande, TUAW
Listening to the Web – Christina Warren, Svbtle
SpokenLayer turns the Internet into an audio experience – Phil Hornshaw, appolicious
SpokenLayer Makes an Audio Book of the Web – David Zax, MIT Technology Review
SpokenLayer Aims to Give the Web the Power of Speech - John P. Mello Jr., PCWorld
SpokenLayer Further Blurs Line Between “Assistive” and “Technology” - Andrew Leibs, About.com
App Of The Week: Listen To The Web With SpokenLayer – Tim Baran, Legal Productivity
Introducing SpokenLayer, The App That Turns Your Favorite Websites Into Podcasts – Dylan Love, Business Insider
International articles about SpokenLayer
Spokenlayer. Ecouter le web. [French]
SpokenLayer：听觉版Read It Later [Chinese]
SpokenLayer: Ascoltiamo Le Pagine Web [Italian]
Seven questions with SpokenLayer founder and CEO, Will Mayo
What does SpokenLayer do?
Takes anything you would read on the web and lets you listen to it.
How do you do that?
We take the body text of an article and our service passes it to a human to read, record, and publish in our system or, we employ advanced text-to-speech synthesis to read articles at sub-second turnaround times to meet instant demand for content which has yet to be recorded by a real human voice.
Isn’t text-to-speech “annoying”?
To be frank, it can be. This is why we’ve tried and tested nearly everything available in the speech synthesis world, and even a few things which have yet to be released as products. Only within the past few months to years has speech processing hit the point where it begins to catch up with real human voices. There is an incredible amount of science behind synthesizing voice but, the end result has grown to produce voices which can actually fool some listeners. Our primary synthesized voice even fooled my mother, that’s when I knew we had something.
Why did you start SpokenLayer?
I started SpokenLayer to solve my own problem at scale. I grew up listening to books, even textbooks, as audio, in a effort to overcome my difficulties with dyslexia. Having audible versions of the content I needed to learn was crucial to my development and education. It got me to college, and it got me through grad school. That was a powerful realization when I looked back on my life, and it was sort of a “lightbulb” moment. I realized that the technology existed to make something I found so useful available for the largest body of content ever published, the web. As an engineer, I felt compelled to work on the problem and the more I did, the more I saw the power in what I was working on.
So, is it text-to-speech, or is it human voices? You’ve mentioned both.
Yes. Neither method works at scale. I realized along the way that there were actually several problems we were solving, and they all had their own “perfect” solution. There’s far too much content produced in text in any given day to pass through human readers in a scaleable way. Conversely, although text-to-speech has come an incredible distance, some people are more sensitive to the rough edges that still persist than others. Merging the two possible solutions by analyzing the popularity of content, what we’ve created is a system in which popular articles are quickly read by human voices and the long-tail of articles can be delivered on-demand. Essentially we’ve combined the strengths of both solutions, and removed the weaknesses as a side-effect.
How do I use SpokenLayer?
We’re beginning by releasing our iPhone application and offering users a curated selection of content from some of the best publishers on the web. Our mobile application for Android is still in development, and we can’t wait to begin offering the same great content to Android users. In any start-up it’s always a fine balancing act between getting things done fast and getting things done right, and we’re absolutely dedicated to delivering a very polished, high quality experience across the mobile landscape. As we grow and learn more about how people are using our applications we will be adding features we have on our roadmap, personalization and recommendation of content being chief among those. I’m lucky to have built a small but brilliant team behind our platform and, we have some exceptional plans looking out over the horizon.
How do you make money?
It’s actually a clear and classic model which extends really well to mobile. Advertising supports print media, the web, radio, and music streaming services. There is no secret in that. What makes our approach unique and extends the classic model supporting those industries all stems from our ability to know our listeners. Efficacy in advertising is all about reaching the right individual at the right time. Our need to analyze the content we’re serving was originally a function of the engineering behind our service, what we came to realize is it also produces huge dividends in our ability to match that content and that listener to the right advertiser and deliver it with better timing than other platforms.
Logos for use on web and in print
Logo Stacked on White: PNG EPS
Logo Stacked with tagline on White: PNG EPS
Logo Horizontal on White: PNG EPS
Logo Horizontal with tagline on White: PNG EPS
Logo Stacked on Black: PNG EPS
Logo Stacked with tagline on Black: PNG EPS
Logo Horizontal on Black: PNG EPS
Logo Horizontal with tagline on Black: PNG EPS
Collateral for use on web and in print
SpokenLayer Brand Guidelines
Guidelines for using the SpokenLayer brand in print and images.
“read the web with your ears” (lowercase, no punctuation)
Company name and casing guidelines
When written the company name should be in “camel case” as SpokenLayer. Capital S, capital L, no spaces.
When in graphic form, the company name should always be displayed as all lowercase, no space, in Enriqueta Bold and the word “layer” always in black. Variations may include the word “spoken” rendered in any of the three logo colors listed below, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta.
Cyan: CMYK (100, 0, 0, 0); RGB (0, 173, 239)
Magenta: CMYK (0, 100, 0, 0); RGB(0, 236, 139)
Yellow: CMYK (0, 0, 100, 0); RGB (255, 241, 0)
Black: CMYK (100, 100, 100, 100); RGB (0, 0, 0)