Mark Cuban is co-founding a podcast app where hosts can talk to fans live and monetize their conversations

Mark Cuban is getting in on the audio and podcasting hype. Alongside co-founder Falon Fatemi, he’s planning to launch Fireside, a “next-gen podcast platform” that facilitates dwell dialog, in accordance with an electronic mail despatched to doable creator companions seen by The Verge. The app thought is much like the buzzy dwell audio startup Clubhouse, besides with the flexibility to natively file conversations. A supply near Fireplace says the app plans to launch publicly this 12 months.

Fatemi, who co-founded and sold the AI customer relations service Node, guarantees a platform the place creators will be capable to broadcast, file, and monetize conversations whereas utilizing Fireplace’s built-in analytics instruments to determine what content material performs finest. The app, in accordance with a now-expired engineer job posting, has raised a “multi-million greenback” seed spherical to get began. The supply near the corporate says creators might be supplied numerous offers and methods to monetize, and the app gained’t let simply anybody communicate publicly. It’ll be a extremely curated expertise.

The startup continues to be seemingly in stealth mode. It’s unclear when it was based, however job postings went dwell as early as September. Fatemi left Node in August, saying on the time that she could be shifting on to a “new enterprise.” She hasn’t listed Fireplace on her LinkedIn but. Cuban and Fatemi beforehand collaborated on Node, with Cuban investing within the product. His co-founder standing on Fireplace brings him again into the audio area. He and Todd Wagner famously sold web radio firm for $5.7 billion in 1999 to Yahoo.

“In the present day we are saying goodbye to present media platform limitations created by one-way conversations, a scarcity of interactivity, and non-existent analytics,” Fatemi writes within the electronic mail to creators. “We degree the enjoying area by empowering creators primarily based on what they should say (not how loud they yell) and we give their concepts the attain to show a single dialog into the seed of the following media empire.”

Fireplace’s job posting claims “social media has failed us” by creating “antagonistic echo chambers with mediums for communication that solely additional an outrage tradition and enterprise fashions that incentivize spreading disinformation.” Fireplace, the posting says, is trying to foster “civil clever discourse, shared related experiences, and real relationship constructing just about” by way of its broadcasting platform, which is able to “promote driving social affect by way of significant conversations at scale.”

As a part of that purpose, Fatemi is reaching out to established podcast creators about “Founding Firesider” spots, seemingly to construct an preliminary roster of Fireplace customers.

Fatemi declined to remark, and Cuban confirmed that “sure,” he’s a co-founder.

The app is unrelated to the established podcast internet hosting and analytics platform Fireside, which has been round since 2016. Dan Benjamin, Fireplace’s founder and CEO, says there’s no connection between the 2 providers. “Making a memorable model is a problem, and we’ve already heard from prospects (and potential prospects) who’re confused about this,” he writes to The Verge. “It’s shocking and greater than a bit regarding. I think about they only didn’t notice that we right here at Fireplace have been in podcast internet hosting for nearly 5 years, or about my very own private involvement in podcasting since 2006. After all I invite them to succeed in out to me so we are able to start a dialogue and work out an answer.”

Cuban and Fatemi’s Fireplace joins a legion of different audio apps trying to make dwell audio a daily strategy to work together on-line. Clubhouse, most notably, launched final 12 months and has steadily grown, whilst an invitation-only service, and attracted big names like Elon Musk. The platform now has tens of millions of customers, and its group is trying to assist creators monetize by way of a proper program. Twitter can be testing Spaces, its personal tackle dwell broadcasted conversations. Whereas these aren’t formal podcasting apps — there’s no strategy to file a Clubhouse dialog natively — all of them appear to make the most of the podcasting hype buoyed by Spotify.

Spotify has invested lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} to acquire established podcasting networks and know-how, in addition to to lock down unique offers with big-name stars, like Joe Rogan and the Obama family. In the meantime, Apple, the unique podcast creator, is reportedly exploring the launch of a podcast subscription service, and Amazon Music and Audible are additionally investing in bringing podcasts to their platforms.

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