Adio launches curated, context-driven audio and video sharing

By James Cridland for
Posted 1 April 2015, 12.00pm edt

Mark Rock hasn't changed much. He confidently strides into someone else's office, and announces that he's going to steal their conference room. It turns out his own working space is being renovated, and his new company, Adio, is temporarily homeless.

He's still talking quickly, in staccato bursts, enthusiastic and excited about what he's doing. The last time many of us saw him, Mark was working at Audioboo, the audio sharing service that he founded. Two years ago, he walked away. Today I was to discover what he'd been working on since.

Mark starts by quoting Buzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti's strategy of "fishing for eyeballs in other people's streams". He points to the problems in sharing audio or video content - that embedded players, like YouTube's embedded player, give little or no context to the content being shared. If a publisher like wishes to use a YouTube embed, he says, we're stuck with whatever the original content creator used as a description: typos and all.

Curation, he believes, is a unique part of what the internet can bring to sharing content; but something that is currently difficult to achieve with the tools that services like YouTube and SoundCloud offer. There's no way for a publisher and curator of clips to add context and emotion, he says.

Step forward Adio, his new project, which aims to do just that.

In what Mark told me was the first time Adio had been demonstrated externally, Amit Patel, Adio's Product Manager, demonstrated the product. Unusually for a demonstration, Amit didn't start on the Adio website - instead, he went straight to YouTube and navigated to a Zoella video. As he did so, the Adio button in his Chrome browser lit up, signifying that this clip could be shared on Adio. Pressing it, Amit edited the title and description of the clip, and added some cover art.

At the Adio website, the Zoella video had been added to his collection, which he could share (on Twitter and Facebook), or be embedded into other websites or social media services. Descriptions can be long-form, and include tweets and other multimedia elements.

The Adio player

The most powerful thing, said Mark, was the ability for publishers to create collections of audio and video from across the web. A travel article about Boston might contain a video guide, an audio piece from WBUR as well as user-generated content from services like SoundCloud.

Collections come with the same opportunity to add descriptions and context by the person sharing the content, and artwork that the sharer controls. The players look like mini apps within a web-page, and work flawlessly on mobile. "They're the newest players available," Mark says, "and we know this because we only finished them last week."

An Adio collection

Adio currently works with YouTube, SoundCloud and, perhaps surprisingly, audioBoom - the new name for Audioboo. Content creators can also upload their own audio into the Adio service, and Adio plan to support other websites soon.

My view: as a curated way to share audio and video, Adio appears to fill a problem that audio's had for a while: the lack of a simple way to share audio on other pages and sites. Just like good radio, Adio allows someone to add the context around the clip that they want to convey; and means a consistent and well-designed playback experience for audio from across the web. It does appear to fulfill a niche, and be good for audio producers especially in reaching new audiences. Adio needs to add stats and a wider range of supported sites in order to make its service more desirable; but as a new way of sharing audio, it should be welcomed.

Adio is in limited preview.

More information

Collect, mix, share - an audio curation tool for the web and social media
James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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