If we are being honest, most people will probably skim through this article.
What if instead, this article was read aloud to you while you were traveling to work, exercising at the gym, or doing housework? For most people, listening is much easier than reading.
This is what makes podcasts so appealing. The pandemic and the isolated life it brought has only made audio content more appealing to people.
However, creating audio content can be much trickier. There are a variety of technologies on offer today, and numerous steps to content creation. This is something Anan Batra faced himself when he wanted to make a podcast of his own.
So, he created Listnr.
But as a broke college student and without experience, can you make your startup successful? Listnr is a prime example of how it can be done, even with obstacles in its path.
What Is Listnr All About?
Anan Batra felt podcasting is broken – it’s a time-consuming and expensive process, and podcasters require a variety of tools to record, edit, and monetize their shows. There was no such platform where aspiring podcasters could seamlessly execute all these steps.
A podcast creating platform called Anchor came close, but its services were unsatisfactory. Anchor was capable of recording (solo) and hosting, but not much else, so there was a need to fill in the gaps.
Batra intended to create a system that allows users to accomplish all five tasks in one location and streamline their workflow.
He finally founded Listnr in mid-2020. Listnr is a complete podcast creation platform that helps podcasters halve their production time. To imitate the most natural-sounding voice, Listnr employs cutting-edge speech synthesis and deep learning techniques.
The product is mainly targeted towards bloggers, content creators (YouTubers, Podcasters etc), and Marketing agencies – Anan Batra
The Path To The Foundation
Batra talks about the obstacles he initially faced. He didn’t have the technical expertise to construct a SaaS application right out of college. He lacked funding as well.
However, he had some money saved up from doing part-time jobs and internships in college. He invested this hard-earned money entirely in Listnr. He employed interns to help grow the startup. After months of hard work, Batra finally built a core team of three. Neither of them had ever designed a SaaS before, let alone addressed the hurdles that come with it.
He also had 20+ interns who helped him construct, as he says himself, “the future of audio”. They began R&D in May 2020 and finished in mid-August 2020 with a prototype.
Early Mistakes And Solutions
Batra said that launching their product early was the big mistake Listnr made. The product wasn’t properly running yet, within a few hours of launch, there were many bugs reported, and negative ratings poured in.
Because of the faults and challenges that consumers had during the launch, Listnr decided to continue to improve and polish the product.
Batra’s team got enough input after improving the product and deploying it several times before they were able to make it perform flawlessly.
Another big challenge was: how to market the product?
The founders didn’t have a slew of influencers or paid ads to promote Listnr; they only had two options. Building an audience by themselves, and content marketing with SEO.
To further benefit from the combination of these strategies, Listnr offered consumers a lifetime deal payment model. You just have to pay a one-time amount to use the product endlessly. This worked! Users got to use Listnr, and the team got important feedback on the usability of the product.
Soon enough, they ironed out all the bugs in the platform, and Listnr was a perfectly workable product. And it is still improving.
Growth Over a Year
Batra reminisces about the all-nighters they had to pull when Listnr was a buggy, premature product. It has come a long way since. Listnr has grown from 0 to 10000+ users and $300k+ in revenue in just one year.
So what about the future?
Listnr is planning to end the one-time payment model in a few months and has been developing its SEO and Content Marketing plan. It aims to reach 50,000 podcasters in the next 12 months. Listnr aims to transform the production process for podcasters, one step at a time.
The last 3 months were about conducting more experiments with Top of the funnel growth, Google Ads, Landing page variations, and more.