How These Netflix and NPR Vets Plan to Reinvent Podcasts

Posted October 28th 2016


via Fast Company

The startup, called Tiny Garage Labs, aims to reinvent radio for the digital age. Today, the fruits of their labor are available on iOS. The app is called 60dB (pronounced “sixty dee bee”) and at first glance, it may look like just another podcast listening app. And while you can certainly find most well-known podcasts on 60dB, there’s much more going on here. The app focuses on short-form audio, algorithmic personalization, and “lean back” ease of use, using this formula to carve out a middle ground between radio and podcasts that, its founders hope, will change the way we listen. But first, it needs users.

If the internet is indeed going to upend terrestrial radio, the disruption is taking its sweet time. More than a decade into its existence, podcasting is only now drawing in mainstream audiences—not to mention serious ad revenue and VC funding. But it has a ways to go. In 2015, 91% of Americans still tuned into terrestrial radio, according to Pew Research Center. And while podcast listenership is rising, only 21% of Americans reported listening to podcasts regularly last year.

As a 12-year employee of Netflix, Tiny Garage Labs Co-founder John Ciancutti is well aware of the wave of digital disruption in media, and along with partner Steve Henn, and another Netflix alum Steve McLendon, they are trying to reinvent radio for the digital age.