In January, our team started on a journey to reimagine what the daily radio experience could be. We brainstormed in coffee shops, around kitchen tables, in basements and in tiny garages. We thought about all the ways technology has changed our lives, and marveled at the incredible durability of good old terrestrial radio. We compared digital audio products (mostly podcasting apps). We talked about the types of audio stories we wanted to hear.
And we quickly realized that there was a huge gap between what’s available today and what we wanted as listeners.
We love two things about radio: its simplicity and its great stories. Whether it’s a deeply reported news story or an interview with a favorite athlete or coach, a well-informed conversation between opinionated people or something that just makes us laugh, radio is always there.
But radio could never touch on the unique interests of every listener. We’ve set out to create a listening experience that is much more diverse. Already, we’ve discovered lots of remarkable audio stories out there, ones that are wonderful but haven’t been heard by a wider audience. And we are just getting started.
This morning, we’re introducing a new audio service: 60dB.
We chose the name 60dB because it represents the volume of conversation. The service represents a first public step in what we anticipate will be a long journey.
60dB (pronounced “sixty dee bee”) delivers a simple listening experience. After onboarding, 60dB delivers a personalized stream of stories for you based on your social graph, personal interests and engagement on the service.
Whether you are into sports or politics, celebrity gossip or international news, or you just want to be entertained, 60dB helps you stay smart about the topics and parts of the world that you personally care about. The experience is unique for everyone, representing each individual’s diverse interests. This diversity isn’t possible through traditional radio.
Like your radio, you can just turn on 60dB and listen when you hop into your car in the morning. No need to plan ahead and program it. No need to hunt-and-peck for stories or shows you care about. With 60dB, good stories find you, whether you have 10 minutes to listen, or two hours.
Great stories inform, enlighten, entertain and connect us. On 60dB, you’ll hear stories from a wide variety of voices — some you might expect, and some unexpected ones, too. You’ll hear stories from Marketplace and the BBC, sports from CBS, Fox and The Ringer, and comedy from Late Night with Seth Meyers & The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. We have business news from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. And we will bring you audio stories you won’t hear anywhere else — interviews with reporters from The Atlantic, Fusion, Mic, Motherboard and The New York Times. This is just the beginning.
Short stories, generally just a few minutes long, are central to the 60dB listening experience. Quick Hits is where you’ll find a personalized stream of stories we think you’ll enjoy. In-Depth is where you’ll find longer stories, shows and podcasts. When you find a story you really want to hear but don’t have time for right now, you can save it for later.
Your feed refreshes as you listen; that means you can spend more time enjoying great stories, and less time finding them. As you listen, you can skip stories you’re not into, favorite stories you like, and share stories with friends. As you do, we listen to you. We learn about your interests and refine your experience to include fewer of the stories you’re not interested in, and more of the stuff you love. But we will never stop trying to surprise you.
60dB is available starting this morning, via the App Store. We’re starting with iOS for now, with plans to offer 60dB for the Amazon Echo and for Android devices soon.
Our vision for 60dB is to deliver great stories to you anywhere you have a speaker, whether that’s in your home, in the car or on the go.
We don’t think we have solved every problem. But we have something worth sharing — something with a lot of promise. We still have a long way to go. But we’ll learn faster with your help.
We’d love to hear from you about 60dB. Please drop us a line at feedback@60dB.co to share your feedback (the good as well as the critical).
Your world is about to get bigger, one story at a time.
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