Audioboo CEO discusses his ‘chaotic English startup’, and how Stephen Fry became its biggest champion

Audioboo CEO discusses his ‘chaotic English startup’, and how Stephen Fry became its biggest ...

The Next Web is at the Guardian Changing Media Summit this week, a conference promising to deliver insights from the organisations and individuals capitalising on disruption within the digital content space. You can monitor all our coverage here.

One of the sessions was “What makes a successful media tech startup?”, involving moderator Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC; Eric van der Kleij, CEO of Tech City; Sherry Coutu, chair of Artfinder; Omar Tayeb, co-founder and CTO, Blippar; and Mark Rock, CEO, Audioboo.

Launched in March 2009, Audioboo allows users to record a near-unlimited quota of audio snippets, which they can share with friends or broadcast to the world. They can also add images, titles and tags and upload it to, complete with biographical and geographical information on where and when it was recorded.

Last year it launched BooMail to let users upload audio by email, in September it launched a new freemium subscription model, incorporating a paid-for service for podcasters, and earlier this year it partnered with RadioPlayer to offer UK radio stations ‘listen-again’ functionality.

We caught up with Rock to follow up on a few of the points discussed during the panel discussion, where he discussed the “chaotic” nature of Audioboo’s humble beginnings, why the economic downturn can be good for startups…and the story behind how British author, comedian and TV personality Stephen Fry became one of the startup’s biggest champions. “I met Stephen on a beach in Norfolk,” says Rock. “When my dog sniffed his dog’s bottom.” We’ll let him tell the rest of the story…but suffice to say, you can’t put a price on having Stephen Fry as a (unpaid) product champion.

Read next: US Senate votes 76-22 to limit debate on JOBS Act, move bill forward