Contxto – I’ve tried Blinkist, iVoox, and even Audible, mostly unsatisfactorily, and yet I couldn’t help but feel compelled to try out Beek.io. I’ve downloaded it to try their two-week free trial.
My experience so far
Their retention strategy, which includes asking users for their credit card to be able to enjoy a 14-day trial period, may certainly work post-data-submission, but it does generate discomfort for first time users. It did with me.
Nevertheless, once you’re in, its clean UI alleviates discomfort and welcomes you with a plethora of audio possibilities.
Contrary to many feature and content-full apps that leave you feeling overwhelmed, Beek humbly shows you all the possibilities you can enjoy without saturating your sense of eyesight.
Some of the artwork in the catalog ranges from classics such as Ben Graham’s Intelligent Investor to “Beek Originals” which I must admit have pretty eye-catching, almost Netflix-like quality covers.
The quality of the audio is remarkable. It doesn’t sound tacky as some other free applications do, and the bilingual feature makes it perfect for an often overlooked Spanish-speaking audience.
Beek.io key features (mobile)
- At its core it’s a pretty basic audio platform: search content, select, add to your “library” and start playing.
- A catalog of 250,000 audiobooks and audioseries
- Users can “listen without connection”, so either the content is cached or there’s an underlying mesh network SDK
- Descriptions including a synopsis, duration, language
- Reviews and rating stars are always helpful to navigate a sea of options
- You can “preview” (or pre-listen, I should say) content before you choose to add it to your library
- Their original content separates them from other platforms, and if properly applied, this can be the ultimate reason why some users choose to download the app and keep it
- The “goals” tab helps you keep track of how much time you’ve listened within the app, and badges aim to “gamify” the product encouraging more usage
Their web version is a pretty simple landing page, but it has some other cool tools. For instance, you can search for book quotes, and explore the list of books available. So there you go, visit their site if you’re ever missing a motivational Instagram caption.
Beek.io desired features (mobile)
- Not only are audiobooks truly underestimated in Latin America, but audio in general. Adding original podcasts, or at least functioning as another podcast aggregation platform could boost both user engagement and ad revenue. I’m also trying out The Podcast App, for which I’ll make an article later on, but I believe a partnership between these two YC alumnus could definitely work out nicely
- Blinkist-like summaries, or audio bullet points, so users can decide whether to listen to the entire thing or move on to the next one
- Adding to the library in order to listen sometimes feels like way too many steps. Playing an audio on the spot would make it easier for users to decide what to listen next
- Speeding up is truly functional for the turtle-speed narrators out there
At first glance, it may seem like audio platforms are already a saturated market, but bear in mind most of those are English-speaking platforms, and the Latin American market is still widely available for such alternatives. In fact, as Latin Americans aren’t avid readers, perhaps audio is a feasible entry point.