Sounder.FM: Shaping the Future of Audio Businesses
A decade ago, video was said to have killed the radio star. But, as of late, the power of quality audio content has been making a major comeback on the business scene. Inspired to give the spoken word the impact it deserves, founder, entrepreneur, and technology executive, Dan Daugherty, designed the concept of Sounder.FM as a way to make everyone’s voice heard!
Sounder.FM brings listeners closer to top-notch educational podcasts. The company aims to improve the quality of audio content worldwide and gather targeted audiences into one massive audible community. With Sounder.FM, content creators can develop quality podcasts on any given topic and track, manage, monetize, and grow their business to superb heights!
Speaking of, no great height ever came without its climb. Dive deep into the intriguing story of Dan Daughterty, whose ambition to reinvent audio content globally made Sounder.FM the ultimate podcast business model to uphold!
The American Dream
Dan Daughterty was born in Denver, in a middle-class American family. When Dan was a young child, his parents often took him for walks downtown Denver to get him familiarized with every corner of town. As a result, Dan was fascinated by Denver’s skyscrapers, the urban city life, and the daily traffic chaos. Infrastructure and architecture aside, what impressed Dan the most were the grandness and beauty of shopping malls.
From very early on, Dan had hoped to become a known name in the world of business. He let his parents know that he wanted to be his own boss, live a fast and furious lifestyle, and put on a suit and tie like any other businessman out there. Dan’s parents were nothing but supportive of their son’s major dreams, and encouraged him to follow his dreams and find his calling in life.
Dan was an intelligent person who handled complex tasks quicker than his friends at school. Initially, he showed great interest in computers, technology, and gaming. Dan loved the idea of digitalization and found creativity to be his ultimate outlet. Despite his natural knack for business and problem-solving, Dan’s parents still knew that for their son to meet his potential, he first needed to start reading - a lot.
From 1994 to 1997, Dan attended Royal General Public High School, where he met a few people who were also interested in technology, business, and entrepreneurship. But, it turned out that whenever Dan discussed his business plans, instead of being acknowledged, he was basically laughed at. Facing constant criticism and humiliation was not easy for Dan, and being told that he was not good enough really hurt his self-confidence and future aspirations.
Overcoming this challenge for Dan was more of a necessity than a personal wish. But, as he was an optimist from the very get-go, Dan was not ready to succumb to the criticism without a fight and knew that better days were coming along. When Dan finally graduated high school, a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Free of anyone’s judgment, Dan decided to stick to his guts and perfect his education in technology and business. He next enrolled at the Ohio Wesleyan University, to study international business and Spanish. Even after finishing his studies, Dan still felt starved for more knowledge, so he signed up for the master’s program of international business at the Universidad de Salamanca, where he stayed for a year.
After completing his education, Dan’s next move was to get a job and both gain practice and improve his professional skills. The last thing Dan had hoped for at the time was to score a job at Google. Interestingly, that’s exactly what happened next! In 200, Dan became part of the Google team wholeheartedly and worked in the business and management sector, where his talent and effort were largely recognized. Dan loved his job so much that he remained loyal to Google for the next four years before he became ready to spread his wings and find his own calling!
A Busy Bee
Working at Google was a tremendously positive experience for Dan. He loved the business culture there, the fresh ideas circulating the teams, and the entrepreneurial soul his colleagues brought along. This job made Dan more confident to start thinking about doing something of his own.
At the time, the real estate industry was booming, and Dan was planning on making the most of it, business-wise. Dan met up with countless investors and funding companies to get himself familiar with the market and develop his business ideas more easily. In 2013, Dan finally founded Remotely - a real estate and home automation platform that earned Dan his first dollars and market recognitions.
Dan ran the platform for years, and business was rock-solid, but Dan had felt something else was missing in the bigger picture. For what it’s worth, Dan never assumed he would tackle the world of podcasts next, but the ambition was largely triggered by Dan’s personal frustration.
Namely, one day, as he was listening to a real estate podcast in his car, Dan realized the program featured too many ads and ruined the listening experience as a result. Not just the ads, Dan also found the podcast he was listening to uninformative and somewhat bland and dull. Whilst envisioning the kind of podcast that would encourage all listeners to tune in with eagerness, Dan began contemplating the concept of Sounder.FM without even realizing it!
Geared up on ideas, skills, and finances, in 2019, Dan moved to NYC to launch Sounder.FM! Initially, it had been Dan’s vision to start a brand new podcast show, where he would host young and ambitious entrepreneurs who need to find their place in the world of business. Whilst he barely had any experience with podcasts, Dan knew he wanted to create a platform that would use the same software to host, edit, and control voice-overs and manage podcast guests superbly.
Sounder.FM represents a freemium model platform. Through it, everyone can create a podcast for free and enjoy approximately 20,000 monthly downloads. The platform enables users the options to choose an enterprise package or a business model, in case they are aiming for 100,000 streams. The platform also contains its own analytics and sub-apps, which allow easier management, targeting, and engagement. Sounder.FM is used by creatives who have something of value to say and need the perfect platform to say it right!
With it, users can manage their audio content however they see fit. They can also send and receive messages, and enforce marketing strategies to grow their business further. As a result, Sounder.FM guarantees users to drive more audience and have their voice heard in all the right places!
Today, Sounder.FM is still based in New York City and counts over 25,000 creators.
Even though the platform has reached over 100,000 episodes, the board team claims that they are only warming up for what’s ahead. Currently, Sounder.FM has around 50 employees, whilst the platform is available to use in more than 50 languages. Over the years, the company has raised a total funding amount of $4 million in over 2 rounds and 7 investors, out of which Newark Venture Partners and Xoogler are the most recent.
As part of the bigger picture, in 2021, Sounder.FM acquired a personalized discovery podcast company named Podnods, thus merging various quality streamers under one roof.
Thanks to Dan’s enthusiasm, diligence, and meticulous sense for business, today, Sounder.FM represents one of the most attractive podcast platforms today! It ensures quality audio experiences for everyone who’s willing to listen and ultimately proves that, to make it business, you don’t always have to be seen to be heard!