From San Francisco to Jackson to possibly New Orleans, an emerging startup hub, one new company wants to provide a single platform for audio journeys.
StoryTour is a mobile application that allows attractions and organizations to offer audio tours and story collections, as well as a place for users to discover and interact with content, which are a mix of user generated experiences and professional content.
The company (formerly AudiTour) got going after winning a startup contest through Startup Weekend Seattle and then coming in first place at Startup Weekend Jackson back in January. The app launched following the win and the team has been thinking about the best next steps ever since.
The Story Tour team is considering moving to New Orleans; co-founder Craig Kinsley has been throwing the idea of a relocation around since before his trip to the city for the TechCrunch event last month. Currently, one co-founder lives in Pennsylvania, close to D.C. where much of the current content comes from, and another in San Diego.
The content will be made up of stories, facts, history, urban legends and guides, all based on geographical location. Users upload short audio recordings of what they know, what they think and what they find interesting about their neighborhood, town, city or local attraction.
As the app to tour cities generates additional content, the competition becomes more and more scarce. The content is often similar but less focused on storytelling, explains Kinsley. “Tours are being taken away from narrator-focused and we’re creating a real story behind it.”
“How can you take something like a statue and have the surrounding story make you cry or make you laugh?” asks Kinsley.
The storytelling aspects coupled with the geo-focused nature of app sets StoryTour apart. “We’re offering discoverability,” said Kinsley, “all for free.”
StoryTour hopes to partner with museums, visitor’s bureaus and other landmarks. “What better city than New Orleans for that? We’re familiar with the city and there’s great potential content.”
On May 26th, the platform launched veteran stories at war memorials. The team has gathered around 100 stories from all different types of people that will be geo-tagged to memorials across the country.
StoryTour is now open to user generated content, vetted through the team along with an algorithm that makes stories public only after the story receives a certain number of likes and is tagged to a specific location.
StoryTour plans to create an audio mosaic of locales across the world.