- Founders: Nico Oud and Majella Loef
- Founded in: 2020
- Employees: 11 fultime, 4 to 6 freelancers
- Money raised: private investments
- Ultimate goal: to become the global supplier of podcast suites
In the spring of 2020, Nico Oud was ready for a career switch. For five years he coached self-employed persons and freelancers in taking the next step in their careers. “I also wanted to start my own business again. Then I started a podcast, as an incentive to open myself up to new opportunities, to get to know new people, to have good conversations.”
To his great surprise, he cannot host his podcast with a Dutch company. He sees an opportunity and together with his partner Majella Loef he starts Springcast: a platform that hosts business podcasts. In no time, parties such as the AIVD and Rabobank joined the platform. Three years later, the start-up has about 1500 customers and is “half the government” a customer at Springcast. In this instalment of Start-up of the Day, Oud talks about his ambitions and plans.
Why do podcast creators need Springcast?
“You can also host your podcast with a company abroad, of course. But many people find it of added value if Dutch support is available. We also store all data in the Netherlands. It might be useful to say that as a podcast creator, you always need a hosting party. You can’t just put your podcast on Spotify or AppleMusic yourself. Users can upload their podcast on our website, they will receive an RSS feed and they can then upload it on the major platforms.”
What exactly is Springcast?
“You can compare us to a website. The main functionality is that Springcast ensures that the podcast ends up in all places where people listen to podcasts. The makers also receive statistics: where did people listen? How did people listen? That is very valuable information for the creators.
It is also very easy for teams to work together on their podcast on our platform. Compare it to Trello or Slack, but Springcast is completely built for audio. Creators can provide feedback on audio files. So we are more than just a link between the maker and directories such as Spotify and Apple Music; we are a community where podcast creators can work together.”
What does a Springcast subscription cost?
“It really depends on the customer. It starts at eight euros, but large institutions and companies can go up to a few thousand euros per month. On average, the monthly amount is somewhere between eight and three hundred euros.”
What is the greatest challenge?
“Podcasts are hot and happening and all big tech companies see their opportunity. They all want to become the standard for podcasts. As a result, many things are not uniformly determined. You could say that technology is at a standstill, because big tech is fighting for a leading position. Because of this fierce competition, they release little information. For example, you can start, stream and download podcasts on Spotify – mainly a music platform. Apple only allows downloads. Because there is no uniform standard, it is difficult to return uniform statistics to our creators.”
Where would you like to be in five years?
“Ultimately, the goal is to become the global market leader for business podcasts. We are currently mainly active in the Netherlands and Belgium, but we have customers in 24 countries. We want to have a strong position in Europe within the next two years. We are the first company in the world to develop software that is truly specific to podcasts.
It is nice to build an innovative product, but we also want to be an innovative company. Our entire team works remotely and every decision we make is assessed for its impact on society and the climate. We want to offer a fair revenue model and raise fair investments.”
The idea arose because you missed the feeling of a host on your own soil – so Dutch support, storing data in the Netherlands. How are you going to maintain that feeling, while also wanting to internationalise?
“We are going to copy the idea of hosting on our own soil and support in our own language to other countries so that we can offer the same proposition there. Our first focus is on Europe. Because our product generates relatively few support questions, we can still expand to other countries fairly quickly.”