A Toronto-based startup that’s hoping to create an interactive audio content platform accessed through smart speakers released its Alexa Skill on Wednesday.
The “choose your own adventure” type of stories are a perfect fit for Alexa. Once the Skill is enabled, users answer a few questions about story preferences and then are engaged in a narrative where they have to make decisions that affect the plot. Storyful is offering both content for consumers looking for entertainment on Alexa and a graphical user interface to creators that are interested in creating their own stories.
The GUI helps users turn their stories into an interactive quest that features different pathways to completion. The stories already on the platform, such as Dragon Trainer and The Pluto Problem, as rich experiences featuring voice actors – not Alexa’s voice reading off text robotically.
“Smart speaker voice entertainment is growing and Storyflow makes it easy for people to find voice entertainment they love, and for creators to quickly build and monetize this content on smart speakers,” said Braden Ream, Co-Founder and CEO, Storyflow. “Think of us like the YouTube for voice entertainment, where the best content is recommended for you, and anyone can create and share this content, without coding.”
Storyflow is also announcing the close of a seed funding round of $500,000, led by Ripple Ventures.
“As the smart speaker industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, industries like automotive, telecom, entertainment or education are beginning to integrate voice into their operations. Ripple Ventures is excited to support Storyflow by leading their seed round of funding and providing additional support to the Storyflow team,” the venture capital firm offered in a press release.
Its initial focus will be on interactive content for children. The company already hosts a parent’s community on Facebook that has more than 800 members. It plans to offer content for role-playing games and classroom-based educational content as well.