Anchor 3.0

Anchor, the fascinating broadcast app, released “Version 3.0” yesterday and pivoted away from a mobile only, short form, “Snapchat for audio” experience and into podcast hosting.

Creating and sustaining a new consumer format is incredibly hard (see Bumpers, Rolltape, 60db) so pivoting to creator tools is both interesting but also predictable.

There were a couple of things buried in Tech Crunch’s coverage that jumped out at me:

1) Adding a keyboard and mouse experience.

The web version offers a more advanced editor with the ability to upload audio files from your computer and re-use recordings from your Anchor history.

The phone is a great capture device but any creator more serious than a total beginner needs a better editing experience than can be made on a 5” screen.

2) No Anchor videos.

Anchor videos, which turns audio into shareable, video clips (which will be re-added to the new app in a later release)

Those Anchor videos were also a curious product that I couldn’t quite place into a larger strategy. It seemed like quite a few podcast creators used them (although if they were that popular Anchor probably wouldn’t have removed them in v3.0) but since you couldn’t (and still can’t) listen to any podcast in Anchor, it just directed listeners away from Anchor and on to other podcast players.

3) Free hosting. This feels like a double edged sword – yes offering free services will pull in new users but I can’t help wondering how serious and how long term a creator’s ambition is if they won’t pony up $10 a month for hosting? I could argue that money coming out of your pocket every month is quite an incentive to keep on cranking out content.

All this has me pondering, is this a $10M opportunity?