KLP Resident: Booktrack
What they do: Booktrack synchronizes soundtracks to eBooks to match the storyline as you read.
Company HQ: San Francisco & Auckland
Tell us briefly what Booktrack does?
We operate within two verticals, publishing and education. With publishing, Booktrack technology adds a unique soundtrack that is paced to an individual’s reading speed and synchronized to match the storyline. Readers get instant free access to thousands of stories, from famous classics to contemporary titles, while authors easily create their own Booktrack titles by matching their stories to an extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use high quality music and ambient audio tracks.
The education platform is called Booktrack Classroom, which gives students free access to hundreds of soundtracked eBooks suitable for curriculum text or to create their own Booktrack titles. Many parents are concerned about the dominance video games, televisions and apps are having over reading, so Booktrack Classroom is all about getting children engaged with reading and writing.
What is the technology behind the product, how is the music added to the eBooks?
Booktrack Studio is a tool that allows individuals or authors the ability to create their own Booktrack using their own music, or they can choose from our library of over 20,000 free audio files and then publish their Booktrack title to our website and apps, through this we already have around 3,500 titles available.
Once soundtracks have been added, our technology measures each persons reading speed based on their page turnings and synchronizes the soundtrack.
How does Booktrack generate profit?
The creator of the Booktrack can either allow access to their title for free, or they can set a price, Booktrack takes 30% of the cut from each sale.
Has Booktrack had any negative feedback from people claiming you are taking away from the traditional reading experience?
While is it different from the traditional reading experience, we are bringing a new, more engaging way of reading. There are many forms of entertainment that have evolved to become multidimensional. The way we read has not changed meaningfully in a long time – distribution of books has changed enormously through the printing press and now eBooks, but the way we read is the same now as it was 2,000 years ago. This has resulted in children and adults choosing other forms of modern entertainment over books. By adding soundtracks to stories, the entertainment level is increased, bringing in more readers and at the same time increasing comprehension levels. A recent study from the University of Auckland proved that when using Booktrack students’ reading time was increased by 30% and comprehension by up to 17%. Booktrack is still the only enhancement to reading delivered while you read, every other enhancement like videos and games embedded in eBooks stop you reading.
Did Booktrack build the product and market in New Zealand?
From the very beginning we marketed Booktrack offshore. We based our first US office in New York to be amongst the publishing industry, after building those relationships we quickly realized that we needed to be in the Valley area to work on the technology component of Booktrack, so we relocated to San Francisco.
Did you look at any other options for residency?
Yes, but we chose KLP because we admired the concept and wanted to support it, we also wanted to be a part of helping other businesses and learn from other companies too.
What advice do you have for Kiwi entrepreneurs hoping to emerge into the US?
Get here as fast as possible!
What’s next for Booktrack?
We are now heavily focusing on marketing and also increasing our monetization options around our products.