Last week, Aria crossed 1000 downloads, 10000 voice stories created, $1000 in revenue, and we now feel confident that we found our product-market fit.

Here’s how we got there with Adrien and François.

From Idea to MVP

Aria started as a twisted copycat of Mojo, we wanted to help people create eye-catching content for social medias, not from photos but from audios.

Users would upload a voice recording (podcast, voice note, etc.), get a full transcript, select their favorite snippets and Aria would transform their audio in a video with captions where they’ll choose within various animation styles.

We tested out that idea by faking a prototype with Sketch, recording a video, sending it by email to 40 well targeted podcasters, got 33 answers, 2 insults and more than 25 ready to test the product right away, we were thrilled!

We developed with Adrien and François a roughly working prototype in two weeks, shared it to our small group of podcasters and on social media and got our two first paying customers on day one, wow.

From MVP to PMF

Now, we needed to attract every week new users (if possible for free) to better understand their needs, iterate on our product and progress on our metrics, to do so we set up an Instagram bot to follow, like, comment hashtags related to podcasting, then chat with interested podcasters and get them try our app.

What took us some time to discover was that even though creators seemed to like our tool, the content they were producing with Aria was ugly and didn’t resonate with their community. That was mostly due because we had designed the editing experience like the Instagram story editor that was requiring way too much work to get a result that looked professional.

The solution was straightforward: TEMPLATES.

Like Mojo, PhotoRoom, Phantombuster and many recent successful products, the concept of offering users a catalog of pre-made content is very powerful.

For Aria, it meant that we had te re-engineer from scratch our video engine and look for innovative way to build our own templates.

Now users can simply upload their recording, pick up one of our templates designed for sharing podcast snippets, add video subtitles or create stunning text animations and boom: you got an amazing professional looking video with your voice captions ready to share on every social media platforms!

PMF validation

Beyond exciting feedbacks, a very engaged community, here are some key metrics who convinced us that we were onto something.

Critical event, average usage and retention

When you use Aria, the main action that aligns closely with our value proposition is when you create a new voice story. On average, we expect our users to create a new story at least once per week.

Our critical event has a 20% retention on week 12.

Pro-sumer standard metrics

In our app category the average conversion from new user to paying user is 1%, we got 4.2%, we know this number should go down with time but still. We are on track with the revenue curves of some very successful products.

Time to scale

We are now entering the thrilling phase of scaling, how do we get 100X more downloads in the coming six months? To begin we want to stay focused on the 2M podcasters out there that need to promote their new content every week.

But we see a much bigger market. From influencers to coaches, media and brands, any person or business that has a story to tell can be a user of Aria.

Successful prosumer apps have found a proven model of growth:

  1. Organic growth driven by great content from users and watermark
  2. Regular featuring by Apple and other major platforms
  3. Paid acquisition and influence

Voice is a better but underutilised Medium

To really take off as a social content format, voice was missing two things:

A technological breakthrough allowing voice to be used asynchronously, in other words a working transcription. That dream is becoming true with new NLP models, we can even decode emotions and sentiments of the speakers.

Also, voice needed a new format that is video based to make it universally sharable anywhere online but also visually attractive, and here comes Aria.

We are proud to build the first pocket voice studio that will empower the next generation of audio and video creators to

Tell Beautiful Stories.

We believe that voice generated content on the Internet is still in its infancy and that a massive opportunity to create new pro and mainstream usages based on voice are coming, we couldn’t be more excited to surf that wave.

Co-Founder at Aria.fm — Part-Time Director at The Family — jswallez.com