Backed with $2.8 million Anchor’s digital radio revolution gets new tools

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Anchor FM, the audio social network, has just raised $2.8 million and launched some new tools as it looks to make recording and transmitting interactive audio content even easier.

Accel Partners, one of Silicon Valley’s leading consumer-focused investment firms, led the new round with participation from the Omidyar Network, the Chernin Group, and the eponymous audio artist Mick (Mick Batyske).

“We raised this next round to invest in the new platform,” says Anchor co-founder Michael Mignano.

After a successful launch last year, Anchor is launching new features, including an audio feedback effect called Applause.

Applause may be the most visually appealing of the new Anchor features, but for the platform’s audio creators, there’re a few more interesting aspects.

The new Anchor lets users clip external sound bites and mix in full-length tracks from Spotify and Apple Music into broadcasts. Users can also take call-ins from listeners, and create transitions with in-app interludes and sound effects.

There’re also opportunities to share audio on social media as video files using instant video creation tools.

The company is using a partnership with natural language processing engine, Watson, to transcribe the text and incorporate it into a video for distribution on social networks.

Anchor has also extended the time users can record and broadcast while also limiting the amount of time a broadcast lives on the platform. The first decision was made because the initial clip length of two minutes wasn’t long enough, according to Mignano. And the second was to encourage users to produce fresh content on the app.

A number of dedicated stations are also going live on Anchor with the latest launch.

They include:

  • This Amazing Earth – Where entomologist and television host Phil Torres broadcasts from the jungle.
  • Medicine, Remixed – A broadcast from young doctors, Sirish Kondabolu and David Benavidez, who discuss doctoring and hip-hop.
  • Super Dating Advice – from Ashley Bezgin, a NYC comedian, gives dating advice on how to avoid winding up with guys like Kondabolu and Benavidez.
  • Bachelor Nation – in which a former Bachelorette contestant Brooks Forester relives her 15 minutes of fame.
  • Space Walk Radio: An actually interesting-sounding show that isn’t all solipsistic about informative thingz from Astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz
  • Little Black Playbook – A football station from Chelsea Stark-Jones, the football blogger and associate producer at the NFL Network
  • NSFW: A show from LA comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr.

Publications including Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker, WNYC, The Outline, The Infatuation, IGN, Backchannel and Big Beat Records are also launching their own Anchor streams.

Since its launch a little over one year ago, a number of companies have launched to compete in the market for millennial earholes including Pundit, a competitor in our Disrupt Battlefield competition.

Seed investors in Anchor included a slew of folks like Betaworks, CrunchFund, Eniac Ventures, Homebrew, Avi Muchnick, Acequia Capital, Quire, Scott Belsky and SV Angel.