Listening to podcasts has become all the rage and a great way to immerse oneself in all kinds of topics and stories. On the flip side, creating podcasts is easier than ever before, and there is a low barrier to entry for individuals and brands. But anyone that’s edited audio knows that it’s an incredibly time-consuming task, and post-production can take longer than creating the audio recording itself. That’s why Jacob Bozarth co-founded Resound, a Keyhorse-backed AI podcast editing tool that gives content creators their time back so they can focus on doing what they do best.
This year, the Louisville startup landed a major investment. We asked Jacob, Resound’s co-founder and CEO, a few questions about his inspiration for starting a company and his journey so far.
How did you become interested in audio and podcasting?
Growing up, I played music. I recorded an album in a local studio with my band right after graduating high school, and the whole recording experience was magical for me. I loved the vibe and atmosphere of the studio. The whole experience was fun, relaxing, and therapeutic for me. At that time, I had just graduated and was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I was so intrigued by the process and asked the recording engineer a lot of questions about it. He mentioned that if he could go back, he would go to a school in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, called Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for their Recording Industry degree. I graduated from MTSU with a bachelor of science in Recording in 2011.
In 2014 a friend that also graduated from MTSU reconnected with me in Louisville, Kentucky. We recorded a project for a friend and then started doing some recording projects for some other friends. We decided to start a side hustle called Resonate Recordings and began editing and mixing podcast audio.
The podcast industry started to grow, and our company also experienced a ton of growth by word of mouth. At the time, I listened to many podcasts and noticed that several shows I listened to had great content but lacked audio quality. This was a problem that I felt equipped to help with, so I reached out to a few podcasts that I listened to and offered my services. I went full-time with my first company, Resonate Recordings, in 2017 and grew it to work with over 3000 podcasters. With Resonate Recordings, I had the opportunity to work on 15 shows that hit number 1 in all of Apple Podcasts.
What inspired you to co-found a company?
Initially, I just wanted to do something that I enjoyed. After starting my first company, I found that I love leading a team, starting something new, and the risk and challenge of it all. I started Resound in 2021 which was built out of a problem we had at Resonate Recordings. It takes us around 3-4 hours to edit 1 hour of raw audio for the podcasts we work on. The tech we have built at Resound is meant to significantly cut down on this time using software powered by artificial intelligence.
That is one of the beautiful things about podcasting: Anyone can share their message with the world with very few resources—unlike radio or TV, where you have to have a name for yourself, go through a lot of red tape, or spend a lot of money if you want to have your own show.
Tell us about your team: Who’s on it, and how did you meet?
Currently, besides myself, our team consists of Mark Minnery (Co-founder and COO). Mark and I co-founded Resonate Recordings together. Mark has been a good friend and business mentor to me since 2017. He mentored me while I was starting Resonate Recordings and while it was still a side hustle. He also is the current President of Resonate Recordings.
We also have Colby Schemm (Head of Marketing and Product Manager), Bryce Parry (Software Engineer II), Adrian Rodriguez (Software Engineer), Miranda Eng (Software Engineer), Rafał Rolczyński (Machine Learning Engineer), and Robby Davis (Product Designer). Colby, Bryce, Adrian, Robby, and Rafał were all a part of the Resonate Recordings team and transitioned over to Resound in June of 2022. Miranda was hired in July 2022. We found her through LinkedIn and got to know her through our hiring process.
Where do you see podcasting headed in the future?
Podcasting has grown rapidly over the past ten years or so. Just since 2018, the number of podcasts has grown by over 952%, going from 525k podcasts in 2018 to now over 5 million. All indicators are positive and show no signs of the industry slowing down anytime soon.
Podcasting is one of the most affordable and effective marketing mediums available. Over 60% of podcast listeners report that they have bought something from an ad they heard on a podcast. Podcasting has also proven to be an excellent way for businesses to increase brand awareness, establish authority in their field, generate leads, and educate and engage their employees.
I believe that podcasting will continue to grow and mature as a medium over the next 10+ years. It is hard to say exactly where it is headed, but I believe you will continue to see individuals and companies flock to the medium of podcasting. I think along with that you will see podcasting become more mainstream. However, due to the indie nature of podcasting and its roots, I believe podcasting will continue to be a medium that empowers anyone to share their voice with a low barrier to entry. That is one of the beautiful things about podcasting: Anyone can share their message with the world with very few resources—unlike radio or TV, where you have to have a name for yourself, go through a lot of red tape, or spend a lot of money if you want to have your own show.
What does success look like to Resound in the short term and long term?
Simply put, success looks like Resound providing a valuable solution to a common problem that podcasters and audio engineers face so that they achieve their long-term podcasting goals. The difference between short-term and long-term is that we will be able to grow and reach more users and have a larger impact on the podcasting industry at large.