Pandora was one of the first music apps to allow you to create your own radio station, simply by selecting an artist, song or genre of music. It has had many imitators since, most recently Apple Music.
Meep is an app following in Pandora's footsteps, but with one huge difference. Instead of music, the iPhone app creates a radio station delivering news about a user's particular interests.
Meep launched this week for iOS with an Android version soon to follow.
According to the creators, the app instantly creates personal stations that play the latest audio stories about topics that users choose. There might also be short clips of ancillary content like music and local weather thrown in for good measure.
The app's developers make it sound simple. Users just pick a subject and start listening, without having to dig through podcasts or blog posts. Once a user skips a story, Meep makes a note of that – just like Pandora – and doesn't offer content along that subject line again.
Meep also has a feature to allow users to record their own content, in the form of short comments about a particular story. These short audio bites are then shared among friends.
Content you don't have to look at
"Meep selects and plays content you're passionate about while you're running, driving, or simply can't look down at your phone," said Mark DiPaola, founder and CEO of Meep. "Now you can use your commute to keep up with your favorite technologies, celebrities, sports teams, companies, cities, and over a million other topics. Want a station dedicated to Asteroids and Alpacas? Presto! We won't even ask why."
Meep is currently lining up a stable of news-readers, who will turn web-based text articles into audio content. If you're interested in trying out, click here. We have no idea what they pay.
Meep is also trying to line up publishers, who would like their content turned into audio. However, print copy is seldom written to be spoken. Radio copy is written for the ear – at least, once upon a time it was.
The Internet is the perfect laboratory for bold and creative ideas. That said, this new app will face some pretty stiff competition.
There are plenty of actual radio stations and thousands of podcasts available from apps like TuneIn and IheartRadio. The most listened-to podcast in the country is This American Life, a compelling NPR show with a talented staff that excels at the art of storytelling.