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    Back in the 1960s, pirate radio stations began sprouting up across the US and UK. Voices that previously went unheard suddenly had an outlet, and the crackling AM waves became a haven of opinion, debate and inevitably, marketing.

    As the internet picked up speed at the turn of the 21st century, marketers moved away from radio waves and decided content marketing was best delivered in written form.

    But now, in an almost nostalgic twist, Anchor is making audio content marketing modern once more.
    What Is Anchor?

    Anchor lets you launch your very own radio station from your smartphone. With it, you can record five minute audio segments that remain available on your station for 24 hours. To spruce up your station, you can patch in audio from Apple Music and Spotify, use built-in sound effects and interludes and take call-ins from listeners.

    Initially launched in 2016, Anchor attracted users from over 200 countries, before receiving an additional boost in the form of a $2.8 million funding round led by Accel Partners. Following that cash injection, Anchor gave itself a facelift and a batch of new features.

    The Anchor team has already seen their platform flourish in that time. In a recent blog post, they marvelled at the conversations being hosted by Anchor:

    “Some of our favorite exchanges [have been] between people from all walks of life who never would have spoken to one another before Anchor.

    “We saw creators going to extreme lengths to inject boundless creativity into their recordings, pulling in external audio clips and interviewing fascinating people  — everyone from A-list Hollywood directors, to people on the sidelines of war in Syria.”

    On top of reinventing radio, Anchor is also reinventing social media engagement. Instead of “liking” the segment you’re hearing, you can applaud it using the applause emoji button. If your phone is locked and in your pocket, you can applaud by knocking on the back of your phone.

    It’s reminiscent of tapping the like button on live video feeds on Facebook and Periscope, but Anchor’s audible engagement process puts a unique twist on things.

    Anchor content can also survive outside the app. It converts all recorded audio into colorful videos that play seamlessly on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other platforms that support video.

    Plus, thanks to Anchor’s use of IBM Watson technology, recordings can be transcribed into text, so your listeners can listen in without actually listening at all. This all means Anchor isn’t just an audio content marketing tool in and of itself, it’s also a content creation tool for all other social networks, too.

    Anchor segments can be played through a wide range of devices, including iOS and Android devices, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and via in-car bluetooth.

    The Radio, Reinvented

    Large publications like Lifehacker, Gizmodo and IGN have already bought into Anchor’s reinvented radio concept, topping up their stations with new content daily. So I downloaded the app myself to see if all the hype was warranted.

    My journey began with the aid of Anchor’s narrated walkthrough, which greets you when you first fire up the app.

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