If Norm Levy has his way, marketers will start sending shout-outs right out loud to Facebook Fans and Twitter followers. Rather than a 140-character text message, ShoutOmatic's founder recently launched a product he describes as "a 30-second audible tweet." The apps lets people personalize audio messages to send in emails or embed on Web pages, Facebook status updates or Google Buzz and Twitter streams. The app, ShoutOmatic, lets people play the recording over and over again.
The business model relies on sponsored messages where singers like Bo Bice would record a personal shout-out for Pepsi, for example. "Hey Fans, this is Bo Bice shouting out to let you know that Pepsi goes down smooth, while I hang back stage after a long gig." Marketers could access the technology for free if they choose to record the shout-out themselves.
Pepsi otherwise would pay Bo Bice for that Shout. The brand could broadcast that Shout to thousands of Bo Bice fans across his social networks and Web sites, as well as on Pepsi's Facebook Fans and Twitter followers. The Shout appears on Bo Bice's ShoutOmatic profile for fans to hear repeatedly. "We want shouting to become the new tweeting," Levy says. "The voice becomes a much more engaging conversation, compared with text."
Artists and celebrities have begun to pick up the technology, too. Levy's connections in the music industry helped build a list of artists who plan to sell personal shouts. Iyaz, Mann, Bizzy Bone, Flavor Flav, Chuck D, DMC, and Bo Bice have begun to participate. Personal Shouts will range in price, depending on artist and celebrity, from $20 up to $30,000. For example, a personal Shout from Flavor Flav saying "Yeah Boyyyy! It's Flavor Flav shouting out to my girl Sandra Smith! Have an incredible bachelorette party. Sorry your fun is over starting tomorrow, so have a blast tonight!" would cost about $500.
Aside from Chuck D and Flavor Flav from Public Enemy, the list of artists who have used ShoutOmatic to engage and bond with fans range from 3 Doors Down lead singer Bradley Arnold to Styx artist Lawrence Gowan. "In the past few weeks, I've managed to get many of the record labels to agree to give me names of the artists interested in selling personal shout-outs," Levy says. "Many of them will use the technology for self-promotion to announce live tours and album drops."
Levy plans to catalog a list of artists and celebrities, eventually building a searchable database. He has been working with managers and record labels to sign on those willing to participate. The ShoutOmatic Web site will have a verification process, so consumers and brands purchasing the service can feel comfortable that the voices are the real thing.