Knowable, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup focused on audio learning, is changing business models.
When the company launched last year, it charged users based on class. Starting today, we are completely moving to a subscription model, whereby listeners pay $ 50 per year or $ 9.99 per month for unlimited access to the knowable library.
“This brings us closer to our mission of practical, everyday learning,” co-founder and CEO Warren Shaeffer told me. In other words, the subscription encourages people to tackle learning through Knowable as an ongoing habit, rather than a one-time experience.
After all, he said Knowable is already seeing a 24% cross-buy rate when listeners sign up for new courses. Additionally, this will allow the company to experiment with other formats, such as shorter lessons. And it’s similar to the subscription model used by MasterClass and other companies that offer video lessons.
But why focus on audio in the first place? Shaeffer said that he and his co-founder Alex Benzer “have seen firsthand that a great teacher can change the trajectory of someone’s life.” At the same time, they didn’t have time to watch hours of video.
“Each [online learning company] Today he is very focused on the idea that you need to look at a screen to learn in a structured way, ”said Shaeffer.
At the same time, many people listen to podcasts when they want to learn new things. So the couple created Knowable with the idea that when you go for a walk, you can have an easy way to spend that time on what Benzer called “nutritious” content, rather than a “low-calorie real crime podcast.” .
“Warren and I are personally delighted to help people spend less time anxiously shaking fate and more time gaining optimism and confidence through self-guided learning,” he said.
Courses include Alexis Ohanian on entrepreneurship, Mark Bittman on eating right, and a variety of public speaking experts.
Shaeffer said there are now 100 hours of educational content in Knowable’s library, about half of that consists of Knowable originals created by the company’s producers. (Knowable’s content team is currently led by former “This American Life” producer Amy O’Leary), and the other half comes from a curated new marketplace, where anyone can apply to sell a course.
Content, Shaeffer added, is “priority audio, not just audio.” Yes, you mainly listen to the lessons, but there is additional material like quizzes and workbooks.
“We believe that audio is a great catalyst for inspiration,” he said. Consequently, Knowable focused on “soft skills” in categories such as professional development, self-improvement, and health.
But he also suggested that it is a “mistake” to think that more concrete skills cannot be taught through audio: “If you want to be a programmer, we are envisioning a course where someone gets an overview of all the different ways they can learn. and it becomes a springboard for a deeper dive. “