ERIC HAL SCHWARTZ on May 21, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Social audio startup HearMeCheer will give Wolverhampton Wanderer fans a feeling of being back at the soccer stadium discussing the game with friends this weekend. The Premier League team and HearMeCheer are setting up official rooms on the Wolverhampton’s app or onlinefor fans to converse in, but will combine the audio streams from all of the rooms into an ambient background sound, reflecting how fans of the team are reacting in real-time to the Sunday game against Manchester United.
HearMeCheer began last year as the creator of a tool for processing thousands of audio tracks into a simulacrum of the sound of a crowd. The idea was to imitate the emotional experience of professional sports, concerts, and other events. The platform was first built to be embedded in virtual event platforms, but HearMeCheer decided to be more ambitious and ‘private suites,’ individual rooms for conversations like those familiar to Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces users, earlier this year. The virtual venue is still central to the company, however. All of the audio streams are merged and fine-tuned to eliminate feedback on an individual basis. The result is the roar from thousands of throats when a team scores or a goal, and a global groan if it misses.
“Worldwide Wolves is the official network of supporter clubs for the Wolverhampton team, with over 100 official branches spread far and wide across the globe that bring the whole Wolves family together “as one pack” on match days,” HearMeCheer explained in a blog post. “The sound levels from all rooms will also be aggregated and presented as real-time ambient background noise through the platform to provide that realistic stadium background noise as fans debate the action in their private audio rooms.”
Talking about sports is a natural avenue for social audio, even as the market grows ever more crowded. Though HearMeCheer doesn’t have its own app as of yet, it could supply that tool to existing apps like Wolverhampton, or use its crowd sound tech to enhance an existing app. There’s actually a little space in sports-focused social audio after Spotify acquired Locker Room, a sports-centered social audio app made by Betty Labs. The platform is now called Spotify Greenroom and has a much broader focus on events in general. Now, Greenroom seems more directly competitive with the new Stage Channels from Discord.