Dreamseed, LLC will launch the largest web-based audio theatre publication source ever assembled with new and original audio theatre productions, it was announced today by Xander Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Dreamseed LLC and its new subsidiary Echo Fiction LLC. The audio-rich site at echofiction.com will debut early this Fall with approximately one hundred hours of full-length content, clips, bonus features, and interviews, representing content from independent audio theatre production groups and voice actors worldwide.
Visitors will be able to freely listen to streaming audio theatre content, each title available on demand, through Echo Fiction's intuitive and user-friendly website. The streaming content will have one short audio advertisement inserted only three times throughout each audio drama.
Alternatively, visitors can select and purchase high quality DRM-free audio file downloads of certain titles without commercial interruption. Buyers can then burn their own CD copy of the content, play the content files on their computer on demand, or load the content onto their mobile devices, such as the iPhone or iPod.
Furthermore, Echo Fiction will offer select titles over iTunes, so that the content can be accessed, purchased, downloaded, and enjoyed on-the-go with the mobile iPhone or iPod Touch.
The Echo Fiction website will also serve as a collective for voice actors, writers, directors, sound mixers, and producers, building a community of talent. It will allow audio theatre production groups to network and share access with that talent. Tutorials and sound effects stock media, such as the low-cost Dreamseed Audio Library ST 01 digital pack, will also help aspiring producers of audio theatre create new content.
At the website's launch, Echo Fiction's seven international founding content partners are Darker Projects LLC, Decoder Ring Theatre, Dream Realm Enterprises, Dreamseed LLC, Crazy Dog Audio Theatre, Final Rune Productions, and STH Productions. Echo Fiction anticipates adding new content partners every week after the site has launched, and is now accepting requests for additional partners.
"Echo Fiction is a long time coming," says founding content partner Frederick Greenhalgh of Final Rune Productions and Radio Drama Revival. "Audio theatre's been missing a central place to listen and discover new work, and I think Echo Fiction will provide an invaluable service to audio drama fans and new listeners alike."
"Echo Fiction has a selection of the best audio productions available online," says Executive Producer Eric Busby of Darker Projects, another founding content partner. "I am very pleased that Darker Projects is able to be involved in this endeavor."
From the popular Decoder Ring Theatre group, founding content partner Gregg Taylor says, "One of the great challenges about producing original audio drama content for the Internet is the absence of casual exposure. Unlike other media, you never gain audience passively... flipping channels or riding the tailcoats of a popular timeslot... it just isn't possible. By collecting original audio producers under one roof, Echo Fiction gives producers a great opportunity to reach new audiences - and provides audiences with a great one-stop-shopping opportunity to enjoy the best in new audio drama!"
Every partner of Echo Fiction agrees. Jonithan Patrick Russell, a founding content partner from Dream Realm Enterprises, adds, "Echo Fiction will be a wonderful tool to bring an even wider audience to DRE! We're very thankful for the opportunity!"
Another founding content partner, Scott Hickey of STH Productions, adds, "Whatever your tastes in audio theater, from sci-fi to horror to mysteries, Echo Fiction has it all. It is a great way for producers to connect with the listening public."
Xander Davis created and established Echo Fiction after identifying a need in the development and business of independent audio theatre production with his own production company, Dreamseed. "Before Echo Fiction, all serious audio theatre groups were self-publishing, which not only made it hard for themselves to promote their own content, but it also made it difficult for consumers to discover it and generate sales and advertising revenue at a material level," Davis says.
"Now with Echo Fiction," Davis concludes, "all of that is taken care of by bringing audio theatre producers and voice actors together under one tent, freeing up producers to just focus on making content, while all producers at Echo Fiction collectively benefit from professional web-design, graphic-design, a boost of attention and thus a boost of revenue. It's all possible by having the market focused to a centralized source."
Echo Fiction is a publisher only, leaving production of first-party titles to its parent company Dreamseed, where it is producing its brand new sci-fi series "Soul Rift", set to debut on Echo Fiction at launch.
All production groups that contribute content to Echo Fiction will do so non-exclusively and retain full copyright. Echo Fiction generates revenue by earning a royalty of digital content sales from its own online store and selling advertising banners and audio clips inserted into free streaming audio on its website. Likewise, content partners earn a royalty from Echo Fiction's online store.
"I believe Echo Fiction fills a big void and solves some problems for a scattered audio theatre production community," Davis says. "Well, it's not scattered any more."
Through its community forum, Echo Fiction will also be awarding user-nominated shows on its website through its Echo Excellence Award. Winners of that are then eligable for nomination and awarding at the Echo Excellence Annual Awards, which will award in categories similar to the motion picture industry's Academy Awards. "The awards are intended to appreciate outstanding content and talent on EchoFiction.com," Davis says, "as well as create an incentive for producers to work harder at making amazing productions and generating a larger audience to support them."
In addition to all of these features, Echo Fiction is also building the most comprehensive audio theatre database available online. Productions that are featured on the website will have all cast and crew people added to the database, building an IMDb equivalent to audio theatre specifically.
Audio theatre is the dramatization of a story using voice actors, sound effects, and music, intended to be presented only through audio. It was most popular in the 'Golden Age of Radio' before the advent of the television.
Davis feels that now, after the digital and online revolutions, audio theatre is an artform making a comeback. Computers have made it much easier for small groups to produce audio theatre and the Internet has become a strong platform for publication, making it a very appealing and low-cost medium for high-impact creative storytelling.
"Now," Davis says, "it's about organization so we can actually be successful. I tend to think of this with the saying 'a rising tide lifts all boats.' I feel that Echo Fiction allows audio theatre producers to join together and become far more successful because of it. It's good for them and it's good for our audiences."