As the podcast space heats up with a variety of players including Apple, Audible, Spotify and Luminary, a smaller but promising French app called Majelan is rolling out in 50 countries with an international library of 280,000 audio series, or 13 million. episodes, in 15 languages. Majelan also kicks off with 20 original or exclusive audio programs, seven of which are in-house productions.
Available in French and English on iOS and Android, Majelan was launched by Mathieu Gallet, former president of INA (National Audiovisual Institute) and Radio France, and Arthur Perticoz, co-founder of the French start-up flourishing Wynd.
âHistorically, Europe has been the engine of cultural innovation. The audio sector is currently not preempted by a Chinese or American leader (therefore) France, and Europe more broadly, have a lot of cards to play, âsaid Gallet, Chairman of Majelan.
The platform comes in the form of a free app with aggregated podcasts and a premium app, Majelan +, which will be available either as a subscription cancellation service at any time with a monthly subscription of 4 , â¬ 99, ââor in payment per session. The service model is not based on advertising but on subscriptions.
Gallet and Perticoz raised 4 million euros to launch the platform, most of which was devoted to technology. One of Majelan’s shareholders is Xavier Niel, the powerful founder of the leading French telecommunications group Free and co-founder of Mediawan.
Rather than trying to be a niche service like many existing podcast apps, Majelan doesn’t claim a specific editorial line and aspires to appeal to a wide range of audiences – from children to teens, families and sophisticated mature users. – with a wide offer covering documentaries, fiction, among other genres.
The initial offering of original audio content includes âMaupassant (s)â, a show featuring French personalities who will perform the whimsical short stories of French master Guy de Maupassant; “But why do I have to? Â», For young children; “Survival kit for hard revisions”, with Redouane Abbassi, math teacher and rapper who gives humorous advice to teenagers cramming for exams at the last minute; ââ Flow, the oratory workshop â, a performance bringing together renowned speakers who provide insight into how to become an eloquent public speaker.
While Majelan’s first list of originals does not include fiction series, the service will include INA’s Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupine audio series.
Audio content available on Majelan will be filtered based on target language, duration or demo, across 63 categories, including entertainment, arts, sports, politics and comedy. In addition to iOS and Android, Majelan will be available on computers next fall.
“Majelan’s ambition is to reinvent the way we listen to audio programs,” said Gallet, adding that the service’s main aim is to become a leader among French-speaking users who represent around 300,000 people around the world.
Perticoz said the service will invest more in originals in the future and aim to expand its international presence later.