Dec 3, 2023 - Business

Quinn's Caroline Spiegel talks audio erotica, AI

Illustration of an abstract sunrise and an old-fashioned microphone.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

At Slush, the Helsinki startup conference, Axios got a chance to chat with Caroline Spiegel (the sibling of Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel.)

Why she matters: In 2019, Caroline founded Quinn, an audio erotica startup she created in college that's raised over $3 million. Below are some highlights from the conversation.

On the Quinn community: Spiegel shared that the app currently has about 70 content creators and that the listener audience has grown 400% annually for the last two years.

  • 25% of the app's users open it every day, she adds.

On AI: Despite the boom in artificial intelligence-generated content capabilities, Spiegel says, the company doesn't want to replace its creators with AI.

  • "And it's particularly difficult in erotic content where consent is such a big piece of it," she adds. "You can imagine someone using a creator or celebrity's voice to say things the celebrity did not consent to saying or doing."
  • Similarly, listeners expect content to be authentic and from the creators they're following, she says.
  • Still, Spiegel acknowledges that AI companies like Replika and Character AI are very interesting and compelling, so she's keeping an eye on what they're up to.

On the future of the app and the company: Noting the success of the romance category on Audible, Spiegel says her company is interested in longer form content.

  • She says Quinn could be a publicly traded company someday, in part for those same reasons: This category of content is hugely popular, even if other content platforms, such as Spotify and Amazon, aren't necessarily advertising it.
  • Spiegel also pointed to other categories, such as fertility, that used to struggle to be taken seriously by investors but have become more mainstream, with several companies achieving $1 billion valuations in recent years. "I really do think the time has changed."
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