Lexy Gives Mobile Phones Their Own Podcasts

lexy.bmpIf you want to do more with your mobile phone than just make phone calls and check e-mail, there’s plenty of content and applications out there to choose from. But, unless you’re tech-savvy or have an iPhone, actually consuming it by streaming or downloading, can be tricky.

Enter Lexy, a start-up from the guys who created the Egreetings Network way back in the early days of the consumer-oriented World Wide Web. Going on the belief that simple is better and, according to co-founder Tony Levitan, “the phone will become a receiver of all things audio,” Levitan and Fred Campbell wanted to make it as easy as possible for users to get mobile access to their favorite audio content.

And, what could be easier than by making a phone call?

Essentially, Lexy is a free podcast service that can be accessed on any cell phone by calling Lexy (415-692-4933), or you can listen online on a PC.

Levitan said that he and Campbell spent a lot of time learning what consumers want on their phone. Through their research, they found out that people don’t want to listen to a lengthy podcast. Instead, they’d like a playlist of short podcast snacks that fit better with the idea of using mobile content to take advantage of a few spare minutes.

For these short podcasts, the Lexy folks coined the term “quickcast.”

The company had a quiet soft launch back in April, but didn’t really introduce itself to the world until mid-July when it announced a partnership with the Onion, making it the official mobile partner for the Onion Radio News.

The concept behind Lexy wouldn’t have worked until the carriers got around to introducing flat-rate pricing, which removes the worry of using up too many voice minutes.

Lexy’s mobile and online services are integrated, so users can register and create their playlists online and then call the service from their cell phone to listen. The mobile side works with both voice and button commands, which makes it handy for folks using a Bluetooth headset.

Lexy also encourages sharing the quickcasts with friends, and even gives users the opportunity to include a personal message that the recipient hears before listening to the podcast. After listening, the recipient can choose to subscribe to the quickcast and also hears recommendations for other things she might like. Once the user subscribes to a quickcast, it automatically updates whenever a new edition becomes available.

The quickcasts are segmented into news, humor, entertainment, sports, film and music, learning, business and technology and mind and body. For now, everything is free of both cost and advertising, but Levitan said, the plan is to eventually have a five- to seven-second ad run before the quickcast.

By the way, the name Lexy comes from combining “lexicon” and “sexy.”