Startup has investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and a deal with publisher HarperCollins.
Are e-books a bit... silent? US startup Booktrack thinks so, and has developed technology to add synchronised music and sound effects to book-apps, with the first going live in the App Store this week.
The first to get the treatment is The Power of Six, a novel published by HarperCollins Children's Books. However, the company says it has plans to publish a monthly collection of short stories from authors including Salman Rushdie and Jay McInerney, as well as standalone apps based on classic works including Peter Pan, The Three Musketeers, Jane Eyre and Romeo and Juliet.
"It's difficult to imagine a movie with no soundtrack; yet, until today, the technology did not exist to synchronize music and sound within an ebook," says CEO Paul Cameron.
"Consider the reality of tens of millions of commuters around the world listening to a playlist that's disconnected from what they're reading —perhaps a sad song with an upbeat story. Instead, they can now instantly replicate a movie-like sound experience with Booktrack that fundamentally transforms their reading experience."
Available on iOS only for now, Booktrack's apps will be ported to Android and other platforms in the coming months. It has taken investment from Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, as well as Facebook's director of global creative solutions Mark D'Arcy.
Booktrack has deals with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Park Road Post Production to produce the music for its apps, and will be sharing revenues with authors, songwriters and musicians. It is also working with production company Full Fathom Five on the project.