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Startup introduces erotic conversations with an AI chatbot

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Startup introduces erotic conversations with an AI chatbot

Bloom has audio porn: erotic stories as radio plays. The founders have also introduced an AI chatbot that can even send voice messages.

The founding couple Michael and Hannah Albertshauser offer erotic radio plays on their platform. Bloom

Michael and Hannah Albertshauser are the founders of Bloom, a porn platform. However, users cannot consume videos with actors on the couple’s website. Instead, there is audio porn or erotic stories as radio plays. In times of podcasts and ASMR, these alternative erotic offerings are becoming increasingly popular. Almost four years after it was founded, Bloom has 500,000 registered accounts. But the couple is taking their startup one step further. The characters from the audio stories come to life by allowing users to write to them via chatbot – and even send audio messages.

It was not foreseeable a few years ago that Michael Albertshauser would end up in the erotic industry. He studied teaching for people with intellectual disabilities and later founded a marketing agency for video game influencers, as he says. His wife was a graphic designer. The idea for Bloom came from purely personal interest: “We were our own first users.”

After over ten years of relationship and five years of marriage, the two were looking for new ways to expand their sex life. “Hannah likes to read romances, I’m more of a visual type,” says Albertshauser. With the audio content they end up right in the middle. “You have the storytelling from a book and then the voices that make the whole thing more vivid and immersive,” the founder tells us.

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What you quickly notice: The offers on the market are mostly aimed at individuals and not couples. Albertshauser recognizes the potential: “Many people have this fantasy of a threesome, but hardly anyone does it. In the audio stories, the speaker is like a third person in the bedroom.” With two other co-founders from the tech sector, Hannah and Michael Albertshauser built an initial prototype and a website – financed from their own pockets. The startup started in April 2020. At that time there was a standstill in Germany. During the corona pandemic, many were confined to their own four walls. This gave your offer additional momentum at the start.

Erotica as a radio play

Today around 25 people work in the company, says Albertshauser. Sales are now over the million mark and the startup is profitable. The core product consists of erotic audio stories. Users can choose from various scenarios with recurring characters. Sometimes things get heated between Alexander, Nina and Emma on a wedding day; in another story, Lea and Jannik meet in a US diner.

Around six stories appear every month, as Albertshauser says. Limited access to the audio offering is available free of charge. If you want to hear everything, you have to take out a subscription and pay 6.99 euros per month or 53.88 euros per year. Paying users can then also provide their own wishes and suggestions for erotic stories. Albertshauser does not want to reveal how many of the approximately 500,000 registered accounts have a subscription. 70 percent of users are female.

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The short stories are written by two permanent employees or freelancers. The demands are high: “We have several speakers and sound effects. To ensure the best possible soundscape, our sound designer actually goes into the kitchen during a scene in the kitchen and then records it there.” There are also audio guides that are intended to improve everyday sex life.

However, the production standards and the comparatively small team also cause problems. Due to the number of users and preferences, Bloom cannot cover all customer needs. This is exactly where the use of artificial intelligence comes into play.

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Bloom launches an AI chatbot

End of 2022: Chat GPT is on everyone’s lips and the topic of AI is on the global agenda. Albertshauser and his team are also working on the technology. After various tests, the decision was made to use a chatbot. The LLM (Large Language Model) was fed with the existing erotic stories. Albertshauser did not reveal which LLM this was in an interview with Gründerszene.

The idea turns into another business. Users can choose from different characters. The chatbot behaves accordingly when writing. In the end, the conversations should always be about desire and eroticism. “You can talk to our characters about gardening, but after five messages they say: ‘I’d like to see you undress here,’” explains Albertshauer pointedly. The erotic approach and short messages also better conceal the weaknesses of chatbots, says the founder.

As a next step, he and his team introduced voice messaging. The original speakers were asked for consent, according to the Bloom founder. 90 percent of them said yes and were therefore paid once or received a share for each vote generation. Through AI Voice Tools, the characters’ voice messages are sent to paying users.

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However, the chat fun is not limitless. For example, when it comes to the topic of cheating: “The chatbot may then suggest that you should talk to your partner about it,” explains Albertshauser. The reason: “With AI, you can’t always control 100 percent what comes out. Sometimes people manage to outwit them. We therefore decided on a tamer version of the chatbot.” The regular offering of audio stories, however, should not be replaced by AI.

Bloom’s audio stories are currently available in English, German and Spanish. The founder sees potential for improvement here. English works much better than German when chatting. He tells us that more languages ​​from Europe will be added in the future.

The company also works with providers from the erotic industry. Most recently there was a competition together with Orion. For a sex toy from the erotic shop’s range, Bloom produced an audio guide instead of classic instructions – with an erotic touch. The Bloom team has developed a new feature with the sex toy provider Lovense. The sex toy adjusted its vibration to what was being told in the audio story. This should ensure even greater immersion.

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