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Narrative Muse – Tailored Recommendations That Align With Your Identity, Interests, And Values

Narrative Muse – Tailored Recommendations That Align With Your Identity, Interests, And Values

Marko Velimirović
This week, Website Planet‘s Marko Velimirovic had the opportunity to interview Nigel from Narrative Muse. We covered how the company evolved, what is its mission, and what is in the pipeline for the near future.

Please present Narrative Muse to our audience

Narrative Muse offers tailored recommendations that match user preferences with books, movies and TV shows aligned with their identity, interests and values. By also untethering content recommendations from what someone may have watched or read in the past, all sorts of fun and exciting things start to happen.

The platform caters for diverse audiences including those who are particularly underrepresented, such as people of color, women, gender-diverse people, LGBTQIA+ communities, people with a disability, people from varying religious backgrounds, and people above the age of 60.

Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?

Co-Founders Brough Johnson and Teresa Bass with a handful of early ‘Musers’ began by creating a website of book and movie reviews by and about women and gender-diverse people, which they believed would be significant.

When they launched the first iteration of Narrative Muse, they quickly realized that to be genuinely transformative, individuals would need tailored recommendations to match their taste and identity instead of a random assortment of suggestions. Second, content producers need to know what underrepresented audiences seek.

Today, we’ve built a thriving recommendation platform to help diverse audiences discover content aligned to their identity, interests and values.

We have collected over a million user reactions to books, movies, and TV shows, and growing.

While we help people find stories by and about underrepresented people via a recommendation platform, the challenge is that only so many of these stories exist.

To help with this, we provide insights to the publishing and screen industry so that they can fill the gaps. This way, we can ensure people from all backgrounds find more stories that reflect them.

What services do you offer?

For individuals, Narrative Muse pairs your taste with diverse book, TV, and movie recommendations based on who you are, not just what’s popular. We act as your curator through a world of content that’s likely to be new to you.

For the publishing and screen industry, we provide valuable insights that are difficult to obtain about what diverse audiences want to read and watch, which helps content producers understand the market gaps.

For independent publishing and screen creators, we provide a platform and an engaged audience with which they can share and promote their work, which is one of the reasons we are working to scale our audience; doing so will provide an even greater opportunity for these creators.

What is the mission of Narrative Muse?

To build and strengthen connections between underserved audiences and content producers for better representation and equity across the entertainment landscape.

Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?

We live in new and shifting social climates where your identity and what you believe are essential to understanding the world around you and your unique place within it. As a result, interest in content that reflects you or your experience has never been higher, but finding that content can be difficult and sometimes daunting. We connect our users with this content.

It’s not a surprise our product attracts a diverse audience. The person attracted to Narrative Muse is often looking to be inspired and presented with new content they might not have heard of before. Their desire can come from wanting to find content more reflective of their identity or a more generalist interest in more diverse themes. We see this a lot.

We’re particularly proud of our users’ global reach, which tells us a lot about how universal demand is for alternative content recommendations – 31% are from the UK, 21% from the US, 10% from Australia, 8% from New Zealand and 30% from the rest of the world.

What are the plans for Narrative Muse for the near future?

We’re excited about this year. While we’ll continue developing and refining our recommendation for deep tech, we’ll focus on revenue from providing insights about underserved audiences to content producers, strategic partnerships and will launch our first advertising product.

We also plan to move into new international markets. These markets have been chosen based on the user growth we’ve experienced in them and quantitative and qualitative insights into their opportunity. This work should help us grow, partner and prepare us for the future stages of our journey.

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