In the seven years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had opportunity to review movies, books, albums, and other products, but Interstudy is something completely different. I’m not a techy person. I hate using my phone, much preferring my laptop, so I honestly don’t know much about apps. However, when I was approached about checking out this new way to do Bible studies, I was intrigued. I got to personally check out how it works by submitting my podcast as a study and adding discussion questions to go with it. Now, I’m excited to interview Dan Beauregard so that I can share with you all the possibilities for this new app.
First, introduce yourself and your role with Interstudy.
My name is Dan Beauregard and I’m the CEO of Interstudy. As we are a start-up, I have been serving for two years in building and running the operations, marketing, development and janitorial side of things. As you can see, my damaged sense of humor may have been one of our biggest obstacles… but God has shown up anyway.
What was the inspiration behind creating Interstudy?
One morning, in early February 2018, I leapt out of bed to the realization that I had 4 out of 5 days left to finish of my lifegroup homework, and I was the leader. Working as a police officer with a daily commute of over an hour, one-way, I thought to myself, “I wish I could interact with this content and these questions in my car… hands free.”
One text to a friend who used to build websites later and we were on our way to building Interstudy. Just to be clear, I had already heard from God a few years earlier that entrepreneurship was not his intention for us, being a 40+ husband and father of two in the 2nd act of a great career. But God loves when you tell him your “Final” decisions – probably because it means you’re “finally” ready to listen.
So, the Interstudy that we see today was really built as a basis for a forward-thinking interactive audio experience. This is because our research within the existing platforms revealed no such tool in any form, let alone audio. It’s the first chapter of a very layered calling and we’re excited to see where the Lord leads us. I think you may be the second public outlet we’ve ever shared that with.
Can you give us a brief overview of how Interstudy works?
Interstudy is built on top of an API, which is like a go between that connects a user experience with a smart database. This is what enables us to deliver existing ebooks as well as new content in any form through our experience. What we’re essentially trying to do is consolidate all the elements of your “war room” or quiet study time experience into a single conversational flow. In this day and age Christians should be able to go from start to finish without the distraction of jumping around from book to bible to workbook to journal, or app to app, and eventually do that without even touching their device.
So, practically, a typical scenario would be like this. Let’s take a church for example. The person opens the app and watches a sermon… scrolls down… reads some additional narrative by the speaker and pulls up scripture references… if they please, cross-checks that scripture in other versions… scrolls down and answers a couple questions. Then he/she creates or exports a document that summarizes the whole experience and takes that to their small-group or stores it in a master journal for personal reflection. At no point did they have to pick up a pen or exit the app to do any of that. It essentially bridges the gap to our severely digitized world, cause it doesn’t look like our behaviors will be changing anytime soon… not even with a pandemic.
If an author wanted to create a study to go with her book, what would she need to do?
The publishing interface is free but there’s a learning requirement, which we have covered with free instructional tools. A more serious creator has a couple different options for building their interactive study library. One way, which is what you did, is to just submit your material in whatever form you have it and 10 days later receive a link that users could use to add that to their collection. That’s $299.00 per product manuscript, which, if you’re in publishing is not much at all. Honestly, it’s because that only needs to be self-sustaining and isn’t our primary business model. If the work needs additional treatment or editing we’ll make those recommendations and actually connect the writer with our publisher panel.
If you have or can acquire the technical basis, creators should learn the publishing interface through the FREE 35-minute webinar available on our website. There’s other content coming into there as well, which includes really valuable symposiums with Christian authors and publishers. I don’t think an aspiring writer could do as well without some of the resources we dig up in these discussions, and it’s all included in a Publications PRO account. That option costs $79/month.
Finally, your profile can be monetized by completing a license agreement with us and unlocking the ability to price your studies for a whole new revenue stream, if your business model includes content like that.
How can churches benefit from Interstudy?
Not all churches unpack their sermons beyond Sunday, and that’s okay. But they’re our real focus and the source of our original inspiration. We devote a large portion of our resources to serving that community. Whenever possible, we will setup a church to do everything they want to do under the Basic (free) profile. We just want to give them a way to engage their audience if and when they decide to do that. We have found that sermon studies are a powerful way to make the Sunday message last beyond Sunday brunch.
What are some of the studies currently available?
The library is growing fast. Your podcast is pushing studies up as we speak, as are many other up and coming bloggers and influencers. We also have popular ebooks from today’s leading Christian publishers being converted into this experience daily. You name the author and we’re either offering their products now or working through it with their publishers.
What is the difference in the free plan vs. the pro plans?
As I mentioned, a basic profile is free. As a user/reader, the experience is complete with the free app and profile. The costs are only associated with creators who are planning on using this platform to grow their presence in a serious way. I would only recommend a paid plan to someone who is producing regular studies or has a library that spans across multiple topics or categories.
What is your vision for the future of Interstudy?
We want to take away any pain or restrictions from engaging God and each other. Church isn’t possible without small-groups in our opinion, so it really depends on where we’re called to next. We had an original vision to do something that perhaps our audience isn’t even ready for yet, but that may have just been God’s way of getting us excited about it. I dream way bigger than what’s sensible sometimes so I won’t take you down that rabbit hole, but you gather 2 or more believers who want to see an innovation and that’s enough to catch the attention of our development team.
How can we learn more about Interstudy?
Go to interstudy.io (not .com) and tap “The Experience”. Tell your church about it and talk it up so they can get this resource into your hands weekly.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I appreciate your interest and commend you for boldly answering the call to create challenging and engaging content. Thank you for sending us a great product with your podcast studies. They fit this experience really well and I can’t wait to hear how your audience does with them in this format. It’s going to be amazing to see what God can do! Let me know when and how you post this and I’ll make sure they share it on our website as well.
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