How people listen to, save, and discover new podcasts

As part of research for Pop Up Archive’s latest project, Audiosear.ch, we shared a survey on Twitter from March 18-26 asking people how they listen to and save podcast episodes. We received 102 responses. 


What service(s) do you use to listen to podcasts?

Note: respondents could check multiple boxes in response to this question. 

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“Other” responses included: Distributor-specific apps e.g. the NPR news app, Audioboom, TuneIn, Knomad, Doggcatcher, ICatcher, Instacast, Windows Phone Podcasts app, BeyondPod, Podcast Addict, “Android-specific app.”


How do you save podcasts to listen to later?

Of the 102 people who responded to the survey, 95 answered the question “how do you save podcasts to listen later?”  

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“Other” responses included: Podcast Addict, BeyondPod, Podcatcher, Huffduffer, add it to a SoundCloud playlist, “add to playlist on knomad,” “subscribe on my android app,” “grab one episode without subscribing,” “email it to myself,” “subscribe in Windows Phone Podcasts app,” “download MP3 file via Feedly RSS reader for saving in case file isn’t available from the source indefinitely,” and “ICatcher lets me download a specific episode from a non-subscribed feed.”


Last week, we also shared a follow-up question with our Twitter followers: 

Where do you read about/get recommendations for podcasts?

We solicited qualitative responses to this question, since a big complaint we hear about podcast discovery is that there aren’t many great resources for finding new shows. 

Of about 30 responses, the most popular sources for podcast recommendations were word of mouth, other podcasts, the Apple podcast app, the Hot Pod newsletter, and Twitter. Other responses included Google, Facebook, and Reddit. More than one person mentioned using Overcast’s Twitter integration. Read more for a sampling from the responses:

“I get recs from people I follow on Twitter. When podcasts recommend other shows, I usually check them out.“

“I browse through new stuff and top charts in iTunes… check podforum.org, and follow podcast people on Twitter.”

I subscribe to the Hot Pod newsletter. I sometimes check what people I follow on Twitter recommend via the Overcast app.

“Usually from other podcasts. I’ll listen to just about anything Radiotopia or TAL-endorsed, and most of what NPR and Slate offer is at least worth a try. Top ranked on iTunes occasionally yields hits, though most of those I either already know about or aren’t interested in.”

“I trust those who are my friends. Friends are human beings, like myself, whom I know. Know means human-to-human contact, speech and some emotional interface.”

“My friends. I live in a fairly active podcast culture, so we’re always swapping ‘what do you listen to?’ answers. That’s how I learned about podcasts like 99% or even Serial.”

“I read end of the year lists, scan by popularity in iTunes, browse recommended podcasts in Stitcher, talk with friends about what they’re listening to and occasionally try finding podcasts by searching for keywords or subjects.”

“I read The Timbre… I read Ryan’s Podcast Reviews. I read Podmass. I am in a podcast group on Facebook. I follow podcasters I listen to on Twitter.”

“I usually find recommendations shared on podcasts, or by radio/podcast folks on Twitter.”

Current, The NY Times, other podcasts, word of mouth.”

Bob Hope and Atomic Bill

A podcast about the time Bob Hope taught the US of A a little something about nuclear physics. It was 1950, just five years after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Soviet Union had just built their own bomb. And what did Americans, huddled around their radios, want to hear? Comedian Bob Hope, joking about the world “blowing itself up.” In this Popcast, Eliza Smith talks about “The Quick and the Dead,” a 1950 NBC special about atomic energy, hosted by Bob Hope and produced by Fred Friendly.

Original audio can be found on Pop Up Archive, courtesy of the Broadcast Archives at WILL and Illinois Public Media:

Bob Hope and Atomic Bill

A podcast about the time Bob Hope taught the US of A a little something about nuclear physics. It was 1950, just five years after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Soviet Union had just built their own bomb. And what did Americans, huddled around their radios, want to hear? Comedian Bob Hope, joking about the world “blowing itself up.” In this Popcast, Eliza Smith talks about “The Quick and the Dead,” a 1950 NBC special about atomic energy, hosted by Bob Hope and produced by Fred Friendly.

Original audio can be found on Pop Up Archive, courtesy of the Broadcast Archives at WILL and Illinois Public Media:

The story behind the creation of some of the earliest recordings of Spanish folk songs:

[Charles Lummis] cobbled together an in-home recording studio using his hyper-modern recording apartment. Or at least, hypermodern for the time. Lummis bought an Edison recorder, horn, and cylinder for $45 in 1904. Often the talent came to him. Musicians wanted their work recorded, so Lummis built a library of wax cylinder recordings, essentially cylindrical LPs, etching the sound waves of each song into waxy perpetuity.

Hear more in the new episode of Popcast: Folksong & Potboilers

The story behind the creation of some of the earliest recordings of Spanish folk songs:

[Charles Lummis] cobbled together an in-home recording studio using his hyper-modern recording apartment. Or at least, hypermodern for the time. Lummis bought an Edison recorder, horn, and cylinder for $45 in 1904. Often the talent came to him. Musicians wanted their work recorded, so Lummis built a library of wax cylinder recordings, essentially cylindrical LPs, etching the sound waves of each song into waxy perpetuity.

Hear more in the new episode of Popcast: Folksong & Potboilers

Folksong & Potboilers

In the early 1900s, journalist and renaissance man Charles Lummis set out to capture and preserve the Spanish folk songs of California, including the voice of one talent in particular: Manuela García. 

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Listen to the story behind the Charles Fletcher Lummis wax cylinder collection at the Autry National Center in Folksong and Potboilers:

Find “La Cara Negra” and dozens of other songs from The Autry collection on Pop Up Archive.

Learn more about the Autry National Center, and the collection of wax cylinder recordings at the Braun Library.

In 1972, speaking on Black Women’s Liberation, Wilhelmina Wanda Hogan reads from Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”

“Well children, where there’s so much racket, there must be something out of kilter…That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and have to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me the best places. And aren’t I a woman?”

From Illinois Public Media, listen on Pop Up Archive