Back in January we asked: What are the biggest challenges facing digital audio? Nick van Der Kolk, host of Radiotopia’s Love + Radio said: “The biggest vacuum right now is curatorial.” He wasn’t the only one: lots of people have noted the barriers that keep great audio from being discovered.
The conversation around audio storytelling can be diffuse. So how do you keep track of the threads? Through our project Audiosear.ch, we’ve been experimenting with new ways to discover audio.
FIND AUDIO ON TRENDING TOPICS AND PEOPLE
Our “trending” feature takes podcast topics and matches them with what people are talking about on social media. The picks aren’t limited to new audio: by searching across Audiosear.ch content, we can find the whole audio history of a topic. For example, by identifying all the audio related to the release of the new Apple Music app, Audiosear.ch shows you the evolution of the conversation, from early discussions of its technology, to Taylor Swift’s game-changing tweets about Apple.
FIND AUDIO STORIES RECOMMENDED BY PEOPLE
In an informal survey earlier this year, we asked how people discovered podcasts. We were unsurprised to see that good old “word of mouth” is still the most frequent way listeners get turned on to new audio shows. Our “tastemaker” feature captures that human judgement about what’s good by pairing audio stories with quotes from the people who recommend them.
So where are people recommending audio online? We’ve found that podcast power-listeners take to Twitter, Reddit, and email newsletters to talk about what they’ve been listening to.
By using trending topics to guide listeners to topical audio, and aggregating social recommendations into one place, we’re chipping away at the challenges of audio discovery. It’s a work in progress: check out trending and tastemaker audio on Audiosear.ch — and let us know what we’re missing!