What’s holding podcasting back from broader adoption? One problem is that podcast listening is often siloed within podcast apps, without direct connections to broader social networks. Finding easier ways to share audio where people are already hanging out — on social media — can help attract new listeners.
When actor Zero Mostel was under trial by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1955, the committee asked what he was doing at an anti-HUAC meeting. Mostel replied: “What if I did an imitation of a butterfly at rest? There is no crime in making anybody laugh.”
The challenges of podcast discovery are well-documented. When the iTunes store lists over 250,000 podcasts (and counting!), how are listeners supposed to sift through it all to find their new favorite audio shows?
Some listeners might go crazy for stories about design, while others might care more about technology and economics. Since the newsletter and Twitter sources we aggregate all come from real people with unique personalities, you can browse and find the recommenders that are most aligned with your own interests.
Audio picks from today or last month — with tastemaker commentary
With all the longform interviews, storytelling, and educational podcasts being recorded these days, there are plenty of podcasts from months ago that still sound just as fresh today. Our new tastemaker page lists recommendations new and old.
We’ve also included short quotes about the picks from each source, so you can see not just what audio is interesting, but why it’s interesting.
Take a look at our new Tastemaker page. Your listening queue will fill up fast!
In the past decade, podcasting has transformed from an obscure medium for hyper-tech insiders into a media format that even your grandma can tune in to. They’ve come a long way, but podcasts have even further to go. What’s in store for the next decade of podcasting and radio? Read our 10 predictions for the next 10 years of podcasting.
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!
Do you work with podcasts or radio shows on the web? We’ve got a new audio tool for your arsenal.
We’re collecting lots of data about audio stories for you to use.
Pop Up Archive is building Audiosear.ch to be the web’s most comprehensive source of data about podcasts and radio, starting with audio recommendations, networks, categories, and transcript results for any search query.
With the Audiosear.ch application program interface (API), developers have information about thousands of podcasts and radio shows at their fingertips. That means the secret sauce that powers full-text search on Pop Up Archive and Audiosear.ch will work on your site too.
Search the API for anything or query and filter by show, episode, category, network, tags, related audio, relevancy, or recency.
Get exact transcript lines containing your search query.
Get tags from SoundCloud and machine-generated tags from Pop Up Archive.
Get information about each show, including its website, social media accounts, RSS feed and more.
Whether you’re an audio app developer or a podcast enthusiast who can write code, we’re offering you access to the Audiosear.ch search and recommendation API.
Astronauts don’t have days and nights like we do on earth, so they need some help regulating their sleep. Turns out, it takes a whole team of engineers down on earth to rouse NASA’s elite from their slumbers. In this Popcast, hear about the NASA tradition of “wake up songs” from Mission Control, including the one song that went too far.
Describing Sylvia Plath in a 1972 radio documentary from The Pacifica Radio Archives, Plath’s editor, Fran McCullough says that while re-reading The Bell Jar, she noticed that “instances of her bitchiness and snobbery [were] quite astonishing. And of course she was a Scorpio.”
In the latest Popcast, host Eliza Smith uses the lens of astrology to understand Plath, asking Bay Area astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo to examine her birth chart. What follows is a tragic and insightful analysis of the life and work of Sylvia Plath.
Thanks again to astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo for her incredible interview. Also thanks to producers Eliza Smith and Emily Saltz, plus Avery Trufelman (99% Invisible) for editorial advisement. Find the transcript to this episode, plus Lanyadoo’s full interview, on Pop Up Archive.
See the birth chart she drew up for Sylvia Plath below: