Tired of browsing podcasts looking for a specific topic rather than an entire channel? A new podcast app has developed a way to solve this problem. CastBox allows users to search for specific keywords or phrases within the podcast itself rather than general podcast titles which may or may not relate to a particular topic.
Founded in 2016, CastBox was created by a small team of software engineers. In just 10 months, over 3 million people have installed the free app and the company has over 500,000 daily users. CastBox hosts over 50 million episodes of content from around the world and wants to make it even easier to find a particular topic.
When you type a word or phrase into an app’s search box, results are normally limited to podcasts that have the word in focus. But what if you want to search for physics podcasts on TED Radio Hour? CastBox offers users the unique ability to search audio files for the most relevant podcasts. The app uses an algorithm to quickly transcribe audio through natural language processing. It then uses machine learning to sift through the most relevant results for a particular keyword.
“Voice is a key part of our investment strategy, as major advances in voice technology in recent years have changed the rules of the game for the creation, distribution and monetization of audio content. At the same time, the demand for podcasts and other non-music audio content has been rising rapidly, fueling the voice-first revolution,” said Jing Wu, a partner at Qiming Venture Partners, the parent company of CastBox. Qiming Venture Partners also backed the application musical.lythe video-sharing app that inspired viral compilations on YouTube.
The app itself has a clean and elegant design. There’s nothing too overwhelming about the CastBox – a design feature that makes it all the more impressive. It includes some of the biggest and most popular names in podcasting (NPR, TED Radio, etc.) down to unique niche podcast options.
Over the past few years, podcasts have become one of the biggest trends for getting news, listening to reviews, and learning more about favorite topics. In the United States only, more than 112 million Americans have listened to podcasts in the past year. More than 67 million people listen to a podcast of their choice every month.
“With this latest round of investment and the release of research into audio, CastBox is well positioned to become the YouTube of audio,” said Xiaoyu Wang, Founder and CEO of CastBox. “We’re taking a fresh approach to the space, leveraging cutting-edge technology to deliver the best user experience and content discovery to listeners across multiple on-demand platforms.”
The app is available for iOS and Android users. CastBox syncs with a variety of smart home and car playback systems like Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Android Auto. The company recently raised $16 million in funding to refine the app and expand it to meet the needs of more listeners. You can find more information about the app on their website here.