While we sometimes have the impression everyone has a podcast these days, the truth is, most Americans still don’t listen to podcasts on a regular basis. The Y Combinator-backed team behind The Podcast App plans to change that.
And yes, that’s the real name of the app. Co-founder and CEO MartÃn Siniawski argued that most of the existing podcast apps were created years ago, “when it was a really different medium.” They’re designed for people who already understand what a podcast is, already know what podcasts they’re looking for, and already understand what it means to subscribe.
In contrast, Siniawski said the Podcast app is designed to be “extremely fast, extremely easy, and extremely reliable and stable.”
How easy? Well, the website boasts of being “so simple even your grandma could use it.”
âWe have invested a lot to make sure that we can integrate people and take them step by step in a way that does not overwhelm them,â said Siniawski.
So when you first open the app, you are prompted to identify your interests, and then you get a list of podcast recommendations. Once you watch a specific podcast, you can browse all episodes or just the âBest Ofâ (organized by Podcast app engagement data) and then tap the buttons to favorite the show. and download individual episodes.
Besides making the app easy to understand, Siniawski said he also focuses on helping people find the right podcast for them. Creating good app-wide and podcast-specific search features helps, as do Best Of lists, but he said that’s just the start.
On the one hand, there is more to the search, such as indexing the full content of episodes, not just titles and descriptions. On the other hand, Siniawski hopes to adopt an approach closer to that of Netflix to “exploit more and more this data to provide recommendations”.
The Podcast app has built up a library of 30 million episodes and includes most of the big names in podcasting. (It also includes TechCrunch podcasts like Original Content and CTRL + T. I’m just saying.) Going forward, Siniawski said he hopes to work with podcasters to develop original programming and incorporate more types of advertising and marketing. ‘paid subscriptions (the startup is currently limiting its own monetization to show ads served in the app).
Oh, and if you’re wondering how Siniawski got such a simple (and easy to search) app name, the answer is simple – no one claimed it first.