The Friday edition of the daily podcast newsletter Podnews made a brief announcement on a new podcast app called RePod.
“A new podcast app, RePod, “helps you discover, share and discuss podcast episodes.” It is specially designed for episodes, not for shows.
I downloaded it and was greeted by a screen that I know very well when downloading apps from social media, but never when downloading a podcast app: it suggested friends to me to follow , then asked me to connect my Facebook account to add my friends. This app is very new so I didn’t have any friends who had downloaded it yet.
Once installed, the main feed displays podcast episodes that users have recommended and commented on and looks and functions just like a social media app with the bottom-up scrolling motion that we all now know quite well. The interface allows up or down votes and comments like a Reddit thread.
If you click on a user’s profile, you can see all the posts they’ve posted and everything they’ve voted for and against. Once you click on one of the posts, you can choose to listen to the podcast episode.
The actual listening screen is the first time RePod has looked like any other podcast app with standard buttons for play / pause and for 30 seconds forward or backward. The main difference is a scissors button which allows you to select a part of the episode to share with other users. Other companies have cobbled together this idea before, but it has yet to catch on and join the plethora of other ways podcasts are trying to solve what they call the “discoverability” problem.
But while other apps grapple with that, RePod seems content to solve a much smaller problem: how to find that podcast episode your friend recommended to you weeks ago.
Here is their statement of intent for their website by creators Emmett Harper and Travis Osterhaus.
âWe’ve all shared a podcast with a friend or colleague. In your text message group, Slack channel, Facebook Messenger, etc. Unorganized. Messy. And it’s extremely difficult to find that episode your friend shared with you weeks ago.
Repod condenses moments of sharing and conversations in one central location. When you want to share or chat a podcast with another friend, just @ their username and write them a message.
They certainly created the space to do just that with a tab for favorite episodes and recently played episodes. In this way, RePod actually shares a lot of DNA in common with Goodreads, the book reading and reviews app where users share their list of books they have read and can leave reviews and comments.
Apps like this run into the proverbial “Catch 22 situation” where they need enough users to create a viable community for people to want to use the app, but without enough users signing up, those who do will not get much interaction from their posts.
As it stands, RePod looks in many ways like a closed beta with a lot of frustrating bugs occurring and a lot of direct involvement with the creators, including a signup email that gives the account of company messenger from Travis, the co-creator. But, it is a fascinating experience and the passion of the users will probably determine its future.
In conclusion, RePod is designed for a very specific niche audience of hardcore podcast listeners, but if those listeners show up, they will find a podcast app like no other.