Podcasting Is On A Rise
You’re probably already on the podcast train, either as a consumer or a content creator, and for good reason too.
Audio-On-Demand is one of the fastest growing sectors in 2017. If you are a content creator, the impressive podcast listening statistics will do you a world of good.
Podcast listening is growing all over the world, more particularly in USA, UK and Australia of course.
It’s easy to see why.
Unlike traditional radio, podcasting gives you the ability to download and listen offline, multiple times. You can select a playlist of your favorite podcasts, listen on your smartphone or send to your laptop. Plus, the impressive array of content from News to Sports, Comedy, Talk and Music will keep you well occupied.
That’s probably why listeners in UK listen to over 6 hours per week while those in Australia listen to 5.5 hours per week. 55% of America’s population aware of the term and 21% of USA listeners are tune in on a monthly basis.
Having said that, you’d want to know the best podcast apps available that
- Have a strong discovery function
- Good interfaces
- Give you a great list of podcast options
- Help you build a intuitive playlist
- Download your favorite shows, whether you’re online or offline
- Push notifications
- Social media integration
With that in mind, there are five podcasting apps worth looking at.
Marc Arment developed Overcast, which is specifically for iOS users.
When it comes to discovery, this app probably is the best so far. It has all the basic features you’d expect: downloads for offline listening, push notifications when new episodes are available, and the ability to create a playlist of episodes for longer listening sessions.
The Smart Speed feature enables you to speed up shows for quicker listening without turning them into episodes of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Meanwhile, Apple Watch owners will appreciate Overcast’s smartwatch app, which is a simple way to control listening from your wrist.
The app recommends podcasts in categories including news and politics, technology, comedy, and music, with a neat feature to link the app with your Twitter account to see what podcasts people in your network are enjoying.
Overcast is completely free to use with all its features.
Cost: Free (With all its features)
Become a “patron” by paying £2.29 for three months, £4.49 for six or £8.99 for a year to support its development.
2. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is developed for android users, while Overcast is specifically for IOS users.
Pocket Casts features an attractive build with an easy-to-look interface that lays out the various podcast episodes in their categories.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature social recommendations.
It makes up for this by synchronizing your subscriptions and preferences across your devices for you.
Unlike the audio-only Overcast, this also includes video podcasts, from music charts to TED talks, News, Politics and Current Affairs, Sports and stand-up comedy.
I like the thought given to its structure. It’s almost counter-intuitive, anticipating needs such as restricting how many episodes of individual shows you want to keep on your device for offline listening, to its support for Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast to stream podcasts to your nearby home-entertainment devices.
Pocket Casts also has a variable-speed option for impatient listeners. It’s a pay-upfront app: once you’ve stumped up your £2.49 (on Android) or £2.99 (on iOS) there are no more calls for payment.
Castro is a neatly-designed podcatcher app that does the basic features very well, with plenty of customization options for keener podcast listeners.
Offline listening, automatic downloads of new episodes, push notifications, a good search function and the ability to speed up (or slow down) podcasts all work well, while its News Mode setting deletes old episodes to save space on your smartphone.
Castro doesn’t recommend podcasts to you or group them into themes: you need to search for podcasts by name, or have their feed URL in your device clipboard ready to paste in. Even so, generic searches like “football” or “comedy” bring back decent lists of shows to check out.
Like Overcast, Castro uses a patronage system to make its money. The app is free, but you can choose to pay £2.29 every three months, £4.49 every six months or £8.99 a year to support its development.
Spotify is well known as a music-streaming service, and they recently added podcasts to their catalogues.
Find podcasts under the ‘show’ section in Spotify’s mobile app.
Tap the “Audio Shows” button to access the podcasts, with the ability to follow individual shows to keep abreast of new episodes, and to download shows for offline listening.
Deezer bought a podcast service called Stitcher in 2014 to supply its catalogue of spoken-word shows – its standalone app is still available too.
Podcasts are accessed from the main home screen, with top 100’s in categories including business, comedy, news & politics and technology.
Favouriting a podcast adds it to your “My Music” section of the app, for easy access when new episodes are out.