It can be difficult to identify the very first podcast creators with specificity, but many believe it was Adam Curry and Dave Winer. They started delivering this type of content in 2004, and at the time they had few if any competitors. Today, podcasting is one of the trendiest industries among content creators. For some, it has become even more profitable than their primary occupation.
The demand for good podcasting apps has increased proportionately. Creators want to share their knowledge and experience with their audiences, which in turn expect 24/7 access.
If you decide to address the needs of both sides and create a podcasting application that will benefit creators and listeners alike, our guide will help you organize your thoughts and transform your concept into reality.
The term “podcast” consists of two words: iPod and broadcast. So, the term initially referred to a broadcast that one could enjoy on an iPod. Today, however, the word “podcasting” has broader implications. It refers to the distribution of digital audio files via the Internet for availability on multiple platforms. People can listen as their favorite podcasts are debuted, or they can save one or more episodes for playback at a later time.
If you still have doubts about creating your own app for podcasts, we’ll explain the benefits it has for you and your audience.
Since it isn’t always practical to watch an entire video or pay attention to a long text, the audio format is a perfect solution for many people. Thanks to increasing engagement, a podcast mobile app can potentially lead to better exposure and more loyal podcast listeners.
If you decide to build a podcast app dedicated to a specific topic, it will soon gather a community of listeners. Whether it’s discussing movies or selling luxury cars, people will come to your app for insights and advice.
Podcast apps can include ads, sponsorships, and in-app purchases, providing monetization opportunities for you as a business and featuring podcasters.
Besides making more money, podcasts can help you build a warmer relationship with your audience. Also, a podcast app can provide data on listener demographics, engagement, and behavior, allowing you to understand your listeners better and make more informed content decisions.
If we pause to consider what people listen to, we can discern four main program types of podcasts: conversational, monolog, storytelling, and repurposed:
Storytelling is a popular kind of podcast, and obviously, there’s a huge audience of people who love a good tale. This approach is often used by journalists or true-crime fans who describe the investigation process. My Favorite Murder works like that: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark conduct heavy research and tell their listeners everything that is known about a given case.
Hybrid podcasts combine elements of both scripted content and improvisation. In a hybrid podcast, the host or hosts might have a loose script or plan for the episode, but they also allow for spontaneous interactions and tangents to occur during the recording.
These podcasts can be divided into several subcategories:
Interviews usually take the form of a chat between a guest and one or two hosts. The guest could, for example, be an expert in a certain field or a famous person with interesting life stories to tell. A good example here is Queery with Cameron Esposito.
A co-hosted podcast involves two people who discuss topics and news, particularly developments in their chosen subject area. This gives it the flavor of a traditional radio show. Sure, they can include guests too. The Unsolicited Advice podcast works like that.
A round-table, or panel, podcast features multiple hosts who engage in specific topics. This type is less stressful for the participants because the responsibility for input is spread over the group. Consider the podcast series How Did This Get Made, which is devoted to movies.
A monologue is hosted by one person who expresses views and insights on certain matters. Generally, the host--an expert in a specific field—will share their thoughts with the public. To launch many episodes, a person should have sufficient expertise, as did Stephen West when he launched the series Philosophize This!
The repurposed type is a good choice if you have a huge backlog of content and want to give it another chance. You can convert your segments into audio and create a series of episodes. Trevor Noah, the popular comedian and TV host, transformed The Daily Show into an audio format for repurposing as a podcast.
Now it’s time to look under the hood of a typical podcast streaming app and point out the important features that your audience will want.
Users can create and sign into their accounts using their existing social media like Facebook or Google. This feature eliminates the need to create a separate account for the podcast app, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
A user-friendly dashboard provides users with a personalized area where they can manage their podcast subscriptions, playlists, downloads, and other settings. This feature includes functionality like:
Other account settings
If the users came for a certain podcast or topic, they should be able to look for it. By quickly finding the desired podcast or episode, users can spend more time listening to their favorite shows. Moreover, they should be able to quickly and easily navigate among the episodes in a given podcast.
With a built-in recorder, users can easily record their voice or a conversation with guests. At the same time, the editor allows them to make necessary changes like cutting out unwanted parts or adding sound effects. The feature offers a simple and efficient way for users to create their own podcasts without spending tons of money on expensive equipment.
Voice editing tools allow users to modify and enhance voice recordings. These tools offer several benefits for users, including:
Professional sound quality
By making it easy to improve the sound quality, these tools help users create podcasts that are engaging, entertaining, and professional.
With the help of simple “play/pause,” “rewind,” and “next episode” buttons, users can smoothly navigate the audio track and listen to the parts they need or like. Some media players offer features like sleep timers, playback speed adjustment, and the ability to skip silences.
Tracking user behavior inside the app provides your team with multiple benefits including the ability to:
Understand user engagement
Optimize the user experience
Monitor app performance
Real-time analytics helps you monitor app performance, identify trends, optimize the user experience, and measure the ROI of your marketing efforts. This feature contributes a lot to making data-driven decisions and ensuring that the app is delivering the best possible experience.
This feature offers several benefits for users, including the ability to earn rewards like exclusive content, early access to episodes, merchandise, and more. By earning rewards, users feel valued and appreciated, which can increase their loyalty to the app and its content.
Identifying your target audience
Before jumping into the development process, it’s wise to take a closer look at your future listeners. What do they like? How do they spend their free time? What is their demographic? What podcast apps do they already listen to? In the process, you’ll notice what audience needs still aren’t addressed and what niche is still available.
Determining the app's features and functionalities
When the market is analyzed, you can build a more or less whole picture of your own podcast app. At this stage, you should describe the project’s specifications: what features the app will have, which platforms you’ll launch it on, and how it will make money. Remember to plan your budget, too.
Choosing the programming language and development platform
Design is a powerful thing. Even if every other aspect of your podcast app works perfectly, people can still reject it if the user interface design is unattractive or unwieldy. Every aspect of the app should be part of a mutual alignment to ensure the best possible user experience. The designing process should include:
Sketching the app's interface and user flow
Choosing the color scheme, typography, and imagery
Incorporating user feedback and testing
When the design is ready, your team can start coding. The process usually consists of three main parts:
Setting up the development environment
Writing the code for the app's features and functionality
Testing and debugging the app
We strongly recommend that you start with a minimum viable product (MVP). A full podcast app is complicated, having a lot of technical parts to take into account. An MVP will save the day here: You can safely test the water and decide whether you want to continue the project.
The podcast feed integration is a critical step in developing a podcast app. You'll need to consider how the feed content will be displayed in the app and how to optimize the feed integration for performance and user experience.
To make it happen, your team will need to complete:
Parsing the RSS feed of your preferred podcasts: To do this, you'll need to choose a parser library that can read and extract the necessary information from the feed.
Storing the podcast data in a database: It can improve the performance and scalability of the podcast app, enabling faster search and retrieval of podcast episodes and metadata.
Implementing a search and filter feature for podcasts: The team will create a search index of relevant podcast metadata, like title, author, description, and tags, and implement a search algorithm that enables users to filter results by various criteria like date, relevance, popularity, or category.
Adding features like playlist creation, bookmarks, and social media sharing
Playlists allow users to organize episodes and listen to them in a specific order, while bookmarks enable users to save their place in an episode and return to it later. Social media sharing enables users to easily share podcast episodes with their friends and followers on various social media platforms, increasing the visibility of the app and attracting new users.
Implementing notifications, analytics, and error reporting
Notifications can be used to alert users of new episode releases or updates, while analytics can help track user engagement, retention, and other key performance indicators. Error reporting will help you track and fix issues like crashes, errors, and other technical problems.
When all of the previous stages have been met and the feedback from an MVP has been assessed, you can continue updating the application according to the needs of your audience. It includes:
Submitting the app to the app store
Creating a marketing plan and promotional materials
Gathering user feedback and making improvements
This is a challenging question because a variety of factors will influence the final development cost:
The project’s final stage (an MVP or a full application)
The list of desired features
The team’s hourly rate
The tech stack
To provide you with a rough estimate, the cost of developing your own podcast app will range from $10,000 to $50,000. It's worth noting that these costs are for the initial development of the app and do not include ongoing maintenance and updates, which will also be an additional cost.
Yellow can help you create your podcast app by providing expertise in UX/UI design, app development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Our team will also provide guidance on best practices, user experience, and app security.
Additionally, Yellow can help you with app store submission to increase visibility and attract users. We will streamline the app development process and deliver a high-quality podcast app that meets your business goals. Feel free to contact us and we will prepare a detailed estimate of your idea.
The podcast has become one of the most popular ways to acquire new knowledge and get insights on some matters. Even giants like Spotify and Apple are investing in the technology and have given users the ability to create and listen to podcasts.
Creating a podcast app may be resource-consuming and complicated. However, with the help of an expert development team, your podcast app will be successful in the marketplace.
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