Today, on the International Podcast Day, I take a pledge to …
genuinely simplify discovery of podcasts & make this wonderful medium of audio storytelling truly social!
A brief history behind this pledge:
On Dec 2, 2014, a close friend of mine (who also happens to be an ex-classmate from Stanford) reached out with a long, thoughtful email with the following opening lines:
“I wanted to ask you something — what do you think about podcasts? Do you ever listen to any?”
and then went on to meticulously describe all the pain points around discovery, engagement & monetization which podcasters and podcast listeners faced & how NONE of the current podcast players solved those problems properly. The very first problem on the list was
“Make it really easy to discover and subscribe to new shows.”
Truth be told I had barely listened to less than 5 podcasts before his ping in my inbox but by the time I was done reading his email, I wanted to start listening to them. I opened up iTunes & was instantly lost in the ocean of 250K + podcasts as I was not sure which shows to start with - a clear validation of the first pain point.
Luckily, my friend gave me my first “homework assignment” - to listen to 8 episodes of Alex Blumberg’s StartUp followed by Serial. As I listened to one episode after the other, I could see how most of the the bullets mentioned in his email were genuine pain points but overall, nothing seemed as big and hairy as the first problem around Discovery
Its been ~10 months since that first email; From then till now, I have listened to hundreds of episodes and fallen in love with podcasts (my favorite episode of all times is Tim Ferriss’s interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger). I want the whole world to know about this absolutely captivating form of narrative & ensure that podcasting has a way stronger fan following than the current 46 million listeners who enjoy it every month.
To that, today, on the International Podcast day, I pledge to make it really easy to discover great audio content for both podcast listeners & for those who are uninitiated to this medium of the spoken word.
Also, in today’s day & age, where our network and community are highly conducive to discovering great stuff, I also pledge to make this medium truly social.
3 of us (my friend, I & we found one more ninja who whole heartedly believes in this mission) have already built the first cut of our podcast app Jabbercast & in a few weeks from now, we will ship an update which will be our first big step in solving this menacing problem around Discovery of good shows.
If you would like a sneak peek into whats coming your way & how we solve this problem, drop a nod to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More power & love to podcasts!
Thanks for listening.