Where is the Listener’s Curation Tool for Great Podcasts

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This is a feature request for anyone developing a podcasting app. (You're welcome!) Basically I’m asking for someone to combine Pinterest with my favorite podcasting app for the sake of episode curation.

Here is why.

Podcasters are creating a ton of content. Not every episode from a podcaster is a home run. Some episodes are better then others. Some times I want to listen to the best episodes rather then the best podcasts.

The listening habits of most podcast consumers are composed of working in reverse chronological order. When a person opens their podcasting app they typically see the most recent episode first. Based on their settings they may only see the most recent episode.

But is this the best episode to listen to? What if the episode from four weeks ago was so much better? How would the listener know? What about shows that stop generating new content? There has to be a better way of locating and discovering the best of the best on an individual episode basis.

The current world of podcast discovery reminds me of the music industry 15 years ago. The music listener was pretty much locked into purchasing an entire album even if they were interested in one song off that album. Once iTunes came along it gave the music listener the option to purchase the individual song. Podcast listening is similar to the old model. The consumer is pretty much forced to subscribe to the show and keep their ears perked up for good content. Yes, iTunes allows you to download on an episode by episode basis, but unless you know what you are looking for it is useless.

Right now, the discovery of podcasts are primarily based around shows and not episodes. (The iTunes store does give you the ability to identify top episodes vs top podcasts, but this is just based on popularity. And most of the time the ranking is based on new content vs what is the best.) What if I want to find some good episodes that deal with preparing my kindergartener for her first year of school? What if I want to find some episodes that will help me prepare for a future trip to Europe? In these use cases I would love to discover the top episodes from multiple podcasters that help me with the given topic.

I also would love to do my own work of curation. Sometimes I’m listening to a show and think “I’ve got to remember that for later.” Or “That show fits perfectly with that other show from a few months ago.” I wish I could create and save my own list of episodes based on how my brain works.

And this is the genius of Pinterest. That platform empowered individuals to do curation around their own themes and passions. That is what I want for the podcast world.

So basically here is the feature request:

  • This is a podcast episode curation tool.
  • It needs to allow my to “pin” an individual episode to a particular “board” that I created or collaborate on.
  • It needs to be built into an existing podcasting app because that is where podcast consumption takes place.
  • It needs to allow me to rate the individual podcast episode or identify priority in some way or another.
  • It needs to have a social layer that allows me to view my friends “boards” and lets them see mine. I also would want to be able to subscribe to a friends “board”.
  • It could generate original art or some type of visual cue because most episodes don’t come with their own graphic.
  • It needs to allow me to give my own written commentary or context for why I “pinned” it.

It is my guess that is will become a standard feature in future podcasting apps. But there is the opportunity for an innovator to create the first version of this concept. And that first version could become the gold standard that other podcasting apps choose to license.


UPDATE: [8/18/15] There are a few early attempts that have been produced around the idea of podcast episode discovery. While these are not what I have described in my article above, they are based on a similar objective. I’ll keep adding them here as I come across them.