Why Podcasts Are Locked in Golden Cages Malik November 15, 2015 ProductMuse I’m in love with podcasts, but when it comes to engaging with it’s related content, I’m not sure if podcasts are in love with me. The definition of a podcast is the following: podÂ·cast ËˆpÃ¤dËŒkast/ a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. Wrong! Here’s what it should be: A digital audio file made available for downloading from the internet and to connected devices, which allows subscribers to engage with related audio/video, books, articles, and various rich media content experiences. The problem: During an episode of a podcast, tons of related topics are mentioned. Events, books, documentaries, trade information, articles, influential people, websites, etc. All that valuable information is tucked away in podcast episode detail page on the web and a very small share of information is accessible from the details section of the podcast episode more information screen. I’m hungry for related content… via GIPHY The solution: Build me an interface so I can easily engage with that rich topical meta data. How about allowing me to do the following, right from the podcast app: Add books to my Amazon wishlist or Goodreads list, or even pdfs into my Kindle. Follow people on Twitter or Facebook mentioned during the podcast. Add articles to my Read later apps (e.g. Readability, Pocket, Instapaper, etc) Add a related YouTube video to my Watchlater list. Add Events mentioned in the podcast. How many times has a conference/panel discussion been mentioned and I have no way of adding it to reference it later? How about adding blogs mentioned during the show, to my favourite rss reader like Feedly? I recently downloaded Overcast, but have now gone back to Apple’s standard Podcasts app. Let’s include Pocket Casts and Stitcher and see how well they fair in connecting you to content, outside of the audio podcast. Although, there are many sample podcast episodes, let’s use my favorite economic podcast, Econtalk with Russ Roberts, which rich with tons of related content. We’ll use the episode with Cesar Hidalgo where he talks about How Information Grows. Now take look at all the external meta data from the web version of the podcastÂ detail page. Click screenshot below to see a large view of all the related content goodies: Whoa. Now look at all that related content. We are not even including all the things that were discussed during the podcast. As you can see EconTalk has books, video, trade papers, articles, websites, blogs entries. etc. Many times there’s even more. His guests are speakers at various events, and many are upcoming events. Now let’s see how our podcasts treat all that goodness. Click on any image below to see the slideshow of “hide and go seek” content. Stitcher: Pretty sad. All that rich data lost at sea. Apple Podcast: Although a bit better in the view, no meta data to be found. Pocket Casts: Once again, I have a bit more text about the podcast episode, but nothing. Overcast: Suffering from the same “invisible” content problem. What happened to the content, homey? I know, it looked like a content horror show. Help is on the way. Now let’s get into how we can close the gap between content creator and consumer. We’ll use Apple’s Podcasts apps UI as an example. Click the 1st image in the series to see a better approach. Here’s the standard Apple Podcasts info panal. I think something is missing. Let’s add an Episode Links sections so we can give users access to that extra content. Now I have a list of all the content, and can take an action if I wish. Oh but there’s more. How cool would be to have a “podcast breadcrumb” letting me know the source of how I took an action. Now I have bit of context as I go through my “Save it Later” type lists. Click image below to the digital breadcrumb. Same for Youtube. I need a bit of context on the source. How about letting me know where I saved that content. Conclusion: This is not an easy issue to tackle. There needs to be a lot of coordination via podcast publisher services, developers, and the relatedÂ media spaces where you can save content for later (e.g. Youtube, Pocket, Readibility, Facebook, etc). Unfortunately, we are in a walled garden with tons of weeds getting in the way. It’s time we uncage the valuable podcast data thats layered withinÂ in the audio discussion, and the supplementary content that is connected to that podcast episode. Next step would be to make all that content searchable so users can find the content they want, while knowing the source that it came from. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.