Tired of scrolling through podcasts looking for a specific subject rather than a whole channel? A new podcast app developed a way to solve that problem. CastBox lets users search for specific keywords or phrases within the podcast itself rather than general podcast titles that may or may not be about a particular subject.
Founded in 2016, CastBox was created by a small startup team of software engineers. In just 10 months, over 3 million people have installed the free app and the company boasts more than 500,000 daily users. CastBox houses over 50 million episodes of content from around the world, and it wants to simplify searching for a particular topic even easier.
When you type in a word or phrase into an app's search box, the results are normally confined to those podcasts that have the word within its focus. But what if you want to search TED Radio Hour for podcasts about physics? CastBox gives users the unique opportunity to search inside of audio files for the most relevant podcasts. The app uses an algorithm to quickly transcribe the audio via natural language processing. It then uses machine learning to sift through the most relevant results for a particular keyword.
"Voice is a key element of our investment strategy, as major advancements in voice technology in recent years have changed the playing field for creation, distribution, and monetization of audio content. Meanwhile, demand for podcasts and other non-music audio content has been rapidly increasing, fueling the voice-first revolution," said Jing Wu, a partner at Qiming Venture Partners, CastBox's parent company. Qiming Venture Partners also backed the app musical.ly, the video-sharing app that inspired viral compilations on YouTube.
The app itself has a clean, sleek design. There's nothing too overwhelming about the CastBox -- a design feature that makes it that much more impressive. It includes some of the largest and most popular names in podcasting (NPR, TED Radio, etc.) down to unique niche podcast options.
Over the last few years, podcasts have become one of the biggest trends in getting news, listening to reviews, and learning more about favorite subjects. In the U.S. alone, over 112 million Americans have listened to podcasts within the last year. Over 67 million people listen each month to a podcast of their choice.
"With this latest round of investment and the release of in-audio search, CastBox is well-positioned to become the YouTube of audio," said Xiaoyu Wang, founder and CEO at CastBox. "We’re taking a new approach in the space, harnessing cutting-edge technology to deliver the best user experience and content discovery for listeners across multiple platforms on-demand."
The app is available for both iOS and Android users. CastBox syncs with a variety of smart home and car playback systems like Google Home, Amazon Echo and Android Auto. The company recently raised $16 million in funding in order to perfect the app and expand it to meet more listener needs. You can find more information about the app on their website here.