A place for every podcast, every podcast in its place

A rethinking of podcast categories for RadioPublic

Introducing listener-centric categorization

As an ever-curious listener and always-encourager of trying new shows, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about how people find things. And while it’s frustrating to say, I believe the current systems are broken.

  • Most people find shows through the top charts — which are dominated by a handful of shows.
  • The categories that exist are very broad — so broad, that for example, you’ll find scientific research clumped in with fitness gurus, and family planning shows next to shows aimed at kids.
  • Podcasters self-select into categories that have no clear definitions, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation and confusion.
  • And perhaps most importantly, listeners don’t find the existing categories useful.

There is a better experience out there for listeners — and podcasters, too — to find relevant related shows faster.

RadioPublic’s podcast categories, version 1.0

Behold: a rethinking of some of the biggest broadest categories you may find in a podcast listening app, described by what the shows are to a listener — rather than what long-ago, opaque umbrella they happen to fall under in order to gain access to the longest running podcast directory available. Go ahead: explore our categories in full.

You can access each of these categories from the Popular Shows By Category icons in the Explore section of the RadioPublic app for iOS or Android. If you’re on your phone, tap on any of these links to open them in the RadioPubic app, and now you’re but one step away from listening to and following the shows presented here.

The benefits of RadioPublic’s approach to categorizing podcasts

  • Increased ease of discovering new shows and finding your favorites.
  • Break through the stranglehold of the top 10 list as the end-all be-all of show discovery. The more granular the subcategory, the more excellent shows we can surface — which is great news for all you indie podcasters and small networks.
  • This is how listeners listen. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to podcast listeners and learning how they choose, organize, and find shows. These categories are based on real listener input.

And on that note: listeners, we’d love to hear from you. What new shows did you discover as a part of these new categories? What shows would you add to these categories that aren’t there? Are there categories you’d love to see? Let us know by commenting on this article or by emailing librarian@radiopublic.com

Want to know how we got here? Read more about our process and approach to listener-centric categories.


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