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Twitter is turning into a Podcast App

A new hub puts podcasts and live audio in the same place. Twitter is officially getting into podcasts. The app will launch a test version of Twitter Spaces that includes podcasts, letting you listen to full shows through curated playlists based on your interests.

The redesigned Spaces tab opens with Stations, topic-based playlists combining podcast episodes pulled from RSS with Twitter’s social audio events and recordings.

It functions like a Pandora station but for spoken word and is pretty different from the a la carte listening podcast consumers are used to on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Live and upcoming spaces are still in the tab further down the page. The test will roll out to a random group of users worldwide, initially only in English.

The more users listen, the more tailored the audio Stations will become. But Twitter isn’t starting from square one the company relies on what it already knows about its users’ interests to curate the playlists. It’ll draw from the interests of people they follow, as well. “What we’re trying to capture here is as if it’s like another user recommending you something,” Twitter senior product manager Evan Jones, who focuses on audio, told Hot Pod.

Podcast discovery is notoriously tricky, limited either to top 100 charts, hand-picked selections on apps, or more often than not word of mouth. No platform has managed to crack it yet.

It’s easy to imagine the promotional possibilities around being able to share and listen to podcasts in the same app, but it’s not quite there yet. The test does not yet have a clipping capability, and listening can only happen in the Spaces tab, not on the timeline. That being said, Spaces has a clipping feature that could be applied to podcasts at some point.

Twitter and podcasts could be a fruitful fit. Twitter Spaces, launched in 2020 on the heels of Clubhouse’s pandemic success, already gives the app a foothold in audio. Based on company data, Jones said that 45 percent of Twitter users are monthly podcast listeners (given how news-oriented Twitter is, that makes a lot of sense). Meanwhile, data uncovered by tech investigators earlier this year revealed that Twitter was experimenting with a podcast tab.

That turned out to be partially true. “We were testing out different ideas,” Jones said. “As we were whittling down the stone, we came to this, but podcasts were always going to be part of Spaces.”

Jones would not say when users can expect an official launch, but he said the final version of the feature would be influenced by how people respond to the test. So if you are one of the selected guinea pigs, feel free to tell me about your experience!

A podcast is a schedule made available in digital format for download over the Internet. An episodic succession of digital audio or video files can be downloaded to a personal device to attend to at a time of their choice. Streaming applications and podcasting services deliver a convenient and integrated way to manipulate a personal consumption queue across many podcast references and playback devices. There are also live podcast search engines, which allow users to find and share podcast episodes.

A podcast series typically shows one or more frequent hosts engrossed in a discussion about a particular topic or current event. Conversation and content within a podcast can range from carefully scripted to completely improvised. In addition, podcasts combine elaborate and artistic sound production with thematic concerns varying from scientific research to slice-of-life journalism.

Many podcast series deliver an associated website with links and display notes, additional resources, transcripts, guest biographies, commentary, and even a community forum dedicated to examining the show’s content.

The cost to the consumer is down, with many podcasts free to download. However, some are underwritten by corporations or sponsored, including commercial promotions. In some cases, a podcast can be a business experience supported by some combination of a paid subscription representative, advertising, or a product delivered after a sale. Because a podcast is often free, podcasting is usually classified as a disruptive medium, adverse to the maintenance of traditional revenue models.

Podcasting is preparing and distributing audio files employing RSS feeds to the gadgets of subscribed users. The audio files may then be uploaded to streaming assistance, which users can attend on their mobiles or digital music and multimedia players, such as an iPod. As of date, there are at least 135,736,875 episodes and 2,864,367 podcasts.

A podcast generator harbors a central list of the files on a server as a web feed that one can get through the Internet. Then, the listener or viewer utilizes special client application software on a computer or media player, a podcast client that accesses this web feed, checks it for updates, and downloads any latest files in the series.

This process can automatically download new files, so it may seem to listeners as though podcasters broadcast or “push” new episodes to them. Podcast files can be stored locally or streamed directly on the user’s device. Several different mobile applications allow people to follow and hear podcasts. Many of these applications let users download podcasts or stream them on demand. Most podcast players or applications enable listeners to skip around the podcast and control the playback speed.

Podcasting has been considered a converged medium (a medium that brings together audio, the web, and portable media players). It is a disruptive technology that has driven some individuals in radio broadcasting to reconsider established practices and preconceptions about consumption, production, audiences, and distribution.

Podcasts can be created at little expense and are usually disseminated free. It sets this medium apart from the conventional 20th-century model of “gate-kept” media and their presentation tools. Podcasters can still monetize their podcasts by permitting companies to buy ad time. They can also garner aid from listeners through crowdfunding websites like Patreon, which deliver special extras and content to listeners for a fee.

“Podcast” is a combo of “iPod” and “broadcast.” The earliest usage of “podcasting” was delineated by The Guardian columnist and BBC journalist Ben Hammersley, who coined it before February 2004 while writing an essay for The Guardian newspaper. However, the term was initially used in the audio blogging society in September 2004, when Danny Gregoire introduced it in a note to the iPodder-dev mailing list, from where podcaster Adam Curry adopted it.

The content can be accessed employing any computer or device that can recreate media files. The term “podcast” predates Apple’s expansion of podcasting features to the iPod and the iTunes software. Some sources have indicated the backronym “portable on demand” or “play on demand” for POD to bypass the loose reference to the iPod.