The best podcast apps of 2021 for listening to all your favorite shows

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Woman listening music app
A woman uses her mobile phone to open and play a song from her smartphone app.

  • Podcasts are a convenient way to catch up on news, sports, and special interests at home or on the go.
  • There are many apps with tons of podcasts you can listen to for free or with a paid subscription.
  • We recommend services like Audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If you’re hooked on a popular podcast or are thinking about starting a new one, you aren’t alone. More Americans are listening to at least one podcast every month, a trend that only increased in 2020, according to a survey from Edison One and Triton Digital.

Whether you’re on your daily run, commuting to work, or simply relaxing at home, a great podcast can take you on an audio journey through politics, entertainment, comedy, literature, and more. Podcasts cover all genres, so whether you’re seeking a news update or want to get into true crime, there’s likely something out there for you.

There are many services that offer access to a wide range of podcasts, including several free apps and a few subscription platforms that even include exclusive programming. To help you get started, we’ve selected a few of the best apps you can use to listen to podcasts right now on a variety of devices.

Here are the best podcast apps:

Apple Podcasts

ApplePodcastsScreenshot

Apple Podcasts offers free access to over 30 million podcast episodes, along with helpful Siri voice search capabilities.

Although the app is exclusive to iOS devices, Apple Podcasts is one of the best — and most comprehensive — free podcast services available. The app includes over 30 million episodes and you can easily download your favorite podcasts for offline listening. 

One of Apple Podcasts unique features is its ability to sync with Siri. This means you can talk to Siri and ask for podcast suggestions. The app also makes it easy to navigate podcasts based on different genres and Apple-curated collections. This makes it simple to find shows for a specific interest or see recommendations for “new and noteworthy” titles. 

The search page also allows you to find podcasts by topic or by people mentioned within episodes via a show’s transcript. It’s important to note, however, that not every podcast has a transcript available.

Playback is easy to control with the option to rewind episodes by 15 seconds or fast-forward by 30 seconds. You can also play Apple Podcasts via Bluetooth from the app, adjust the audio’s speed, and set a sleep timer for when you want to pause.

Once you subscribe to a Podcast, the app notifies you when a new episode is out. There’s also plenty of ways you can preview podcasts before you listen to an episode thanks to introductions and trailers. There are also reviews and ratings from fellow Apple Podcasts listeners. If you end up liking a podcast, you can find recommendations at the bottom of a title’s page for similar content from the same creator.

On April 20, Apple announced that Apple Podcasts will update its look, add curated channels, and include a premium subscription option for certain shows beginning in May. Creators can add various benefits to their premium podcast subscriptions, including ad-free listening and early access. 

Podcasts (small)
Google Podcasts

GooglePodcastsScreenshot

Google Podcasts is a free service with convenient features that make it easy for users to discover more about the podcasts they listen to.

Google Podcasts helps you find the best shows for you tastes with a homepage that directs you to popular podcasts based on genres and what’s trending. 

The app hosts many of the same shows as Apple Podcasts and its user interface is inviting to newcomers and listening veterans alike. If a show isn’t on Google Podcasts you can add it by entering its RSS feed into the platform. 

Like other podcast apps, you can subscribe to shows and download them for offline listening. If you want to listen to a number of different podcasts in a certain order, you can start a queue. 

One of the unique features found on Google Podcasts is the “explore topics” section on an episode’s page. This section links to Google search results for keywords based on the podcast you’re listening to. This means if you put on Football Weekly, a podcast by The Guardian, you can easily click on suggestions to find the latest news about soccer in the UK.

If you listened to a podcast and forgot to save it, you can go to the “Activity” tab. The tab keeps track of your queue, your downloaded episodes, your listening history, and your subscriptions.

Google Podcasts features a 30-second fast-forward option along with a 10-second rewind button, a sleep timer, and an option to “trim silence” on a show. You can also change the speed of an episode and share it with friends. Much like Apple Podcasts, transcripts are only available if they’re placed in an episode’s description.

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Spotify

SpotifyPodcastsScreenshot

Spotify features an array of curated, genre-specific collections of podcasts, including exclusive shows.

Spotify is unique compared to Google and Apple in its ability to provide millions of songs in addition to its podcasts. While Spotify does offer a free option, you need a paid subscription to get ad-free streaming.

Spotify has a number of plans for ad-free listening, starting with Spotify Premium for $10 a month for one account. It’s important to note that you can only download podcasts with Spotify if you have Premium.

The app’s podcast homepage features curated collections and genres, including spotlights on some of its original podcasts you won’t find anywhere else. Some Spotify exclusive shows include “Renegades: Born in the USA,” “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” and “Living & Learning with Reba McEntire.”

Once you find a podcast you like, you can choose to “follow” it from the Spotify app. That way you’ll be able to get notifications about when your favorite show has an update. If you want to explore new shows based on your favorite podcasts, each show has different categories like “Entertainment” or “Music.”

Much like Google, you can add episodes to your queue and listen to a number of different episodes in order. You can also make a playlist of new podcasts that you want to check out.

Once you start playing a podcast, you can change its speed, rewind or fast-forward by 15 seconds, and set a sleep timer. Like other podcast apps, transcripts are only available if they’re placed in an episode’s description.

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Audible

AudibleScreenshot

Audible is an audiobook-centric app but it also features several original podcasts.

Audible is primarily known for audiobooks but the Amazon-backed app also provides a number of podcasts, including Audible Original shows. The “Podcasts” category takes users through a variety of content including shows centered on comedy, relationships, tech, and more.

Once you click a show, such as “Dolly Parton’s America,” you’ll be able to explore reviews from listeners. These reviews include star ratings for the host’s performance, the story, and the overall podcast. This helps make Audible one of the most user-friendly platforms for listener reviews.

When playing a podcast, you can skip ahead or circle back by 30 seconds, connect to Bluetooth, skip or go back to old episodes, and change the speed of the audio from 0.5x to 3.5x. You can also see how much time is left in an episode, switch to carplay for a minimalist user interface, and select between episodes via an episode list option at the bottom of the screen. 

Like other podcast platforms, Audible contains a sleep timer and allows for offline listening. Audible users are also able to add podcasts to their library to get them automatically downloaded to their device when new episodes come out.

While Audible boasts a solid selection of Audible Originals, including the crime documentary series “Brooklyn North,” these series are only available to paid subscribers. Other exclusive podcasts include titles like “The Messenger,” “Women Unlocked,” “In the Gap,” and “Soldiers of Science.”

Audible‘s massive audiobook selection could be a great incentive to purchase a Plus subscription if you want a service that offers books and podcasts in one platform.

Plus (Monthly Subscription) (small)
Stitcher

StitcherScreenshot

Stitcher has a selection of original podcasts and a wide range of playback options.

Stitcher puts podcasts ahead of all else, unlike a platform like Spotify that also hosts millions of songs. Its layout is also one of the sleekest and most straightforward across podcast apps.

Once you sign in, you can check Stitcher‘s top picks of the week along with curated collections of playlists celebrating the likes of women, Black Americans, Independent artists, and more. Stitcher‘s homepage also includes an assortment of podcasts from different genres such as comedy, news, and more.

There’s a number of Stitcher original shows, as well, including “Dark Arenas,” “Going Deep,” “The Resurr-Erection,” “Unspooled: Screen Test,” “MASCOTS,” and a podcast by “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton. Some shows and episodes are exclusive to Stitcher Premium, however.

Premium also gives you early access to certain new episodes. Other perks for subscribers include ad-free episodes and monthly giveaways. You can see what’s available on Stitcher Premium here.

One of Stitcher‘s unique features is its array of playback options, as the app lets you set a sleep timer, skip episodes you’ve already heard, and adjust your rewind and fast forward times between five seconds and two minutes.

You can also download new episodes automatically, get a list of shows that you’ve downloaded or liked, and trim down on storage by deleting all downloads with one click.

Just like other popular podcast apps, transcripts are only available if the podcast’s creator tags them in the show’s description.

Podcasts (small)
TuneIn Radio

TuneInRadioScreenshot

TuneIn offers a number of radio streams from around the world in addition to its podcast catalog.

TuneIn‘s primary focus may be radio but it also includes some popular podcasts. There are plenty of genres to explore via the app’s search tab. The service also curates a number of new podcasts via its homepage so you can easily navigate different collections. 

Once you start listening to an episode, you can fast forward or rewind by 30 seconds. You can also display a clock, set an alarm to go off at a certain time, or set a sleep timer. Additionally, you can like episodes by clicking the heart icon to favorite a show for later.

One unique feature with TuneIn is that the app lets you switch to car mode. This is perfect for people who want to listen to podcasts on the go as you get a simplified menu to move between episodes.

A handy “auto-restart player” setting is also included so you can start the stream you last played when you open the app. You can also choose to automatically download episodes and track episodes you recently listened to.

If a podcast isn’t in TuneIn, you can add it to the app via the Custom URL button in your library. Similar to other podcast apps, you can only get transcripts of episodes if the creator makes them available in an episode’s description.

Radio (small)
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Burger King’s CMO resigns

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 2. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Fernando Machado   Burger King

Burger King’s top marketer Fernando Machado just resigned

Read the story.


Spotify employees, spotify office
Spotify’s new work-from-anywhere program will promote flexibility and diversity, executives told Insider.

Spotify’s latest acquisition could make it a one-stop shop for podcast production, analysts say

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Harry's

Harry’s doubles down on growth with $155M in new funding, valuing the company at $1.7B one year after its deal with the maker of Schick fell through

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More stories we’re reading:

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Creating B2B Podcasts That Rise Above The Noise

B2B Podcasts Recorder Image

B2B Podcasts Recorder ImageIt’s never impressive to hear someone say they have a podcast. Making a podcast is easy! I have one that’s nearly a decade old and 400 episodes strong. 

The hard part is getting people to listen. My personal podcast has maybe 200 monthly listeners and brings in just enough in donations to pay for our web host. And at that, we have 198 more listeners than a lot of podcasts out there. 

The barrier to entry is low… but if you’re a B2B brand looking to engage with potential buyers, you’re going to want to aim higher.

How do you make a B2B podcast that actually gets listened to? One that inspires people to subscribe and tell their friends about it? 

It’s simple:

1) Use everything you know about content marketing to create and promote it, and 

2) Make sure it’s polished, professional, unique and engaging

So simple! 

Here’s how to make a B2B podcast that rises above the noise.

B2B Podcasting Tips for Creation, Promotion and Beyond

It’s tempting to jump into podcasting the easy way: Interview some employees and executives, record to an MP3, and post away. But creating a successful business podcast requires more strategy and production than your average hobbyist would do. 

#1: Create a Content Strategy

You wouldn’t write a single blog post without doing research and strategizing (right? Don’t tell me if you would). And that’s to say nothing of an entire series of blog posts that takes hours of time to write and edit. Finding the right subject matter and understanding your audience are fundamental, foundational layers for content marketing.

The same due diligence that marketers do for content should apply to podcasting. Before you record a single word, you should know:

  • Who your audience is. How can you personalize your content to appeal to the job title, experience level, vertical and personal experience of that audience?
  • What your audience wants to know. Use tools like SEMrush, Answer the Public, and BuzzSumo to see what people are searching for and what terms they’re using to search for it.
  • What burning questions you can answer. Your sales and customer service teams can be key for this one. Find out where deals are getting stuck for sales, and what frequently asked questions your customer service folks are encountering.

At the end of all that research, you should have a good idea of the topics to put in your podcast editorial calendar. As a bonus, when you create content around your podcast (more on that later), it will have all these keywords and topic clusters already built in.

#2: Plan for Promotion

Promoting a new podcast can be a substantial challenge. There are thousands of podcasts out there, and very little in the way of standardized search or SEO opportunities within the major podcast directories. You can start by making sure your podcast is listed on Google Podcasts, to show up in regular searches, but a lot of podcast promotion happens outside of the podcast itself.

Cross-promotion is one way for your podcast to find listeners. Reach out to other podcasts in a similar niche and offer to swap guest spots to promote each other. Remember, podcasting is not a zero sum game; people who listen to one podcast are more likely, not less, to listen to more.

Creating content around your podcast can boost visibility, too. Make each episode into a blog post with key takeaways and a full transcript. And, of course, include the podcast links in your social media and newsletter posts.

Paid advertising is an essential component, too. You can advertise on podcasts with a similar audience, sponsor social media posts, and even experiment with paid search.

Finally, don’t forget to market the podcast to your employees, too. Podcast directories use early listenership as a signal to make your podcast more visible. If you’re at an enterprise with thousands of employees, it should be easy to get enough critical mass to earn that extra boost.

[bctt tweet=”“Remember, podcasting is not a zero sum game; people who listen to one podcast are more likely, not less, to listen to more.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

#3: Make It Professional

Plenty of podcasts — including some extremely popular ones — are completely DIY. The exquisite Welcome to Nightvale, for example, started with one $80 microphone and free recording software. But for B2B, you’re not competing against those passion projects — your audience is likely used to professionally-packaged programs like All Things Considered and Radiolab. 

To make sure your podcast sounds professional, start with a modest investment in recording equipment. You don’t need a $1,500 microphone to record a podcast, but you do need something better than the built-in mic on a laptop. A couple of good-quality microphones and a simple mixing board should get you going for less than $500. 

If you plan to do remote interviews of guests, a tool like Zencastr can help you capture high-quality audio that’s not dependent on the speed of your internet connection. 

Instead of high-end audio equipment, save your budget for outsourcing post-production. Let a professional edit out the umms and ahhs, mitigate background noise, and properly level your audio. 

#4: Keep It Interesting

Now let’s talk about the final touches that make a podcast engaging for your audience. This is where a little extra effort can really elevate the final product. 

First and foremost: EDIT. Editing is a gift that you give to your audience. It’s easy to have a 2-hour conversation with an influencer or executive, mix it down and upload it. But how much more powerful would a 20-30 minute highlight reel be? Judicious, merciless editing is a key component of a polished podcast.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s easy to have a 2-hour conversation, mix it down and upload it. But how much more powerful would a 20-30 minute highlight reel be? Judicious, merciless editing is a key component of a polished podcast.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Even better, go beyond the simple interview format and think about a more topic-driven style. Rather than a single Q&A with one guest, capture audio from a few different experts on a topic (influencers, employees, customers) and weave them together with the help of an engaging host — more on that in a second. Listen to how it works in this episode of the SAP Tech Unknown podcast*:

Did you notice the sound effects and music cues in that episode? If not, it’s worth a listen — you’ll hear everything from squawking seagulls to tractors and roosters. All of those sounds were created in post-production — but they all serve to bring the listener further into the narrative. 

Another key ingredient that you’ll hear in the podcast above is finding a charismatic, professional-sounding host. The right host can liven up potentially dull material, put your guests at ease, and steer conversations to interesting new places. Now, I’m not saying you need to hire a voiceover artist to be the host — in fact, you’re better off with an industry expert or someone in your organization. But make sure they have the gift of gab (Shoutout to the inimitable Tamara McCleary).

Please Cast Responsibly

The barrier for entry to podcasting is low — but the barrier to creating a B2B podcast that people will listen to is a little higher. The first step is to make sure your podcast will have relevant, interesting, unique content for your audience. Then it’s important to strategize your creation and promotion plan to help your podcast find an audience. Finally, it’s taking the steps to make sure your podcast is edited and produced to be a lean, no-filler, immersive experience.

Need help creating a memorable B2B podcast? Let’s talk

*SAP Is a TopRank Marketing client

 

The post Creating B2B Podcasts That Rise Above The Noise appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

An Australian celebrity lifestyle influencer is hosting some of the world’s most notorious conspiracy theorists on his podcast

Pete Evans
Pete Evans with protesters on February 20, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. They demonstrated against proposals for mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.

  • Pete Evans is a celebrity chef in Australia who claims to promote wellness on his podcast.
  • On the podcast he interviews notorious conspiracy theorists who spread medical misinformation.
  • Podcasts like Evans’ often evade the scrutiny that social media accounts are subject to.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In an edition of his podcast, “Evolve,” last November, Australian celebrity chef and lifestyle influencer Pete Evans introduced his latest guest, “biophysicist” and researcher Andreas Kalcker.

On the show, Kalcker claimed to possess a “100% effective solution” to the coronavirus, chlorine dioxide. He claimed that shadowy forces controlled by the International Monetary Fund were seeking to suppress the substance.

Their goal, he said, was to enrich themselves and perpetuate the “plandemic,” a term for the coronavirus pandemic popularized by conspiracy theorists.

Evans listened respectfully, not pushing back on any of Kalcker’s claims as they became increasingly outlandish.

He did not tell listeners that the substance his guest was promoting, chlorine dioxide, is a toxic bleach blamed for several deaths, that Kalcker has no medical credentials, or that the research he cited is at best disputed.

The episode was an example of how conspiracy theorists have found safe haven in podcasts even as other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have forced them out.

His podcast is listed as one of Apple’s most popular on nutrition. It used to be available on Spotify but was removed in January.

Many listeners were likely drawn to Evans’ show because they knew him as judge of cooking show “My Kitchen Rules.”

Besides information on diet and wellness tips, listeners are also introduced to medical misinformation, conspiracy theories, and bogus cures.

Evans did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Insider, nor did Apple.

Acast, a podcast platform that hosts Evans’ show, said they would be removing it from the platform in April.

On podcasts, misinformation flourishes

The spread of misinformation on social media platforms received renewed attention as the pandemic swept the globe.

Public health authorities have battled to rebut misinformation about lockdown measures, the source of the virus, the effectiveness of masks, and the vaccines’ safety developed to suppress it. Sites like Facebook have banned content containing false claims about the vaccines.

Less remarked-on is the role of podcasts, where guests and hosts on hugely popular shows spread misinformation about the coronavirus unchallenged.

Sean Creevy is the director of Kinzen, a company that helps clients monitor and combat disinformation. He said that podcasts allow guests to establish a particularly close bond with followers.

“What makes podcasting so unique is that it’s incredibly intimate. That person’s voice comes right through into our earbud. And so it’s easy as listeners to let our guard down. Also, there isn’t as much research on the problem of misinformation in podcasts, and so as a citizenry, we are probably less aware of the threat compared with the big platforms,” he said.

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, used his Apple-hosted podcast, “War Room,” to spread false claims about the coronavirus and stir fears of election fraud.

Joe Rogan has hosted Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist and Infowars frontman banned from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook for inciting violence.

Insider reported in January that Rogan also hosted the owner of a clinic that sells stem cell treatments for conditions where there is no evidence it is effective.

Joe Rogan Alex Jones

It’s an area where little research has been done, so the problem’s extent is unknown.

The Associated Press found several popular podcasts on major platforms spreading misinformation about the presidential election in January.

The pandemic has seen strange connections between wellness influencers with established media profiles, like Evans, and right-wing movements. Hostility to scientific and medical elites is their common cause.

Ariel Bogle, who monitors disinformation at Australia’s ASPI Cyber Policy think tank, said that several influencers like Evans had started to embrace more controversial forms of medical misinformation.

“Many of the accounts that sell forms of wellness necessarily have some level of skepticism or mistrust of the medical establishment (justified or not), as they must offer an alternative,” Bogle said.

“For some, there does seem to have been a veer into more clearly conspiratorial content during the pandemic, whether it be QAnon, conspiracies about vaccination etc.”

She said that, to an extent, podcasts are less of a problem than other types of information because they are less shareable.

“Audio can’t really spread or be amplified in quite the same way that visual media can be on a platform like Facebook, for example. It’s not quite so replicable and easily and quickly consumed,” she said.

Nonetheless, she added, being associated with prestigious brands like Apple or Spotify confers an air of legitimacy.

This can attract a mainstream audience that isn’t available to accounts on fringe platforms where conspiracy theorists congregate, such as Parler.

The challenge of moderation

While social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook use automated techniques to track problematic keywords and block networks of “bot” accounts, policing content on podcasts is harder.

“The biggest barrier is the cost of transcribing the audio from a podcast into text format, which can then be more easily searched,” he explained. “These costs are not insignificant, and when a platform has to consider transcribing millions of podcasts, those costs quickly become extraordinarily high.”

He suggested that one option is targeting podcasts that had been repeatedly flagged and monitoring those closely.

Another difficulty is drawing the line between content that contains dangerous falsehoods and that which is controversial and, to some, highly offensive but a legitimate expression of freedom of speech.

Evans continues to host conspiracy theorists

As Evans has embraced medical misinformation and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, his mainstream reputation has been damaged. He was barred from Facebook in December, Instagram in January, and his podcast removed from Spotify the same month.

But despite losing his social media accounts, he continues to use his podcast to court a new audience among fans of conspiracy theories and supporters of populist political movements.

Among the guests in January was Gareth Icke, an anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown activist from the UK. Icke’s father is the notorious conspiracy theorist David Icke, who believes that a cabal of lizard-men control the world.

Evans has ambitions to take his political activity beyond his podcast. In February, he announced that he was considering a Senate run representing The Great Australian Party, led by the anti-vaccination MP Rod Culleton.

Bogle, the disinformation analyst, said of Evans: “He says outrageous things, gets covered for them, and his status grows – which he profits from.”

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What is SoundCloud? Everything you need to know about the music and podcast platform

SoundCloud and heaphones
SoundCloud is a free music streaming and distribution platform with paid tiers for users and artists.

  • SoundCloud is an online audio streaming and distribution platform that allows users to upload, stream, promote, and share music and podcasts.
  • SoundCloud is free, with paid subscriptions offering ad-free listening and offline listening options for fans. 
  • SoundCloud is available on the desktop and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

SoundCloud is an online audio streaming and music sharing platform founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2007. 

The interactive nature of SoundCloud allows creators – from musicians to podcasters – to connect with listeners and fans through its various sharing tools. That includes a feature SoundCloud is perhaps most known for – its popular commenting feature. It allows users to share their thoughts on specific moments in an audio stream, which are then visible by anyone who listens to the track. 

What you need to know about SoundCloud

SoundCloud is available online and for iOS and Android devices, and the basic version is free. Here’s everything else you need to know about SoundCloud. 

How much does SoundCloud cost

While anyone can sign up and use SoundCloud at no-cost, there are advanced features that will require a monthly subscription. 

The first premium tier on the platform for users is SoundCloud Go, and it costs just $4.99 a month. With SoundCloud Go, users can save an unlimited number of tracks for offline listening and enjoy an ad-free listening experience. 

Man with guitar in front of computer
SoundCloud offers tiered subscriptions for listeners and creators.

SoundCloud Go+ is the next level up. For $9.99 a month, subscribers enjoy all the benefits of SoundCloud Go plus higher quality audio and access to SoundCloud’s full catalog.

For creators, there’s the option of SoundCloud Pro Unlimited. SoundCloud Basic allows you to upload three hours of audio content and access to stats like the number of track plays and likes.

SoundCloud Pro Unlimited
Musicians have multiple paid tiers to support their songs on Spotify.

But SoundCloud Pro Unlimited offers even more listener statistics, unlimited audio uploads, opportunities to monetize and distribute audio tracks across other platforms, and more. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited costs $12 a month if you sign up for a yearly subscription or $16 for month-to-month billing.

How to use SoundCloud as a listener

Go to SoundCloud.com or download the SoundCloud app and create an account. You can do this by entering your email address and choosing a password or signing up via your Facebook, Apple, or Google account.

To edit your profile, click your display name on the top right of the screen, then click “Profile.” Upload a header image and profile image to personalize your page. To edit your display name or profile url, click the “Edit” button underneath the header image. Here, you can also add or edit your bio and note your full name, city, and country if you’d like. Click “Save changes” when you’re finished.

Soundcloud Profile
SoundCloud users can share their location, a bio, and links on their profile.

To start listening, navigate to the “Discover” page by clicking the “Home” tab to see what’s trending or search for specific content using the search bar. Comment, like, and repost tracks you like; these options are all found underneath the waveforms of individual audio tracks. 

SoundCloud Discover
The Discover tab on SoundCloud helps you find new music to enjoy.

You can create playlists by clicking the “More” button, then click “Add to playlist.” Click the “Follow” button under an artist’s name to follow their new tracks, playlists, and reposts. These will appear in your “Stream” tab alongside the tracks you upload and repost. Your likes and playlists live in the “Library” tab.

SoundCloud Artist Profile
Follow or listen to tracks from your favorite artist’s SoundCloud profile.

How to use SoundCloud as an artist

Using SoundCloud is a bit more involved for creators, as there are many tools at your disposal to share your work and grow your audience.

To upload a track to SoundCloud, click “Upload.” You can drag and drop files into the upload box or choose files to upload from your computer. Consider setting the privacy for your audio track by clicking “Public” or “Private.” You can also choose to enable downloads for your track and add or change track information. 

SoundCloud Upload
Artists at any subscription tier can upload their music to SoundCloud.

SoundCloud stresses the importance of copyright and notes that uploaded tracks must comply with their Terms of Use and not infringe on anyone else’s rights. In other words, don’t upload audio that doesn’t belong to you.

The SoundCloud Creator Guide offers a comprehensive look at all of the tools and resources available to artists to help them get the most out of the platform. It includes tips on optimizing SoundCloud tracks to make them easy to find, instructions on how to share your SoundCloud tracks on social media and embedded players, and more. 

How to cancel your SoundCloud Go plan and go back to free music streamingHow to make a playlist on SoundCloud to organize all your favorite music and podcastsHow to change your SoundCloud username or profile URL, and give yourself a rebrandHow to download SoundCloud songs from the website onto your computer, or from the mobile app with SoundCloud Go

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How Twitter is Expanding its Reach in Audio

In June 2020, Twitter introduced audio tweets where you can record your voice and share that audio as a tweet to your followers. A perk? These can also be listened to while you multi-task across other day-to-day activities including checking email or working on a document — comparable to a micro podcast. There’s a lot that can go unsaid or uninterpreted via text, so the platform’s goal with the offering is to bring a more human experience to conversations.

Following this, the company announced in December its own audio-based social networking product and Clubhouse rival, Spaces, was heading into beta phase. This opened the door for users to chat in real-time using voice instead of text, as they do today. The product remains in beta while the platform works out technical issues and bugs with the feature, but also the more complex issues that arise from hosting live audio, including moderation.

Fast forward to today, Twitter announced its acquisition of community-focused podcast app, Breaker. Here’s a breakdown of the latest.

What is Breaker?

Since its inception in 2016, Breaker’s mission centered around influencing the perception of audio and disrupting the norms of podcasts as audio feeds and podcast apps as productivity tools. Instead, Breaker painted a picture of podcast apps as an experience around which a community could be established. More specifically, Breaker users have the ability to like and comment on their favorite episodes, discover new podcasts that align with their passions, following friends with similar interests and taste, and share their favorite shows to their other social media platforms to spark conversation.

Creating the future of audio

Breaker co-founder Leah Culver took to Twitter sharing her eagerneses to help create the future of audio through and build out Twitter Spaces while CEO Erik Berlin emphasized his vision to help the industry redefine and reimagine traditional podcasts.

“We’re truly passionate about audio communication and we’re inspired by the ways Twitter is facilitating public conversations for people around the world,” shared Berlin in the official announcement. In his own Medium post, he shared, “We’re now inspired to go even further in re-imagining how we communicate with each other, beyond the scope of traditional podcasts.”

In a separate thread, Twitter engineering lead Michael Montano, reiterated his excitement to leverage Berlin and Culver’s backgrounds to help “improve the health of public conversation on our service.” He added, “both Erik and Leah have founded and sold startups previously and will bring an entrepreneurial spirit to our engineering organization.”

According to TechCrunch, Berlin was previously the founder and CTO at social advertising company 140 Proof — which sold to Acuity — while Culver previously founded Pownce and Grove and co-authored web technologies OAuth and oEmbed.

“As an entrepreneur she’s been out front, testing ideas on several waves of online conversation and publishing. Pownce and Convore were exciting and in many ways ahead of their times,” said Montao of Culver’s efforts to push for more open standards over the past several years.

Podcasting: the new tech battleground

With the ebbs and flows of tech, there seems to be areas that receive targeted traction. Podcasting is that space today. Look no further than the giants Amazon, Google, Apple and Spotify.

Amazon’s $300 million acquisition of Wondery, Sirius bought Stitcher for $300 million, not to mention Spotify’s purchases of Anchor, Gimlet, Parcast, Megaphone, and The Joe Rogan experience — one of the most popular shows on the scene to date. Unakin to these deals, however, Twitter’s play is unique in that its sale doesn’t center on strictly podcasts themselves and the content, rather Breaker’s sale is made up of staff and technology with the larger objective of cementing Spaces as a viable offering for marketers and users.

Feature image credit via Breaker.

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The post How Twitter is Expanding its Reach in Audio appeared first on Social Media Week.