ListenNotes: Podcast Search Engine with Wenbin Fang

ListenNotes allows users to find podcasts by categories, popularity, and search queries. ListenNotes is not a podcast client that you download onto your phone, but it allows users to build playlists. These playlists are automatically published to an RSS feed, so that users can curate a playlist on desktop and subscribe to that playlist from any client.

Podcasts are growing in popularity. There are more podcasts than ever before, and a podcast search engine needs to refresh its index regularly enough to capture the updates to the podcast universe. 

A podcast search engine needs to decide what to index. There are many potential fields to choose from within a podcast: the podcast title, the description, the audio transcription, and other metadata–should all of these factor into the results of a search engine?

Wenbin Fang is the founder of ListenNotes, and the engineer who has built most of the application. He joins the show to talk about the world of podcasting and his work on ListenNotes, including the business model. Today, ListenNotes makes its money from advertisements and API requests–there is a growing market for applications that want an API for querying the ListenNotes backend.


  • FindCollabs is a place to find collaborators and build projects. FindCollabs is the company I am building, and we are having an online hackathon with $2500 in prizes. If you are working on a project, or you are looking for other programmers to build a project or start a company with, check out FindCollabs. I’ve been interviewing people from some of these projects on the FindCollabs podcast, so if you want to learn more about the community you can hear that podcast.
  • New Software Daily app for iOS. It includes all 1000 of our old episodes, as well as related links, greatest hits, and topics. You can comment on episodes and have discussions with other members of the community. And you can become a paid subscriber for ad free episodes at Altalogy is the company who has been developing much of the software for the newest app, and if you are looking for a company to help you with your mobile and web development, I recommend checking them out.
  • Upcoming conferences I’m attending: Datadog Dash July 16th and 17th in NYC, Open Core Summit September 19th and 20th in San Francisco.
  • We are hiring two interns for software engineering and business development! If you are interested in either position, send an email with your resume to with “Internship” in the subject line.


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