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.

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Transcript

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