The brand new app Shuffle needs to be the TikTok for podcasts
Podcast fans have long complained about the findability problem on major platforms – and for good reason.
In 2020, Spotify, increasingly the standout player in the podcast arena, announced that it had 1.9 million titles on its platform, compared to 500,000 in 2019.
Ada Yeo co-founded Shuffle, a platform that allows users to edit audio clips from podcasts, add visuals, and share them on social networks.
Shuffle Co-Founder, CEO, Ada Yeo (left) and CTO, Gilbert Leung (right). [Photo: Shuffle]“Podcasts never go viral – why is that? It is impossible for a two hour MP3 file to go viral. It’s not designed for the internet, ”says CEO Yeo, who was previously a product manager at Coinbase. “You could have the best content in the world, but Joe Rogan still gets all the traffic because there is a huge pile.”
Yeo came up with the idea for Shuffle, which launched in beta in July after she and her co-founder and CTO Gilbert Leung were inundated with the podcast recommendations they sent each other.
“He’d say,” I love podcasts, but I’m not going to spend 40 hours doing something I don’t know is relevant or to my tastes, “says Yeo I said, “There has to be a better way to do this.”
In Shuffle, users search for a podcast episode that is transcribed through the app. Once you’ve chosen up to a minute of the episode you want to highlight, you can add gifs, stickers, images, and text before sharing the clip on other platforms or directly downloading the clip. The clip is also uploaded to the app itself, where it is automatically tagged in a category (Comedy, Sports, Fiction, Business, etc.) for the community to read. Yeo says they are also exploring the option of user-generated tags.
Either way, she hopes Shuffle can become a more central community for podcast lovers.
“What’s missing on the internet is a place for podcast fans to gather – you really can see that it’s extremely silly right now,” says Yeo. “Someone is going to listen to Bill Simmons and then go over to Reddit and try to discuss it. It’s just an extremely strange way of doing social media in a media format. “
Yeo says they are currently more focused on growing their user community than on revenue. (The app will officially launch in the first quarter of 2021 and has “thousands of fan-generated clips” and “thousands of hours of audio consumed” according to Yeo.)
Across the board, she sees the option for Shuffle to get a free tier with ads, and a premium option with no ads. She also emphasizes the fact that Shuffle is by no means intended to replace podcast episodes with one-minute clips.
“It’s really about lowering the barrier to entry for trying new podcasts,” she says.
Ultimately, Yeo Shuffle looks a bit like the TikTok of podcasts.
“When we asked our most active users, ‘What do you think this is? ‘They said, “TikTok for a podcast.” It’s a bit simple, but I would say the idea is there, ”says Yeo. “It’s a stream of content that is delivered in a short amount of time. This is content that really matters to you. It’s up to date and you can find your community there. “