Podcast App Starter Kit for Windows Phone

Disclaimer: This post is rated “M” for Marketeering.  It contains hyperbole and gross marketing-speak, including terms like “growing your brand”, “stickiness”, and “social media”. Please allow your reality to be momentarily distorted.

My teammate, Dani Diaz, just published a new Podcast App Starter Kit for Windows Phone.  If you host or produce a podcast, this toolkit is an easy way to quickly create an application for your podcast in the marketplace.

“Wait a second,” you say, “I thought Windows Phone supports podcasts natively through the Music + Video hub?”

Yes, Virginia, Windows Phone does support podcasts natively in the Music + Video hub! That was a great addition in the recent Mango update for the platform. Previously, you could sync podcasts from the Zune desktop client to your phone.  Now, you can search for podcasts in the Zune Marketplace right on the phone itself and subscribe there.  Subscribed podcasts download automatically over the air after that. 

“So why would I need or want an app for my podcast?  Won’t most people just subscribe through the Zune Marketplace?”

It’s all about growing your audience and keeping your listeners plugged into your brand!  Most folks will likely choose to subscribe to your podcast in the Zune Marketplace and listen in the Zune player.  This will give your regular listeners a good experience with Windows Phone.  But why not take it to the next level and give your listeners an exceptional experience?!

The Zune player only keeps the three most recent episodes around on the phone for offline listening/viewing. They listen, then move on to the next thing.  How will your audience be able to interact with you or know what’s going on between shows? Why not make your podcast have more of a sticky experience on Windows Phone? This is where having an app for your podcast comes in!

When your podcast has its own app, your listeners can step into the full-experience of your show.  Instead of the default Zune UI (which is GREAT), wouldn’t it be great if your listeners were immersed in your brand with your show’s logo & theme colors spread across the background of a Metro-style panorama or pivot control?  With your own podcast app, your users can stream and listen to any episode in your show’s archive on demand!

If you like keeping your podcast interactive, odds are you are using social media to keep a dialog going with your audience. Got a Twitter feed? Do you encourage your listeners to discuss your show with a hashtag?  Wouldn’t it be great to have that conversation happen in your app while they are listening? Or perhaps let them have the ability to send you feedback via email or other online mechanisms?

How about getting notifications when the newest episode is available? Or a live tile on the home screen to display the most recent guest/topic?

When Dani told me he was considering building a Podcast App Starter Kit, these were some of the ideas I whispered shouted in his ear.  (I have others that I’d love to see implemented too.) 

Why am I interested in this kit? As you may know, I co-host a podcast called the Connected Show*.  Anyone who is narcissistic enough to sit down and record their own voice with the intention of having others listen to it, is likely to want a LOT of people to listen to it.  What better way of doing that than having your own app?! 

Okay, I can think of a lot of other ways…  like having stellar content, really good content, and just more stellar content.  But can having an app really hurt? Especially when it’s so easy to do with this starter kit?!

* – Note: If you know I have a podcast, you also have probably noticed that it’s been on un-official hiatus since January of this year.  The good news is that I’m working with Dmitry (my co-host) to get the show re-booted again soon!  So stay tuned here for more details on that.


I look forward to playing around with the Podcast App Starter Kit for Windows Phone shortly.  I NEED to get a Connected Show app created and published for our forthcoming reboot!  Check out the kit yourself, and let me and Dani know what you think!

Comments (4)

  1. Locke says:

    "The Zune player only keeps the three most recent episodes around on the phone for offline listening/viewing."

    Now, I'm not a WP7 user (don't like being drawn into expensive contracts), but I have been a Zune user since the beginning and I'm familiar with the software. This is only the default setting, you can set it to anything you like. You can tell it to download as many episodes in the past as you want, and tell it to sync all downloaded content to the device regardless of listened status.

    Tangential to your main point, which is just fine, but the perfectionist in me begged to point that out.

  2. @Locke – You're right! You can change this in the setttings to save more. I thought of mentioning that, but figured it would distract from the reality distortion effect I was going for. 🙂

  3. Dr.Sharepoint says:

    I am interested in podcasting. Can you point me to the best way to set up the actual podcast?

  4. @Bill – That's a longer topic… way out of scope for a comment here. So many options.  I may blog about how I do mine once I get it rebooted.

    WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla all have good podcasting support in terms of setting up a website. As for the audio… recording, producing, etc…  the options are endless. That's the hardest part. Once you have a good recording, publishing is the easy part if you're using one of those CMS systems.

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