A new podcast app is designed to solve the problem of discovering new shows. Co-founders Pete Curley and Garret Heaton (who previously founded and sold HipChat) launched Swoot this past week, and the big idea is to let listeners see what shows their friends follow, as well as the shows and episodes they recommend, all in the name of getting people to discover new content. When you search for podcasts, for example, you may see your friend’s face pop up as a listener. Otherwise, it functions as any other podcast player does. The duo raised $3 million to bring the concept to life.
Podcasts have a discovery problem, Curley says, which is what most podcast executives will tell you. Spotify wants to solve for it. So does NPR and everyone else who has a podcast and wants more listeners. Unlike a viral TikTok or Instagram post, there’s no easy way to share a podcast and make it engaging enough to click on and enjoy. That’s where friend recommendations come into play, Curley says.
I see Swoot as akin to something like Last.fm, the music social network that lets people see what their friends are enjoying. I used to rely