Did you know that there are about 525,000 live podcast shows and over 18.5 million episodes in 2018 alone?
But the podcast stats don’t end here.
Podcasts typically attract a high population of educated and financially stable listeners.
According to a data-based infographic published by Music Oomph, it’s 45% more likely for a podcast listener to have a college degree and 68% more likely to have a post-graduate degree. Moreover, podcast users are more likely to have a household income of at least $250,000 per financial quarter.
The above stats present that we live in the “era of podcasts.”
With the true crime discussed in “In The Dark” to shows that discuss Reddit features and even makeup, millions of people stay glued to their devices, hooked on podcasts’ various content.
However, to enjoy your favorite podcast, you need a good app that will enhance your listening experience and give you access to the best content available.
Interested in finding the best podcast app for you? Here are our top nine picks for Android and iOS.
Looking for the Best Podcast App? Here Are Our Top 9 Picks
5 Best Podcast Apps for Android
First, let’s start with the top five podcast apps for Android.
Want all your audio favorites in one place?
Seen as a favorite way to stream music, Spotify also provides a built-in platform for podcast enthusiasts like you.
It also works well with both Mac and Windows making it a perfect way to enjoy your podcast at work.
With regular podcast apps, you can subscribe to podcast feeds. But in Spotify you “follow” podcasts and past episodes of the shows come up under the “unplayed podcasts” in the app.
However, this app has fewer podcasts than top competitors like iTunes (which many podcast apps use for their libraries), and many people have wondered why it took this platform a long time to offer podcast services. However, over time Spotify will be likely to feature more podcasts.
Spotify selects the content on its platform based on your interests and the content’s popularity, which makes it a poor choice for lovers of vague podcasts. Plus, the app does not have a rating system, which makes pretty hard to evaluate the quality of newly discovered podcasts.
Another problem with Spotify stems from the ads. Many free users complain about a large number of audio ads starting while listening to podcasts. This activity can disturb your experience as a free membership listener and is one reason to opt for an ad-free app like Castbox.
Alternatively, you can opt for an ad-free, premium Spotify account at $4.99 per month for students and $9.99 for average users.
It’s also worth mentioning that a similar Spotify iPhone app is available for download on App Store as well.
For Android devices, Castbox is according to Google Play the best podcast app. It’s the only podcast app featured as an Editor’s Choice by Google Play, and it has been nominated for Google Play’s Best of 2017 and 2018 awards.
The app has a vast collection of over a million podcasts and supports 70 languages; this makes it one of the richest podcast resources, especially for language learners.
Castbox does a great job satisfying its users by providing a clean and easy to navigate interface and a range of unique features.
Let’s start the Discover page. There you can get categorized suggestions on trending podcast shows. For example, when Halloween is around, users see relevant, spooky Halloween podcasts on the home screen such as The Halloween Podcast and Limetown.
Scrolling down the homepage, you will see other suggestions under different categories, such as Editor’s Picks, Comedy, and True Crime.
What I would call the best feature on the Discover section is the Castbox search engine. It allows you to filter your searches by channels, audiobooks, episodes, networks, audio, and radio, and you can sort by your results by relevance, recency, and popularity.
In the Listen category, Castbox features three sections: Free Releases (new episodes from the shows you follow), Playlists (which you can manually create), and Downloads. While you can listen to podcasts online, Castbox allows you to save any of your preferred episodes to your app and play when you are on the go.
Last, you can access your favorite and followed podcast shows in the Subscribed section for easy access to new podcasts from a specific show.
Castbox’s Premium version offers unlimited subscriptions, a visual ads-free experience, and a personalized homepage syncs with your existing podcasts.
Castbox also enables you to cast episodes of your shows through your television or speakers with its ChromeCast support feature.
Furthermore, it supports cloud syncing which helps you keep track of your subscription from any location using any device.
If you are into digital currencies, Castbox is the parent company of ContentBox – a blockchain technology firm that has recently issued a digital token named BOX. Castbox considers Box Token as their primary transaction currency, and it’s rewarded to users in exchange for their engagement with Castbox content. The coin is available for trading on Huobi.
Another worthy mention on our list, Player FM comes with a minimalistic interface with four options: Discover, Downloads, Shows, and Playlists. These sections cover virtually all you need in a podcast app.
Player FM does not only give you the chance to search and add your favorite shows, but it also recommends podcasts that might pique your interest based on your pre-set preferences.
I have selected the category of self-improvement as my interest, and they automatically came up with a list of episodes that includes some of my favorite podcasts, which made it quite easy for me to start using Player FM without having to search for podcasts one by one.
Player FM offers users the opportunity to follow whole topics instead of only specific podcasts; a perfect way to experience a large amount of content within at least 500 niche topics.
Moreover, it offers one of the best offline supports by automatically downloading podcasts in your chosen topics on a daily basis (a function that you can disable from the app settings).
Next on this list is Podcast Media’s Pocket Casts. This app has an attractive interface that makes it look and feel pretty professional and user-friendly. It has options that allow choosing between dark or light color themes, which is just a bonus most podcast apps don’t offer.
As the only paid Android app in this list, Pocket Casts offers some pretty unique features you can’t find elsewhere.
My favorite Pocket Casts feature is homepage personalization. There you can sort your suggested shows based on episode release date, alphabetic order, and other custom options.
Another brilliant functionality is the Add to Up Next. Using the feature, you can add podcasts to a queue and have them played automatically, which works perfectly if you have long commutes to work or if you work out on a regular basis.
Pocket Casts automatically deletes downloaded episodes you have played, which you have to do manually on other apps.
Like Castbox, Pocket Casts supports Chromecast, which lets you cast podcasts on your TV easily.
Among all the previous podcast apps, Stitcher’s user interface has stood out to me. There you can find well-structured categories and sub-categories to narrow down your search if when you’re looking for a new podcast.
Stitcher’s main feed (front page) recommends shows based on the topics of interest that you choose when creating your account.
If you want an exclusive experience with Stitcher that you wouldn’t find elsewhere, I highly recommend you to opt for their premium plan. The premium plan allows you to play podcasts without Stitcher ads, access 21,000 hours of premium podcasts, listen to more than 300 comedy albums, and more.
It’s worth noting that Stitcher has a notable amount of users on iOS with an impressive rating of 4.1 stars.
4 Best Podcast Apps for iPhone
Are you looking for a flawless podcast app that doesn’t miss a single necessary feature?
While it is rated by Play Store as the best podcast app for Android, Castbox is establishing a great reputation on Apple as well with an epic user rating of 4.7/5 stars.
In addition to all the necessary features of a podcast app such as subscriptions, downloads, adjustable playback speed, and podcast categories, Castbox has an extremely powerful search engine you can’t find on any other podcast app.
With Castbox’s in-audio search, you can say goodbye to never listening to your forgotten favorite podcast episodes again.
By only searching a sentence from the episode you have spinning in your mind, Castbox will – within a matter of seconds – identify it and find it for you to listen at the exact second when your searched sentence was pronounced.
Not only this, but you also get free personalized recommendations based on your listening and subscriptions history. This feature is especially useful for new podcast listeners who haven’t yet narrowed down their favorite podcasts, or listeners who are open to adding more to favoriting and discovering new podcasts.
My favorite Castbox feature is the sleep timer option. As someone who likes listening to podcasts before bed, I like setting a timer to pause podcasts automatically later on as I fall asleep. This helps me maintain quality sleep and save phone battery life for the next day.
Castbox has an elegant and very easy-to-use Apple Watch user interface as well. So if you are into Apple smartwatches, CastBox is probably the app for you.
Overcast is deemed by many to be the best podcast app for iPhone.
It comes with a design that’s both practical and attractive, which helps you enjoy quick and responsive navigation.
The “Discovery” option plays a significant role in Overcast. With this option, you can get recommendations from your friends on social media, or you can choose from the recommended podcasts in various niches. This podcast app makes searching for shows an easy task with its search bar.
Overcast has other features that can make it an ideal replacement for Apple’s default podcast app.
One of such standout features, the SmartSpeed, (literally) speeds up a podcast without spoiling your listening experience (a feature you can also find on iOS and Android app Pocket Casts).
Another feature is The Voice Boost, which allows you to listen to podcasts in noisy places like airports and public areas.
Here is an interesting user comment from 9TO5Mac about Overcast:
Seen as a favorite player in the podcast app world, Apple Podcasts accounts for a massive number of downloads. It also has a TV app (Apple TV) that works on macOS and with Apple’s voice assistant (Siri).
Apple Podcasts’ customization options are matchless. It gives users the chance to edit podcast titles and supports gesture shortcuts, which makes it easy to browse through your favorite podcasts.
The simple interface complements iOS because it shares the looks with Apple Music. At the bottom of the screen, you can find a menu which includes “Listen Now,” “Library,” “Browse” and “Search” options.
“Listen Now” allows you to continue listening to your unfinished podcasts while the other options help with finding specific shows and show you the podcasts on your subscription list.
Apple Podcasts impresses users by recommending shows and allowing seamless syncing. Another good thing is the “Stations” feature which enables users group podcasts that you can access using Siri. However, this app does not allow you to import previous subscriptions, which is usually a feature you can find on most other successful podcast apps.
If you want a podcast app that’s practical and powerful, then you should try Downcast. Downcast offers a flexible way to enhance your podcast listening needs.
One of the exciting things about this app stems from the fact that Downcast supports video podcasts, a feature other podcast apps in this list don’t have.
Playback with Downcast is bliss. You can playback up to three times the usual speed. There’s also an option for chapter support and playback control from other devices.
You can set Downcast to automatically remove shows stored on your phone for long periods of time or that consume large volumes of space on your device. You can do this to single podcasts at a time or multiple ones at the same time.
You can learn more about the cool features Downcast provides through the following comment from 9TO5Mac:
There you have it−your best nine podcast apps to listen like a boss.
It certainly might be hard to pick the podcast app that would best fit you by only scrolling through this blog post. If you’re still unsure which app to download, your best bet would be to try first-hand some of the apps listed above.
Once you settle on your preferred podcast app, favorite your most enjoyable podcasts and let your audio adventure begin.