How to Build Podcast Discovery App Like Moonbeam?

Updated on Jan 4th, 2024

How to Build Podcast Discovery App Like Moonbeam

How to Build Podcast Discovery App Like Moonbeam? 

The audio medium has gained immense popularity recently. Podcasts form a big part of this format, but it is often difficult to listen to every episode you like. Moonbeam is a new app that gives you the best moments from your favorite podcasts in the form of a personalized podcast discovery feed.

The busy on-the-go lifestyle of the present age is increasingly making the audio format popular among the masses. Audiobooks and podcasts have already stopped being a novelty. Podcasts especially have become a huge part of the daily lives of people. In America alone, 75% of the population is aware of podcasts, and around 55% of them have heard at least one podcast in their life. 

The numbers definitely propose a bright future for investments in the area, and Paul English, a Kayak co-founder, has recently uncovered an untapped opportunity. Moonbeam, a podcast discovery app, is revolutionizing the podcast industry the way TikTok has social networking. In fact, the discovering functionality of the latter app has set the inspiration for the former’s. In English’s own words 

“While the audio industry has rapidly expanded, I still found myself having a difficult time finding new podcasts, so I wanted to create an app that is unlike any other discovery app out there. Similar to TikTok, Moonbeam’s advanced technology allows the app to predict your interests better than your friends can, so your new favorite podcasts are within reach”.

moonbeam app

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Now we’ll learn more about the app and how you develop a similar one. But if you’ve got less time on your hands, here are the key takeaways- 

  • Moonbeam is a podcast discovery app. 
  • It allows users to find more relevant content. 
  • New podcasters find means for better discovery. 
  • Better app engagement can help more people to get into podcasts.
  • The app runs on Machine Learning algorithms.
  • The tech stack for a similar app will involve unstructured database management tools and cloud BI solutions. 

Moonbeam App: An Overview 

Moonbeam is a machine learning-led podcast discovery app that helps users find more relevant and less popular content. The app also helps podcasters to reach out to their potential listener base more efficiently. When new user opens the app, they are asked which genres they like the best. 

Once that’s done, the populates short snippets of the podcasts belonging to the selected genres. These small clips are more like teasers to the entire podcast episodes, allowing users to sift through them quickly without wasting time on the intros and welcome messages. 

The podcasters also have complete control over which part of the podcast they would want to share as the snippet so that they can, too, target the right kind of audience. Now, just like TikTok content, or YouTube Shorts, or Instagram Reels, users can simply keep on swiping up and down to navigate through the bunch of personalized content. If a user finds particular audio more interesting than the rest, they can either subscribe to the show or listen to the entire episode. 

This way, users will get exposure to more content which they might not have otherwise found. And podcasters, too, get a chance of getting discovered in all the noise where podcasts from celebrities usually reign.  

Steps to Develop a Podcast Discovery App like Moonbeam 

With such new features, it’s visible that developing an app like Moonbeam cannot be an easygoing task. You will have to spend significant time conducting market and tech research. The app uses advanced Machine Learning algorithms and quite rich functionalities; as such, building them without proper understanding of the concept can lead to wastage of resources, loss of time, and missed opportunities. This is why a sophisticated approach, as mentioned below, is considered ideal to begin the development process.


Research Target Market

To launch an app with a relatively new idea like that of Moonbeam, it becomes imperative to conduct proper market research. You should have the demographics and behavioral data over your potential users before you can even start to offer them that level of personalization through your app. Your experts for curating the podcast playlists later can also be involved in this process. They can uncover sociological patterns to build the app’s foundation based on a clearer picture of market dynamics.  

While in this stage, you will have to create a buyer persona, but make sure you don’t go too niche here. Your app is going to have many genres, so don’t go too deep on likes or dislikes. Instead, pay more attention to areas like whether podcast, as a service, is popular in the said demographic or the behavioral data like how the person likes to spend their time. With such preliminary insights, you will have an easier time deciding the platform of your app and the desired UI. 

Choose Monetization Model

An app like Moonbeam has the potential to revolutionize the Podcast industry as we know it. Besides, it is worth noting that the podcasts market is predicted to grow up to USD 2.7 billion by 2025. In such a case, employing the ideal monetization strategies can transform how you channel your revenue streams through the app.  

1. The Host Console

Like Moonbeam, you can charge the podcasters for using your platform for creating and hosting shorter clips. These are the teasers that can help them get discovered. And so, if the podcaster in question is relatively new or someone who wants to grow their user base organically, they will be willing to pay to use the platform. 

2. User Analytics

Besides creating and sharing short snippets of podcasts, podcasters can also be asked to pay to get information on user analytics. Today, data has become the major source for bringing any significant transformation, and everyone knows it too. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you when you offer relevant BI tools and data to your podcasters; they will be willing to pay a substantial amount for it. 

3. In-App Ads

In-app ads are among the most widely used means to generate revenue for app owners. With a plethora of apps available for free, entering a market with paid services can give you a hard time gaining a user base. Definitely, if your app is really valuable and you market it right (more on this later), you can grow your user base. Still, in most cases, you will have to rely on in-app ads, at least for the beginning stages of the app, to make it a profitable investment for your business.

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Hire an App Development Team

To develop an app like Moonbeam, you will need a complete team of skilled professionals. Depending on the varied custom features and the desired platform for the app, you will need to hire-  

  • Project Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Android Developer
  • iOS Developer
  • Back-end Developer
  • QA Engineer
  • ML Developer 

You can hire these IT specialists individually or from an outsourcing company. However, it is considered ideal for taking a solution service from the company instead. That way, while you will remain the owner of the app, all responsibilities will be taken care of by the company itself. If you decide to hire resources for the job, make sure you understand the project timeline well and research the market for affordable hourly rates. While hiring, you may want to keep a check on the desired technology stack to ensure a smooth development process.

1. For the iOS Podcast App

  • Swift
  • AuthSwift
  • Alamofire 

2. For the Android App

  • Kotlin
  • Flutter
  • Fuel
  • Retrofit 

3. For the Back-end

  • AWS
  • Azure
  • MongoDB
  • SQL 

4. Data Storage

  • Amazon S3 
  • GraphDB
  • Redshift 

Depending on other custom features, this list for the tech stack can grow or reduce. However, you should know in advance all technologies you will have to invest in to facilitate a seamless mobile app development procedure. 

Build an MVP for Moonbeam Clone App

With so many rich features, sophisticated UI, and most importantly, an immense potential, a podcast discovery app like Moonbeam can take a significant amount of time to develop. Time is a crucial element if you want to beat the competition to it. Therefore, it is always wise to go ahead with the Minimum Viable Product or MVP version of your app before getting ambitious with the idea. 

1. Basic UI

For your MVP, you can skip the elaborate UI schemes. Instead, the focus should be mostly on the key features and an intuitive user experience. Your users must know how to use the app. Therefore, adding a setup wizard is important too. The wizard can help select podcast genres the users are interested in and register themselves on the app. Another thing you can add to the basic UI is a bar for different sections of the app that are built for specific purposes. 

2. Library

Users must be able to manage their own collection of podcast shows and episodes. Moonbeam does it under its Library panel, which is further divided into three sections. One section simply shows all the subscriptions of the users. The second named episode further shows three categories- All, Downloaded, and Recently Played. This is where you will find the episodes you would download for offline listening. The last section is dedicated to the episodes, clips, and playlists you have liked so that you can have all your personalized content in one place.

3. Search

Users must be able to search for their preferred podcasts through podcast names as well as episodes’ titles. Like Moonbeam, you can combine the search and discovery panel of the app under the same screen. So that you can showcase your expert-curated playlists or shows under the most searched categories on the app and require the user to enter their search queries only if they do not find something on the discovery panel itself. Both the discovery panel and the search results must be appropriately segregated into different categories. 

4. User Registration and login

Without an identification factor, the app won’t be able to use its machine learning capabilities completely. This is why, when you build your Moonbeam clone app, make sure that just like Moonbeam, you ask the users to register with your app. To simplify the process, you can allow the users to sign up or sign in with their Facebook or Google accounts. Of course, there should also be a provision for the users to create a native account on the app if they do not want to share their data from the app with either of the social channels. 

5. Profile Management

Your app should allow the users to manage their profile with the fewest clicks. On Moonbeam, the app does it by placing the user icon on the taskbar of the app. From there, they can get an overview of their app usage. For example, they will get to see how much time they have spent listening to various podcasts, how many shows they are subscribed to, how many shows the app has helped you discover through your preferred choices, and what seems to be your favorite genre. From the same window, the app allows users to edit their profiles. Here users can change their name, username, and profile picture. 

6. Social Sharing

Your app should allow users to share the content they like with their friends. Moonbeam offers quite an easy way to do that for both the complete podcast episodes and the clips it shows in the beginning. The share button is right there on the card playing the current podcast, and you can simply click on it to share it through whichever platform you’d like. An additional thing you can do to improve your app’s engagement is to create a timeline of a sort, where users can reupload the content they have liked. This way, you can actually take up the concept of Moonbeam, it being the TikTok for podcasters, and do it to the T.  

7. Notifications

The app must keep the users posted with content updates. Here most of the notifications would be similar to that of any podcast app. That is, users will get notified whenever their subscribed channels have uploaded a new podcast. Additional notification here would be the one around content discovery. Users will get notifications if a new channel that matches their interest gets launched. Or if the app finds something new related to the user preferences. You need to employ Apple Push Notification Service for your iOS users and Google Cloud Messaging for the Android ones for all this to function. 

Grow Your App

Developing an app is only the first step, though quite an elaborate one. Your app’s journey has just now begun, and it’s time for you to take the next step and help it grow its user base. 

1. App Store Optimization

Last month (October 2021), around 69,000 apps were published on the PlayStore. In contrast, the same number for App Store was 29,604. With so many new apps being launched regularly, it will be the easiest thing for your app to lose itself in the crowd. That’s why the foremost thing you can do to facilitate its discovery is to optimize it for the purpose.

App store optimization is the process to see that your app ranks higher among its peers for certain keywords. Keywords here can be the name of the app or its core functionality, in this case – ‘podcast discovery app.’ Right now, the competition in the niche is quite limited, and you should have an easier time optimizing it for increased search visibility. 

2. Add Additional Features

Once a substantial number of people have installed your app, you can start collecting their feedback through reviews and surveys to know how their experience has been so far with the app. You can ask them what other things can make the app experience better for them. There are certain functionalities that can increase the engagement value of the app like

  • Saving the latest status of what the user has been listening to and resume it whenever the app restarts. 
  • Allow the community to curate content instead of just relying on the expertise of the staff. 
  • Add more languages to the app making it more useful for people who listen to podcasts in multiple languages.
  • Enable background app processing so that people can explore the app more even while listening to a podcast on it. 

3. App Marketing

Deploying an app in the present era is simply not enough. You need to ensure that your app reaches the target market on time and with enough compelling factors. Most apps today rely on video ads to reach out to their potential users. In fact, as many as 79% of users have affirmed that video ads compelled them to download or buy a mobile app. Other mediums through which you can market your app include social media marketing, press releases, content marketing, affiliate marketing, etc.

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Final Thoughts

As a podcast discovery app, Moonbeam is doing a tremendous job. Using machine learning algorithms and human curations, the app generates incredibly personalized results for podcast listeners. The short clips also allow users to expand their tastes and gather information from various other sources. As such, there is no doubt that among podcast listeners, Moonbeam and apps like it will become as popular as TikTok has among the masses. And since the app, at its core, utilizes Machine Learning algorithms, you should only rely on a mobile app development company with a forte in Machine Learning. 

With decades of experience, Matellio has a great specialization in both mobile app development and Machine Learning solutions. Our experienced and highly skilled developers have worked for both startups and Fortune 500 companies. They have delivered them the results they wanted most efficiently. For your Moonbeam-like podcast discovery app, you can simply fill this form to get a free quote from our experts. With our flexible hiring models and complete podcast mobile app development solutions, you will get tailored services for your project. What more? You can also hire our experts to further optimize and market your app. Simply book a free consultation and leave the rest to us. 

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