Benchmark analysis of podcast applications … what features are not yet in Yandex Music
In this article, I will talk about an independent benchmarking study of applications with podcasts and focus on what cool features podcasts from Yandex Music still lack (IMHO). This time I will look at the useful features of two podcast applications: SberZvuk and the English-language CastBox application.
So, first, the “native” competitor – SberZvuk. Unlike Yandex Music, in SberZvuk you can immediately find convenient filters for searching for a podcast at the very top of the screen, where the categories you need are immediately there.
Why are podcast filters hidden far at the bottom of the screen in Yandex Music? There is a hypothesis that this is done on purpose so that the user stays in the application longer and scrolls through as much material as possible, sticks longer in order to increase the user’s time in the application. But not every user will like this format. Personally, it is more pleasant for me to find a topic that interests me right away, not to flip through dozens of cards of the current. There is a risk of losing such impatient users, they will find an application that will help them complete the selection task faster … Check on A / B tests what the user likes …
Another good feature in SberZvuk: section navigation. Separate audiobooks, separate podcasts, for me personally, as a user, it is easier to interact with the application when there is a clear separation. As a user of Yandex Music, I see that the guys are working on improving this section, and the division into books and podcasts is becoming more noticeable.
After looking at a dozen podcast apps, it seemed that there would be no special features besides the standard filters and categories, but it turned out that good UX should not be limited only to filters. CastBox just confirmed it.
The first thing that I remember in CastBox is the ease of navigation. The end-to-end search is “sticky” to the screen so that when endlessly scrolling down, the user doesn’t have to go back to the top to type the name of a podcast they suddenly remember. Also downloaded audio files are always visible. As a bonus – the ability to search by voice. At the time of my benchmarking, the voice search functionality was not implemented in Yandex podcasts.
Now let’s say we clicked on the podcast card in the CastBox. On the new screen, we will be able to see a lot of good features, including:
– end-to-end search within categories, episodes (it is not in Yandex podcasts, search is only on the main screen)
– inside the channel, podcasts are distributed by date, starting with the most recent (I would advise you to add such order to Yandex Music with podcasts)
— convenient navigation: within the categories there are subcategories on the buttons-chips
– the duration of the podcasts is indicated next to each audio
— convenient filters for podcasts (can be sorted by played and unplayed)
Another good feature that often brings together people of the same interests is the community. Podcasts have the ability to read other users’ comments with a hashtag and a link to a specific podcast, as well as write similar posts to the user himself. Comments from real people are more valuable than soulless likes that you can “wind up” and which almost no one notices.
Another feature in CastBox that overshadows the paid meditation app, BetterSleep, is the library of nature sounds for meditation. You can turn on the rain, adjust its volume, turn on the sounds of a fire, the chirping of birds. I think that such music for meditation with the sounds of nature would attract crowds of users. Reader, do you often want to turn on the rain?
If you are close to the topic of benchmark analysis, you are doing research or designing a similar application, write to me. Which of the mentioned features would be useful to you as a user, and which ones can you do without?