New Channels on Player FM

If you visit Player FM today, you’ll find a number of enhancements to the channel organisation. As always, channel organisation updates are motivated by helping users find shows on their favorite topics. Better organisation also means a simpler out-of-the-box experience when the app suggests topics to new users. Not all shows are discovered via the catalogue of course. Many users will search and there are increasingly intelligent recommendations available. But for the times when users do peruse the catalogue, it should be the most logical organisation possible.

So here are the updates …

Goodbye Lifestyle. Hello everyone.

First up, I’m excited to say we’ve replaced the “Lifestyle” channel with three new – and more focused – channels:

  • True Stories Fans of shows like This American Life and The Moth will be familiar with the fascination of everyday stories presented the right way. Here you’ll find a range of shows in that ilk.
  • Factoids There’s more than a few podcast listeners who enjoy learning new things every day. And fortunately there’s more than a few podcasts catering to their needs with daily explainers and amazing trivia. As I write this, you can learn about chocolate chips, tattoos, and the electric car from the most recent episodes! Factoids is like Reddit’s Today I Learned for your ears.
  • Pop Culture Pop culture’s a hard topic to define neatly, but you know it when you hear it. Shows here cover the memes of the day and how people reacted to them. Whether they be movies, TV shows, or headline news items.

Lifestyle was always an ambiguous mash of these and it made a lot of sense to separate them, as you can tell from the descriptions. Behind the scenes, Lifestyle has simply been renamed to True Stories, which means people previously following Lifestyle are now following True Stories.

A community channel: LGBT

Next, another addition to Society and Culture is a new LGBT channel featuring podcasts for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities. Podcasts are a great medium for perspectives and news relevant to specific communities. I also recognise LGBT itself is a broad brush and we may well build channels for specific communities within it, and we’re likely to be considering channels for other communities too in the future.

Language Learners, Konnichiwa!

Several new language learning channels are now available:

These join the existing collection of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean. With special thanks to Jon for prodding me to publish Japanese, which had been in draft mode.

Some departures

We’ve removed the various “Featured in [Category]” channels as they were an experiment that hasn’t panned out so far. I’m certainly interested in more effective ways to recommend the best shows in each category, but I think we can do it in a better way than just picking a few popular series. To be continued.

Business channel is also gone from the catalogue. There’s already Business News, MBA, Trading, Entrepreneur and a bunch of other business related channels. Business was too general, and people tend not to be interested in “general business” in the same way they would be interested in “general science” for example. Followers of Business are still following Business and we’ll keep it updated for now, but longer term it will be flagged as discontinued.

Category Renames

Some categories and subcategories have been renamed to avoid confusion. For example, we previously had Tech channel (general tech shows) in Tech category (which also contains Gadgets, Android, Apple, etc). It’s now Technology. Several other changes like that should hopefully make it clearer for users.

Separating Food from Drink

Cooking is renamed to Food and moved to Health and Well-Being. Wine somehow didn’t seem right in there, so it’s moved to Recreation, where it may soon be joined by some similar channels …

Brace yourselves: The channels are coming

It doesn’t stop here. A number of long-term planned channels are still coming, and we intend to shuffle the categories a bit more too. Furthermore, the next major development project on the server is to update how catalogues are organised, which will in turn lead to a much better experience for browsing shows on both web and mobile. Indeed, it’s been far too long since I last posted here and I’ll be rectifying that next week with a broader update about these – and other – development activities happening.