One of the buzzwords of tech last year was ‘podcasts’. What started as an iOS-only trend back in 2014, with the launch of Apple’s standalone Podcasts app, is now evidently mainstream, cutting across audiences and geographies.
Podcasts have altered content consumption, especially for millennials.
There is a plethora of apps today that allow users to stream podcasts across devices and platforms, and global podcasting revenues are at an all-time high.
Listeners are spoilt for choice. And sometimes, even confused in the sea of content. So, users tend to rely on recommendations from their peers, online communities, and social networks.
Breaker, a social podcast app, makes this process simpler and swifter. It is the first app to make the podcast discovery experience social.
It lets users create profiles, discover new podcasts, follow other users, know what they are listening to, tap a heart icon to ‘like’ an episode, share episodes with other users, start comment threads, and join communities.
Simply put, Breaker is the Instagram for podcasts.
There are over 500,000 podcasts to discover on the app. Breaker also allows users to modify listening speed between 1⁄2X and 3X, skip silences, and enable auto-download of episodes. You can store 100 episodes (up to 4GB) on your device at any given time.
After cooking up a storm in the iOS universe since 2018, Breaker rolled out its beta version on Android in late-2019. The app is currently listed in the ‘Early Access’ section of Google Play Store, and has recorded 5,000+ installs. It is rated 4.3 out of 5.
Breaker was also featured on Product Hunt recently as “the best podcast app”.
Let’s explore the app.
Since Breaker is inherently social, you get to sign up via Facebook, Twitter or Gmail. If you’re logging in with your email id, the app sends you a confirmation link to get started.
Breaker takes you to the homepage in the next step. There are five tabs – Home, Library, Search, Activity, and Profile – in the bottom bar to help you navigate.
The Home tab categorises podcasts under news, business, society, culture, and so on.
Hit a podcast title to get started. Each title displays producer/content creator, publishing date, podcast duration, content description, number of likes and comments, and options to like, share, save, download, and create playlists.
The Library tab lists your Playlists and Subscriptions. Playlists contain episodes and are grouped under sub-segments like Favourite Shows, Save for Later, Shareable, etc.
The Activity tab shows podcasts that your friends have recently listened to. This mirrors Instagram’s Activity tab (which displays your friends’ likes).
The Search tab on Breaker is the equivalent to the Explore tab on Instagram.
This section throws up podcast recommendations and aids in the discovery of content. The reccos are personalised, based on your activity on the app.
The Profile tab tracks Followers, Following, and podcasts you’ve listened to. You can also access Settings through this tab.
The Settings page lets you personalise the app experience further. You can set your notifications, storage and download settings, enable ‘skip silences’ for all episodes.
It also allows you to import subscriptions from other podcast apps like Castbox, Podcast Player, Pocket Casts, and Podcast Addict.
Verdict: Breaker is worth the hype
Breaker is unlike any podcast app out there – not only is it a podcast player but also a social network, especially built for listeners.
By blending regular podcast app features with community-building elements, Breaker stands out, drawing comparisons with platforms like Instagram.
The app is intuitive with a smooth listening experience, and has compelling features like podcast imports and adjustable playback speed.
Dark mode and offline listening are an added bonus.
The homepage might feel a tad cluttered to some users and could use some design tweaks. But, apart from that, there’s not much to complain.
All we can hope now is that the Android version of Breaker comes out of beta soon!
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)