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Is this better than what I already use?
Communicorp’s Go Loud app launched recently, giving us another podcasting platform to dissect while wondering: “is this better than what I already use?”
As the company behind national radio stations Today FM and Newstalk, along with Dublin’s 98FM and Spin 1038 and the regional Spin South West, it’s no surprise when you open the app to see that it’s covered in their stations’ content.
So far there’s a relatively limited selection of podcasts, with HeadStuff’s Dubland and Motherfocloir making the cut, along with a handful of Communicorp originals and podcasted versions of their biggest shows.
98FM already has two very different original series. Nobody Told Me is a parenting podcast, while On The Move focuses on the delights of Dublin transport. It can be expected that as the app grows, the number of original productions available will grow with it.
In terms of usability, it’s sleeker than the big guns like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The black background will appeal to fans of dark mode and notifications are easy to organise – the dream, basically.
There is one noticeable difference in the Go Loud app – a lack of charts. We’re simply given a range of “popular” series and episodes which over time should be curated to fit your listening tastes. Meanwhile, a standout feature that I’ve not seen elsewhere sits under “Browse Categories.” You can choose to see specifically Irish, British or American podcasts, making it easier to champion our homegrown podcasting heroes. Some of the bigger names in podcasting like Blindboy, Caroline Foran and The 2 Johnnies are among the fourteen listed in the Irish category, although you would hope there are more Irish podcasts than that on Go Loud.
The website notes that there are over 400 series available but when you’re having a look around, it feels like a scarce selection. For the producers among us, there’s the ability to add your own show’s RSS feed. It’s very straight-forward – you visit the Go Loud Now website, choose “I’m A Podcaster” and enter your podcast’s details. Several days after my own podcast, What Would You Do If?, was submit for review it still wasn’t up there, so it’s unclear if there’s strict criteria for getting on the app or if it’s just a slow process. Seeing as they boast that the app is curated, it’s highly likely there’s a policy in place on what’s allowed and what isn’t.
New Podcast Ideas
There’s also the option to submit a new podcast idea. Again, it’s a straight-forward process but it’s incredibly vague. There’s no information on what happens after the idea submission, what support would be available to podcaster producers (if any) and whether the production would be kept strictly on the Go Loud app or put on all of our favourite podcasting places. All I can tell you is, they’re looking for exciting, innovative series ideas that do not sound like radio programmes.
If you’re interested in the music side of things, the app has four exclusive digital stations alongside live streams of all their FM stations. There are also almost twenty music playlists available, from workout to road-trip. You probably won’t ditch Spotify just yet, but it’s nice to have the option to quickly switch to music if you’re already in the app.
We don’t really do star ratings at PodStuff but, if we did, I’d give it four stars.