The caste of the best podcast apps

The podcast hype has just begun. According to a Bitkom study among 1006 respondents, more and more German podcasts are listening. While it was still 14 percent in 2016, it is already 22 percent two years later. In the age group between 30 and 49, the increase was particularly high, almost doubling in the last 24 months.

Nevertheless, Germany ranks only 10th in the world with the most podcast interested parties. As the Reuters Digital News Report shows, South Korea (58 percent), Spain (40 percent), Sweden (36 percent), Australia (33 percent) and the USA (33 percent) are in the lead, who get an audio at least once a month – or video podcast hears, still clearly ahead.

According to a study by online marketing rock stars, German podcast listeners are especially young, above average educated and open to advertising. But even the largest and smartest podcast friend should now confuse the large range of podcast apps now only.

Also interesting: LEAD Podcast – What Heroes Do: Dani Fazekas


LEAD has spotted podcasts off Apple’s own app and presents the caste of the best podcast apps: five highly recommended applications, all with similar basics, but each with its own pros and cons.


Picture: Castro

makers: Behind the developer Supertop Software are Pádraig Ó Cinnéide and Oisín Prendiville, two Irishmen who met in 2005 in Dublin at the university. Pádraig now lives in Canada, Oisín describes himself as a “world traveler”.

Advantages: Now in version 3.2 on the market, the app is constantly updated and provided with new interesting features. Just now the sideload function, which allows to store all audio content of web pages, no matter what format, in Castro, has been refined once again. So far, the detour via iCloud Drive was necessary. Now there is a safari extension for the sideload in Castro. Once you activate this extension in the sharing menu, you can import audio files directly from Castro into any web page.

Disadvantage: For the full functionality of a subscription is due. With “Castro Plus” you can, for example, extract audio from videos and save audiobooks and use the Siri shortcuts.

Price / Platform: only available for the iPhone. Subscription costs a moderate 8.99 euros annually.


Image: Overcast

makers: Behind Overcast is the well-known developer Marco Arment, who has also invented apps like the read-it-later service Instapaper. Arment is himself a podcaster ( and a frequent guest on popular podcast shows, so he knows what the podcast community needs.

Advantages: One of the highest rated apps in the Apple App Store with over 2200 ratings at 4.5 stars on average. And rightly so: In addition to the popular podcast features, Overcast offers special bonuses, such as “Voice Boost”. Once activated, Overcast will automatically increase the volume of speakers who speak too quietly. Even against strenuous pauses of podcast operators Overcast goes – with “Smart Speed”. Great: Overcast has also been optimized for the iPad.

Disadvantage: Only over a year subscription overcast is ad-free. In addition, the selection of recommended podcasts focuses more on English-language content. German users must therefore know the German podcasts in advance from other sources in order to then subscribe to the search.

Price / Platform: for iPhone and iPad, Overcast Premium costs 9,99 Euro for one year.

Pocket casts

Pocket casts
Picture: Pocket Casts

makers: Behind pocket casts is the US consortium Pocket Media LLC. Involved are NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago and the project “This American Life”.

Advantages: Pocket casts can be synced across all imaginable platforms. Even a web option is available, including beta for macOS and Windows 10 app. In addition to being able to serve both iOS and Android, Pocket Casts scores with support for AirPlay, Sonos and CarPlay, Apple’s control center for iOS in the Car. We also like the option to switch between Light and Dark modes. “Up next” ensures that there are always new episodes to listen to. All episodes have special filters, such as release date, download status, audio / video, or favorites.

Disadvantage: Unfortunately, the developers do not offer a trial version that can be tried for free. The operation could be a little more intuitive. Sometimes you as a user are slain by the multitude of possibilities, less would have been really more.

Price / Platform: Crossover for iPhone, iPad and Android – costs: 4.49 euros and 3.99 euros (Android).

Podcast & Radio Addict

Podcast And Radio Addict
Image: Podcast And Radio Addict

makers: The developer Xavier Guillemane is a diligent lone fighter. He also finances his work through the search of patrons who support his projects with monthly support. On comments with questions about the app, he answers in a flash.

Advantages: Nearly 8.5 million downloads, under Android the must-have podcast app. Although the full version includes ads, you can download them for free from the Google Play Store. If you still want to support the developers, you can opt for the separately available “months” version. This waives advertising, but brings the team but 3.29 euros for coffee. Most Interesting Twist: You can also upload audio sources from YouTube. At night, the app automatically downloads content in advance, thanks to the timer, so listening to breakfast works faster.

Disadvantage: Since the application is purely Android-based, only the integration of the app in Android Auto is possible. Users of Apple’s CarPlay are therefore unfortunately empty.

Price / Platform: only available for Android – in two versions, see above.


Picture: Anchor

makers: The two founders had the idea with Anchor in 2014, because they did not even have a simple tool for creating podcasts on the net. In 2016, the first version of Anchor was finished. The entire team is based in New York City and is currently supported by business angels such as Acequia Capital and Eniac Ventures.

Advantages: With this app you become a podcaster yourself. Even without any prior knowledge. Because there is no software that makes it easier to launch a high-quality podcast on the well-known platforms such as iTunes, SoundClound and Co. You can even integrate messages from listeners of your podcast into anchor projects. The microphone is the smartphone or tablet micro, if you should not have an external micro. Listener statistics are also free.

Disadvantage: Registration (with Facebook or mail) is required for use.

Price / Platform: Both for iOS and for Android available for free, also the hosting is free.

Also interesting: LEAD podcast – “Die digitale Viertelstunde” with Tina Jürgens

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