Podcast subscription service Podimo is testing a new AI feature on its platform which allows users to ask a chatbot for personalised podcast and audiobook recommendations, the company has announced.
The feature, named ‘Conversational Search’, is currently available to a select group of subscribers in Denmark and Germany who use the search function more than the average user, during a trial period running from now until the end of the year.
Subscribers can send a message to the chatbot telling it their podcast interests and it will send back a list of podcast recommendations taken from Podimo’s catalogue. Podimo senior product manager Alexa Lion said that the company plans to analyse the pilot’s results as well as user feedback to decide where to scale from there.
“At Podimo, our vision is that AI will solidify its place as a cornerstone of the platform in the future,” said Lion. “Through this pilot, Podimo is essentially ‘shipping to learn’: about a new opportunity space, about our users’ behaviour, and whether browse will be conversational in the future.”
“Conversational Search has high potential to meet our users’ desire to express themselves naturally as they search for their new favourite show or audiobook.”
Lion also added that the Conversational Search feature offers a mode of browsing that is less constraining and keyword-based, and allows users to say what they want to search for instead of trying to look for ways to find it.
A number of podcast companies and platforms have started experimenting with how AI could be used as part of their strategy, including Spotify which recently announced that it was testing the use of artificial intelligence technology to translate podcasts into multiple languages using the host’s voice. The audio giant launched a pilot run of this in September with podcasts like Diary of A CEO with Steven Bartlett and the Lex Fridman Podcast.
While Podimo has already translated a number of podcasts into other languages, Podimo global content and partnerships lead Jake Chudnow previously told PodPod that AI isn’t a tool that the company would seek to rely on for doing so.
“I am really interested in how technology like AI, for example, will shape the translation industry in the future. But we are a very people-focused operation,” Chudnow said. “If there was a step that we could use software, it would be in that initial translation, but even with that we've used real people in all of our translations.”