Castbox, an award-winning podcast platform, announced the launch of Livecast, a free audio streaming service that lets podcasters go live with the tap of a button. Available on Castbox mobile and desktop apps, the new feature allows podcast creators and influencers to host interactive audio shows and engage with fans and listeners in real-time.
As live streaming media gains traction on platforms like Facebook and Twitch, Livecast gives podcasters an opportunity to capitalize on the trend by delivering more intimate listening experiences and helping build deeper relationships with their audiences. Livecast amplifies the audience’s connection with hosts by providing a platform where listeners and hosts can collaborate and interact.
“Podcast listeners are already considered one of the most engaged audiences but podcasting itself has largely been a passive activity,” said Renee Wang, founder, and CEO of Castbox. “As a dedicated podcast platform catering to power users, we’re introducing an interactive element that pulls the audience into the show to immerse them in audio content in an entirely new way.”
With Livecast, creators can create public or private channels and go live with a single tap. Each Livecast session supports live audio chat for up to eight simultaneous speakers and unlimited listeners. The feature enables one or multiple hosts to drive the session and allows listeners to call in to ask questions, share their opinions and stories, and provide live feedback. Audience members can also interact with hosts and other listeners via in-room messaging, which encourages listeners to take an active role in the discussion.
Hosts can auto-record their Livecast shows and upload them as standalone podcast episodes to further extend the value of the content. Livecast also provides detailed metrics, including listenership, donations, and engagement, so hosts can improve their future Livecasts.
Virtual Gifting Monetization
To give independent creators and studios new opportunities to monetize their brand and content, Livecast features a virtual gifting mechanism that lets listeners support their favorite podcasts. Users can purchase in-app currency to send hosts emoji-like virtual gifts such as an applause, roses, or even a golden mic. These gifts can then be converted and cashed out for real money via PayPal.
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During the beta period, dozens of independent podcasters across many genres used the Livecast feature to host live “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions with fans and share behind-the-scenes content. As part of the official launch, several popular podcasters will go live in the coming weeks.
The line-up of upcoming Livecasts include:
- Jul 31 – John Lee Dumas (Entrepreneurs on Fire)
- Aug 14 – Mo Rocca (Mobituaries)
- Aug 27 – Pat Flynn (The Smart Passive Income Podcast)
- Sep 24 – Lewis Howes (The School of Greatness)
- TBD – Gary Vaynerchuk (The GaryVee Audio Experience)
- TBD – Justin Long (Life is Short with Justin Long)
- TBD – Helen Zaltzman (The Allusionist)
Castbox’s latest feature aims to give podcast listeners a new way to experience spoken audio content and is part of the company’s larger mission to differentiate its platform by cultivating stronger, more engaged podcasting communities. Livecast follows the recent release of other social features like Community, a dedicated social feed that lets users post about their favorite shows and episodes, join trending conversations, and discover popular new content.
Wang added, “As the podcast industry becomes more saturated and the race for original content heats up, our strategy is to innovate on the user experience with new features that elevate the podcasting experience beyond its roots as a static medium.”
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