Audio cues in podcasts

When podcasts go mainstreamWith smartphones being a regular part of most people’s lives and podcasts becoming more popular as in-car entertainment, advertising needs to catch up with the technology a bit. I often hear ads that are interesting enough to want to look up, but if I’m driving I can’t pull up a website or even take a note, so I need to really want to remember what the ad was about to recall it later. So instead, what about an app that would listen for audio cues and pull up those websites for you?

CueCat - DaveTavres.comIn the 1990s there was this thing call the “CueCat”. It was a peripheral for the serious computer geeks that was really just a simple barcode scanner. You could scan barcodes in magazines or on the back of everyday products you bought form the store and their software would either search their database for the custom barcode or search the web for the product you scanned so you can get more information. A great idea that was literally 20 years ahead of its time. Today everyone should have a barcode scanner app on their mobile devices (Android | iOS).

Audio cue - DaveTavres.comFast forward to today… your smartphone is on the magnetic mount in your car, playing your favorite podcast and they read an ad or just talk about a product they like. If that content creator wants to get even more revenue (just like they do when they tell you to use a special code during checkout on one of their sponsor’s websites), they’ll add a quick audio cue that is hardly noticeable by the listener, but that is long enough for a mobile app to pickup. The app stores the cue so the next time you look at your phone, you can pull up the topics that had cues.

Something like this… notice the modem-like sound at the beginning:

Good podcast player apps could even incorporate this ‘listener’ into their app to help the user (and track clicks on ads that listeners pulled up later.)