Castbox Launches Livecast

Castbox 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.

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.

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 be converted and cashed out for real world money via PayPal.

In July, Castbox announced Livecast. At that time, their description of the monetization system confused me. Now, it appears that Castbox has simplified things. The getting started page on the Castbox website says: Virtual gifts are converted into Stars, which can be cashed out by going to “My Wallet” under the “Personal” tab.

This explanation is much easier to understand than before. I still have some questions, though. How many stars does a Livecast podcaster have to accrue before they can cash out for real world money via PayPal? I’m also wondering if the podcaster gets all the funding that comes from Stars and/or the virtual gifts that listeners give them – or if Castbox takes a cut.

Castbox Announced Livecast

Castbox has announced Livecast. It is a free audio streaming service on Castbox mobile and desktop that allows you to go live with the tap of a button. Set up a public or private chat room to connect with listeners in real time via voice and text.

Castbox says that it is possible to use Livecast and get paid to engage with your community.

Host special live shows, take audience questions, and get live feedback from listeners to create intimate experiences. Fans can show their support and appreciation with virtual gifts that convert into cash.

The FAQ section on Castbox has more details about that. There is a tab called “My Wallet” that Castbox users can find in the app on their personal tab. There are four kinds of “currency” – Coin, Star, BOX and ETH.

The Coin is the virtual currency in Castbox, which is used to purchase items. Currently, it could be used to purchase virtual gifts. It will be used in more scenes in the future. Listeners can reward podcasters on Livecast by sending coins to them. The “Live” feature is only available for India, South Korea, and China. Castbox says it will gradually open up to more countries.

As far as I can tell, Coins are purchased with real-world currency. But I’m not certain about that.

The Star is the virtual currency that you get by opening the live broadcasts. It appears that the Star is for Android users. You can exchange the Stars into Coins or into real money. If listeners send a Castbox podcaster virtual gifts during the live broadcasts – the podcaster can get stars of equal value.

A BOX is a digital token issued by ContentBox, a blockchain technology built for the digital content industry. Castbox says that, in the short term, BOX will be Castbox’s primary transaction currency.

ETH is the cryptocurrency used in the Ethereum Platform. It is unclear to me exactly how this connects with Castbox or Livecast. Personally, it sounds like the payment system is confusing and unnecessarily complex.

It is possible to host a show on Livecast and turn it into a podcast. Livecast supports unlimited listeners and up to eight simultaneous callers. Livecast users should turn on auto-record before starting their show and upload the session as its own podcast.

Castbox Announced Waze Integration

Castbox announced its integration with Waze, the community based app owned by Google. The new integration gives drivers an easy way to listen to their favorite podcasts on Castbox while navigating to their destination with the Waze app.

As podcasting becomes a natural extension of consumer’s daily driving habits, Castbox is providing a safer, more intuitive way for listeners to consume spoken audio content during their drive.

“The beauty of podcasts is that listeners can engage in other activities while fully immersing themselves in the content they love, which makes it the perfect medium for daily commutes and long drives,” said Renee Wang, founder and CEO of Castbox. “Our integration with Waze lets us keep our listeners continuously engaged in their favorite shows while ensuring a safer, more enjoyable journey.”

The new feature was built by Waze Audio Kit, a developer toolset that allows partners like Castbox to fully integrate their apps with the Waze Audio Player. By making it effortless to play Castbox on Waze and run Waze on Castbox, Castbox is giving listeners a continuous podcasting experience before, during, and after their driving commutes.

“Our partnership with Castbox expands our mission to strengthen the Waze ecosystem by integrating with apps and services that complement and enhance the driver experience,” said Adam Fried, Head of Global Partnerships at Waze. “We’re pleased to be working with Castbox to give our users more ways to enjoy their favorite audio content while they’re on the road.”

Castbox Launches Community Feature

Castbox announced the launch of Community, a new feature that enables both creators and listeners to participate in the burgeoning podcast ecosystem. Available now on both iOS and Android versions of the app, Community gives users a new way to connect and engage with other listeners who share their love of podcasts.

Community is a dedicated social feed within the Castbox app that lets podcasters post about their favorite shows and episodes, join trending conversations, and discover popular new content. The feature provides users with an interactive way to stay current on community activity for a richer, more immersive podcasting experience.

Community is the latest offering from Castbox designed to create a more inclusive podcast ecosystem and expand the app’s functionality beyond that of a podcast player focused solely on content discovery and delivery. As the podcast industry expands and more listeners tune in to the medium, Castbox is putting community engagement at the center of the user experience to make podcasting more social.

Listeners can use the Community feature to share their opinions and spark new conversations by posting about a particular show, episode, topic, or hashtag. The Community tab provides a live feed of the top trending user interactions on the app, including comments, listens, subscriptions, and more. Podcast creators can also use Community to stay connected with fans, take a pulse of their community, and get feedback from their most devoted listeners.

As bigger audio platforms expand into the podcasting space, Community builds on the company’s mission to provide dedicated podcasters and power users with the best podcasting experience available. Castbox’s growing lineup of podcast-specific features includes deep in-audio search that helps users find the most relevant shows, a blockchain-based infrastructure that gives creators more ownership over their content, and native paywall solutions that create new opportunities for publishers to grow and monetize their followers.