See below for our story. Would love for you try out our free app and give us feedback. Reach us at support@leelalabs.com.


Sandeep Jain, Founder & CEO

  
  1. Why another podcast app?

  2. Like you, we are avid podcast listeners and like you, we found existing podcast apps (on both IOS and Android) to be doing just podcast management and playback. Also, more often than not, the experience was not that user-friendly. We had particular difficulty in finding and discovering podcasts! There is no easy to listen to a podcast episode based on a topic of interest; some apps force you to subscribe to a channel before listening to any episode (its like asking to be married without dating!). Social sharing/activity around podcast listening is rudimentary at best.

    And this is how we found our mission -- Re-think and Innovate Entire Podcast Experience Starting From Search & Discovery to Listening & Sharing.

    And Leela was born.

    In our first release, we are solving the search problem first i.e., lets say you are about to sit in your car and you want to hear the best podcast content on a particular topic. With Leela, you can type your search query in the app and we will return the best podcast episode results using different aspects about podcasts (much like a search engine). We are in the process of transcribing podcast content so that we can index even the podcast conversation. No need to subscribe, download etc. etc. etc.

    Just click and listen.

    While working on search, we realized that there are certain topics for which we would like to be informed of newly published podcasts instead of manually typing the search daily e.g., I wanted to be notified of any new podcast that featured NPR CEO Jarl Mohn. And with that in mind, we designed Industry's First “Podcast Alert Service ”... think of it like Google News Alert service but for podcasts.

    We also introduced Industry's First “Engaged Listens” for each podcast episode where you can see how many times that podcast episode was listened to by any user for more than 30% of the length of that podcast.

    We were surprised to see that there are no ratings for podcast episodes just for podcast channel (in Apple Podcast App). But it is not necessary that all the podcast episodes of a 5-star channel will be 5-star as well. We changed that by providing Episode-level Rating System. We are also utilizing this to build a Personalized Podcast Episode Recommendation Engine so that very soon Leela can automatically start playing new podcast episodes based on your listening tastes. Yes, a Self-Driving Podcast App.

    We have had the following problem for long -- we would remember a great podcast that we had listened to sometime back but we would not be able to find it again. Well, we decided to do something about that. With Leela, you can now see all the podcasts that you have ever listened to.

    All podcast listeners have mental image of the best podcasts that they have ever listened -- something you'd like to go back to again and again. We gave this mental image more meaning in our app -- now you can see all the podcasts that you have given any rating 1 to 5 (though we know that you would never want to go back to your 1 star list :))

  3. What are the features of Leela?

    • Search Podcasts -- The way you always wanted it to work
    • Instant Play -- No crazy buffering delay
    • Engaged Listens -- How many people actually listened (not just clicked/abandoned) podcast episode
    • Playback Memory -- Start podcast from where you last left off
    • Rate Podcast Episodes -- Build your personalized recommendation engine
    • Daily Podcast Alert -- Like Google News Alert but for podcasts
    • Listen History -- See all podcasts that you ever listened to
    • Rating History -- See all podcasts that you rated 1-5
    • Streaming-only -- no download/offline listening supported in this version.. coming shortly
    • Integrated with Car Audio Controls -- Use your car's play/pause/next/previous buttons
    • Continuous Playback -- when a podcast finishes playing, the next one in the channel,search results or playlist picks up.

  4. Why the name Leela?

  5. Leela is a Sanskrit word meaning “play” and its easy on tongue and we loved that name... also we did not want another “cast” app.

  6. Are you working on Web, Mac or Android app?

  7. Yes, we plan to support more platforms in future with Android coming first.

Credits:
Musical Score in App Preview Video By Burning The Micro Waves by spinmeister (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Blue Wave Theory.
Icons within the app by icon8

Notable Mentions:
Erica M. Elizaldi -- Leela App Logo Designer. Ex-Colleague. Awesome Person.
StackOverflow -- dev community that rocks!