Graphing Podcast Networks

I love podcasts.  I listen to them every day.

When I’m looking for more podcasts to listen to, one of my favourite resources is the iTunes website.  The reason for this is because iTunes offers a “listeners also subscribed to” section at the bottom of a podcast’s page.  I can instantly find similar podcasts to any given one.

For example, a great podcast is “Radiolab Presents: More Perfect”.

And if we jump to the bottom of the page, we’ll find five popular podcasts that appeal to the same audience…

We need to go Deeper

Picking one of these naturally takes you to its page and at the bottom again you’ll find yet more podcasts.  So what if we keep going down and down?

Going a mere three levels will get us to 155 podcasts.  Many will be duplicates; for example in the image above there’s Embedded *2, Invisibilia *2, Reply All *2, etc.

Visualizing It

What happens if we crawl this tree of podcasts and graph the connections?  Well, going three levels deep on the podcast “The Vergecast”, we can generate a network that looks like this:

And if we go five levels….

Now what’s really fascinating is the natural clustering that becomes visually apparent.  It makes sense that it would happen but these islands of genres and sub-genres are neat to look at.  Here are a few that jumped out at me, professionally highlighted with Paint:

It’s a fun way of looking at it.

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