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New learning through podcast app Sparks

PRESS RELEASE — December 11, 2019

London tech startup, Nextlayer, is creating a podcast player focussed on helping people learn better from the podcasts they listen to. The Sparks iOS app is now in Open Beta and we are looking to the podcast community for input and help in shaping it ready for mass release.

Sparks works like many other podcast players, giving access to search the open iTunes podcasts library, and then follow the shows you like. When listening to a podcast episode Sparks comes into its own allowing you to capture your own notes (Sparks) on things that interest, inspire or just catch your ear. All these Sparks are saved in your own personal library. Each Spark has your notes and the ability to play the associated original podcast snippet.

In a recent study of the US podcast market, 70% of regular listeners want to learn from the podcasts they listen to. But learning from podcasts is still really difficult. People have created their own elaborate (and often complex) workflows to facilitate this learning but we believe there is a better way. Here at Nextlayer, we want to help people manage their information overload and realise the potential of the content they consume. Podcasts are a great place to start for this as people can listen whilst doing something else: cooking, driving, exercising, etc.

Sparks is currently in Beta and we have a packed roadmap of further enhancements ahead. What is a simple app right now that allows capturing Sparks of thought will mature into a platform that helps you manage your learning and acquired knowledge from all the content you consume. Early in 2020, we will be launching the ability to organise your Sparks by clustering and linking them together. We will also introduce a review feature that helps you remember more of what you have listened to (we’ve all had that moment of knowing we heard some amazing related thing a few weeks ago, but when required in conversation, can’t recall it accurately).

We believe there is a huge potential library of podcast content that can help many people around the world learn new things and stay up to date with their careers and other important factors of life. We want to empower people to turn their listening into learning and that learning into long term wisdom.

But we need help in testing, refining and shaping Sparks. We are now in Open Beta and are looking for heavy podcast listeners to use Sparks in their day to day listening and really put it through its paces. We have ideas about what to do next but we also want to hear from the community.

Sparks is available now - join our open beta today, change your podcast listening for the better and help us turn podcast listening into learning.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to

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