Listen API: Podcast Search & Directory API

Simple & no-nonsense podcast search & directory API. Search the meta data of 568,123 podcasts and 36,002,014 episodes by people, places, or topics. It's the same API that powers this website.
Questions? [email protected]
Updated: 2018-10-18

Pricing & Quotas

It's freemium model & pay as you go. You can find pricing details here.
FREE PLAN
If you use Listen API to build side projects for fun, it's unlikely that you'll exceed the quota limit. The headers of each API response includes usage numbers that you can check in your code.
PAID PLANS
In addition to higher quota limit, paid plans also provide:
  • higher-resolution podcast artwork images (1400x1400) than the free plan's (150x150)
  • social accounts (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WeChat) and urls (i.e., YouTube, Spotify, Google Play, url1, url2, url3) of podcasts in the "extra" field of the API response, which is the same information as in the "ELSEWHERE" card of the podcast page (Example)
READ FIRST
  • The first couple API requests may be extremely slow, which is likely a problem on the Mashape (the API gateway that Listen API uses) side. Once you get through the first couple requests, it'll be okay.
  • Using Listen API signifies your acceptance of the API Terms of Services below.
  • Check out this demo project using Django, React, and Listen API: ListenApiDemo

Check quotas in code

The headers of each API response includes usage numbers that you can check in your code, which look like this:
X-RateLimit-directory-apis-Limit: 1000
X-RateLimit-directory-apis-Remaining: 765
X-RateLimit-full-text-search-quota-Limit: 1000
X-RateLimit-full-text-search-quota-Remaining: 521
X-RateLimit-typeahead-quota-Limit: 10000
X-RateLimit-typeahead-quota-Remaining: 6207
Sending HEAD requests doesn't count against the quota limit, which can be used to check X-RateLimit-* headers and to prevent exceeding the quota limit -- you may want to have some kind of caching mechanism here to avoid making too many HEAD requests: example code snippet.

API Terms of Services

Logo Requirements
If your application displays data fetched from Listen Notes API, you must show a "Powered by Listen Notes" logo on the same screen / page with that data. You can download the "Powered by Listen Notes" logo here.
Pre-Fetching, Caching, or Storage of Content
Applications using the Listen Notes API must not pre-fetch, cache, index, or store any Content on the server side.
Note that the id of podcast / episode, used to uniquely identify a podcast/ episode, is exempt from the caching restriction.

FAQ

1. Why do I have to use Listen API?

Well, you don’t have to. You have two choices:

2. How hard it could be to build a podcast database?

Building a decent podcast database is an ongoing effort. It's not hard. But it takes time (and money) to build and maintain.
There are new podcasts & new episodes being produced every second. Actually, there will be more and more podcasts being produced at a faster and faster speed — we clearly see this trend from our database. To keep your database up-to-date, you have to run crawlers 24/7.
Of course, you need to pay for servers that run 24/7. You need to run crawlers, host your podcast database, and run a search engine like Elasticsearch on those servers. Do your own math by looking at AWS EC2 pricing.
You need to deal with edge cases to make sure your podcast database is high-quality. Let me give you some ideas: 1) A lot of podcast RSS feeds are malformed. 2) Podcasts change their RSS feeds from time to time. 3) A lot of podcasts are junk (e.g., machine-generated contents) that you don’t want them to be in your database.
Actually, I haven’t mentioned the most expensive part of building your own podcast database: opportunity cost. You need to decide where to spend your money and your developers’ time: building your own podcast database, or building your apps. Using Listen API allows you to jumpstart the most exciting part of your project immediately.

3. Are you actively supporting the API? Do you expect to continue to do so?

Yes. Listen API powers our user-facing website ListenNotes.com. Listen API benefits from most backend improvements of ListenNotes.com.

4. If we use Listen API and it goes away in the future…

Your concern is valid. We all know that NOT ANY online services or companies can last forever.
If we decide to shut down Listen API, we’ll give you (at least) 12 weeks’ notice and you’ll be able to buy the latest database dump (all podcasts + all episodes) at a reasonably low price.
It's very likely that Listen Notes will outlive many well-funded startups or even public companies. We'll see :)

5. Do you provide any support?

Yes. If you have any questions about Listen API, just email [email protected].
We typically reply emails within a few hours — oftentimes way faster than you expect :)

API Endpoints

Open in Paw
You need to install Paw to open this file. Explore Listen API with Paw.

Apps using Listen API

Wear Casts - A podcast player for WearOS devices
myPod - Subscribe to a custom podcast feed based on your keyword search
If you are using Listen API and want your app to be promoted here (for free!), please email [email protected] - 1, a logo; 2, a url; 3, one sentence description (less than 100 characters).