State of the Podcasts 2018

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I started re­ally con­sum­ing au­dio con­tent in the form of pod­casts and au­dio­books about two years ago, and I’m very of­ten asked what pod­casts I lis­ten to. This is the first list in a se­ries of re­views about my daily dri­vers of con­tent, ser­vices, and prod­ucts.

I first started heav­ily lis­ten­ing to pod­casts when I joined the gym (that did­n’t last) for about half a year. In my last year in Delhi (I moved in September 2017), I trav­elled at least an hour or two on av­er­age per day, and that was also a great time to con­sume au­dio con­tent.

Ever since I moved to the Netherlands, I’ve been bik­ing for be­tween 30 and 45 min­utes every day, and now that’s be­come my go-to time for lis­ten­ing to pod­casts, apart from any other travel time.

I’ve di­vided this list in three cat­e­gories — def­i­nitely, prob­a­bly, and gen­er­ally.

Definitely #

I’ve heard each episode of these pod­casts at least one (probably more times), and I def­i­nitely lis­ten to them the day they are re­leased. These are the pod­casts I fol­low most re­li­giously and am the most ex­cited about.

Hello Internet

Hello Internet is a pod­cast hosted by in­ter­net ed­u­ca­tors CGP Grey and vice host Brady Haran. After fol­low­ing both of their works for years, I started lis­ten­ing to HI about a year af­ter it was ini­tially re­leased, and that’s how I got into pod­casts. It’s still my all-time fa­vorite pod­cast.

Cortex

Myke Hurley from pod­cast net­work RelayFM talks to GDP Grey about pro­duc­tiv­ity, tools, and work­ing lives as in­de­pen­dent con­tent cre­ators. Cortex is like HI but fo­cussed on how Grey gets things done. I es­pe­cially like Grey’s ad­vo­cacy to­wards be­ing the most pro­duc­tive in the time you work in­stead of just work­ing all the time. It’s also a great pod­casts to learn about tools for pro­duc­tiv­ity such as time-track­ing, lists, and every­thing in be­tween.

The Unmade Podcast

The Unmade Podcast is Brady Haran’s foray into the pod­casts that never were, along with co-host Tim. In every episode, Brady and Tim dis­cuss imag­i­na­tive, hi­lar­i­ous ideas for new pod­casts. It’s a great pod­cast to be on the lighter side of things for once.

How I Built This

Hosted by Guy Raz from NPR, HIBT is the epit­ome of startup pod­casts. Every episode is an in­ter­view with a vi­sion­ary en­tre­pre­neur and builder, talk­ing about their jour­neys and the ups and the downs that come with it. Instagram, Lyft, Airbnb, AOL, WeWork, BuzzFeed, Starbucks — the in­no­va­tors be­hind all of these game-chang­ing ideas share their sto­ries.

The Daily

Until early 2018, Up First from NPR was my go-to morn­ing pod­cast. Now, The Daily from the New York Times is how I like to start my day. Michael Barbaro and other hosts de­liver clear, un­fil­tered news for 20 min­utes, every day from Monday to Friday.

Embedded

Kelly McEvers takes one story from the news — every­thing from sui­cide epi­demics to Doctors with­out Borders to Donald Trump — and digs deep. Embedded is the best way to hear all sides of a story and re­ally go deep into peo­ple’s lives, things you would­n’t learn read­ing a small ar­ti­cle.

Probably #

I usu­ally fol­low these pod­casts, and I’ve prob­a­bly heard every episode.

Startup

Co-founder of pod­cast net­work Gimlet Media, Alex Blumberg, talks about his jour­ney and ven­tures into top­ics like startup fund­ing, scal­ing, and di­ver­sity in the work­place.

Build Your SaaS

Jon Buda and Justin Jackson, founders of pod­cast host­ing plat­form Transistor.fm, talk about what it’s like to build a SaaS startup in 2018. I find the show very in­ter­est­ing and es­pe­cially re­lat­able.

Newslaundry Hafta

Newslaundry is a sub­scrip­tion-based news ser­vice from New Delhi, India, with the motto when the pub­lic pays, the pub­lic is served”. They also fea­ture a weekly pod­cast called Hafta, which is per­haps my most ef­fi­cient way to stay in touch with what’s go­ing on back at home.

The freeCode­Camp Podcast

The freeCode­Camp Podcast gen­er­ally fea­tures au­dio ver­sions of pop­u­lar ar­ti­cles on the freeCode­Camp medium pub­li­ca­tion. It’s a bit ba­sic but it some­times fea­tures very in­ter­est­ing sto­ries.

Where Should We Begin?

Hosted by psy­chother­a­pist Esther Perel for NPR, each episode of How Should We Begin? takes us through a pri­vate cou­ples’ coun­selling ses­sion.

Generally #

I lis­ten to these pod­casts when I have no other pod­casts or au­dio­books queued.

In Depth

In Depth is my fa­vorite designers talk­ing de­sign” pod­cast. Eli Schiff and Mike Rundle take you through their re­views of mod­ern de­sign­ing tools like Sketch and XD, along with com­men­taries on up­dates like Dropbox’s re­design.

TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour fea­tures speak­ers who de­liv­ered pop­u­lar TED talks and goes more in-depth with in­ter­views and more.

Relatively Prime

Relatively Prime fea­tures dis­cus­sions about in­ter­est­ing top­ics from the world of math­e­mat­ics. Everything from sta­tis­tics the­ory to mod­ern ad­vance­ments in clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

99% Invisible

99% Invisible is a crit­i­cally ac­claimed de­sign pod­cast in which Roman Mars talks to guests about ar­chi­tec­ture, vi­sual de­sign, and re­cent ac­tiv­ity from the de­sign do­main.