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Now that smartphones are nearly as essential as food and water, podcasts, unsurprisingly, are becoming further ingrained into our daily lives. And whether it’s on your way into work or during a one-hour-long jog on the treadmill, there are plenty of opportunities to plug your headphones in and listen to a bunch of voices whittle on for an hour or so.
The only problem is that with the podcast industry now booming, there are thousands (tens of thousands, even) of options to choose from, meaning you may not be able to decipher which are the finest ones available.
To help you cut the wheat from the chaff, these are the top 10 audio offerings to listen to this year.
Over three and a half million people are already listening to Nathan Latka’s daily podcast in which he interviews (and sometimes grills) the world’s top entrepreneurs in order to get straight to the core points of their business: how much they sold last month, how much they’re selling it for and what products they’re selling. Moreover, whereas hosts such as Oprah Winfrey are allowed time to make their guests feel comfortable before asking the more pressing questions, Latka, a 25-year-old software entrepreneur, does it all in under 20 minutes.
The Top by Nathan Latka
Hosted by a quartet of former aides to Barack Obama (Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovette and Daniel Pfeiffer), Pod Save America is a progressive political podcast that welcomes comedians, politicians, journalists, activists and more to discuss current world affairs, the press and all the challenges that the Trump presidency poses. Downloaded more than 120 times, this is an essential for those who seek a fake-news-free discussion about the issues the US currently faces.
Pod Save America
The Tip Off takes you behind the scenes of some of the finest investigative journalism in recent years. Each week sees a different journalist explain how they got the leads for their biggest stories, with some recollections that include car chases, terrorist cells and wrangling with despotic regimes. While all are worth a listen, what you really want to dive into is Codename Prometheus, an episode that’s dedicated to the Panama Papers and features the journalists who led the investigation (Bastian Obermayer, Holly Watt and Will Fitzgibbon) into the biggest data leak in history.
The Tip Off
If you’re a man with minimal time to spare, then Up First is the thing for you. Delivering the most important stories of the day (from politics to pop culture) in just 15 minutes, this bitesize-style podcast will be your go-to when you can’t afford a moment to scroll through your news and social feeds in the mornings.
The Pitch is like a grittier, rawer version of Apple’s Planet of the Apps, a podcast in which startup entrepreneurs pitch their companies to investors and receive feedback – and, if they’re lucky – an investment. The best part about it is that a wide variety of different ideas and investors are included, meaning that every episode offers a fresh perspective. Additionally, not only does it feature live pitches, but it also includes details of what happens after everyone shakes hands and departs the room.
Don’t have time to watch all those TEDx talks your friends keep talking about? Then why not listen to them on NPR’s TED Radio hour, hosted by Guy Raz. Recent episodes include topics such as beauty, new visions of medicine and the mystery of the human brain.
TED Radio Hour
Whether you want to ace your next pub quiz or simply feel like elevating your general knowledge portfolio, Stuff You Should Know will feed your curiosity in the easiest way possible. Helmed by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant (the upbeat American duo that edit HowStuffWorks.com), this podcast educates listeners on a variety of random topics that include how populations work, what nuclear forensics is and whether crickets are the future of food.
Stuff You Should Know
If you’re an aficionado of Serial and need a fix before its third series drops, then Criminal will certainly help. Each episode lasts approximately half an hour (ideal for the pre- and post-work commute) and explores a different true-life crime story, whether it’s about a man testing the legalities of using the middle finger or the most notorious woman poisoner of modern times.
This new podcast by the Beeb delves into the biggest issues in tech and science today, as well as what the world of tomorrow will bring us. The 12-part series, hosted by Dr Ellie Cosgrave and Britt Wray, will illuminate our understanding of how science can change our lives for the better and will discuss whether or not floating cities will solve overpopulation, what the future holds for AI and if more aggressive and unknown outbreaks lie in our future.
Finally, we would be remiss not to include our own fortnightly podcast in this list. With discussions all about success, modern business and the lives of entrepreneurs, as well as exclusive interviews with the UK’s most renowned businessmen and trailblazers, every episode is filled with invaluable insights and candid stories from the front line of modern enterprise.
Gentleman’s Journal podcast
Want to listen to your podcasts in style? Here are the best headphones to invest in right now