For nearly 10 years I’ve been a huge consumer of podcasts and have been elated to see it come more into the mainstream over the last few years. The two biggest virtues of Podcasting are the long-form and in-depth conversations that take place, combined with the variety of content. This results in a utopia of great content, no matter how diverse or obscure your interests are.
Some of the biggest podcasts have been involved with TryPod all March, where they ask listeners to invite friends to check out some of their favorite podcasts. I’ve been meaning to post my list of favorite podcasts all month, but what better time to get around to it than the last day of the month? Better late than never I guess.
First you need to know that my podcasting obsession may be a little out of control. I currently subscribe to 87 different podcast fees, and this is after recently pruning my subscriptions. It’s certainly not practical to listen to 87 different podcasts (although some of those are currently dormant or don’t produce content on a frequent basis), and so over the years I’ve adapted my podcast listening strategy. Typically I am an obsessed completion-ist, feeling that subscribing to a podcast meant a commitment to hear every episode. That then evolved into a “must listen” list, where I selected the top podcasts that I wouldn’t miss. Today, I treat my Podcast feeds more like a radio dial: there are shows that I’ll always grab as soon as they’re available, and have developed a lower tolerance for entertaining content and may stop listening to a podcast mid-episode if it doesn’t interest me, some shows I’ll just skip all together and wait for the next episode.
As I’ve said before, there are great podcasts for just about every interest that you have, and as such I listen to podcasts about Politics, Sports, Pop Culture, Photography, Drumming, Music Business, Comics, Technology and Development, News and Comedy. Currently the majority of my listening is steeped in news and politics, where I’m striving to get a vast array of opinions. I politically consider myself a fiscal conservative and socially moderate Republican, that is currently questioning my party affiliation. You may notice that many of the political podcasts are more mainstream or left-leaning, in my attempt to understand different viewpoints.
So without further ado, here are 31 Podcasts for 31 Days (in no particular order):
News, Politics Interviews – Weekly
Why I Listen: Hosted by Chuck Todd, the podcast enables him to dive deeper into compelling topics that interest him.
Technology (Mostly Apple) – Weekly
Why I Listen: Geeky tech talk that dives deep into mainly Apple issues, isn’t afraid to go deep in the weeds with nerdy topics.
Politics – Weekly
Why I Listen: This Washington Post podcast is focused around Donald Trump, with a fair analysis of recent controversial decisions and behaviors.
Comics – 2-4 Per Month
Why I Listen: One of my oldest podcasts to remain at the top of my rotation. Some really passionate and nerdy (and I mean that affectionately) discussion-based podcasts. They cover a wide array of comics, but my favorite episodes are their deep-dive “spotlight” episodes on characters and their eras.
Tech – Weekly
Why I Listen: Really thoughtful discussion on the latest technology topics. Essentially Nilay Patel and Walt Mossberg discuss Walt’s recent column. This podcast has grown to be one of my favorite tech podcasts, and has really made me develop a significant amount of respect for Walt Mossberg.
Sports – Weekly
Why I Listen: Recently back from the dead, this NSFW Podcast gives hilarious discussion on sports and some pop culture.
Music Business – Weekly
Why I Listen: Put on by CDBaby, this podcast gives me a lot to think about when it comes to musician marketing, outreach and growing our band. I appreciate that their topics are varied, yet apply to working musicians.
Tech/Business – Weekly
Why I Listen: These guys are probably the smartest and most insightful analysts I listen to. My mind is always blown by the richness of their discussions. Most of it is based in consumer technology business models, but I’m left with a lot to ponder after each podcast.
Comics – Weekly
Why I Listen: Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin talking all things comics. Despite the name, they’ve branched out far beyond Batman and talk all things comics/geek culture. The language can be NSFW, but is often my go-to podcast when I’m trying to catch up on the latest comic news.
Politics – Weekly
Why I Listen: Extremely insightful analysis on political numbers, polls and recent political happenings. The analysis is very fair and the hosts do a great job of taking a dry subject and making it entertaining and accessible.
Photography – 2x Monthly
Why I Listen: I’m a huge FroKnowsPhoto fan. Honestly a lot of my photography approach is shaped by Jared Polin. What I most appreciate about this show is that it covers photo news, happenings and issues that professional and budding photographers face. The show doesn’t get too far into the weeds, but is extremely entertaining. Their newest format with Todd took a while to grow on me, but it’s really matured into an insightful and entertaining show.
Interviews – 2-4x Monthly
Why I Listen: Thoughtful interviews done by Alec Baldwin – yes, that Alec Baldwin. He goes to great depths with celebrities from all over. I leave each show learning more about both Alec and his subject.
Comics – Weekly
Why I Listen: This is probably my favorite podcast. As a closeted X-men fan that got into comics in the early 90’s, this is definitely in my wheelhouse. The level of depth in the recaps and analysis is impressive and entertaining. It’s easy to take for granted just how much work Jay and Miles put into each episode.
Star Trek – Weekly
Why I Listen: A weekly Star Trek episode recap show.As a Trekie who’s seen every episode at least 4 times, I love revisiting the show each week and thinking about the show’s messages, and whether it holds up. If you love Star Trek, you’ll be deep-diving into their archives.
Politics – Weekly
Why I Listen: Insightful center-left analysis of the latest political happenings. I appreciate the context that is offered for the current issues.
Politics/News – Weekly
Why I Listen: A left-leaning look on the ways culture and media impact each other. This show is well-done and thought-provoking, although it’s definitely gone to a darker place since the election.
Pop Culture – Weekly
Why I Listen: Witty and insightful discussion on the latest movies, TV shows, and pop-culture happenings. The shows are the perfect length and provide the perfect depth and analysis of the topics. This show is basically Cliff-Notes for Pop Culture, so you can give the illusion that you’re still hip.
Narrative – One-Time
Why I Listen: This is the newest edition to my feed, recently replacing the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. This is done by the same group that put on Serial once upon a time, and is done in the same story-telling format. I would call this a cross between “human interest’ and “guilty pleasure”.
Political History – 2x Month
Why I Listen: Hosted by John Dickerson, this podcast provides some historical context to recent political events. This helps you figure out whether you should freak out about latest political developments.
Tech/Business – Weekly
Why I Listen: A fantastic narrative-based podcast that covers the world of starting and growing a business.
Comedy/Comics/Movies – Weekly
Why I Listen: An extremely funny show where comedians discuss and recap new and old super hero movies. What starts off as hilarious observations ends up with some very insightful reflections on the movies.
The Axe Files
Politics Interviews – Weekly
Why I Listen: Former Obama advisor David Axelrod interviews political figures from all sides of the political spectrum.
Sports, Pop Culture – 1-3x Per week
Why I Listen: One of my longest-tenured podcasts dating back to the BS Report, Bill ;Simmons has some very entertaining interviews.
News, Politics – Daily
Why I Listen: A new New York Times podcast that I listen while showering each morning. It’s short, well-produced and very topical.
Tech/Apple – Weekly
Why I Listen: Interesting Apple-focused tech discussion.
West Wing TV Show – Weekly
Why I Listen: An entertaining and insightful recap of West Wing episodes, with Hrishikesh Hirway and Josh Malina (who was on the West Wing in Seasons 4-7). They land interviews from various cast members, including Aaron Sorkin himself.
Tech Analysis – Weekly
Why I Listen: One of my longest-tenured podcasts for tech news discussion and analysis. I have to admit that I listen to this one more out of loyalty now, with my listening being determined by who’s on the week’s panel.
TV Pop Culture – Weekly
Why I Listen: A TV critics podcast about the latest and best shows. I’m a big fan of Alan Sepinwall and am glad to have him back in Podcasting.
Tech News, Apple – Weekly
Why I Listen: Another Apple-focused tech discussion podcast. I’m starting to see a trend with most of my tech consumption being Apple-focused. I’d like to think this is more coincidental in my search for insightful tech discussion, but some may be influenced by my tech consumption as an iOS user.
Political Policy – Weekly
Why I Listen: Intelligent left-leaning political policy discussion going in “the weeds” on issues.
The Weekly Standard
Political Discussion – 1-2x Weekly
Why I Listen: Conservative political discussion and analysis of current events. The Weekly Standard is definitely pro-Republican, but not necessarily Pro-Trump, which makes for some insightful commentary.
I would definitely invite you to give any of these 31 podcasts a try, especially if any of the interests are in your wheelhouse. If you’re already into podcasts, I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have.