If you don’t already know what a podcast is then then I suggest you start Here. I feel it is safe to assume that most of you are at least aware of the general concept and how to go about getting one to emit sound into your head. If not, I suggest you give it a shot. The plethora of content available is mind-boggling and I can guarantee that there is someone out there producing content to suit your specific needs and tastes. I have been an avid listener for years. Most all of my time is spent with headphones in or something streaming through my Apple TV or YouTube for those with accompanying video. They are my primary source of entertainment, as well as the medium for which I consume most of my intellectual content besides books.
There are many reasons that I love podcasts. In many respects – and this is more due to the types of content that I consume – I am able to sit at the table and listen in on some of the most unfiltered, raw, and organic conversations from some of the greatest minds of our time. I am able to mine and collect data and knowledge without having to pay tuition or travel to sit in on lectures or seminars. Just imagine if the debates within the Continental Congress or the drafting of the Constitution were live streamed? Anyone with wifi access can tap into a collective human experience unimaginable even 20 years ago. It’s really quite wonderful. Anything you can possible imagine is available. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Open Google and test the statement. For example, shows like S-Town are revolutionizing audio story telling (I should have posted a link to a creepy dude in his grandma’s basement dressing his cats up as characters from Friends while making them act out scenes from Hamlet…).
Podcasting allows creators to develop and grow content while letting their audience find them. In many respects, the relationship between creator and consumer is more aligned with what I’m assuming most artists would prefer – They have complete creative control over how and when to generate; whom to take on as a sponsor; and how actively to engage with their audience. I can’t imagine, with podcasts, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and all of the other forms of on-demand and live streaming, that the more traditional methods of development (Network and Cable subscriptions) are going to be able to maintain a competitive advantage. Their business models aren’t capable of addressing the needs of the individual consumer.
These are the five shows that I listen to regularly and have provided me with the most value and that I find myself recommending to people the most. They are in no specific order. Happy listening!
Here you can find just about anything. From shows specific to MMA recap and analysis (I skip these, personally) to conversations with fellow stand-up comedians, health and fitness experts, and pioneers in science and industry. The quality of the show is excellent and the sheer volume of content produced is incredible. Joe is an amazing host and I cannot thank him enough for introducing me to a number of other fascinating individuals and ideas. Strap in and get comfortable because most shows range between 2 and 3 hours.
As humble as Mr. Carlin is in interview, there is little doubt among those with the credentials to say so, that he is anything but the most important historian working today. This coming from a man who is not trained as a professional historian. No amount of words can do justice for the quality and depth of research that goes into each and every show, especially those that are episodic. Shows can take months to appear in your feed and you will understand why once you start listening. His series on WWI is one of my favorites. Dan has changed the way that I perceive history. Anyone who is fascinated by human nature will find this show enthralling. This is so much more than a “history” podcast.
Mr. Harris is one of the most enjoyable and engaging intellectuals exploring ideas that I have been lucky enough to discover. His approach is conversational and he does not shy away from engaging with guests who disagree with him. The guests always provide an insane amount of depth and authority on the topics they are covering with Sam. This is a podcast that is hard for me to listen to on the go because I find myself stopping to take notes or write down the name of a book referenced. I enjoy listening to this show as I’m walking or exercising when I can focus on what is being said. I don’t believe it should be listened to ‘in the background.’ There are too many important things being discussed to not be fully engaged. Most episodes are under two hours. This show is add free which, given the types of discussions taking place, makes it feel more genuine and true to intellectual pursuit and not based on the agenda of a financial backer.
This show is just plain fun! It mixes the adventure of learning and discovering new topics and people with a crazy amount of humor and inside jokes. Dan’s stand-up is superb and he brings that energy and goofiness to a very well organized and incredibly fun show. The way in which he engages with his audience and is building a culture (Cult of the Curious) around the show is really fun to be apart of. If learning about stuff is your thing but shows like Hardcore History and Waking Up are too heavy for you, then Timesuck is your show. Most shows run between and hour and a half to two hours. Hail Nimrod!
This is my go-to for when I want to laugh hysterically and in no way think about anything serious or use my brain. This is no knock on the mommies at all. They are two of the best stand-ups working today. The production value of the show is fantastic and the availability of video takes the show to a whole new level once you are able to see the videos they are commenting on and working off of. Their chemistry on the show is fantastic and they have an incredibly talented and twisted fan base which add to the dynamic and trajectory of the show. This show is NSFW, and generally runs an hour to an hour and a half. It’s so fun. You’ll find out what kind of weirdo’s reside in the depths of the internet for sure with this show.