Best business podcasts: From Harvard's HBR IdeaCast to Marketing Smarts and The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

On the go: more and more people worldwide are becoming podcast listeners
Listen to anything from Stanford lectures to coffee shop discussions
If you're not a podcast listener, the chances are that you know someone who is. In 2013, subscriptions to these downloadable audio files (featuring everything from comedy to political debate) hit 1bn through iTunes. And according to podcast hosting company RawVoice, the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has leapt to 75m, from 25m five years ago.
Lending themselves to regular content, provided you can wear earphones, podcasts can be listened to just about anywhere – from the Tube to the gym. Moreover, increasing numbers of business-orientated providers are springing up – and they’re almost always free. So if you’re looking to up your knowledge or hone your skills, finding a few extra minutes to tune in could help boost your prospects in the workplace. Here, City A.M. runs through some of the best currently out there.

PROBLEMS AND ANSWERS

HBR IdeaCast is the podcast division of the Harvard Business Review. Its weekly podcast promises the latest “analysis and advice of the leading minds in management”. Past guests include Google’s Eric Schmidt, investor Marc Andreessen and Boris Johnson. The podcasts are rarely longer than 20 minutes, meaning you can cover a range of topics quickly.
If you’re looking for something even more regular, which helps you build up a set of skills as you listen, The $100 MBA could be one to try. The daily podcasts pledge to help you “get better at business with our daily 10 minute business lessons.” Host Omar Zenhom has over 14 years of experience, dropping out of Wharton Business School in the belief that there was a better way to teach business. Its “no fluff” content sees industry professionals educate listeners on a large variety of topics.

SELL WELL

Another podcast that scores highly is marketing-focused Marketing Smarts. Its 30 minute-long, weekly offerings provide in-depth content from industry leaders, curated by specialists MarketingProfs.
For a more comprehensive view of marketing and how to make the most of it in business, try Marketing Over Coffee. Holed up in a coffee shop, presenters John Wall and Christopher Penn frequently interview guest experts, coursing through the world of marketing, and sharing tips on subjects like social media, new technologies and marketing tools.

MOVING ON UP

Another way to make the most of business podcasts is to turn to those that focus on personal development. Careers adviser specialist Manager Tools was set up in 2005, and is ideal if you’re in a management or leadership role. Listen to Mark Horstman and Mike Auzenne, both former executives, discuss how you can equip yourself to further your career objectives, with a specific set of aims broached in each edition.
And for more general inspiration, try The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders. The podcasts are from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and each lecture features a founder or leader talking about their firm or the business world more widely. Recent contributors have included Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz, and Eventbrite founders Kevin and Julia Hartz.

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