Adam Martin runs through four of the best you can listen to in the year ahead.
Many have heralded 2015 as the year of the podcast. At the end of last year, murder mystery Serial held a good chunk of the world captivated, almost single-handedly proving that, not only is the podcast alive and kicking, but it appears to be entering a golden age. According to research by advertising agency Podtrac, over 1m unique listeners tuned into the programme each week, breaking iTunes records in terms of download numbers.
So if you’ve found yourself at a listening loose end in January, with nothing to turn on for your commute, or you’ve never gone near podcasts but want a new way to spend the five minutes you get to yourself at lunch time, here are a few suggestions of where to start:
DISTRACTION PIECES WITH SCROOBIUS PIP
Hip hop artist and spoken word poet Scroobius Pip interviews everyone from Russell Brand to mathematician Simon Singh. Intimate, insightful and engaging, he delivers long form conversations with his guests in an open and honest format that makes you feel like you’re right there in the studio. No topic is off the table, with discussions ranging from politics to music, stand up comedy to current affairs.
If you’re familiar with the Headspace app, you’ll know that meditation expert Andy Puddicombe can deliver magic with his softly spoken mindfulness, helping you to appreciate the present moment.
Headspace Radio brings you more of the same, and will have you floating into work. It’s the perfect way to get through the manic morning commuter crush, and prepare for the day ahead. Plug in, turn on and tune out, starting the day in the most relaxed way possible.
Radio producer Alex Blumberg narrates the story of how he built a podcast business, giving great insight into the contrast between a salaried job and the world of tech startups and venture capital.
The This American Life and Planet Money veteran covers the great successes, but also the hard-hitting failures – and everything else in between. His frank truths on what it takes to run a business are as useful to high-achieving employees as they are to entrepreneurs.
For something a bit different, turn to Helen Zaltzman’s linguistic trickery to expand your early morning mind and work day vocabulary. Play some games and learn some new – and often bizarre – words to make your journey into work – and morning chats with colleagues – amusing and informative. The writer and comedian’s series on the origins of words is an experience to be relished and shared, featuring interviews with fellow comedians offering hilarious and smile-inducing exchanges.
Zaltzman’s first episode is all about the history of the pun, so be prepared to stifle a few snorts as you listen to this audio punslaught.
Adam Martin is global content director at Acast.
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