Podcasts are having a big moment right now, and it looks like it is going to continue through 2015. Podcasts arrived on the scene right after the first iPod came out in 2001, and they did thrive for a while. It seemed like everyone had a podcast. But eventually – except for RadioLab, This American Life, and some niche podcasts (think: Marc Maron’s WTF) – podcasts kind of petered out.
Then came 2014. Like many Internet phenomena, podcasts were upon us in full force before anyone really knew why. But experts conclude it is for a few reasons. First of all, podcasts are higher quality these days. Second, they are cheaper to make than a TV or radio show, and with cars going online, podcasts have a whole new commuting audience. Auto industry group GMSA estimates that 50 percent of all cars sold in 2015 will be internet-connected, and 100 percent by 2025. That’s a lot of potential podcast listening.
Sooo…what are all these podcasters talking about? There are literally podcasts about everything and for everyone, even web designers that work from home! We came up some of the best podcasts in a few different categories that you should listen to the next time you are in the car, walking the dog or doing the dishes. If you’ve been on a Serial binge and you’re looking for some new fuel to feed your podcast fire, here are some of the best podcasts of the year:
Best Web Design Pod Casts
This podcast covers all-things-business in the field of web design (although, that means it talks less about the creative aspects).
First of all, you have to love the title. This is an essential for anyone in web design. Led by Leah Reich and Mike Monteiro, Let’s Make Mistakes is a bevy of useful information.
One of the most popular design podcasts, this is a definite download. Host Debbie Millman has in-depth and poignant interviews with industry-leading graphic designers, educators, authors, change agents, and thinkers.
If you want some good design gossip, this is the podcast for you.
Want a little fun with your web design podcast? Check out The Gorilla (Nick Campbell)’s great insight into motion graphics, productivity, work ethic, design inspiration, and demo reels.
This one is aimed at both freelancers and in-house/agency designers. The hosts, Wes McDowell, Brand Voss, and Mikelle Morrison, have plenty of tips to offer.
Best Podcasts for Women (and by women)
Who doesn’t like a good story about women? Plus they get some pretty amazing guests.
Women at work, this is the podcast for you.
Hosted by Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia, and Ramou. Come here to get a lively, interesting discussion from some opinionated ladies. Plus they interview women with incredible jobs.
Mom told you a lot, but not everything. That’s where this smart podcast comes in. From why women are more likely to join cults (that explains SoulCycle then) to getting surgery to reduce your cancels, this podcast covers everything.
You will probably recognize Jen Kirkman from Drunk History or Chelsea Lately, so you know you are in good hands. But don’t expect anything fancy. This is just a funny lady talking from her bed.
Best Podcasts in Comedy
Aisha Tyler (also the voice of Lana in Archer) has conversations with interesting people. It’s funny too.
Comedian Cameron Esposito records her weekly stand-up showcase at the L.A. branch of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. It is comic magic.
These two white comics, Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher, use their podcast platform to interview a “different black guest” each week. Sounds a little weird but it is actually really good and smart. Recent guests include Baratunde Thurston and Damon Wayans Jr.
Ever wonder how Spice World got greenlit? Or how about Junior? Well, comedians/actors Paul Scheer (The League), June Diane Raphael (New Girl) and Jason Mantzoukas will tell you.
Hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi have vibrant discussions about women’s rights, gay rights, and, of course, pop culture. What could be funnier?
Comic vets Kyle Dunnigan and Tig Notaro create new characters on the spot while David Huntsberger tries to keep the guest interviews on track.
The Best Food Podcasts
This video podcast led by Kathy Maister provides simple, straight-forward run–throughs of a variety of delicious recipes.
This is not just a food blog but is quite hilarious as well. It is divided into several acts that follow the course of a dinner party.
For the true foodies, each episode focuses on one type of food. Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton host.
The brilliant minds behind Leite’s Culinaria are the guiding forces of this useful podcast.
You don’t have to be a food expert to enjoy this podcast, you just have to like eating. Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison are “obsessively compulsive about eating more awesomely.”
Best Small Business Podcasts
This is a great if you are looking for advice on talent acquisition, HR, leadership, and similar topics.
Need help motivating and engaging employees? Look here. Plus find tons of tips for all kinds of businesses.
For those of you who work at home, you aren’t alone. This weekly podcast offers advice for the officeless.
Get your marketing on! Topics include things like referral marketing and email marketing.
A video podcast, it highlights different entrepreneurs of startup companies. Each show features a different startup and discusses other news stories from the week that could impact web companies.
And finally if you can’t get enough of Serial and aren’t sure what you will do now that Season 1 is over and you still don’t know what’s up with Jay, check out these addictions: Love+Radio, Unfictional, Radio Diaries, Death, Sex & Money, Strangers, The Moth, Risk!