When Adam Curry and Dave Winer developed a program to download internet radio broadcasts to an iPod back in 2004, they probably had no idea that their program, the iPodder, would one day turn into a popular medium of information that we identify as podcasting today. Their invention was the foundation of on-demand audio which gives the listener the flexibility and the choice in deciding when and what to listen to, unlike traditional radio broadcasts, which often meant skimming through several stations just to tune that one exciting programme. A solitary listener, driving to work, seated on the bus, preparing a meal or counting steps on the treadmill, is immersed into what often feels like a more personal, more intimate and more authentic conversation. Unlike written and video content, podcasts are specifically designed to fit into those moments when you don’t want to scroll through your phone, but you need a little more than some background music. They also cater to those who don’t have the time to sit and read a 2 000 word article but want to keep abreast with current discourse, especially when the information is delivered in a creative and engaging manner, as opposed to the polished authority that traditional media transmit.
Smartphones and high-speed internet have catalyzed the growth of this particular digital medium with increasing content on any topic you can imagine – comedy to education, music, and technology. From panel discussions, narrative storytelling to solo-casts, there is a wide variety of podcasts providing byte-sized information (with room for further probing) and entertainment at no cost, as most podcasts are free to access. Podcasts also create communities, bringing together like-minded individuals to share and exchange knowledge and experiences on common interests. The conversation often turns into a sort of feedback loop where podcasters produce content which listeners consume and comment on, generating more ideas for more episodes. Whether you’re looking for inspiration and information, looking for some escape into the world of fiction, or just looking to optimize your time during a long commute, there’s bound to be a podcast for that will cater to your interests and time. Today, we’re highlighting seven podcasts that are worth a listen.
- Oxford’s Future Makers Podcast gives insight into key issues for the future of society in the light of the ever-changing times. Listen in for informative debates by the institution’s academics who are at the forefront of their profession as they explore past and on-going research in different topics. The first season of the podcast focuses on Artificial Intelligence, from the automation of jobs to the inherent bias of algorithms.
- The Conversation. Every week, Kim Chakanetsa hosts two women from different countries, backgrounds and age groups with common interests, passions or careers are shaking up the status quo. This podcast brings the female voice to the forefront, bringing together interesting and engaging women on a platform that values their unique experiences and knowledge. The show appeals to a range of professional fields – from skateboarding, climate change advocacy to sport.
- The Ted Interview. Fancy a 30-minute commute with Bill Gates or making dinner with Andrew McAfee? This is the podcast for you! The host, Chris Anderson (Head of TED) delves into the provocative and powerful ideas of this time as he speaks with some of the world’s most interesting people.
- The Gary Vee Audio Experience. If you’re looking some motivation to get you going through your entrepreneurial journey, this podcast is a great channel to subscribe to. Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, investor, vlogger, and public speaker and uses the podcast to share his insight on marketing and business through the #AskGaryVee show, keynote speeches and segments from his DAILYVEE video series.
- The Guilty Feminist. Hosted by Deborah Frances-White, the award-winning podcast and live show explores the big topics all 21st-century feminists agree on, whilst confessing the “buts” – the insecurities, hypocrisies, and fears that undermine most lofty feminist principles. Every episode, which is recorded in front of a live audience, begins with a confession: “I’m a feminist, but…”, an acknowledgement of the difficulty in living up to the tenets of feminism.
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations offers intimate, heartwarming and inspiring conversations about the significance of values, character, purpose and meaning in one’s life. Oprah, a celebrated media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist, sits down with thought-leaders, modern-day influencers and game-changers to unpack the current climate of politics, religion and culture.
- Jesus and Jollof No, this podcast is not about religion or the popular West-African rice dish. The name of the podcast is actually inspired by the two things that co-hosts Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji cannot live without. Join the two Nigerian women, who grew up in the United States as they have hilarious discussions about the things they love, their stories, and life in general.