Podcast Essentials

Your one-stop guide to the best podcasts to listen to in various categories.

The lost art of audio-storytelling is back in the form of podcasts – a medium that is thriving and taking over mainstream entertainment. Seemingly riding on the coattails of the digital music streaming revolution, the surge of podcasting is undeniable. This surge, coupled with the phenomenal growth of streaming platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud, has led to podcasts being able to cater to every taste – history, politics, sports, music and more. The convenience of consuming content while driving, jogging and commuting has especially appealed to younger audiences.

Today, we would like to give you a quick rundown of the best podcasts out there, based on your tastes.

Music and Movies

  • Maed In India – It is India’s first indie music podcast and it showcases the best Indian independent musicians from India and abroad. The soulful quirkiness of the podcast and quality music production make it a unique listen. Available to stream on Spotify and IVMPodcast.
  • The Bollywood Project – Here we have two Indian-origin Americans, Hani and Uzma, providing fresh, funny and passionate takes on the colourful and magnetic Hindi film industry. Available on Audioboom and ApplePodcasts.
  • Scriptnotes – John August and Craig Mazin’s ‘Scriptnotes’, a weekly movie podcast that dives into all things “interesting to screenwriters.” Notable guests such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Melissa McCarthy have stopped by to discuss the craft of movies and script-writing. Available on Spotify.

Politics and News

  • Shut Up Ya, Kunal – The viral, outspoken comedian dives into the complex world of Indian politics using satirical humour as a means to not only bring light to important issues but also to humanize politicians who come on his podcast. Some of his guests include Kanhaiya Kumar, Umer Khalid, and Madhukeshwar Desai. Available on YouTube.
  • Gantrantrata – Hosted by political scientist Sarayu Natarajan and policy lawyer Alok Prasanna Kumar, listeners tune in to enjoy expert takes on controversial subjects of the relentless political news cycle. Available on IVMPodcasts.
  • The Ben Shapiro Show – Conservative political activist and intellectual Ben Shapiro provides commentary into the diverse world of American politics and global geopolitics. Ben’s detailed, articulate and quintessential ‘fact over feeling’ perspective makes his show appealing to American Conservatives and Centrists alike. Available on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Sports and Comedy

  • True Geordie Podcast – Along with his friend Lawrence, Bryan a.k.a True Geordie, offers his passionate yet well-informed opinions on sports, comedy, movies and social media personalities. His diverse list of guests includes football legends Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, Boxer Tyson Fury and strongman Eddie Hall. Available on YouTube.
  • Breakfast With Champions – Notable cricket and sports personality Gaurav Kapur sits down with famous stars from the sporting world such as Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, and DJ Bravo to talk about their careers and dealing with fame. This is not exactly a podcast, but the personal and low-key vibe of the show makes it a worthy inclusion. Also, Gaurav’s hilariously fascinating conversation with Ashish Nehra could very well be the greatest piece of entertainment content ever produced!
  • The Joe Rogan Experience – MMA personality and comedian Joe Rogan invites a diverse group of guests to talk about topics including martial arts, comedy, economics, military, science, and technology. Joe has had guests such as Boxer Mike Tyson, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, tech mogul Elon Musk and comedian Kevin Hart, amongst others. Joe’s incredible ability to speak on such a wide range of genres and hold a conversation with intellectuals makes this simply the best podcast to tune into. Available on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

Science and Technology

  • The Vergecast – Hosted by Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn, alongside a cavalcade of tech luminaries, Vergecast is the only podcast you need to make sense of the week in tech news. The weekly show gives an irreverent and informative look at what’s happening right now (and the next) in the world of technology and gadgets. Available on The Verge and Stitcher.
  • Radiolab – Radiolab is Hosted by Jad Abumrad, but with a large staff. Radiolab is one of the best audio experiences in science podcasting. Abumrad and his team weave an audio story in just 30 minutes with the help of sound, music, and expert interviews. The intersection of science, philosophy, and human experience is definitely worth listening. Available on NPR and YouTube.Available on NPR and YouTube.

Of course, we may have left off a few quality podcasts which may appeal more to some. The fact remains that podcasts are here to stay – especially after the millions of dollars invested into this medium by major corporations who have recognised the extreme potential in podcasting. Hopefully, as more and more experts and mainstream media personalities are getting into podcasting, we can expect a further improvement in this exciting new medium. 

Article by Sanjana Addagarla and Aman Parikh