Long, long gone are the days when podcasting was a low-rent, spare time hobby. Today over 67 million Americans listen to podcasts each month, and the medium’s audience grows 21% year-on-year. Titles such as Serial, S-Town and Dirty John have captured the public imagination, while shows such as Radiolab and My Dad Wrote a Porno have made stars of their creators.
So, too, has the podcast-startup world flourished. Last month Stockholm-based Acast, which was founded in 2014, won a $19.5m Series B funding round, bringing its total backing up to just over $32m. New York’s Gimlet Media, whose stable include some of the podosphere’s best business and startup titles, is backed to the tune of $27.5m.
But while the people creating podcasts are making it big, what are the best podcasts titles for prospective startup impresarios to take notice of? Here’s a list of five shows Red Herring is addicted to – and a good use of that gym/commute/strolling time.
As its none-so-mysterious name suggests, this is a podcast about startups. The long running Gimlet show comes out each week, and takes a deep dive into some of the most pressing issues in tech affecting modern society. What’s the latest in China’s innovation industry? How is digital currency affecting us? Why have domains remained so profitable? Whichever the subject, expect a forensic and fun analysis from StartUp’s team.
2. Entrepreneurs on Fire
John Lee Dumas might be the podosphere’s hardest working interviewer. As well as penning books and online courses, Dumas interviews an entrepreneur a day, every day, every week. At the time of going to press Entrepreneur on Fire was at its 1,827th episode. So confident is Dumas in his team’s ability to change your fortunes, he even keeps a ticker of his own earnings on the EoF site. And judging by his margins, it’s something aspiring young tech heads should be taking note of.
3. The Economist Babbage Podcast
Like WIRED, Monocle and others, the storied Economist has been busy leveraging its esteemed print reputation into audio content. Among the magazine’s many pod-based titles Babbage, named after the inventor of the digital programmable computer, gives a pithy and concise summary of some of tech’s big-picture topics. Impeccable editorializing and some of the cleverest bods in tech and business journalism, Babbage is a great introductory for what you need to know around the water cooler – and it’s good meeting fodder for chats with bookish investors.
TWIST–or This Week in Startups, to give it its acronym-purist-bating full title–offers hundreds of videos, articles and of course podcasts on the stories of those who’ve made it in the cutthroat world of tech. The platform, which also runs a series of respected events, is great for understanding the thought processes, successes and fails that lie behind some of the world’s most illustrious brands.
5. The Pitch
Pitching can seem like a dark art for those who’ve struggled through countless painful investor meetings. Thankfully The Pitch, another Gimlet title, is there to help – in the form of a series that pitches real startup hopefuls with real investors. Think an audio Shark Tank, but with fewer dizzying camera edits and far more insightful information that you can carry to that next sweat-inducing pitch of your own.