Top Podcasts of 2021

by | Jun 23, 2021 | Podcasting

Searching for a new podcast? Whether you’re on the hunt for a daily news podcast for your commute to work or in need of a true crime podcast to binge while you’re working out, we’ve got you covered. Check out these top podcasts of 2021!

Best Comedy Podcasts

Black Men Can’t Jump [In Hollywood]

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays
  • Average Episode Length: 80 minutes
  • Network: Forever Dog
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Spotify, Stitcher

Listen in as Jonathan Braylock, Jerah Milligan, and James III comedically review films with leading actors of color and analyze the diversity issues in Hollywood. Jonathan, Jerah, and James discuss everything from Michael B. Jordan’s performance in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse to Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon.

My Brother, My Brother And Me

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays
  • Average Episode Length: 60 minutes
  • Network: Maximum Fun
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher

Looking for free advice from (un)qualified experts? Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy spend an hour every Monday solving other people’s problems and sharing news about haunted dolls and fast food innovations. Their advice may not be words of wisdom to live by, but it will add some entertainment and laughter to your day!

Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer

  • Episode Frequency: Fridays
  • Average Episode Length: 60 minutes
  • Network: Team Coco
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Audible, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher

Nicole Byer is “perpetually single,” and she has been for decades. So every week, she invites a comedian, a friend, or an ex-fling onto her podcast to talk about their dating light and figure out her own. Byer and her guests cover a wide range of topics—from arranged marriages to asking dates about their credit score—regarding dating, love, and life.

Best Entertainment & Pop Culture Podcasts

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays
  • Average Episode Length: 100 minutes
  • Network: Armchair Umbrella
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Check out Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert, which features long-form interviews with celebrities, politicians, and public figures. Shepard’s goal is to have conversations that are vulnerable and honest about the messiness of being human. From Julianna Margulies’ experience to working on ER with George Clooney to Prince Harry’s discussion on his approach to mental health issues, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard covers a wide berth of society, entertainment, pop culture, and real-life issues.

Binge Mode

  • Episode Frequency: Once or twice a week
  • Average Episode Length: 120 minutes
  • Network: The Ringer
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Join The Ringer‘s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion as they dive deep into the TV and movie industries. Binge Mode has multiple seasons featuring different in-depth discussions on fan favorites, such as Marvel, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. Their wide array of knowledge will have you armed for every trivia night!

Pop Culture Happy Hour

  • Episode Frequency: Weekdays
  • Average Episode Length: 25 minutes
  • Network: NPR
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, NPR One, Pocket Casts, Spotify, RSS Link

Every weekday, Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris are joined by various pop-culture guests to discuss the latest moves, TV, music, books, video games, and more on Pop Culture Happy Hour. And since the episodes are almost always less than half an hour, you can get a quick fix of your pop culture news!

Best History Podcasts

Making Gay History

  • Episode Frequency: Ninth season starting July 1
  • Average Episode Length: 25 minutes
  • Network: Independent
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Pod Bean, Pod Chaser, Spotify, Stitcher

Discover the intimate, personal portraits of LGBTQ champions, heroes, and witnesses to history in Making Gay History. The goal of the podcast is to bring forth the stories of the LGBTQ civil rights movement through the voices of those who lived it. Each episode focuses on a single individual, such as Christopher Isherwood, Edythe Eyde, Dick Leitsch, and Jean O’Leary.

Slow Burn

  • Episode Frequency: Wednesdays
  • Average Episode Length: 45 minutes
  • Network: Slate Podcasts
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify

The Slow Burn podcast from Slate Magazine allows listeners to reflect on difficult parts of U.S. history. Over the course of five seasons, reporters have discussed the Iraq War, white supremacy, the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and the Watergate scandal.

Throughline

  • Episode Frequency: Thursdays
  • Average Episode Length: 60 minutes
  • Network: NPR
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, NPR One, Pocket Casts, Spotify, RSS Link

Study the past through a different lens to better understand the present and future. NPR’s Throughline podcast examines stores that shape the world around us. Join hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei to understand the history behind the violence that has engulfed Palestine. Learn about the Black Panthers battle for social justice equality. Or hear about the development of masks from bird beaks to N95 respirators.

Best News & Political Podcasts

The Daily

  • Episode Frequency: Weekdays
  • Average Episode Length: 20 minutes
  • Network: The New York Times
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher

Every weekday morning at 6 AM EST, The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro releases The Daily, a 20-minute podcast highlighting the most pressing news headlines around the world. Barbaro’s podcast includes interviews with highly respected professionals in every field to fully analyze the stories. The quick news segments take listeners inside the biggest stories of our time to uncover the necessary facts and information.

NPR News Now

  • Episode Frequency: Hourly
  • Average Episode Length: 5 minutes
  • Network: NPR
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, NPR One, Pocket Casts, Spotify, RSS Link

NPR News Now is a quick, five-minute podcast that’s updated hourly with relevant current events. The show features national and international news, relying on NPR journalists around the world who interview civilians and report on the latest news.

Pod Save America

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays
  • Average Episode Length: 80 minutes
  • Network: Crooked Media
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify

Pod Save America is a “no bullshit conversation about politics” Crooked Media podcast hosted by former White House aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor. They regularly interview world leaders, entertainers, activists, journalists, and politicians about current events and the state of American politics.

Best Society & Culture Podcasts

Stuff You Should Know

  • Episode Frequency: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Average Episode Length: 50 minutes
  • Network: iHeartRadio
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify

Do you have unanswered questions about the Titanic? Have you ever wondered how uranium mining works? Curious as to how karaoke nights first started? iHeartRadio’s Stuff You Should Know is hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant. Three days a week, the duo educates their listeners on a wide array of educational and entertaining topics.

This American Life

  • Episode Frequency: Sundays
  • Average Episode Length: 60 minutes
  • Network: This American Life
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Spotify

This American Life is a weekly public radio show that’s published on multiple networks for people to listen to. Hosted by Ira Glass, the hour-long show puts together stories around a theme each week. The show aims to feature compelling people, funny moments, big feelings, surprising plot twists, and interesting ideas. New shows are uploaded every Sunday, but there are over 700 archived episodes you can find on their app.

We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

  • Episode Frequency: Tuesdays
  • Average Episode Length: 60 minutes
  • Network: Independent
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Audacy, Audible, Spotify

New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle recently started a new podcast with her sister Amanda to share tips to make life easier. Inspired by Doyle’s recent book, Untamed, the sisters address a variety of hardships people encounter from job struggles to loneliness and everything in between in We Can Do Hard Things. Their goal is to provide insight and strength so everyone can live lighter, brighter, freer, and less alone.

Best Sports Podcasts

The Bill Simmons Podcast

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
  • Average Episode Length: 80 minutes
  • Network: The Ringer
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, PodBay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

Sports analyst Bill Simmons’ self-titled podcast features a variety of celebrity guests, athletes, and media hosts to discuss Super Bowl victories, road win streaks, NBA trade rumors, playoff picks, and more! His show is often split into two parts and is released three days a week.

The Lowe Post

  • Episode Frequency: Biweekly
  • Average Episode Length: 70 minutes
  • Network: ESPN
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbay, Podbhaser,

ESPN’s Zach Lowe hosts The Lowe Post, a basketball podcast that discusses the latest news and trends in the NBA, conference outlooks, struggling teams, MVP races, and the play-in tournament. Lowe’s show typically features his ESPN colleagues like Mina Kimes, Nick Friedell, Bobby Marks, and Kirk Goldsberry.

Pardon My Take

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays,
  • Average Episode Length: 100 minutes
  • Network: Barstool Sports
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify

Big Cat and PFT Commenter provide “the loudest and most correct sports takes in the history of the spoken word” on Pardon My Take. The irreverent Barstool Sports podcast is unpredictable and comedic while discussing everything from the winner of the PGA to Kentucky Derby predictions. No sports-related topic or news is off-limits!

Best True Crime Podcasts

Crime Junkie

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays
  • Average Episode Length: 50 minutes
  • Network: audiochuck
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Stitcher, Spotify

Get your weekly true crime fix with Crime Junkie. Every Monday, host Ashley Flowers tells listeners and cohost Brit Frawat about whatever true crime story they’re obsessing over that week. Flowers’ storytelling aims to be straightforward, free of rabbit holes, suspenseful, and easy to follow for fellow crime junkies like herself.

Dateline NBC

  • Episode Frequency: Tuesdays, Wednesdays
  • Average Episode Length: 45 minutes
  • Network: NBC News
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify

If you’re a Dateline TV fan, then the Dateline NBC podcast is perfect for you. Solve a murder committed in broad daylight or explore the facts from an old cold case. Listen to true crime mysteries, powerful documentaries, and in-depth investigations of chilling stories that will have you on the edge of your seat.

My Favorite Murder

  • Episode Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays
  • Average Episode Length: 100 minutes
  • Network: Exactly Right
  • Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, PlayerFM

Stay sexy and don’t get murdered with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The two My Favorite Murder hosts release biweekly episodes to discuss well-known murder cases as well as hometown stories submitted by their “Murderino” fans. Some of their episodes are even recorded in front of a live audience.

Are you a podcast fan interested in starting your own show? Hurrdat Media offers podcast production services and an in-house media network to help you get started. Get in touch with us today to learn more!