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5 trending podcasts we love

/ Max Thorpe

Recently on the blog, we shared why you should start a podcast for your business, as well as ways to get started recording your podcast. If you’ve made it this far, you know by now that turning your podcast dreams into reality isn’t as difficult as you may have thought. That said, it’s best to start with a vision in mind to make sure your final content is something people will enjoy listening to. Here are some examples of podcasts we love and what we think each podcast does exceptionally well. Psst… they’re all totally different from one another, and they all succeed in their own unique ways.

The Daily

The Daily is a New York Times’ 20-minute news podcast that releases an episode every weekday. The Daily is a classic example of a news podcast that daily commuters absolutely love to listen to. It’s quick, entertaining and most importantly, informative. This podcast neatly packages and delivers important headlines backed by stats and expert opinions. Its short run time, quick coverage of major news stories, and even the catchy background jazz music make it a recipe for success. While this podcast’s format is simple, it’s clear that a lot of work and effort go into producing each episode. The Daily effectively targets busy listeners who want to stay informed with current events, but don’t want to dedicate hours of their time to do so.

The takeaway: Be relevant and consistent

The Daily isn’t doing anything exceptionally out of the box with its podcast content. Moreover, it’s leveraging what works, and delivering on it well. People have always wanted to be informed about the issues they care about or those that affect them. The Daily takes that concept to scale by presenting on international news that affects the masses, providing professional analysis and consistently reporting 5 days a week.

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan is a stand up comic, mixed martial arts fanatic, psychedelic adventurer and yes, host of the Roe Rogan Experience podcast. Even if you don’t listen to podcasts, odds are you probably recognize the podcast name. Rogan gained his fame and notoriety as a UFC analyst, previous host of the TV show, Fear Factor, and by continuing his comedy career. Despite having a similar number of podcast downloads to The Daily, The Joe Rogan Experience is a much different, for lack of a better word, experience. The show ranges from one and a half hours to over three hours long. Rogan discusses a variety of topics with a diverse mix of famous guests, including Elon Musk, Ben Shapiro, Lance Armstrong and many others.

The takeaway: Be authentic and natural

The Joe Rogan Experience gained massive popularity due to a variety of factors, including funny banter, insightful interview questions and candid moments with guest celebrities. But above all, the authenticity and raw nature of The Joe Rogan Experience is what ties the entire show together. As a host, Joe Rogan is as natural and unscripted as they come. In a world where we’re constantly bombarded by screens, sounds and sensors competing for our attention, he breaks through the noise and comes off as innately human. As a listener, you can’t help but feel like you’re tuning in to a trusted friend.

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) is a podcast dedicated to addressing random questions you’ve never thought of asking, but definitely want to know the answers to. Things like, “Why does toothpaste make orange juice taste bad?” or “How the Hoover Dam works” are addressed in their tri-weekly podcast episodes. Unlike the bulk of podcasts that have sprung up as part of a recent podcast boom, Stuff You Should Know has been around since April 2008. SYSK’s ability to stay relevant and remain a top downloaded podcast can be credited to its consistency, as well as its fun and straightforward name.

The takeaway: Choose a great title

Just like starting a YouTube gaming channel, the first things your audience sees are your podcast’s thumbnail image and title. Feel free to get creative with your title, but make sure you keep it relevant and clear. Your listeners should know exactly what to expect from your podcast based on its title, and once they tune in, you need to deliver just that. Stuff You Should Know has a clear, straightforward title and relevant, interesting episodes that keep listeners engaged over time.

Fresh Air

Fresh Air is a National Public Radio (NPR) news show that started out as a radio program. Fresh Air is a weekly podcast featuring intimate conversations between the host, Terry Gross, and some of today’s biggest influencers, in a 45-minute episode. When you take an intelligent moderator paired with an esteemed guest, you’re destined for a great show. Fresh Air is just that--nothing short of a great show. What makes Fresh Air particularly unique is the intimacy of the conversation between host and guest. While many podcasts bring on popular guests, Fresh Air particularly excels at uncovering topics views that don’t get shared on other shows. So what makes Fresh Air unique? Terry Gross is able to make her guests feel comfortable sharing what otherwise might have been kept private on any other podcast. She knows her guests well, and she knows what her audience wants to hear. Through lively conversation she’s able to create an entertaining show while making sure that her guests never come off being misunderstood.

The takeaway: Know your audience and know your guests

Having a solid understanding of your guests’ interests, passions, and expertise can give your podcast that cutting edge that provides insights that your audience would have trouble finding anywhere else.

The Ron Burgundy Podcast

In this comedic podcast, Anchorman’s beloved star (played by Will Ferrel) returns to the spotlight to share what’s on his mind. This podcast did a great job or repurposing a fictional movie character on an entirely new channel. Ranging from interviews to just a conversation with his co-host, Carolina, it’s hard to know what to expect in each episode. Will Ferrell plays the part well by jumping right back into character and blessing the audience with his hilarious banter and almost a guaranteed certainty of going off the rails. If you’re looking for something quick, amusing and funny this podcast might be right for you. Ranging from 25 to 40 minutes, this podcast is ideal for that daily commute.

The takeaway: Be clever with your sponsors

While some people inherently won’t find Ron Burgundy funny, perhaps even cringe-worthy, one thing he does exceptionally well is disguising his ads. Fair, Charmin and Safe Auto Insurance sponsored the podcast, and Ron Burgundy promotes them accordingly in a hilarious manner. While it’s unclear how well that’s paying off in terms of sales revenue for the brands, from a listener’s standpoint, hearing commercials has never been more enjoyable. Not every podcast will have the luxury of having sponsors that perfectly align with each episode's topic, but making a valid effort to disguise the ad as part of the show is definitely a change of scenery.  

This is not the definitive list of tips you can use for your podcast. There are unlimited possibilities--great podcasts are published every day! Try incorporating these tips in your podcast and let us know how they turn out. Get started by using WeVideo and share your podcast with listeners around the world.

In the spirit of using WeVideo to start a podcast, our own Chief Education Officer, Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad, published a podcast with us called Deeper Learning with WeVideo. Each episode explores ways to inspire creativity in the classroom, activities that ignite deeper learning for students, and interviews with thought leaders in education. Check it out below!

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