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How to Listen to Podcasts (And a List of Our Favorites)

Stephanie Fisher

Posted by Stephanie Fisher on 5/6/15 12:00 PM

In two easy steps: You put in your earbuds and press play.

For those who have yet to discover the joys of listening to podcasts, it may not be that simple. 


It's time I shared my love of podcasts with you. Audio content has been a growing areas of media and content production and consumption. Audiobooks, live radio shows, podcasts... there is a lot of good stuff out there just waiting to be heard.

Audio content is a unique media because you can consume it while getting other things done.This is why so many busy people are tuning in.

Podcasts consist of a variety of audio content. TV or radio news shows offer versions of the broadcast as a podcast. DJs offer music mixes in podcast form. Live internet radio shows like our own SpinRadio offer recorded episodes as a podcast feed.

Ready to start listening? Let's get started.

Get the Apps & Start Subscribing

There are many ways to listen (directly on a show's website, for instance). Personally, I enjoy keeping all of my podcasts in one place via apps on my phone. For the sake of keeping it simple, I'm only going to cover the two apps that I use, but rest assured there are many more out there. Please share your favorite apps in the comments below to help widen the pool of knowledge.

iTunes Podcasts

For iPhone owners, the Podcast app comes preinstalled on your phone. This app lets you subscribe and download your favorite pocasts.

To get started, look through the most popular podcasts and subscribe to a few. You'll start to get a feel for what kinds of podcasts you like and don't like.

You can create stations to group your podcasts by category. 

Under the My Podcasts tab, you'll see the latest available episodes that you haven't listened to yet. One of the advantages to this app is that you can download podcasts to your phone to enjoy when you're offline or if you don't want to stream data.


Stitcher is a free app and very easy to use. Like Apple's Podcast app, it does many of the same things. It differs in that it has ads, and you can't download your favorite podcasts for offline listening. It's streaming only.

You can create stations, like this one I created called "Freakonomics Radio Station." Honestly, I've let this station get a little cluttered. Hey there, Fresh Air and This American Life, you guys should start a new station called Real People Stories. Science Friday, you should go start a station with all of my other science themed podcasts.


Now that you've gotten a small glimpse into my subscription list, you know this much about me: nerd, science geek, story lover. 

Tips for Listening

As I mentioned earlier, it's very handy to create stations for organizing your favorite podcasts by genre or subject: Music, News, Science, Entertainment, Business, Pop Culture, etc.

One of the things I like to do is listen to certain podcasts at certain times. 

My morning routine is to catch up on news from the night before by listening to my favorite news show. When I'm driving to work (an hour commute when I actually make it into the office) I like to listen to long, entertaining podcasts like Radiolab or the Very Bad Wizards or Mysterious Universe (see full list below).

Other times to listen:

  • While doing laundry or housework
  • Walking, running, solo working out in general
  • Driving to work
  • Long car trips - it's fun to save up a few of your favorites for an upcoming road trip, audiobooks are good for this too.
  • Waiting in the airport
  • Long flights - don't forget to download ahead of time; you may not be able to stream in the air!

Some Recommendations

I've mentioned a few of my favorites, but I wanted to leave you with a nice long list of podcasts the SpinWeb team is listening to lately. We all like different things, so these may not all be to your taste. That's ok. There are so many shows out there that I am sure you will find something you love. 

steph-round.pngSteph listens to:

  • Stuff You Should Know - Wide variety of interesting stuff for people who love to learn.
  • Freakonomics Radio - An economist and a journalist explore the "hidden side of everything."
  • Serial - Catch up on the first season of this hugely popular podcast. Season One: True life murder mystery story!
  • Radiolab - Beautifully produced podcast that weaves stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
  • Mysterious Universe - Two hilarious Australians discuss aliens, Bigfoot and the paranormal. 
  • Sawbones - A doctor and her comedian husband talk about weird things throughout medical history.
  • TED Radio Hour - This is a great way to consume amazing TED talks in audio format.
  • Very Bad Wizards - A philosopher and a psychologist ponder the nature of human morality.
  • Invisibilia - A new show that explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior.

mike-round.pngMichael listens to:

  • The Dave Ramsey Show - Personal finance advice.
  • The Growth Show - HubSpot's radio show, business podcast for leaders consumed with driving growth.
  • SpinRadio - Shout out to our radio show/podcast! Subscribe if you haven't already.
  • The Tim Ferris Show - Lifestyle guru and experimenter Tim Ferris tries everything, and it's awesome.



Rachael listens to:


  • Judge John HodgmanFamous minor TV personality John Hodgman, Certified Judge, decides on cases brought by listeners. Hilarious! 
  • Ask Me Another - Trivia show! Fun fact, one of my close friends from home competed on an episode and it's on my bucket list to compete on day. 
  • Welcome to Night Vale -  Turn on your radio and hide. Presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale, reporting on the strange events that occur within it.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour - Exactly what it sounds like.
  • Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me - Current events quiz show.
  • Serial!!!! - see above.


allison-round.pngAllison listens to:







chris-round.pngChris listens to (music & tech):


abby-2.pngAbby listens to:

  • The Best of Mike and Mike - to get my sports fix!
  • The 60 Minutes Podcast - It's a childhood thing. I was allowed to watch 60 minutes growing up and so I feel a connection to this show. And who could forget, Andy Rooney!
  • TEDTalks - inspiring messages.
  • LDS Talks - John Bytheway is a great orator and does really well with faith-based messages.




I have to agree with Allison who said to me, "Listening to podcasts while I run has been the biggest source of inspiration for marketing ideas." I get ideas for blog posts, marketing campaigns, and social media posts all the time from the podcasts I listen to. You may not have time to read articles or books, but you probably have time to listen to a business or marketing-focused podcast.

SpinRadio - The Weekly Radio Show - click here to listen to episodes

Topics: content, inbound marketing, Podcast

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