There are over 700,000 active podcasts today. If you want to discover awesome new podcasts that you’ll enjoy listening to, check out these recommendation engines and blogs.
There some excellent podcast apps for beginners or addicts, but apps aside, podcasts themselves aren’t advertised like movies or TV shows. Even books get more publicity. So it’s difficult for most people to find an enjoyable new series.
For now, to find podcast recommendations, you need to rely on word of mouth. Apart from social media, these are some worthwhile blogs, search engines, and social recommendation tools that talk about the best podcasts you should be listening to.
1. Podyssey (Android, iOS): Twitter-Like Recommendations for Podcasts
Podyssey is a social recommendation engine for podcasts. Sign up for an account, add what you are already listening to, and dive into a world of similar choices and recommendations. It’s mainly about finding people with similar tastes.
The setup is a crucial step, even if it seems tedious. You’ll need to export your current podcast player’s playlist and then import it into Podyssey. But do this and you’ll likely get much better recommendations for shows and people to follow.
The app shows you a customized news feed based on your shows. Users can “echo” what they listen to, which is the equivalent of a retweet. Once you start following people with similar interests, you’ll discover what they’re listening to. Users can also build playlists to recommend to others, which is a good way to discover a bunch of new shows when you’re starting out.
As with any social-based app, Podyssey is as useful as you make it. Be active and connect with fellow podcast lovers, and you’ll not need any other source.
2. Podcast Review (Web): Episode and Series Reviews by LA Review of Books
The Los Angeles Review of Books started an exclusive website for podcast reviews and interviews with hosts. Unlike social recommendation engines, these go much more in-depth and are presumably done after listening to full series or multiple episodes.
The reviews and interviews are in text, not in audio format. It sounds odd to review podcasts in text, but it works. In fact, you might just save time this way. It gives you the ability to skim through multiple reviews more quickly, and when you find something interesting, you can read all the details you want.
The website leaves a lot wanting in terms of design. There aren’t easy “most popular articles” or such collections to find podcast recommendations. Periodically, the site publishes a listicle or a roundup that’ll give you multiple choices. But otherwise, it’s all about reviewing one podcast at a time. But hey, at least you’ll know for sure if it’s to your taste or not.
3. Listen Notes (Web): Search Text in Podcasts, Discover New Shows
Listen Notes is one of the most useful tools for anyone who is interested in podcasts. First, it’s a mind-blowing search engine. That’s right, you can type keywords and Listen Notes will search through transcriptions of podcasts to find where it was said. It’s amazing how well the search function works, across an enormous range of free and paid podcasts.
When you find something you like, you can add it to your Listen Later playlist, which is a bit like a read-it-later list. You can import this playlist into any podcast player app. Because so many people are using Listen Notes, it has a “Listen Real-Time” feature to see which podcasts people are actually hearing right now.
Similarly, you will find a Best-Of section divided by country, with categories like true crime, history, news, comedy, TV & film, etc. The Hot section has trending podcasts, while the Curated section finds online articles and listicles from reputable sources. And finally, there’s Explorer, where you can key in any podcast for recommendations of similar podcasts.
4. Riptide (Web): Find Podcasts Based on Short Clips
Movies have trailers. Books have excerpts. Podcasts have Riptide. Listen to a short clip of a show to figure out if you’d like to hear more of it. It’s like watching the best jokes of a stand-up comedian before figuring out whether you want to see their whole set.
The feed of clips comes entirely from users and can be filtered by genre. You’ll find the podcast’s name, the episode’s name, and the length of the clip. If you like what you hear, you can listen to the full episode or add it to your playlist (as long as you’re logged in). It’s a super-cool way of discovering new podcasts, as well as sharing your favorites.
You’ll need to register to make your own clips. Then search for the podcast’s name or the episode’s name. Play it in the browser, and set the start and end times of the clip. Share it for the world.
5. Discover Pods (Web): All the Essential Lists for Podcasts
If all you want are lists and roundups of podcasts to listen to, look no further than Discover Pods. You’ll find everything you wanted, and even stuff you didn’t know you wanted.
The website is full of articles, interviews, and other information to discover new podcasts. But more than anything else, check out the Podcast Reviews section. That’s where you’ll find those essential top 10 and top 50 listicles, which tell you what you should be listening to.
You’ll get the best of the year, the best of genres like true crime, and even lists of the best episodes of popular podcasts like WTF With Marc Maron or This American Life. If you’re new to the world of podcasts, you can’t go wrong with these.
6. People’s Choice Podcast Awards (Web): Best Podcasts Since 2005
There are no Oscars or Grammys for podcasts yet, but The People’s Choice Podcast Awards perhaps come the closest. There are 20 categories with 10 nominations each. The 2019 winners have already been announced, with The Fantasy Footballers getting the coveted People’s Choice Award.
The list only mentions the name of the nominees and links to the podcast’s homepage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear description available for you to read beforehand, but the category makes it amply clear.
At the end of the page, you can check out a list of all past winners till 2005, so that’s a great range of new shows to discover.
What’s the Best Podcast App?
You’ve found great podcasts with this article. But you need a good podcast player to listen to them. We compared four of the best podcast apps to help you pick the perfect one for you.
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