When Apple added podcasting to iTunes in 2005, the medium reached a niche audience. By 2006, only 11 percent of the population had listened to even one episode. But over the past decade, that number has steadily grown. A hefty spike in 2014 can likely be traced back to the runaway success of Serial, the fastest podcast in history to reach 5 million listens.
By now, one-third of Americans have listened to a podcast, and when surveyed in 2015, 17 percent said they’d listened to one within the past month. The Pivoteers are among that number, and while we’re of split opinion on Adnan’s guilt, we all love audio sessions that make us think.
Podcasts do more than make our commutes seem shorter. They’re also a great way to catch up on industry trends, learn new strategies, and gather inspiration. So which podcasts get our creative juices flowing and our strategic minds scheming? We asked the team to chime in with their favorites, and here’s what they said:
1. The Skift Podcast
If you love marketing destinations as much as you love travelling to them, this podcast’s for you. Skift, a leading voice in the travel industry, offers insights ranging from improving a city with bike shares to inspiring wanderlust with travel PR.
2. Aaron Renn Podcast
Aaron Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, covers the cultural, technological, and political issues affecting modern cities—all topics close to Pivot’s heart. Tune in to hear Renn’s expertise on subjects like the changing face of retail, transit construction costs, and community redevelopment.
3. 99% Invisible
Echoing the saying that good design is 99 percent invisible, this show explores the untold stories behind designs that shape our lives. Also of interest: Host Roman Mars has a special passion for improving city flags (“the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed”) and is spearheading a campaign to redesign San Francisco’s banner.
4. Design Matters
This thought-provoking talk show features some of the biggest names in art and design: modernist font mastermind Massimo Vignelli, renowned type designer Stefan Sagmeister, hand-letterer Jessica Hische of Daily Drop Cap and The Internet Sends Me Cake, and Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman of 40 Days of Dating, to name a few.
5. The New Yorker: Fiction
Good writing inspires good thinking, making The New Yorker: Fiction a great go-to when the creative part of your brain feels dried up. Each month, New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman invites a leading author to read and discuss a favorite short story from another author.
StoryCorps travels the country gathering stories of everyday people and training listeners to conduct their own interviews. The series provides great inspiration for research and storytelling and reminds us that everybody has something worth sharing.
7. Art vs. Commerce
Jared Levy hosts this ongoing conversation with creative industry professionals. Episodes explore how to produce work that stays true to your artistic principles while helping clients meet their business goals.
8. Being Boss
Entrepreneurs Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon understand that leading is hard, and they’re here to help. These two creative powerhouses teamed up to interview bosses and share their insights. The two somehow maintain a can-do attitude while being honest about times they fall short, making the show both refreshing and instructive.
As he chronicles his journey starting a podcast company, entrepreneur Alex Blumberg addresses challenges all business owners face, such as naming a company or product, finding the right people to hire, and navigating ethical dilemmas.