BENGALURU: The end of 2014 saw a breakthrough of sorts when Serial, a suspense-ridden podcast that unfolds one non-fiction story, over the course of several weeks, (Season 1 was about the murder of an American teenager and the consequent conviction of her murderer), caught the imagination of the public, across the globe. What it essentially did was introduce a whole new audience to the pleasures of listening to a pod cast. For most people, it’s a go-to place to fill in the spaces when they need some background chit-chat or something to engage with right before you’re off to bed. Others use it to fill in their daily dose of trivia, news and entertainment. What’s undeniable, however, is that the power of the podcast is growing every day, away from the iPod that first led to its resurgence. Here’s a list of five podcasts you can binge-listen to over the weekend or while you’re on your daily commute.
Few things can be more interesting than a well-told life story, and comedian-turned-broadcaster Marc Maron draws it out of people with unassumed ease. One of the more popular podcasts, there are more than 600 episodes out already, where Maron and his guests touch on different topics. Some especially interesting episodes include his interviews with Vince Vaughn, the late Robin Williams, Louis CK etc. Listen: www.wtfpod.com
Hosted on Audomatic, one of India’s newest hotspots for well-produced podcasts, The Intersection is hosted by journalists Padm-aparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian. The fortnightly podcast delves into stories on science. history and culture - all sprinkled with a heavy dose of wit and charm. Their latest episode, the third one, examines the reasons for earthquakes in the Himalayas, and discovers that a bigger quake may yet be due in this region.
Film lovers, assemble. Adam Kempenaar and Sam Van Hallgren started Filmspotting way back in 2005. Over time, they established a reliably entertaining format: a review of a new film; then a self-consciously amateurish recitation of a classic movie scene, with listeners asked to identify the movie in question via email; then a top-five list. However, what pulls in listeners to this particular podcast is not its format or content, its the hosts themselves: humorous, full of insight, gently self-deprecating and always engaging.
NPR veteran Alex Blumberg wanted to make a podcast startup. So he made a podcast about it - the highs and lows of setting up a business from scratch. The result is StartUp, and it’s an exhilarating listen really. Blumberg doesn’t shy away from airing out his dirty laundry - unsuccessful VP meetings, awkward conversations with his potential business partner, his anxieties about starting a new venture -- all documented in a way that’ll make you root for Blumberg, who is quite the likeable guy. P.S. Blumberg probably has the best “podcast voice” in the business. Just an added bonus, if you will.
This Indian podcast founded by Jyoti Narula Ranjan sees itself as “a freewheeling interdisciplinary talk show with a philosophical approach to understanding the world from a long term perspective.” There seems to be no topic that’s off the table for these guys and they have talked about art, mathematics, computer science, literature, logic, sciences, social sciences, philosophy, psychology, media, design, music, medicine, political theory, ecology, artificial intelligence and more. You get the idea. The show has featured over 2,500 guest speakers and the podcast is released four times a month, usually on Sundays.