You can’t be a truly engaged digital citizen without having interacted with a podcast in some form or other. Whether you’ve jumped into the market as a creator or consumer, there’s no denying the stratospheric rise this audio medium has experienced over the past few years.
The industry has seen steady growth in demand throughout the last decade – a trend that’s largely driven by the increasing global appetites for digital media. According to Statista, streaming giant Spotify had 2.6 million podcasts available on its platform at the end of Q1 2021, with roughly a quarter of its 356 million monthly active users engaging with podcast content.
Now, just a few taps of your smartphone screen can lead to an endless stream of podcasts old and new, covering every genre and sub-culture in vibrant and disparate forms. The industry is by no means short of tech-focused programmes and episodes – so here, we list a few of our favourites to cut down the time on your search.
TED began as a conference that marked the cross-section between technology, entertainment and design in 1984 – an apt year to launch an event with such obvious links to the ideas of an Orwellian future. Today, TED delivers a wealth of content in more than 110 languages, covering subjects such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), business, current affairs, and everything in between. The non-partisan, non-profit platform is “devoted to spreading ideas”, usually in the form of short, impactful talks from subject experts.
TED Talks Technology is the ideal audio gift for tech fans looking to learn on-the-go. This regularly updated compilation of bite-sized episodes is great for anyone looking to binge or dip in and out at their leisure, featuring some of the world’s leading inventors and researchers sharing their breakthroughs and visions onstage via international TED conferences and events, converted into podcast form for your listening pleasure.
Anyone seeking a daily dose of tech industry updates need look no further than DTNS – a podcast “dedicated to giving you tech news that’s easy to understand”. In sessions of half an hour or more, Tom Merritt and Sarah Lane recruit regular contributors and guests to explore the biggest tech headlines of the day in a fun, informative way.
Consumers can enjoy DTNS episodes as either a podcast or video, with shows exploring the ins and outs of the fast-pace digital world. Previous recordings home in on topics such as right to repair, the global chip shortage, upscaling, and more.
This podcast perfectly balances topical digital issues against banter-fuelled light relief. Every week, hosts Jason DeFillippo and Brian Schulmeister – who between them, have four decades of experience in professional web development – discuss “what went wrong” on the internet, and strive to pinpoint who they think is responsible.
In hour-long episodes, the GOG’s poke and prod at the intricacies, complexities, and darn-right peculiarities of life online. The most recent episode (featured above), for example, tackles big fines for big tech, Amazon labour laws, and the Metaverse, among other things. As one 5* review on Apple Podcasts eloquently states: “Do you enjoy the two old guys from [sic] the muppets, that sit up in the balcony and heckle the stage? Boy! Do these guys have a show for you! they sit upon their podcast balcony heckling the tech world…”
The Gadget Lab podcast from Wired taps into the most transformative and personal tech stories of the week. From mobile apps, to cutting-edge gear, social networking, entertainment and beyond, this weekly podcast is the perfect way to keep tabs of industry trends.
Hosted by Wired’s senior editors Lauren Goode and Michael Calore, the podcast regularly welcomes tech trailblazers to the mic, inviting them to share their expert insights and advice on the top tech devices and media to consume.
5. The Tech Guy
Introducing Leo Laporte, aka The Tech Guy – the voice of authority on all things tech, including computing and the internet. Laporte’s This Week in Tech podcast, fondly known as TWiT, is reported to be the number one ranked podcast in the field.
The Tech Guy’s industry experience is more or less unparalleled, making him the perfect host for the podcast – which is also a radio talk show broadcast on stations all over the US via the Premiere Radio Networks. With more than 1,500 episodes to date, Laporte has explored more or less every avenue in the winding world of tech.
6. a16z Podcast
Described as “the go-to place for discussions about technology, innovation, and change as it impacts all our lives”, this podcast is a must for existing and aspiring technologists alike. Produced by Andreessen Horowitz, aka ‘a16z’, a Silicon-Valley-based venture capital firm, the podcast provides a platform for top industry figures and academics from around the globe to share their expertise and ideas.
The podcast description says it best, stating: “This show aims to help make sense of it all: for builders, for the tech curious, for anyone seeking to understand the future, now, through carefully curated, in-depth yet accessible, nuanced conversations…”
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