The Podcast Phenomenon: A Beginner’s Guide & 7 of The Best Ones Out There

People have been changing the way they consume information for a while and there’s no doubt about it. News agencies and entertainers have had to find new ways of creating and spreading content. In the 1980’s, something called “autoblogging” was invented, and after the evolution of technology to portable devices, it became what we now call “podcasts”.

There’s a frequent misconception regarding the belief that podcasts and the radio are the same. According to Rádio Gazeta’s radio personality Leonardo Levatti, “The radio is ephemeral and instantaneous, after presenting that piece, it will go on. With podcasts there’s an added control and freedom of consumption. It’s a big difference in regards to the consumer-product relationship.”

The reasons that attracted people to podcasts back in 2004 are essentially the same ones that lure people in today. The ability to download and listen to them offline and on demand plus the possibility to multitask are among them.

Podcast das Minas

Image Source: Stitcher

Podcasts are also a new avenue of possibilities for people who want to create content and spread their word. Cásper Líbero’s journalism student Tayná Fiori decided to start her own when she entered the University. “Ever since I started listening to podcasts I’ve had the desire to create my own, so I did. I got together with four of my friends from college and we started “Podcast das Minas”. We were inspired by the lack of women in journalism talking about sports.”

Tayná’s podcast discusses a variety of sports and is directed towards any gender or age group.

In terms of accessibility, it’s a pretty democratic means of information, considering an age where a large portion of people own a smartphone and have easy access to a network. The advertising around podcasts is still limited, but striving to gain more visibility in the public eye.

Searching for a new podcast to listen to or finding one to introduce yourself into this universe can be a daunting and overwhelming task, since there are so many to choose from. In the hopes of making this journey a little smoother, here are 8 of the best podcasts out there, that cover a variety of fields you can choose from:

  1. 1. News Podcasts

    The Daily

    Café da manhã

    Foro de Teresina

    Durma com essa  When? Most are released daily or at least on every week day.

    How long? 20-30 minutes, except for Foro de Teresina which lasts for 30 minutes to one hour.

    Perfect for people who work long hours and feel like they have no time to be up to date with what goes on around the world. They exist in various countries and most media vehicles have started releasing their own.

    Some of the most popular and reliable ones from the USA and Brazil are: Café da Manhã by Folha de S. Paulo, Foro de Teresina by Revista Piauí, Durma Com Essa by Jornal Nexo, The Daily by The New York Times and Post Reports by The Washington Post.

    Since they mostly come in smaller doses of information, it's a good way to make the most out of your commute to work or school. What´s also great about them is that they focus their attention on a few topics, allowing the possibility of a deeper knowledge of specific aspects of politics or world events. Besides, they spread news in a more accessible way, which makes the content easier to understand and breaks the stigma of the complexity involved in staying informed and updated.

  2. 2. Mamilos

    When? Weekly, every friday.

    How long? Most episodes last for about an hour and a half but it can go on for three hours.

    Hosted by Juliana Wallauer and Cris Bartis, Mamilos first went up in 2014 and has become one of the most popular brazilian podcasts thus far. The name in portuguese means “nipples” and according to the hosts, it came from the idea that the show should be nurturing but polemic, as are women’s nipples.

    Brazilian politics, world events, rape culture, mental illnesses, body image: they´ve basically covered it all. Nonetheless, Mamilos has no particular point of view, which is one of the reasons it’s so acclaimed and adored. The aim is to present the situation and both sides of the story equally and because of that, it gained audience and credibility.

    Mamilos plays an important part in structuring public opinion, it understands the complexity of the issues it approaches and lets the audience build their own point of view. The keyword for this podcast is empathy. Juliana and Cris strive for respect and information first, as it should be.

  3. 3. The Rewatchables

    When? Around every 10 days.

    How long? One hour to one hour and a half.

    The Rewatchables is a roundtable that discusses and breaks down everyone’s favorite movies and above anything, it’s a light podcast for film-lovers who want the feeling of nostalgia of revisiting the classics or just thinking about the hidden quirks of their new favorites.The review approaches the guest’s favorite scenes, characters and storyline facets. They’ve gone through everything from Pretty Woman to Get Out and there’s an intelligence in analyzing movies most people have already seen in a fresh way and bringing up aspects even the biggest fans might have not thought of yet.

  4. 4. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations


    When? Every few days, no specific frequency.

    How long? 30 minutes to an hour.

    Oprah’s aim with this podcast is to present incredible personalities and their stories, what they stand for and how they got to where they are. The guest list is amazing, ranging from best selling authors like Tara Westover and Daniel H. Pink, Oscar-winning actors such as Julia Roberts and thought-provokers and world leaders in general, like Michelle Obama.

    It may seem cliché, but it’s true: there is always something to learn from these people. This podcast really makes you feel as if you were in the conversation, it’s an in depth exposée on some of the most interesting stories of this day in age.

  5. 5. Mulheres que escrevem

    When? Biweekly, every tuesday.

    How long? Around one hour.

    A podcast created and produced by four women, with the aim of discussing literature (poems, chronics or novels). The host brings a guest who is a writer and they read and discuss one of their narratives.

    This project started out in the written mediums - through a newsletter, their blog and through Facebook. The goal was to create an environment for women to gain confidence in their writing and work on stories in a collaborative manner, since literature is still a setting predominantly dominated by men.

  6. 6. Stuff you should know

    When? Every two or three days.

    How long? 20-60 minutes.

    Hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, this is one of the most heard podcasts in the United States, and it has been around since before podcasts became a trend. In this show, Clark and Bryant pick a topic they want to discuss and explain how it works. They’ve gone over subjects such as dyslexia and ASMR, and will also talk about more current or political issues like how the Panama Canal works or the phenomenon of immigration.

  7. 7. The Tip Off

    When? Weekly.

    How long? 20-50 minutes.

    The Tip Off takes it`s listeners behind the scenes on the process of investigative journalism. Hosted by british journalist Maeve McClenaghan, each episode of the show focuses on a different story, journalist and how they landed their biggest scoops. The goal of the podcast is to shine a light on the complexities behind such a controversial branch of journalism and reflect on what it means to spread serious and accurate information in the era of fake news.