Reading List: Seven About Podcasting

Podcasting is having a moment — and hooray for the audio revolution/evolution! — but for superfans of podcasts, creators, and audiophiles who have been following the story for years, we’ve found a few pieces of coverage that go deeper, or in unexpected directions.

Here are seven options, from our reading list to yours: 


1. “Serial, Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More” | David Carr for The New York Times

Bless you, Mr. Carr, for your perspicacity.

Carr dives into the question of how the rise of podcasting might affect broadcast stations and their products (even those untethered from the airwaves and made into digital, a la carte offerings). 

2. “Ten Years of Podcasting: Code, Comedy and Patent Lawsuits” | Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica

Farivar’s exploration of the history of the podcast is a fun read about how, exactly, we got from ““Thank you very much for taking the time to download this MP3 file” in 2004 to “Did you catch the last ‘Serial’?” in 2014.

3. “The Podcast List” from Racism School’s Tumblr and the Women in Podcasting database

Two spots for people who want to extend their podcast listening beyond the iTunes and Stitcher Top 10 lists.

Racism School’s list includes a number of podcasts hosted by people of color (but omits perennial favorites “Snap Judgment” from Glynn Washington and “State of the Re:Union” from Al Letson).

The Women in Podcasting database offers flexible search for shows you might not know, but no recommendations. 

4. “Here’s the Future of Podcasting” | Dorie Clark for

Refreshing. Clark interviews “The Art of Charm” podcaster Jordan Harbinger, who points out that the “resurgence of podcasting” headlines feel like hype because, well, they are. 

“The headlines notwithstanding, podcasting hasn’t suddenly emerged from a slumber, Harbinger points out. In fact, it’s been steadily growing year-over-year. 

That point (finally) made, Clark and Harbinger move on to advice and predictions about the market.

5. “A Golden Age: How to Join the Podcast Revolution” | Jake Shapiro and Eric Diehn for PRX

Diehn, the vice president of business development for the podcast ad agency Midroll, offers some refreshing Real Talk 

“[F]irst rule of podcasting, make sure it’s not your only job until probably a few years from now, when it can be. But the good news is today, it’s not a zero-dollar medium either. I don’t want to call it real money but there’s dollars coming in.”

6. “The Business of Podcasts” | Kerri Hoffman for

A tight how-to guide with general business principles from PRX’s chief operating officer: 

“If you have the creative and technical chops needed to create great audio stories, you are all set to monetize and grow your podcast, right? Well, sort of but not quite. Besides making good content, there are a few other things to keep in mind.”

7. “How to Listen to a Podcast with Ira and Mary” | Ira Glass, Mary Ahearn and Seth Lind for “This American Life”

This American Life host Ira Glass and his friend Mary Ahearn explain how to find and listen to a podcast. Please share it with your Luddite friends and relations.

BONUS: Curtis Fox, a godfather of podcasting, talks about the decision to leave public media and create audio for The New Yorker, Parents magazine and others.  A 10:33 interview by Sue Schardt for AIRmuse from 2008.


• Gabe Bullard’s “Beyond the ‘Serial’ Box,” an excellent round-up of podcasts worth hearing for Nieman Reports.

• Melody Kramer’s “How Serial Built a Huge Commenting Community Despite Having No Online Comments”