Five Podcasts to Make You Better at International Business
By Mark Adamiak, Senior Marketing Associate
We’re in the midst of a “podcast renaissance.” The investigative series Serial, ESPN outcast Bill Simmons’ sports and entertainment podcast, and Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (which featured President Barack Obama last June) all demonstrate how podcasts have climbed into America’s mainstream media and can make money, too.
The popularity of podcasts over the last few years is booming and the trend is likely to continue. The number of podcast downloads increased from 1.6 billion in 2012 to 2.6 billion in 2014. And in a 2015 survey, 17% of Americans said they had listened to a podcast in the past month, which was up from 9% in 2008.
There is a demand for podcasts in part because they offer listeners flexibility. It’s difficult to find time in your day to stay up on current events or learn new insights through reading or watching videos. But it’s easy to plug in to a podcast when you’re sorting through your morning emails, commuting to and from work or working out.
That said, it can be challenging to wade through the ever increasing number of podcasts that are available on related websites or through outlets like iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud. For those working in international business, I recommend the five podcasts below. They’re free and cover a wide array of topics, from finance to geopolitics to global cultural trends.
Length: 5-25 minutes
What You’ll Get: Succinct current events, tech and global trends, excellent transition music.
This daily podcast by American Public Media is a great way to get an overview of the day’s top business headlines — and in today’s global economy that almost invariably means international business headlines. Marketplace Tech and Marketplace Morning Report are only about 5-10 minutes long and are perfect way to start the day. Each afternoon, Marketplace comes out with a longer, 25-minute broadcast that has more interviews and stories, including such topics as Jägermeister’s rebrand and how erratic oil prices impact life in Venezuela.
Length: 20 minutes
What You’ll Get: Global business news, quality journalism, British accents.
BBC presents a podcast very similar to Marketplace, but it has a greater focus on global business, geopolitics and world news. Each episode covers two to three topics in-depth and provides a refreshing escape from American media bias.
Length: 45 minutes
What You’ll Get: Interviews with entrepreneurs and billionaires, summaries of classic business books, solid caricatures.
Here’s a great podcast for your commute. Preston in Maryland and Stig in Denmark interview successful entrepreneurs and summarize classic business books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Think and Grow Rich, and anything by Michael Lewis or Malcolm Gladwell. The Investors Podcast does a great job being inspirational and informational. As a bonus, the website has videos and other resources like downloadable checklists associated with each podcast.
Length: 15-20 minutes
What You’ll Get: Management and professional advice, smart people.
Step aside undergraduate management textbooks and “trust falls” — Harvard Business Review presents IdeaCast, a weekly podcast that aims to make listeners better at their jobs. Through interviews with executives, authors, journalists and professors, the podcast uses real-life examples in episodes such as “Be a Superboss,” “Being Happier at Work” and “Katie Couric on the Shifting Landscape of News."
Length: 15-25 minutes
What You’ll Get: Creative explanations and analysis of the economy, strong chemistry between the hosts.
I could not summarize Planet Money better than Planet Money describes itself: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.” You may have heard this twice-weekly podcast for NPR as news stories on Morning Edition, All Things Considered or This American Life. Here are some of my favorite episodes from the last few months:
- “Episode 590: The Planet Money Workout”
- “Episode 642: The Big Red Button”
- “Episode 644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh?”
All of the podcasts can be streamed directly from their site or downloaded to your phone or computer.
Are there any podcasts that you listen to that aren’t on our list? Tell us about it by tweeting at @RadiusWW.