Every now and then I switch from books to podcasts. Why, you ask? Well let’s be honest for a second, there are high chances you won’t grip on to every word in this post (though I’ll try to make it as engaging as I can) because at some point, reading bores you.

No offense to the bibliophiles there!

But what if something was read for you, to you? That’d be nice. That way you can either be in a car, or pruning your plants, or petting your cat – and you can still get the hang of what’s going on. That, without being garrulous anymore, is why podcasts are so trending in 2020. However, the success of the podcast depends on pretty much the same thing the success of a book depends on. While books connect to the audience and make them leaf through the pages with part enthusiasm and part curiosity because the WRITERS know what they are doing, it’s the PODCASTERS for podcasts.

The script, niche & publishing companies are not the only factors that make the podcast engaging but the accent, the way of delivering words and the fan base of the podcaster also play a crucial role in the success of a podcast. The U.S. is the one country that listens to podcasts the most, for two major reasons in my opinion- one, most podcasts are available in English and second, the lives of pretty much all the Americans signifies one thing in capital letters HUSTLE-BUSTLE! A pleasant (or disturbing, all depending on the genre of the podcast) retreat, or let’s say an escapade from the busy life while you’re still at it, has made Americans build a completely different level of listenership for podcasts.

Referring to books again (secretly, I am a bibliophile too)- Who would you read? John Green or a writer than writes to sell? It’s the same with podcasters – not every one of them is worth listening to and just in case you’re new to it, I’d give you a warm welcome to the ‘listening fandom’, bringing you names of top 20 podcasters in the U.S. that you can follow and listen to.

So, go listen! I mean read for now!

Ira Jeffrey Glass

Ira Jeffrey Glass is an example of what a man can do if he is truly dedicated to his work. Ira had a thing for storytelling even during his teenage years and then he started working as an intern in DC doing any job from being a desk assistant to tape-cutter. He worked as a story editor for years with little or no payoff until he started covering his own stories. He worked in countless television series and radios which helped him win awards like The Edward R. Murrow and the George Polk award. Ira is unambiguously the inspiration for all the young and creative minds out there who harbor an immense passion for getting their voices heard.

What Podcast to listen to?

This American Life: This American Life has won all the major broadcasting awards because the content is hands down, humorous, thought-provoking, and ironic. Ira Jeffrey Glass, the mind behind this podcast that makes it all the more likable with his pleasing personality and not to mention, the voice. This podcast is one of the top 10 podcasts of the year that received great love from the audience and is available on almost every radio station, making an impression globally.

Keith Morrison

Beginning his journey in 1960 in British Columbia, Keith Morrison now works as a broadcast journalist for a Canadian based company; he gained a major part of his popularity through the podcast, Dr. Death. Keith is well known for delivering unearthly real-life murder mysteries, his immersive storytelling skills garnering love and support from all around the world. Keith’s genre is a mystery and he comes up with irresistible stories that make his audience crave for more.

What Podcast to listen to?

Dr. Death: Dr. Death is one of the most thrilling yet interesting podcasts of all time. It makes you question one thing that no one dares to – authority. The episodes revolve around the consequences faced by the patients in a hospital due to their blind faith in a surgeon. The content is mysterious which makes this podcast more engaging and just in case you are someone who is obsessed with thrilling and suspenseful content, you can not ignore Dr. Death.

Michael Barbaro

Being the host of one of the most popular podcasts in the U.S., Michael Barbaro is an American journalist with a prominent and optimistic personality. They say it’s the foundation that helps build a strong apartment; Barbaro laid the foundation to be where he is today when he started writing for newspapers in high school. He joined The New York Times as a reporter in 2005 and in 2016 he covered Donald Trump in the elections, writing front-page articles that made him popular among news agencies and gave a kick start to his career. Michael won the DuPont-Columbia Award and has been setting higher standards for the journalist community.

What Podcast to listen to?

The Daily: The Daily gives you the perfect energy to survive a Monday morning. I appreciate how this podcast has been designed not only just to keep you updated with the relevant news but also to amuse you with its contrasting humor and unceasing energy. Episodes of The Daily don’t miss single big news of the day and that makes the podcast get millions of listeners every week.

Sarah Koeing

Sarah Koeing, based in New York is an American journalist who worked as a reporter for ABC News and The New York Times before she stepped into being a radio personality. In 2004 she began working for This American Life- Yes! She was the former producer of the podcast. Sarah was awarded the Peabody award for her podcast Serial. Scripps-Howard award, Lowell Thomas Overseas Press Club Award & Women’s Press Club of a New York award are some of her great achievements.

What Podcast to listen to?

Serial: This podcast is full of twists and turns, one can’t guess what’s coming next until he reaches there. The way Sarah conveys the incidents is impressive and impeccably appreciable given her voice and tone of the narration. Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that you will definitely love even if you are not into this niche.

Sean Patrick Hayes

Do I really need to introduce him to you? Sean Hayes is an American actor, producer, and comedian who was heard recently on SmartLess, he is loved more ever since then. People know Sean as Jack McFarland on Will & Grace for which he was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award. He owns a television production company and has also composed music for a production belonging to a music background and graduating as a music scholar. Sean was also seen on many stand-up comedy shows which makes me believe that he succeeded in everything he set his foot in. No kidding!

What Podcast to listen to?

SmartLess: I love how this podcast makes you understand difficult lessons of life in an unadorned and humorous way. That being the significant achievement of the podcast easily, Smartless is a show that is one of the rawest and genuine you will ever listen to. It unites people as one and makes one realize how small the problem was and how stupid were we to react to it.

Roman Mars

Having achieved much fame for 99% Invisible, Roman Mars is an American radio producer who has also formerly worked on radio programs like Planet Money and Radiolab. He was a TED main stage speaker in 2015. In 2013, Fast company awarded him for one of the most creative people of the year. Roman released a podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law in 2017 which was appreciated by millions of listeners.

What Podcast to Listen To?

99% Invisible: Having been named as one of the top 50 best podcasts by Time magazine, 99% Invisible will amaze anyone with interests in design and architecture. The contrasting name of this podcast was taken from a quote by Buckminster Fuller ‘Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable’ and the goal is to present every concealed and unrevealed feature of architecture in a comprehensive manner.

Marc David Maron

An American Comedian from New Jersey, Marc Maron is a podcaster, actor, and writer who performed his first standup comedy show when he was 24. His acting career bloomed when he worked as an associate for Sam Kinison and was seen on Late Show with David Letterman more than forty times which makes him stand a bit ahead of all the other comedians.

What Podcast to listen to?

WTF with Marc Karon: Marc Karon’s distinctive sense of humor across the platform has made this podcast the most enjoyable podcast on the web. For every episode, he welcomes different comedians, artists, writers, and authors all across the web to share their confidential experiences, lifestyles, tales, and suggestions. You are definitely going to enjoy this one as Marc has put all his heart into this podcast to make people love it.

Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin, based in Washington is famously known for her reporter skills. She started her early career as a freelance reporter in Afghanistan and her interest in news & journalism made her the host of Morning Edition and one of the most famed news podcasts Up First.

What Podcast to listen to?

Up First: Journalism, reporting, or news, if that’s what interests you then this podcast is the best to start your day with. It doesn’t provide you bogus news but familiarizes you with the top 3 substantial stories of the day to help you stay up-to-date with the latest information.

Jad Abumrad

The American radio host, Jad Abumrad is a composer, producer, and co-founder of the remarkable radio program RadioLab. He has produced documentaries for numerous radio programs and was awarded the MacArthur Fellow award. He has dragged science and philosophy into journalism which makes his documentaries gripping.

What Podcast to listen to?

RadioLab: The primary focus of RadioLab is on topics related to science and philosophy, inclining towards strenuous topics such as time and mortality. RadioLab has been blessed to win a National academies communication award for its innovative idea of discussing and providing the knowledge of science on radio, that too in a gripping and intriguing manner.

Ethan Edward Klein

Ethan, aged 31 is an American who runs a YouTube channel who gained his major popularity due to his channel h3h3 productions where he shares comical content with his wife Hila Klein. The pair also hosts a podcast called the H3 Podcast that defines hilarity and comedy in a new way.

What Podcast to listen to?

H3 Podcast: I find H3 Podcast original and raw and that’s something that fascinates the audience. The whole crew and team of H3 Podcast are really down to earth and it makes people appreciate their work. This podcast is hilarious and once you’ll start listening to it you’ll definitely wait for it every week with the anticipated breath.

Jenna Fischer

Beauty with brains, that’s what I call her. Jenna is a well known American actress who is also known for her delineation as Pam on NBC Sitcom The Office Primetime Emmy Award for which she was recommended as the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2007.

What Podcast to listen to?

Office Ladies: With her marvelous storytelling tactics, Jenna makes Office Ladies more pleasant to listen to. This podcast rewatches every episode of ‘The Office’ and offers behind the scenes commentary and answers questions asked by fans.

Karen Kilgariff

Beginning her stand-up comedian career in 1999’s, Karen has been doing a lot with the same brain- acting, writing, and producing television series ever since. She also writes content for different comedy television shows with her outstanding sense of humor not coming off as standoffish or offensive to the mainstream audience.

What Podcast to listen to?

My Favorite Murder: Did I mentioned Karen’s immense interest in murder stories? In My Favorite Murder, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark come together to tell each other and all of us a true-crime murder, survivor, or historical event. The genre of this podcast is true crime and comedy and was ranked on the 25th on iTunes podcast charts.

Benjamin Aaron Shapiro

Being sharp-witted, Ben at the age of 17 became the youngest national columnist in the US. He is an American political commentator and media host who never fails to impress his audience. Besides this, he is a prodigious writer and editor for The Daily Wire.

What Podcast to listen to?

The Ben Shapiro Show: If you have a thing for politics then Ben won’t let you down. The Ben Shapiro Show talks about daily politics, the bitter harsh truths that never come up and no reporter dares to publish it. In 2019, this podcast was ranked as the second most popular podcast in the US by podiatric. The Ben Shapiro Show has 350 episodes, each of which is equally controversial and authentic as it could get.

Alexandra Cooper

Alexandra Cooper, a Boston University graduate became an internet celebrity and gained popularity after her podcast Call Me Daddy garnered limelight from millions of listeners online. She also runs a YouTube channel where she shares daily vlogs. Alexandra was so compassionate about content creation that she quit her high paying job for it and became a full-time content creator. Her plan was to get fame through her Youtube channel but her podcast did it for her.

What Podcast to listen to?

Call Her Daddy: This podcast hosted by Alexandra Cooper is a show where she shares sex and relationship advice while also giving the listeners a glimpse of her own embarrassing moments. Call Her Daddy was nominated for the People’s Choice Award for favorite Pop Podcast.  Call Her Daddy is everything a girl talks about. The podcast won the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Award last year and for all the right reasons!

Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan is the mind and voice behind the official comedy podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe is how a comedian should look- tall, loud, and bald. I know it’s high time I should stop cracking lame jokes and although I can fail to make you laugh Joe won’t. With his pleasing personality and his peculiar imagination, he is the living example of sarcasm, exceptional humor, and spontaneity.

What Podcast to listen to?

The Joe Rogan Experience: This show, which is basically a conduit to the Gaian mind, is hilarious and strangely funny. With millions of viewers every day, The Joe Rogan Experience has crossed all borders of comedy and has become one of the top podcasts globally. The podcast won Best Comedy Podcast at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards in 2019.

Carl Kasell

An American radio personality who is well known as a newscaster for National public radio, Carl Kasell in his early years worked as an announcer in Virginia, National public radio staff, and Morning Edition. Having been retired he still works in Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me as an announcer.

What Podcast to listen to?

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: Wait Wait Don’t Tell me is a weekly radio panel that organizes a quiz with all the assembled participants and the participants have to choose the real news and the one that has been made up by the team. This Podcast is chucklesome and informative at the same time. If you get easily bored with podcasts related to news but still want to be updated with it, definitely give this a try. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me won the Peabody Award in 2008 and was also nominated for Webby Award for Humor the same year.

Phoebe Judge

Phoebe Judge is a marvelous podcaster with priceless insights into crime mysteries. Phoebe is an American Journalist who is best known for her work in the podcasts This Is Love and Criminal. She started as a journalist in a local radio station and then went to India to make a documentary on it. When the coronavirus pandemic began Phoebe started a podcast Phoebe Reads a Mystery where she reads a chapter of a novel every day; the first novel that she covered was The Mysterious Affairs at Styles. Phoebe has been invited to different interviews after her work in Criminal and hasn’t stepped behind ever since.

What Podcast to listen to?

Criminal: This podcast is about complex murders that will end up leaving you with zillion questions. It describes raw, unedited, true stories of mysterious incidents. The show serves a new story in every episode and also covers the real people with whom the incident happened only if they are ready to show up. It features people that were a part of some wrong or who did the wrong. Obsessed with crime shows and books? Try this crime podcast, you’re sure to love it.

Dave Ramsey

Besides being a fortunate businessman, Dave Ramsey also works as an American radio show host and an author. After getting a degree in finance, he started working as a real estate investor but after some years his bank was sold to a bigger bank. Dave started counseling couples in church after his great loss but his fierce soul didn’t let him loose. He stood up and this time he was stronger!

What Podcast to listen to?

The Dave Ramsey Show:  Dave Ramsey has done a great job by putting his money and finance lessons in this podcast. It not only covers up all the prime topics about finance but also talks about money-related Christian philosophy. In this podcast, Dave has shared his own personal money-related issues with his client. This podcast is a blessing if you are a part of a money and finance niche or if you are planning to open a start-up business. The podcast has three seasons. Two nominations for 2006 Radio & Records News and the Talk Industry Achievement Awards were received by The Dave Ramsey Show.

Aaron Mahnke

Aaron Mahnke is a successful freelance design businessman for more than a decade now. He got popular after his podcast Lore after which he released his trilogy books on the same podcast. The trilogy has been a massive hit amongst his audience and people into paranormal and horror stories.

What Podcast to listen to?

Lore: This is my favorite Podcast of all times. Lore covers up non-fiction scary stories. Each episode they come up with different incidents and provide historical events on the incidents, however, all the episodes are bound to a single theme. The podcast also talks about the other side of human nature and behavior. Lore received the Best of 2015 Award by iTunes. Each episode of Lore leaves you with thrilling experiences.

Ben Kissel

Ben, aged 37 is an author who writes in the conspiracy genre. Besides being an author he also works as an actor, politician, documentary director, political commentator, and at last but not least podcast host & comedian. Ben drools over serial killers and conspiracies. He is currently working on several podcasts like Kinda Fun and Abe Lincoln’s Top Hat but he is best known for his work in The Round Table of Gentlemen and Last Podcast on the Left.

What Podcast to listen to?

Last Podcast on the Left: I now know how much people love murder mysteries and how thirty their ears are for listening about serial killers (no wonder this list features a lot of crime podcasts). The Last Podcast on the Left features one of the two top comedians Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski, talking about the real and the imaginary world’s fantasies like waking up from the grave and exploring all the myths and mysteries. This podcast will satisfy all your urges beginning from demons to cults, covering all the horror the world could think of.  It received the People’s Voice Webby in the Podcasts & Digital Audio (Comedy) category in 2017.

Meanwhile please follow me on my own Podcast. My podcasts are available on all the major platforms including Spotify.

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