The Podcasts We Loved in 2019

The 2010s were the decade podcasts went mainstream. The total percentage of North American podcast-listeners increased from just 23% in 2010 to 51% in 2019. Podcasts have become radio for the streaming generation, reflecting the interests and sense of humor of the next generation of media consumers.

When we asked our colleagues at Bateman Group to share their favorite podcasts of 2019, their answers were varied and plentiful. Based on their recommendations, we curated a collection of podcasts that help us keep up with industry news, deconstruct pop culture tropes, and dive deep into the human stories behind the headlines. 

News Podcasts

Unsurprisingly, our team is full of news junkies, and one of our security experts, Media Director Katie Garagozzo, stays especially tuned-in to current events. To keep up with trends in the cybersecurity space, Katie listens to CYBER by Motherboard, which she calls “a weekly examination of the most interesting news in cybersecurity.” Each episode explains how cybersecurity impacts our daily lives, from car hacking to elections. Katie’s favorite episode, Who’s Afraid of Huawei, takes an inside look at the telecommunications company’s media roadshow.

Another podcast in Katie’s queue is The Daily by The New York Times, which is a morning go-to for many of us at Bateman Group. Katie describes The Daily as “an excellent deep-dive into the biggest news stories of the day, from political coverage to technology, business and international stories.” Her favorite episode is What the 2020 Campaign Sounds Like, “an examination of the music that presidential candidates use on the campaign trail and what it reveals about campaign strategy.”

Art, Science, Humanity Podcasts

While the news may not be a surprising genre for Bateman Group podcast fans, we also uncovered a good mix of niche interests. Content Strategist Michael Oshima’s favorite podcast, A Way With Words, for example, focuses on linguistics. “It explores the origins of unique American sayings. It’s also an amazing exploration of language, history and culture that illuminates just how much America there is,” Michael says. Wondering why trendy boutiques are following Crate & Barrel’s lead and naming themselves “Noun & Other Noun”? The episode Ampersands & Business Names has the answers you’re looking for. 

Account Manager and movie buff Margaret Pack has The Rewatchables on her list. It’s a film podcast roundtable on the most talked-about movies, from Mean Girls to All the President’s Men.  

Media Strategist Creighton Vance is an avid listener of science podcast RadioLab, which is devoted to making science accessible and “investigating a strange world.” His favorite episode is Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR, a “deep dive into how scientists discovered CRISPR – a technology that will only become more important this decade.”

Content Strategist Allie Carmichael’s favorite podcast, Ear Hustle, is produced by inmates at San Quentin State Prison. “It talks about the realities of prison life, from sharing a cell to having a job or even finding love,” she says. “The stories are heartbreaking and moving, but also have a lot of lighthearted moments. Favorite episode: Left Behind. Tissue alert: it’s a tear-jerker. I listened to this on an airplane and was openly weeping.” 

Pop Culture Podcasts

We also like to take a break from serious topics, which sometimes means listening to podcasts about Baby Yoda. For a dose of pop culture via podcast, Account Coordinator Abby Schmidt likes Keep It, which she says is “a frank discussion of pop culture and how it intersects with politics, all while making you laugh.” Abby’s favorite episode is Bend It Like Rapinoe, in which the hosts discuss equal pay in professional soccer.

HR & Operations Manager Stephanie Leal turns to We Couldn’t Help But Wonder when she’s in the mood for something light. The Sex and the City recaps are her “go-to ‘just for fun’ podcast.” 

Citations Needed covers the intersection of media, PR, and power. Creighton’s favorite episodes include The Trouble With Florida Man and Animal Rights as Media and Pop Culture Punchline. “These floored me as they revealed the insidious side of common cultural tropes. Let’s all be more empathetic, y’all.”

The 2010s have come to an end, but we expect to be riding this podcast wave well into the 2020s. Devices and technology around the medium will evolve, but our appetite for news, insights, humor, and stories that speak to social consciousness won’t change.   

If you’d like to join this podcast-loving crew, view our open positions here