I listen to a lot of podcasts. My podcast journey started in 2015 when I had to travel over 2 hours every weekday. My work commute has reduced significantly these days to 30 minutes a day, for a maximum of three days a week. I kinda miss it because I used to read a lot more books with no one distracting me..Ahhh. the good old days.
I have been requesting for a Spotify Wrapped like feature for podcasts for years, but when Pocket Casts eventually launched their take on it in December 2023, I was disappointed. I was hoping to see my beloved podcasts that I have enjoyed and instead it showed me that Accidental Tech Podcast and The Vergecast are my Top 2 (obviously I enjoyed listening to these podcasts as well but I wouldn’t say they were my 2023 highlights). Both these podcasts release weekly episodes (The Vergecast is twice a week) and both are very lengthy episodes (over 2 hours per episode). Therefore, it is hardly surprising that these are my top 2 podcasts of 2023.
My top five most listened podcasts of 2023 according to Pocket Casts Playback are:
- Accidental Tech Podcast
- The Vergecast
- Sunday Mornings
- Huberman Lab
- Private podcast
Like clockwork and without intention, I just listened to the above every week, like I have been for years.
Is it me or podcasts these days are becoming like email? If left unattended, the pile keeps growing. To combat this, I am using the Pocket Casts auto archive feature.
I was hoping Pocket Casts Playback would highlight the following gems I enjoyed in 2023:
- The Economics of Everyday Things
- More or Less: Behind the statistics
- What’s your problem with Jacob Goldstein
- Science Vs
This exercise also highlighted to me the difficulty in creating a Spotify Wrapped like feature for podcasts. By default, podcasts that release frequently and are lengthy make the Top 5. How can Pocket Casts highlight other Podcasts that perhaps do not release weekly and/or are brief episodes because often, these are the episodes that I enjoy the most. Music does not appear to have these problems because songs are under 5 minutes and if I really like a song or album, I am probably listening to the same music on repeat. I have never listened to a podcast episode more than once.
What brought this about?
Every human, even you, dear reader, only have 24 hours in a day, equating to 168 hours in a week. My top 2 podcasts in total were approximately five to six hours a week. In isolation, five hours seems immaterial, which it probably is. However, I figured both these podcasts are predominantly for entertainment and how cool it would be to have an extra five hours to do something different or consume other podcasts. B y removing these podcasts, I am pruning my Podcast Garden to give me the opportunity to enjoy and/or learn from other new podcasts. Variety is the spice of life. Cannot possibly be always listening to the same podcast voices lol.
The Pocket Casts PlayBack feature gave me the shock that I was seeking. It nudged me to be more intentional and that led me to consider pruning my podcast garden. Let me be clear, I enjoyed listening to Accidental Tech Podcast and The Vergecast (and even recommend them to a tech enthusiast) but it was time for me to move on and explore other content. I may come back to these podcasts in the future, but for now, I am looking forward to new content. I already discovered Sherlock & Co which is an incredible audio experience filled with mystery and humour.
So, I start 2024 with an extra 5 hours a week that I am looking to fill by doing or consuming something DIFFERENT. If you got ideas, I am open to them.
Have a great week, and remember to be kind.
This blog post was written on the Pixel Fold, edited and published from Macbook Pro