Earworms: What the industry’s been listening to this week

Recommendations for everyone from history geeks and football fanatics to hopeless romantics

Part of what makes podcasting a great medium is that it can be used to learn pretty much everything - as this week’s recommendations prove, with language-learning, career lessons, media consumption, and so much more. 

This week’s fresh podcast releases also feature a few deep dives into history, from the unexplored people who made an impact in world war two to the real story behind the rise of the Chelsea FC.

What’s in the industry’s ears?

Damian Kerlin - Freelance podcast presenter and producer

I've been listening to Emma Gannon's The Success Myth Diaries, and it has completely shifted my mindset on what success looks like. From such a young age we are driven by a model of climbing the career ladder or having a family, which is no longer representative of modern times. It's been both refreshing and eye-opening.

Sharon Taylor - Senior vice president of podcast strategy and product operations, Triton Digital

Lately I’ve been burning through episodes of Coffee Break French, which I only discovered recently as I was hitting a wall learning language from an app. I think the show is a really great use of the medium, with entertaining bite-sized lessons that are well produced and easy to understand. They also have a paid version, which I appreciate from a monetisation strategy standpoint. 

Michelle Douglass - Senior podcast producer, National Trust

I’ve been hooked on the new series of The Tip Off. In each episode presenter Maeve McCleneghan unravels the investigative journalism story behind the sensational headlines that made you spit out your tea. First up is Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview. It’s delightfully satisfying to hear how one Newsnight producer courted a prince, and scooped the most jaw-dropping TV moment of 2022.

Bryan Barletta - Founder, Sounds Profitable

If I'm forced to pick just one podcast as my favourite, it has to be Midnight Burger. It's a sci-fi audio drama that just hits all the right notes for me. The dialogue is crisp and witty, and the sound design and use of music is spot on. We're halfway through Season 3 and I truly can't wait to hear the rest of this arc.

Claudia Grandez - Marketing and business development manager, HeadStuff

I’ve been listening to The Witch Trials of JK Rowling. It won't be my go-to type of podcast as I prefer other formats, but I was just intrigued by the story, especially because I’m a die-hard Harry Potter fan. What I liked about this audio documentary is that it gave a voice to both sides of the stories, and helped you understand both sides without showing any preference for any of them. 

Freshly dropped

Iris Prize Podcast

Kicking off the start of Pride month, the Iris Prize Podcast has returned for its third season celebrating LGBTQ+ cinema, hosted by winner of the Acast Amplifier Programme 2022 and one of PodPod’s Faces To Watch 2023, Damian Kerlin. The first episode debuted on 1 June and talks about authentic casting and attempts to answer the question on whether Queer roles should be played by Queer actors. 

History’s Secret Heroes 

Award-winning actress Helena Bonham Carter is exploring the audio universe by narrating a new podcast from BBC Radio 4 titled History’s Secret Heroes. The podcast, which launched on 31 May and is available as a boxset on BBC Sounds, explores the stories of the unsung heroes who changed the course of the Second World War. 

The Blueprint: How Chelsea FC Changed Football

A podcast eight years in the making by HWY61 has launched 31 May, exploring the untold truth behind the rise of the Chelsea FC football club and how it impacted the sport. The Blueprintpodcast features exclusive interviews with legendary members of the club including Frank Lampard, John Terry, Gary Cahill, and more. 

Keyshawn Solves It

The creator behind hit kids show Lalo’s Lunchbox, Ed Jenkins, has launched a new podcast titled Keyshawn Solves Itwhich explores the story of a 10-year-old African-American boy on a mission to discover the mystery behind the missing bikes in his neighbourhood in North Minneapolis before his community’s celebration of Juneteenth. The podcast debuted 29 May and is made in partnership between GBH Kids, PBS Kids, and PRX.. 

Modern Love

The New York Times’ Modern Love podcast, based on its 18-year running column on the love lives of real people, is back for another season which released its first episode on 31 May. The first episode of the weekly podcast is an interesting story that follows the aftermath of a three-year relationship that ended and was revisited when one of the partners gets amnesia after being in an accident.