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

The podcasts that are reaching younger listeners

The Radio Academy Festival took place this week and featured a number of sessions from industry professionals, many of which focused on how podcasts and other audio mediums can attract younger listeners. Freshly dropped launches featured on this week’s Earworms show the diversity in genres that bring in young listeners, which includes current affairs, science, food, and comedy, all of which are led by entertaining and personable hosts. 

Also featured in this week’s Earworms are recommendations from industry professionals, some of whom participated in the festival, which cover everything from true crime to music. 

What’s in the industry’s ears?

Hanna Adan - Producer and founder, Gabay Productions 

“The podcast I would recommend is called The Girlfriends - a nine-part series about a woman that was murdered by her husband. Even though it was about one particular case, it was looking a bit more deeply into domestic abuse and women who have been harmed by their partners.” 

Mary Mandefield - Radio presenter and host, Noted 

My recommendation at the moment is a podcast called I’ve Had It. It’s two women in America who get together and just talk about things that are annoying them. I just like that they are unashamedly negative about things - I think we have so much toxic positivity that there’s something really refreshing about that. It just feels like you are sitting at a cafe eavesdropping on two old friends who have got together to have a moan. 

Manuela Bedoya - Head of operations, Sounds Profitable 

I recommend Velshi Banned Book Club with Ali Velshi. It delves into the recent epidemic of book banning happening across the US and the consequent rise of censorship we’re witnessing in the school system. Velshi invites authors whose books have been banned to analyse each title, its writing, and cultural impact. It’s an important issue that all Americans need to pay attention to right now. 

Bea Duncan - Senior podcast producer, Broccoli Productions 

I am thrilled to see the return of The Dream, which has been my go-to suggestion for new podcast listeners pretty much since 2018. This gripping investigative series has already dived into the world of pyramid schemes and wellness, and is back from a hiatus to take on life coaches and gurus. Host Jane-Marie‘s background as a multi-award-winning journalist shines through, with thoughtful balance and sharp writing.

Peter Houston - Co-host, Media Voices podcast 

Although updates are few and far between, I regularly go back to Classic Scottish Albums just for the joy of hearing host Davie Scott talk excitedly to artists about how they made the albums that made them famous. Over 50-plus episodes, he's covered the Scottish rock and pop landscape, from Belle & Sebastian to Bert Jansch, Al Stewart to Aztec Camera. This is a classic Scottish podcast.

Freshly dropped

The Moon Under Water

Hit comedy podcast The Moon Under Water returned for its newest season on Monday this week, this time with a completely different host - award-winning writer, YouTuber, and podcaster Robbie Knox - after creator and former host of the podcast John Robins announced his departure last week. The first two episodes feature a two-part interview with stand-up comedian and presenter Glenn Moore.

Political Currency 

Persephonica’s highly-anticipated current affairs podcast Political Currency launched this week on 14 September, with hosts - ex-politicians Ed Balls and George Osborne. The weekly series looks at how major economic decisions are being made, how they affect people’s lives, and what they think key players in these situations should be doing next based on their experiences. 


Waitrose & Partners’ hit branded podcast series Dish, hosted by Michelin star chef Angela Hartnett and broadcaster Nick Grimshaw, returned for its fourth season this week on 13 September. The new season will feature a whole new array of guests including hosts of Global and Persephonica’s current affairs podcast The News Agents, broadcaster Sara Cox, actress Mirian Margolyes, and more. 

The Tommy, Hector & Laurita Podcast

Irish comedy series The Tommy, Hector & Laurita Podcast returned for a new season on Thursday this week, after taking a six-month hiatus. In addition to the main show, the hosts announced a new subscribers-only bonus series titled Three Pints, which features them having conversations at their local pub.

Science Vs

Spotify’s hit podcast Science Vs from Gimlet Studios returned for a new season this week on Thursday, now no longer exclusive to Spotify users and available across all major podcast platforms. The new series dives into a number of new subjects including ‘breathing’ in the first episode, speaking to psychiatrists Professor David Spiegel and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, memory researcher Dr. Artin Arshamian, and speech pathologist Ann Kearney.