There are currently nearly 2.2 million podcasts out there, according to ListenNotes. According to Amplifi and Podnews, 44% of the podcasts have less than 3 episodes. Only 720,000 podcasts have more than 10 episodes. Of those 720,000 podcasts, only 156,000 are releasing a weekly episode.

There are more than 1 billion podcast listeners every week (really!). Most listeners are in Asia, India, and China and are responsible for 45% of all podcast listener-ship in the world. In the United States, 80 million people, or 28% of the population (over the age of 12) are weekly listeners.

Most of the podcasts are coming from the United States (1.4 million to be precise). While India and China have the most listeners, they only account for 42,000 podcasts. 1.3 million Podcasts are in English. The second most popular language, Spanish, is far behind with only 220,000 podcasts.

[Source for all the above stats:]

So, 80 million of us Americans are devotees of podcasts. I listen every morning on my 60-90 minutes-walk in my neighborhood, whenever I’m driving alone on a long distance journey in my car (in LA, that is a fairly frequent occurrence), and occasionally when I’m doing the laundry, washing dishes, or doing other household tasks that bore me silly. I’m sure, given the numbers above, I’m not the only one.

My preferred Podcasts are those in which I can learn something new about our times in politics, current affairs, thought, and history in the United States, Israel, the Jewish world, and beyond. I listen to Podcasts that express ideas from the political left, right, and center of the political spectrum. I do not listen to Podcasts whose hosts rile me up emotionally – life is just too short. I look to be both stimulated and entertained.

Here is my preferred current list:

American News, Politics, and Commentary

Post Reports – Daily from The Washington Post with Martine Powers.

The Daily – Daily from The New York Times with Michael Barbaro and Sabrina Tavernise.

Hell and High Water – Twice-weekly with John Heilemann.

Pod Save America – Twice-weekly with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor.

The Bulwark – Twice-weekly with Charlie Sykes.

The Ezra Klein Show – Twice-weekly.

Sway – Twice-weekly with Kara Swisher from the New York Times.

The Lincoln Project – Twice-weekly founded by former and incumbent anti-Trump Republicans.

Politics War Room – Weekly with James Carville and Al Hunt.

The New Yorker: Politics and More – Weekly with different hosts.

Hacks on Tap – Weekly with David Axelrod, Mike Murphy, and Robert Gibbs.

The Axe Files – Weekly with David Axelrod.


HistoryExtra – Daily from the BBC History Magazine.

Reflections of History – Daily with Jon Meacham (5 minutes each episode).

History this Week – Weekly with Sally Helm.

Jewish and Israeli News and Commentary

The Daily Briefing – From The Times of Israel with Jessica Steinberg and Amanda Bush Eldan.

The Promised – Weekly from Tel Aviv (TLV1) with Noah Ephron, Allison Kaplan Sommer, and Don Futterman.

Tel Aviv Review – Weekly from the Jerusalem Leer Institute on TLV1 with Gideon Halpern.

Haaretz Weekly – With Allison Kaplan Sommer.

For Heaven’s Sake – Every other week from the Shalom Hartman Institute with Rabbi Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein-Hain.

In These Times – Every other week with Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Stephen S. Wise Free Synagogue, NY.

No – I don’t listen to every podcast every week.

When I become weary of the news and commentary, I shift to music (usually classical), or I take off my head-phones, listen to the birds in the early morning hours in Sherman Oaks and Studio City as the sun rises, and let my mind wander.