If you haven’t heard or seen already, the 2017 Discover Pods Awards are narrowing down to a conclusion on December 14th, with the finalists being voted on now. However, we feel all the finalists deserve rightful recognition since after over 4,000 nominations these are the creme de la creme, and rightfully considered the best podcasts of 2017.

As no surprise, 2017 was another growing year for podcasts. Our own Podcast Trends Report 2017 found that “55.7% of respondents spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV” and “66.8% of people listen to more than 7 hours of podcasts each week”. As podcasts further integrate into the mainstream, quality content will remain the most important factor in gaining listeners.

If you haven’t yet voted for the 2017 Discover Pods Awards, vote now!

Here are the best overall podcasts of 2017 listed alphabetically as to not sway and campaign on anyone’s behalf. Below are the best podcasts by nomination category.

Best Overall in 2017


Criminal remains one of the best true crime podcasts out there — obviously, since it made the “best of” shortlist. What separates it from others in the genre is each episode is a self-contained story about a particular crime, instead of a serialized or seasonal story. Host Phoebe Judge does an excellent job telling the crime stories in a compelling, and concise manner. Most episodes hover around the 30-minute mark.


Lore is one of the notable podcasts making the leap beyond just podcasts. Host Aaron Mahnke takes listeners through the original stories of some of the greatest urban legends, folklore, and ghost stories. Through the podcasts success, Mahnke has adapted Lore for a TV show on Amazon.


Mogul was a new podcast for 2017 that tells the biography of Chris Lighty, a music mogul in the hip hop and R&B world. His interactions with DMX, Warren G, and 50 Cent are chronicled through the narrative podcast.

Pod Save America

Pod Save America is the foundational podcast from new podcast production company, Crooked Media. The political podcast originated from The Ringer’s Keepin’ it 1600, but after the unexpected presidential election outcome, Crooked Media and Pod Save America were born.

Reply All

Reply All is Gimlet’s internet podcast. Anything you could possibly want to know related to technology, social media, or the internet in general, Reply All has likely covered in an absolutely fascinating way. Their two-part podcast, Long Distance, was also nominated for Best Podcast Episode.


S-Town is arguably the most mainstream podcast and winner of the imaginary Watercooler Award in that it was probably the most discussed podcast of all time. The true crime podcast tells the story of an alleged murder in Woodstock, Alabama derogatorily referred to as “Shit Town” or “S-town” for short.

The Bill Simmons Podcast

Bill Simmons is often considered one of the early adopters of podcasts that helped the medium grow to where it is today. Previously of ESPN, Simmons’ topics tend to be grounded with sports, however, are typically intertwined with pop culture. His interview-style podcast has had notable guests such as Kevin Durant, Miles Teller, Andy Samberg, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The Daily

The Daily is one of most notable podcasts from a new format of 2017, daily news podcasts. New York Times produced, The Daily is hosted by Michael Barbaro and typically run under 25 minutes. The premise of the daily news podcasts is to give you a condensed version of the daily news to keep on the go people informed.

This American Life

This American Life has been produced in several forms over the years, however, the podcast version technically started in 1998, but became available on iTunes in 2010. The society and culture podcast, hosted by renown radio personality Ira Glass, provides a variety of content including journalism, essays, and historical footage.

WTF with Marc Maron

Marc Maron is another original podcaster. The comedian with his dark humor and torrid past is often cited as one of the best interview-style podcasts. His guest range from actors, to writers, to politicians — even hosted former President Obama.

Best New Podcast of 2017

  • S-Town
  • Ear Hustle
  • Mogul
  • Pod Save The People
  • Dirty John
  • The Daily
  • Missing Richard Simmons

Best Individual Podcast Episode

  • Reply All – #102 Long Distance
  • 99% Invisible – #266 Repackaging the Pill
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno – East Berlin
  • Mogul – Part 4: Gucci Boots
  • Revisionist History – The King of Tears
  • S-Town – Chapter 2
  • Dan Carlin Hardcore History – Destroyer of Worlds

Most Innovative Podcast

  • 36 Questions
  • Reply All
  • Binge Mode
  • Heavyweight
  • Casefile
  • Ear Hustle
  • Lovett or Leave It
  • Twenty Thousand Hertz

Desert Island Podcast

  • 99% Invisible
  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • Crime Writers On
  • This American Life
  • Harmontown
  • Pod Save America
  • True Crime Garage
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno
  • Radiolab
  • Stuff You Should Know

People’s Choice

  • The Chip Chipperson Podacast
  • Pop Culture Leftovers
  • Poorly Educated
  • My Thing Can Beat Your Thing
  • Kevin’s Cryptids
  • The Blood Crow Stories
  • Podcast Meander
  • The Monday American
  • The Show About Science
  • The Pod of Many Casts
  • Our Americana
  • Small Town Murder
  • History Dweebs
  • Crime in Sports
  • Wine & Crime
  • Chapo Trap House

Best True Crime Podcast

  • S-Town
  • Criminal
  • Casefile
  • Sword & Scale
  • True Crime Garage
  • Up and Vanished
  • Bay Area Mystery Club
  • Guilt
  • Last Podcast on the Left
  • Crime Writers On

Best Sports Podcast

  • The Bill Simmons Podcast
  • The Lowe Post
  • ESPNs 30 for 30
  • By Association
  • Crime in Sports
  • The Ringer NFL Show
  • The Fantasy Footballers
  • Hot Takedown
  • The Howie Games
  • Mohr Sports

Best News Podcast

  • Pod Save America
  • The Daily
  • Up First
  • On The Media
  • NPR Politics
  • FiveThiryEight Politics
  • The Ben Shapiro Show
  • Pod Save the World
  • The Monday American
  • Wait Wait! Don’t Tell Me

Best Interview Style Podcast

  • WTF with Marc Maron
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast
  • Starkcast
  • Podcasts We Listen To
  • The Nerdist
  • The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Longform
  • Juice in the Morning
  • Beautiful Anonymous
  • The Adam Carolla Experience

Best Comedy Podcast

  • Poorly Educated
  • Harmontown
  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno
  • The Dollop
  • Last Podcast on the Left
  • The Bugle
  • Two Dope Queens
  • Hello from the Magic Tavern
  • Nerdist

Best Kids & Family Podcast

  • Varmints
  • Mirths and Monsters
  • The Show About Science
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Story Pirates
  • Bryar Lane
  • Wow in the World
  • Brains On
  • The Alien Adventure of Finn Caspian
  • Weird!

Best Society & Culture Podcast

  • Pop Culture Leftovers
  • This American Life
  • Lore
  • Model Majority Podcast
  • Rumor Flies
  • Embedded
  • Pop Culture Cosmos
  • Astonishing Legends
  • Revisionist History
  • TED Talks Daily

Best Entertainment Podcast

  • Pop Culture Leftovers
  • Bitch Sesh
  • The Bloodlust
  • The Watch
  • Pod of Many Casts
  • Binge Mode
  • The Sometimes Geek Podcast
  • Film Roast
  • The Weekly Muniz
  • Playlist

Best Technology & Science Podcast

  • Reply All
  • Exponent
  • Radiolab
  • Science Vs
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Star Talk
  • Nerd Porn
  • This Week in Tech
  • Accidental Tech Podcast
  • Twenty Thousand Hertz

Best Audio Drama

  • The Blood Crow Stories
  • Homecoming
  • Welcome to Night Vale
  • The Black Tapes
  • Tanis
  • Knifepoint Horror
  • King Falls AM
  • Deliberations
  • Wooden Overcoats
  • Poplar Cove

Best Business Podcast

  • Planet Money
  • Being Boss
  • Dave Ramsey Show
  • Freakonomics
  • How I Built This
  • Startup
  • James Altucher Show

The 2017 Discover Pods Awards Winners announced here.