In the immortal and literally timeless words of The Highlander, “there can be only one.” We’re getting closer to March, and for many people this brings the excitement of the annual college basketball tournament held later in the month. The only issue is, we’re a podcast website and have nothing to do with basketball. But we’re not going to let that stop us, introducing the inaugural Podcast Madness 2018 Tournament!

Ok, so here’s how it works…

We’ve grouped 64 of the best podcasts into four categories:

Up and Coming

Independent and new podcasts obviously have a special place in our heart. They’re made by hard-working, mostly-insomniatic, passionate folks who frankly deserve their own quadrant. This also guarantees an indie podcast will make the final four, which is super dope. Kudos to us for rigging the bracket format.

True Crime

As you may have seen in the 2017 Discover Pods Awards winners, people are very interested in true crime podcasts. Who knew? Despite only one dedicated true crime award, true crime podcasts won 8/17 awards. So we thought they deserve their own category as well.

Audio Dramas

I don’t know if there’s a more passionate genre-focused fanbase than those who love audio drama podcasts. That, combined with probably the most experimental and barrier-pushing podcasts of any genre, audio dramas get their own quadrant too.


These podcasts are mostly driven by one person (or in some cases, a small group of people) and have grown both the podcasts and the hosts to stardom. Likely the most juggernauts of any quadrant, this ensures the final four aren’t simply those household names everyone recognizes.


The rules are simple. We’ll open the polls for exactly one week per round, the schedule will be as follows:

  • Round 1 February 12-18
  • Round 2 February 19-25 [VOTE NOW]
  • Sweet 16 February 26 – March 4
  • Elite Eight¬†March 5-11
  • Final Four March 12-18
  • Championship March 19-25

Vote. Tell your friends to vote. Tell your family to vote. Explain what podcasts are to your parents, and then tell them to vote. If you’re a part of any of the podcasts feel free to campaign.

Each person gets one vote per round. Due to ballot-stuffing in the Discover Pods Awards nominations, we’ll have an email capture for voting. However, your data is safe and you won’t receive any emails unless you choose to opt-in — even though we secretly hope you do opt-in because then you get to find out about cool stuff like this!

Voting starts on Monday!

Here’s the full bracket that’ll update weekly:

Here’s a PDF version of the bracket