While I may host and produce several podcasts and run a rapidly-growing network of 10 other shows, I am first and foremost a listener. You’ve likely seen many posts in the last week with lists of Top podcasts and episodes lists for 2017, and we’re going to do something similar here … yet different.
I thought it would be a unique approach to have each of the hosts of our network weigh-in on their personal favorites and what they loved about them so much! I’ve reached out to each of them and told them that they had the difficult task of choosing just one show that was their favorite in 2017. The rules were simple … it just had to be your favorite podcast in 2017!
Lastly, before we get started … a bit of a disclosure. One of the most [yet unrealized] monumental things that flew sorta under the radar this year was the building and launch of Podchaser. To show our support for them, all links in this article to the shows will take you to their Podchaser page, where you can listen, subscribe, rate, and review … all in one place! Please help not only these shows, but the Podchaser team by filling this amazingly powerful and agnostic community-driven index with reviews and ratings! It was an honor and a privilege to participate in the various stages of development and contribute my $0.02, and I’m very excited about the future of this platform, as you should be too! Congrats to Ben, Bradley, Ryan, and the whole team in delivering this hella-huge platform … a true “IMDB for Podcasts.”
With that said, on with the list! Perhaps you’ve heard some of these, or perhaps you’ll get a new recommendation! Enjoy!
2017 seemed like the rise of the True Crime Podcast, a fact that does not bother me one bit. I am a listener to the genre nearly exclusively, with a few exceptions. Looking back at 2017, it would seem hard to pick one favorite of the year.
I enjoy so many different shows, however there is one stand out. Of all the crime shows I listen to, my must-listen every week would be True Crime Brewery.
What sets it apart from the plethora of true crime shows on my playlist is that it is one I nearly gave up on in its early days…I don’t even like admitting that because I could just kick myself for feeling that way. If nothing else, True Crime Brewery is, hands-down, one of the most improved shows when it comes to content, delivery, and sound quality. Husband and wife team Dick and Jill bring a level of charm unlike any other crime podcast each week as they delve into their cases.
If you’re a lover of true crime, they give you the kind of relationship goals you wish you had with your spouse when you want to talk about crime. They are soft spoken, sensitive, witty, and they bring to the table the kind of banter you’d expect from a couple of a good, long, solid marriage. They don’t always agree, which can make for a good couple spat – bonus points for you, the listener, if either the mild-mannered Dick or soft-spoken Jill happens to drop the occasional F-bomb.
They cover a wide variety of criminal cases, some that are well-known to most true crime aficionados. However Dick, bringing his background as a pediatrician, is often able to bring a unique level of expertise to many of the cases they discuss. Working in tandem with Jill, they are able to bounce ideas and theories off one another that makes for an inviting listen. With the added bonus of their listener feedback segment, it is truly one of the most charming and engaging shows of the true crime variety!
My favorite podcast of 2017 is the same as the previous year …
IGN’s Game Scoop!
Daemon Hatfield is the ultimate host. Sure, he has a little too much polish for my taste as a podcaster, but he keeps the show moving, focused, and humorous.
The cherry on top of the is the last segment, 20 Questions. The guys are tasked with guessing a video game Daemon has pre-selected based on the yes or no answers from questions issued for clues. It is a great game to play along with, perfect to keep the listener engaged.
A lot of video game podcasts cover the news and discuss topics in a very efficient way, but Game Scoop has figured out the perfect balance of necessary discussion and entertainment value.
More Perfect started in 2016 as a project from Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, who sought to explore stories about the US Supreme Court.
I am a huge history buff and political junkie, so when I heard one of my favorite podcasters was doing a new podcast about Supreme Court stories, I was instantly onboard. The first season was great, the second season, that aired this year, was phenomenal.
In today’s political climate, it’s incredibly difficult to tow the line between non-offensive and hostile, but Radiolab avoids the tired partisan debates, and strikes through to something much more profound. It cannot be understated how difficult it is to navigate stories of gun control, national sovereignty, Citizens United, gerrymandering, and police violence in a way that doesn’t pick a hill to die on.
More Perfect explores the ever-interesting institution of the Supreme Court with top notch reporting coupled with amazing sound quality. The Supreme Court arguably has more power than any of our other political institutions, so it’s worth investigating. And More Perfect investigates, reports, and tells stories in a way that hits you hard.
Seriously, check out More Perfect. You won’t regret it.
2017 has been a big year in podcasting and I’ve been lucky enough to find lots of new content out there. While true crime seems to be the most popular genre, it is ironically for me, not something I have that much interest in. It’s hard for me to choose a best podcast of 2017 but I’ve done it!
Pleasing Terrors by Mike Brown!
This guy is incredible! Now, most of these stories I’ve heard before. Being somewhat of a follower of the paranormal, a lot of his stories are already out in the public domain. But for me, Mike tells these stories in way that even though you may have heard them before, you are intrigued to hear how he delivers it to you.
With new details on these previously-told cases, and all told from a totally new perspective (I love the episodes where he compares each case to a fairytale), Mike has you gripped from beginning to end. Definitely check out his haunted house episode, as it’ll have you on the edge of your seat!
This pod is technically awesome too, with his crystal clear sound and choice of background music, which is brilliantly noticeable without ever being intrusive.
This podcast is truly a … Pleasing listen!
Our Americana was my favorite podcast that I discovered this year.
Among a wide variety of talent, this show stands alone in its ability to tell stories from Smalltown USA and share experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be discovered. Each episode dives into a unique town. The interviews are thorough and heartfelt. The host, Josh Hallmark, even shares his own personal story in my favorite episode “Austin, Indiana – An Interlude”.
If you love great storytelling, strong episode structure, and deep connection with people, Our Americana may be your new favorite podcast.
In addition to Our Americana, Josh is the curator of the Karen & Ellen Letters, a comedic mystery podcast following two wacky roommates, and the host of Playlist, a podcast where several guests discuss music with a different theme each episode.
And if that wasn’t enough … Josh Hallmark also runs a monthly campaign called #2PodsADay promoting two podcasts every day for 30 days in the form of recommendation blog posts.
The level of effort required in order to coordinate this must be monumental, and is one of the more efficient ways I’ve seen for podcasters to gain exposure in a highly-contested indie marketplace throughout 2017! If you’re interested in promoting your podcast, shoot an email over to 2PodsADay@gmail.com!
Last Podcast on the Left is not for everybody. I feel like that just has to be said at the top of this. It is a show that can be unapologetically vulgar, and that is not for everyone. I, for one, love the humor though. I think that the humor makes some of the heavier topics more palatable.
That said, the real star of the show is the chemistry between its hosts. The three of them have clearly known each other for awhile and love each other enough to give each other grief. The research is impeccable and much of that credit goes to host Marcus Parks.
On a personal note, I am biased because Marcus and his shows LITERALLY saved my life, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one of the most in-depth and well-researched shows in podcasting. This year, they hit a major stride (not that they weren’t in one already) and the show just felt different. Maybe it was because I finally saw them live and had the chance to shake their hands and thank them for helping me get the courage to start a show? Maybe it was because I saw the show differently now that I am a creator?
It just felt different, and a show I know and love became even more special to me. That, I didn’t think was possible.
I’m generally pretty squeamish when it comes to true crime and have to listen in small doses.
Not so with Wine and Crime!
This fabulous show is from some of the funniest ladies in the game today! The wine pairings are so well thought out, the accents are delightful, and the humor is just dark enough without crossing the line.
These talented professionals are able to offer insightful research on crimes that haven’t been overdone to death (heh heh heh) without getting too grim. Grab yourself a glass and join these Minnesotans for a lighter journey into true crime.
Will you love it? You betcha!
Julia Feeser York
Host, Film Roast
My favorite podcast of 2017 was the delightful/strange/confounding Missing Richard Simmons.
When I started listening to this podcast, I had never heard of the mysteries surrounding Richard Simmons or the fact that he had disappeared from the public eye. I love true crime podcasts, and this was almost a more lighthearted “true crime” story, minus the crime.
I just want to know what Richard is doing, what he’s thinking, and why the hell he stopped talking to all his beloved friends.
TELL ME, RICHARD!
Founder, Orbital Jigsaw
I suppose I have to weigh-in as well. First, I want to thank all of the hosts of Orbital Jigsaw shows for being willing to share their favorites and reasons why with our Podience! If you’d like to come and chat with them about any of their selections, head over to the Orbital Jigsaw Podience facebook group and JOIN US!
I discovered SO many new podcasts in 2017 that it was very hard to narrow them down. A lot of my favorites are right here on Orbital Jigsaw. One of the reasons they are part of the network is that I was a fan of their content, so creating our little PodFamily here has been an absolute treat.
Since it came out, I’ve watched Deadliest Catch every single year. It was narrated by this deep baritone ominous voice filled with drama. A little-known man (at the time) named Mike Rowe. Since then, he has starred in one of the biggest hit tv shows, Dirty Jobs, exposing the trades and blue collar workers across America, and done amazing things for vocational schools and non-profits.
This year, he started a new show called The Way I Heard It, where he tells 10-15 minute stories in a way that only he can deliver. It is hands-down my absolute favorite show from the year. Amongst a subscription list of 200+ shows, it’s the one that I proactively refresh my feed looking for every single day, and I completely understand why it was in the Top 10 of all shows throughout most of the year.
Closing Thoughts on 2017
As we close the book on the year in Podcasting, 2017 brought a lot of things forward that needed to be done!
- IAB 2.0 standards & Media Hosts getting on-board
- (although this caused some serious consternation amongst creators as their numbers plummeted, accuracy is paramount for the industry to move forward!)
- Apple exposed deep metrics on podcasts to creators
- The Great Soundcloud debacle of Summer 2017
- Podchaser, the IMDB of Podcasts launched
- Podcast Movement in Anaheim
- SO MANY new local and regional shows as well!
- Marvel announced Wolverine with Richard Armitage
- This is a bigger industry signal than you may yet realize!
- OMG TRUE CRIME.
So much more happened in 2017 that it is simply too much to list. This is a very exciting early-stage of an exploding industry and every single creator should be proud to be taking part in it!
Thank you to all of the hosts of Orbital Jigsaw shows for “getting me,” seeing the vision, and heading into 2018 with a full head of steam!
We’ve only just begun.
Orbital Jigsaw is a boutique podcasting network consisting of a wide range of genres and high quality content. We strive to improve the content of seasoned podcasters and teach new podcasters the best practices in audio production, growing an audience, as well as enhancing a podcast identity. If you’re interested in joining in depth discussion, request access to our exclusive Facebook Group: Orbital Jigsaw Podience
If you’re interested in services Orbital Jigsaw offers including but not limited to vocal coaching, marketing consulting, or audio equipment training please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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