Year in review: The best podcasts launched in 2021

An iPhone 12 Mini rests against a wall, next to the JBL Clip 4 Bluetooth speaker, and the phone displays the Apple Podcast app homepage.

Lily Katz / Android Authority

This year was supposed to end our long struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the continued spread of the virus and its numerous variants, we were left to hold out on getting things back to normal. That said, the continued pandemic meant many people had time on their hands to both create and listen to podcasts, and on that front, 2021 did not disappoint. This is Android Authority’s list of the best podcasts of 2021.

Our list consists of 2021 podcasts from various genres, ranging from technology and business, but also dabbling into true crime and comedy. Some range from weekly installments with new guests and subjects, while others are a complete series that act like an auditory documentary.

Read next: The best podcasts apps for Android

Whatever the format, the thing these top 2021 podcasts have in common is their free availability; you can listen to them without having to subscribe or pay for them. All of them are available to listen to on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and many more. With that out of the way, here’s our list for the best podcasts of 2021.

The best new podcasts of 2021


Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal

Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal new podcast 2021

Ali Abdaal

In Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal, the productivity YouTuber and entrepreneur explores the minds of fellow creators, business owners, and other inspiring figures to unearth their stories towards finding fulfillment within their fields.

This interview-style podcast’s first season has many prominent guests like Mrwhosetheboss, Oliur from Ultralix, and many more who give an inside look into their craft, and offer insightful advice on getting started in their respective fields. Abdaal’s ambitious new project is a great way to start thinking more about business, life, and productivity.


Vox Unexplainable

Vox Unexplainable

Vox is widely known to be one of the best explanatory news websites on the internet, with their thoroughly researched videos and their excellent Netflix series, Vox Explained. In the same vein, enter Vox Unexplainable, their new science show which explores “everything we don’t know.”

Hosted by Noam Hassenfeld, this podcast includes a variety of experts and Vox reporters who dive into a new topic every Wednesday. From slime molds to UFOs, this series explores everything that can pique your curiosity, while giving you a glimpse at the incredible bleeding-edge work scientists are doing to discover more of the things we don’t know.


Genius Bar

If you’ve been following tech news within the past year or so, the name Jon Prosser tends to pop up a lot. Host of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser brings a comedic twist to reporting with his persona and delivery of information about Apple, Google, and Samsung products alike. His podcast, Genius Bar, is hosted by himself and fellow YouTuber Sam Khol, where they dive further into leaks, rumors, and news of everything Apple.

This podcast is full of jokes and laughs and gives into serious conversations about the future of Apple’s product strategy. Along with the two hosts, you’ll occasionally find guest speakers such as Canoopsy, Rene Ritchie, Quinn Nelson, and many more who offer their insight and opinions about the company.


The Startup Gambit

The Startup Gambit new 2021 podcast

Haste and Hustle

Haste and Hustle host an annual event that brings on some of the biggest entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Ryan Holmes, and many more exciting guests to help future and current entrepreneurs connect and learn from one another. Ahead of their 2022 event in February, the founder and CEO, Shauna Arnott, along with their COO, Devon Codrington, bring you The Startup Gambit, an interview-style podcast that hosts a wide variety of entrepreneurs and offers an authentic, down-to-earth look at the challenges of running a business in today’s world.

Through this podcast, you’ll not only be learning about running a business, but you’ll also be getting intimate insight and advice from creators, entrepreneurs, and investors alike.


WSJ Tech News Briefing

WSJ Tech News Briefing 2021 new podcast

Need to get caught up on the latest tech news, but don’t have time to read? You can always listen to Android Authority by clicking the audio version of our articles. But if you want a daily insight on the biggest news in tech, WSJ’s Tech News Briefing offers an insightful look at the news stories about everything happening to the biggest companies.

Hosted by Zoe Thomas, this podcast not only breaks down news stories, but brings on prominent guests like Sarah Guo to discuss emerging technologies and the future of the industry. Furthermore, you’ll see other WSJ reporters and columnists appearing along the way. The Tech News Briefing podcast is an excellent way to start the day.


Forever Is a Long Time

Forever Is a Long Time podcast

Snap Judgment Studios

In Forever is a Long Time, we get a five-part story that takes a philosophical look at love and commitment. In this series, we follow Ian Coss, who decided to get married, but every living member of his family gets divorced from their marriages, sometimes more than once, seven years into his married life. Coss wonders whether people would inevitably repeat the patterns of their ancestors, and the true value of lifetime commitment.

Through this podcast, you’ll find deep conversations with both Coss, his wife, and his divorced family members on the subject of love and commitment, and you’ll walk away with a thorough understanding of love through the lenses of people who have made mistakes in this arena.


Storytime with Seth Rogen

Story time with Seth Rogen

In Storytime with Seth Rogen, you would expect this podcast to be your typical comic-hosted podcast like countless others. But with this one, you’re getting a down-to-earth, authentic series of conversations between Seth Rogen and his star guests that will leave you with an incredible story.

Each conversation and story takes a wild turn with guests like Paul Rudd and Franklin Leonard. In the end, you find the lasting impact each story holds for the people telling them. Paired with Rogen’s comedic persona, each episode is sure to either shock you or leave you laughing.


Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV

Spectacle An Unscripted History of Reality TV

Neon Hum Media

In Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV, host Mariah Smith, former columnist at The Cut, shows the impact the reality TV genre has brought over the past 30 years. In this podcast, Smith explains how this dismissed “guilty pleasure” has truly impacted social and political events. From star guests like The Bachelor to the winner of the Great British Baking Show, this podcast highlights the incredible history of reality TV like never before.


Suspect

In this thrilling nine-part true-crime podcast, Suspect looks at the unsolved murder of Arpana Jinaga, who was killed at a Halloween party in her apartment in 2008. The series follows events leading up to and after the murder, and in the end, leaves you with more questions than answers.

If there was a way to sum up the entire series, it would be to call it an auditory version of an episode of Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, only with way more context and a lot more detail. The series covers everything from witness testimony to broader subjects related to the murder, like race and policing.


The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein new podcast 2021

The New York Times

Concluding our list is the Ezra Klein Show, where the co-founder of Vox, Ezra Klein, dives into a multitude of topics from politics to climate change. This series is one of the most in-depth shows on our list, and with good reason; every Tuesday and Friday, Klein sits down to discuss “something that matters.”

This podcast is incredibly fascinating, especially concerning the wide variety of topics covered. You can find episodes on really niche but intriguing ideas that are backed up by guest appearances of people within that respective field. With each episode, there is a deeper look into the background of the topic in discussion, which shines through to the commentary presented. The Ezra Klein Show is an incredible listen if you’re looking to view the world with a more curious lens.


With all these excellent 2021 podcasts, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest, whether it be for a good story, a better insight into the topics that interest you, or just a breakdown of what’s going around the world.

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