The most productive podcasts to listen to in 2021
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The most productive podcasts to listen to in 2021

28th January 2021
By Tom Ladle

A popular medium for digesting news and conversation, podcasts are favoured for their convenience and broad availability. But which podcasts do we really get the most out of? Ranking each ‘productive’ podcast in the iTunes library, we’ve brought you the shows that should be on your radar in 2021.

To create the list, we gave each podcast a score between 0-3, taking number of episodes, overall rating, and number of reviews into account (with each factor equally valued and given a score between 0-1. The overall score is the value of each criteria combined).

Read on to discover the most productive podcasts, whether the longest running series are the best, how ratings are only an initial indication of value, and which shows prompt listener reviews the most.

Top 20 productive podcasts

Revealing the 20 most productive shows, there’s not much between the top two. However, with an index score of 2.23, Entrepreneurs on Fire takes the crown as most productive podcast, closely edging out Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth (2.19).

Despite placing first, the business-related podcast is only one of two in the category amongst the overall top 20, with The $100 MBA Show the only other show that offers conversation around professional productivity.

Meanwhile, there’s no podcast category considered more productive than health and fitness. In fact, alongside second placed Mind Pump, the top 20 features four more shows that fall into the bracket. Similarly, mental health podcasts are ranked as equally productive, with five in this grouping also ranking amongst the top 20.

With a clear leaning towards shows aimed at bettering mind and body, it’s little surprise that our index’s 20 most productive podcasts are rounded off with three philosophical series, three around self-improvement, and two centred around spirituality.

Is productivity found in the longest running shows?

Are the longest serving podcasts always the most successful? According to the index, quantity often does mean quality, and those with the most episodes are generally deemed to be the most productive overall. In fact, the podcast series with the most episodes, Entrepreneurs on Fire, also scored highest with all three factors considered.

Additionally, 9 of the 10 longest-running series on the index also rank within the top 20 podcasts overall, demonstrating the productive value of a show listeners can really get stuck into. Notably, the only podcast that doesn’t feature in the overall top 20, Optimal Health Daily, isn’t too far behind either, placed 23rd.

Does a five-star rating reveal all?

Intriguingly, none of the index’s 253 five-star rated shows feature in the top 20 most productive podcasts, suggesting that, while offering initial value, ratings rarely reveal the full story.

Of the 253 to receive top marks, though, five podcasts (Shawn Ryan Show, New Mindset, Who Dis?, Know Your Aura with Mystic Michaela, The Connected Life, Wine & Spirits with Monica the Medium) have also each impressively received over 2,000 reviews from listeners.

In fact, the only criteria holding these five shows back is the index score for length of series, with each scoring below 0.15/1. So, there’s an indication that, with more episodes under their belt, these could be the podcasts to keep an eye on in 2021.

The podcasts sparking conversations

According to the index, the shows deemed most productive are generally those which impassion fans the most, to the point they leave a review. So, which podcasts get their dedicated listeners talking the most?

Supporting this, 9 of the 10 most reviewed podcasts across the index also feature in the overall top 20 for productivity. Interestingly, the exception to this, the Shawn Ryan Show, sits just shy in 21st position.

It’s never been more important to have a strong bank of productive podcasts to listen to, as we all try to find our way around the new normal. For even more expert advice around maintaining productivity, personally and professionally, explore the latest on our blog.

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