Last Updated: August 21st
The best business podcasts is a broad category. We’re talking about the economy, money, banks, grit, luck, labor, ideas, and, maybe above all, hustle. There is no single “thing” that makes a business tick. It’s a collaboration of multiple moving parts that takes time, determination, and an incredible amount of kismet to succeed.
With that in mind, we’ve cobbled together a list of 30 business podcasts worth listening to right now. Let’s dive in and then get that hustle on.
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s Freakonomics movement has changed the way we digest how marketing, business, money, and culture collide to shape our world. Their podcasts picks up from where their books and documentaries leave off and offer an in-depth look at how the world works by the numbers — which don’t lie.
With hundreds of episodes to choose from you can really jump in anywhere. But for the full “Freakonomics” experience, we suggest starting with the first episode and spending your time working through. It’s a great free education.
The Economist: Money Talks
The Economist is the gold standard in political and economic news and commentary. Their nearly weekly show, Money Talks, takes an editorial deep dive with staff editors into current affairs, business, trade, and what it all means to you and your livelihood. It’s an essential listen with a global perspective on business.
There’s a lot to choose from here. A recent episode about how cheese impacts trade and markets is a fascinating (and accessible) place to start and get a taste for the format of the show.
Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal
Kai Ryssdal leads a team of reporters through the business news of the day and parses what that news means for you. Or as they put it, “Marketplace is your liaison between economics and life.” Overall, this show is a great way to quickly catch up on business news while getting a little deeper into the meat of the story.
Episodes come out every weekday and are around 30 minutes a pop. Since Ryssdal and crew are covering current events, it’s best to listen to the most recent episode and then, when you have time, go back and paw through the archives and find something illuminating to listen to.
Benchmark is one of several premiere podcasts from the Bloomberg network. This show is specifically about the big picture of the global markets. Each episode looks at a different corner of the world and examines how globalization, business, and money have a spiderweb-like effect on everything.
A recent episode titled “How NAFTA Made Mexicans Fat” is a great place to start. However, this show does serve as a masterclass in global economics; so, don’t be afraid to start with episode one either.
Surveillance, also from Bloomberg, offers a different glimpse into business, the economy, and the world of money. Where Benchmark goes broad, Surveillance goes more specific to what leaders in the world of politics, economics, and commerce are saying and doing right now. Then hosts Tom Keene, Jon Ferro, and Pimm Fox break down those ideas, policies, and plans and make it all digestible for the rest of us.
This is another daily show with a deep list of great episodes. But, since this is pinned to current events, we recommend hitting the most recent episodes from the last few months first and moving forward from there. The April 19th episode called “You Could Broaden the Tax Base, Furman Says” is a good, relatable place to jump in.
MarketFoolery from the Motley Fool offers a glimpse into the world of investing and business affairs on a near-daily basis. Each episode looks at stocks and companies that are making waves (good or bad) and analyzes whether it’s a good time to buy or jump ship.
Again, this podcast is pinned to the news/market cycle, so the archives are going to be out of date if you’re looking for stock advice. Our recommendation is to jump in with the latest episode and listen from there.
Felix Salmon of Slate brings us a weekly roundup of the most important business and finance news with experts and fellow journalists weighing in. Money is a great way to go a little deeper on business headlines and get a sense of what might really be going on and what it all means for you.
While some episodes are pinned to the day’s biggest headlines, the bulk of the shows cover prescient topics. The December 29th episode, “The Travel Edition,” is a great place to start as Salmon talks with travel experts and CEO’s from the industry about the sharing economy, over tourism, and low-cost airlines.
FT Banking Weekly
Okay, we’ll admit, this one is very specific and probably a bore to listen to if you’re not in finance. If you can get beyond the vernacular, Banking Weekly offers a fascinating insight into how banks operate and what they hell they do with your money. It’s like a window into a hidden world that we all rely on but barely know.
There’s a big barrier to entry here, given this is a show about big banks. Our recommendation is to skip around and see which episodes titles grab you. The January 16th episode, “Recruitment, Brexit and the gender pay gap,” is a solid place to start.
Planet Money is about the economy, business, and all things trade and money. It’s also one of the more accessible shows on those subjects. NPR’s money team take a step back and approach the subject like a friend in a bar laying out what all this sh*t means in a way we all can understand. That makes this one a crucial and fun listen.
There are hundreds of episodes to choose from here. We like the idea of starting with the five-part series from 2016 simply called “Oil.” It walks the listener through how oil is sourced, traded, processed, commodified, distributed, and any future it may have.
FT Hard Currency
Financial Times’ Hard Currency takes a very in-depth look at the world’s currency markets. Again, this may sound like too niche of a topic. But our currency and where it stands against other currencies around the world determines how we trade which, in turn, translates to the price of a can of Coke or the gas getting pumped into your car (and even the car itself).
The show does tend to focus on current events and the news of the day but you can jump around with this one. Although, a recent episode called “Don’t dismiss dollar drive” is a great place to get your currency feet wet while learning a bit about why you might be seeing rising prices all around you at the moment.
Masters in Business
Bloomberg columnist Barry Ritholtz invites some of the brightest minds in business onto his weekly show to talk about how businesses work, get financed, fail, or succeed. It’s expert advice in an easy-to-swallow format that’ll provide you with legitimately useful information.
A great place to dive in is with the March 29th episode titled, “Serena Williams Talks Success on the Court and in Life.” Williams joins Ritholtz to discuss how she operates her professional life alongside her sports career and makes it all work.
Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast is a fascinating and educational listen. Each episode finds an expert in their field laying down a 20(ish) minute lecture about everything from how couples can work together to how sleep affects your work output to how CEOs can lead the way on being socially responsible. This podcast is like a free lecture from Harvard with every episode. And that’s always going to be worth a listen.
There are hundreds of episodes to choose from and the order you listen to them really doesn’t matter. We recommend diving in at episode 601, “Astronaut Scott Kelly on Working in Space.” It’s a great listen about topics like working in adverse conditions (in this case SPACE) and working with a diverse crew from all over the world with multiple missions.
BBC Business Daily
Across the pond, the BBC produces a long list of great podcasts that often get missed out on over here. That’s a shame. Business Daily is one of their more interesting shows. It takes a topic around money or work and breaks down the details to give the listener a clear shot at understanding what’s going on.
With a long list of great, standalone episodes to choose from, you can jump in anywhere. Though, we do recommend starting with the May 11th episode, “Netflix vs the Silver Screen,” which looks at how Netflix destroyed the video star store and whether it’ll kill the movie theater too.
NPR’s Business Story of the Day
Business Story of the Day covers business, financial, and trade news in daily doses in five minutes or less. Each episode takes a headline that relates to businesses and relates what it means to you, how it came to be, and what it might mean for the future. It’s concise and informative.
There’s no real place to jump in here or easily filter through in the archives. The best bet is to subscribe and put this one in your queue. Then listen to the daily episodes while you’re brushing your teeth or making coffee.
This podcast takes a microscopic look at what it means to be a manager and how to do it better. It’s a good listen if you’re looking to up your game or simply understand leadership roles better. The episodes get very specific and offer a positive glimpse into running an office, working with employees, and making sure you’re getting things done efficiently.
Episodes that touch on dealing with negative feedback and addressing politics in the workplace are great places to start. But, really, you can start from episode one and work your way through hundreds of episodes if you want a free education in management.
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
This podcast series comes from Stanford’s eCorner. Each episode is a talk from an innovator, entrepreneur, and disrupter who’s changing the business game one company at a time. It’s about ideas becoming reality and how you can get in on the game too.
These episodes go all the way back to 2005. That’s a lot to catch up on. A really interesting place to start is a 2005 installment with Mark Zuckerberg talking about his path from Harvard to Facebook. It’s a time capsule full of insight into the early days (and mind) of the social media giant.
The McKinsey Podcast
The McKinsey Podcast is an offshoot of the consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. The show talks with CEOs, business insiders, and innovators about ways companies can better manage, expand, market, and operate their business. It’s an interesting and very informative look at how to run your business in a way that works.
This is a great podcast to start with episode one. It’s legitimately a free education for how to run a business.
Foundr Magazine Podcast
Nathan Chan’s Foundr Magazine Podcast is about talking to entrepreneurs and figuring out how they made it all work. Each episode takes a personalized look at how an idea can be turned into a multi-million-dollar or even billion-dollar business with all the highs and lows put on full display.
There are a couple hundred episodes in the backlog here. A recent episode with wine lover Gary Vee, “Stop Trying And Start Crushing It: Our In-Depth Interview With Gary Vee,” is a great place to dive in.
Okay, this one is a bit of a departure. It’s equal parts true crime, political history, storytelling, and business podcasts. It’s the latter part that ties everything about this one together. WNYC’s series is taking a very deep dive into the business world of the Trump empire and all the dirty dealings, mob-like tactics, and shadiness therein. It’s essential listening to get a grip on the people currently in the White House.
You need to start with episode one here. Luckily, as of now, that means you’re only 16 episodes behind. But, trust us, once you start, this will be an easy binge with each episode coming in at 15-45 minutes.
How To Lose Money
Sometimes hardships befall business for unforeseen reasons, sometimes it’s our own mistakes. Paul Moore and Josh Thomas’ How To Lose Money is about those failures and the lessons we all can learn from them.
There are over 100 standalone episodes to choose from here. We recommend hitting up the recent episode with Family Guy producer Mark Hentemann. He talks the massive highs and lows of working in network TV and how he stabilizes his financial life through real estate investments.
Childhood friends, Joymarie Parker and Cortney Cleveland, host a podcast that takes a candid look at the world of work and money from the perspective of two women of color trying to make it in America. The shows invites guests on to talk truth about what it’s like working today and the difficulties of real social mobility for minorities in America.
While some episodes do latch on to hot-button topics of the day, the show is broad enough for each episode to stand alone. We recommend starting from the beginning. Before you know it, you’ll have breezed through the backlog and be waiting for more.
The Pitch is Shark Tank in podcast form. Each episode cuts in as an aspiring entrepreneur pitches their idea to investors for real cash. It’s entertaining and insightful. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to put it all on the line and follow your dreams too.
Each episode is a stand-alone pitch so you can jump around or start from the beginning and work your way through. Though, we dig the eleventh episode which finds a young student pitching an electric transit system that piggybacks off Elon Musk’s Tesla charging stations called “Tesloop.”
Odd Lots from Bloomberg is a great place to get deeper knowledge about headline-stealing stories in business. Hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway use each episode to educate and engage listeners in the functions of markets, business, and money. It’s like a free class from experts who know how to make their subject interesting.
This one really does feel like a ‘start from ep1‘ kinda podcast. That’s a big time investment though. So, we recommend hitting a recent episode about the ins-and-outs of bitcoin first called, “Inside the Multi-Year Quest to Create a Bitcoin Exchange Trade Fund.” If you like it, then you’ll be ready to jump around.
The James Altucher Show
James Altucher is an investor, author, and entrepreneur. He knows business and money and how to relate it to people. Through his podcast, Altucher makes the business world accessible, along with heavy-hitting interviews.
There are over 350 episodes in the archives here. So, it’ll be a huge time investment to catch up. Our recommendation is to start with a recent installment with Tony Hawk dropping by to talk skateboarding, persistence, and turning your passion into a business.
Mixergy – Startup Stories
Andrew Warner’s Mixergy – Startup Stories is a direct line to the people who turn ideas into successful businesses every single day. Each episode features an interview with an entrepreneur and takes a deep and candid dive into the successes and failures along with what drives them to keep pushing.
There are over 1,600 interviews in the backlog here. We think it might be safe to say, no one is catching up with this one. We recommend starting with a fairly recent episode, “#1595 How a Tinder Hack inspired a networking startup for women.” It’s an interesting look at how one company’s failure led to a whole new startup.
The $100 MBA Show
The $100 MBA Show, hosted by Omar Zenhom, is an education in podcast form — a free one at that. The show takes a look at varying topics that affect businesses all around the world from government regulations to running an efficient office.
There are over 1,000 episodes to choose from here. We recommend hitting the most recent episode to get a taste for the show and then thumbing through the backlog and cherry picking episodes that pique your interest.
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Make Me Smart hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood blend technology, money, and culture into a great show about business and life. They invite on celebrities, CEOs, innovators, and even listeners to dive into current topics from data policy to Rick’s butter bot on Rick and Morty.
Their recent episode, “Is capitalism obsolete?” is a great place to get a sense of the show. If you dig it, we recommend going back to episode one and catching up with the 60 odd episodes so far.
The Side Hustle Show
Nick Loper brings The Side Hustle to life with guests who cut the sh*t and give straightforward tips on making some money with, well, a side hustle. This is the show for those of us who aren’t ready to quit the day job but have ideas that we know we can make a reality with a little work.
If you’re thinking about starting up a business on the side, maybe start with episode one and get a free education through the nearly 300 episodes so far. If you’re already in the throes of it, then browse the backlog and find episodes that apply to you. Either way, give it a listen.
Mad Hat Economics
Mad Hat Economics is hosted by grad students at Cornell University. Each episode looks at an economic topic and parses how it comes through in our pop culture and our own experience in the world. It’s a look at how science can turn into policy and how policy can turn into our own biases and how that can turn into profit for some and destitution for others.
Their recent episode on the Soda Tax is a great place to start your Mad Hat journey. After you get a taste with that one, there are over 30 more episodes to dive into from marijuana and obesity to quinoa to data privacy.
Business is war. It’s an old axiom that holds true to this day. Wondery’s fantastic business podcast takes a storytelling look at the history of the big corporate battles that have shaped our world. It’s Netflix versus Blockbuster and Nike versus Addidas and it’s always amazingly interesting.
Each subject gets a multi-episodic arc with deeply researched histories leading to engaging stories. We recommend starting with the eight-episode-long story of Netflix vs Blockbuster to give you a taste for the show. You’ll be hooked in no time.