Where can podcast listeners go to talk about podcasts?
Podcast clubs are popping up all over. Here are some of our favorites.
Ever since S-Town came out, my social media feeds and text messages have been dominated by three questions: Are you listening? What episode are you on? What did you think?
Everybody wants to process, and there’s no obvious gathering place for these conversations — apart from the proverbial water cooler, but who has those anymore?
And of course it’s not just S-Town: if there’s one thing the internet has proven, it’s that humans like to talk about the stuff they’re watching, reading, and listening to. So where do you go when you want to discuss podcasts?
Turns out, there’s a growing number of podcast clubs around, ready to make your listening process more social.
The only group in this list that has a live-and-in-person component, Podcast Brunch Club has twenty chapters all over the globe, as well as an online community. “Like book club, but for podcasts,” the tagline says, and what they mean by that is that every month, they email out a listening list with 1–5 hours of listening on a specific theme. (Recent themes include jazz, gangs, laughter and comedy, and fear.) Chapters then meet (online and in person) to discuss the episodes they heard.
If you’ve always daydreamed about working at the New York Times and having witty, literate colleagues to discuss podcasts with over lunch, this is the podcast club for you. Every Friday for the past year, Times employees have been gathering informally to talk about podcasts – and now they’re opening up their club to everyone.
This is a weekly club, so every Monday, they post an episode, along with discussion prompts; and each Friday, they share highlights from their in-house conversation. They’ve also teased that they’ll be bringing in producers and hosts from time to time, for Q&A sessions.
If you’d prefer to take a turn curating your own listening list and sharing it with the club, then Earbuds Podcast Collective should be right up your alley. A weekly email newsletter with five episodes that share a theme, Earbuds rotates curation duties, so every member gets a chance to share a collection of their own.
Podcast Clubs on the Radio
Both shows introduce listeners to a wide range of podcasts every week, along with commentary from the hosts. The Big Listen also includes interviews with podcasters, as well as listener recommendations – so it has an especially clubby feel to it. And either way, there’s something special about listening to people talk about listening.