Podcasts to Listen Out For in 2024
Listeners can rest assured that 2024 is already looking to be a year of fantastic podcasts. With press releases for big new shows, projects we’re proud to support and old favourites due to return, we’re recommending some podcasts to listen out for this year…
There seems to be two ways people act in January: they either come hot out the gates, filling their days with new projects, and getting their diaries booked for the year ahead – or they take a slow start to the year, resting in the winter month.
Either way, you might not be in the space to add new listening to your queue at the moment. You’ll either be sad you can’t fit the new shows into your days, or seeking comfort in your good old favourite shows.
So rather than bombarding you with a list of shows you must listen to right away, we’ve chosen some shows to listen out for later in 2024. These are a mix of new podcasts that we know are in the works, and podcasts that have been around for a while but might be doing something a bit different this year.
So bookmark this page, follow these shows and rest assured that 2024 should be a fabulous year for podcasts.
More content that is good for us
*This suggestion was updated on 26th January 2024 following the news of Broccoli Productions’ closure*
When this article first went out, we suggested ANTHEMS as a show from Broccoli Productions that always delivers. After ten series of daily monologues, last year saw a change in format to an in-depth conversation show and we were excited to see if more changes would follow. Early this week, Broccoli Productions announced it would close at the end of January, and we’ve had to reassess our hopes. As mentioned in the announcement, “while Broccoli is closing, the people who have been doing that work aren’t going anywhere”. We hope that as the producers and team move into other roles, they can spread their passion and skill for creating “bold, creative and inclusive shows that break through industry barriers” into other companies.
Pilot Season 2024
Pilot Season was an interesting new show from Unedited in 2023 that brought something new to the way podcasts are produced. Borrowing from the ‘pilot episode’ concept that is common in television, the series was a format showcase of new audio ideas. Each episode of the four-episode series had a different producer, host, and format that covered a wide range of topics – from hidden statistics of curry houses, to Reading Festival, and sneakers. We’ve yet to hear if any of the shows were optioned for a full series, so we can hope for that in 2024, but can we also hope for another Pilot Season? It would be great to hear more ideas from more producers. Listen to Pilot Season 2023.
Heavyweight (and other cancelled shows)
There were several high-profile shows that were cancelled in 2023, to the surprise of many. The ‘podcast heavyweight’ Death, Sex & Money was one of them – it was cancelled by New York Public Radio after running for nearly ten years. This week, we’ve heard that the show has found a new home with Slate. Given the big support of listeners, it’s no surprise that it was picked up elsewhere, and there are several shows we expect to see in new homes soon. Heavyweight in particular is a beloved show, and we know that the creators were free to shop the show elsewhere after season eight finished. Based on the timeline of Death, Sex & Money being cancelled in October, we might hear about that by March… Listen to Heavyweight here.
Audible Original – 1984
George Orwell’s cautionary tale has made the number 1984 shorthand for dystopian, dictatorial societies and policies. Now Audible is creating a new dramatised version to be released on the 40th anniversary of the infamous year. The cast includes Cynthia Erivo, Andrew Garfield and Tom Hardy, and the score is composed by Matthew Bellamy from The Muse and Ilan Eshkeri (known for films such as Layer Cake and Stardust) so we can expect epic scale. It seems somewhat relevant to also point out that 2024 is also set to be ‘democracy’s biggest year ever’ with more than 4 billion people going to the polls around the world. It will be interesting to see how and if this production references current affairs. Find out more here.
More shows from Hannah Ajala (Love, Janessa)
One of the great successes in 2023 was the first cross-continent podcast collaboration between BBC World Service and CBC. Love, Janessa was a story about catfishing and the stolen images used in scams. Hannah Ajala’s insight as a journalist based partly in West Africa added a much-needed new layer to these catfish stories. Her show was very close to being a ‘best podcast’ across the board, and it won a number of awards – including Hannah herself receiving the silver award for Rising Star at the British Podcast Awards 2023. After similar success with 28-ish Days Later, India Rakusen produced two more podcasts for the BBC. We’re excited to see what Hannah Ajala will be doing next. Catch up on Love, Janessa here.
The Content Is Queen 2022 micro-grant winners!
It’s all under embargo at the moment as to how, but in 2024 we are going to start hearing more from the winners of the 2022 Micro-Grant! We’ve already heard a little bit of the fruits from the last cohort. Part of Talia Augustidis’ story Dead Ends was featured on the BBC Radio Four’s Lights Out series, and the Content Is Queen curation at the London Podcast Festival last September gave us an exciting teaser for some of the shows.
In particular, we got to see a live reading for the pilot episode of Emma Tindall’s comedy-drama Bin Juice. It’s a show that is akin to television and stage in a lot of ways – a cross between Fresh Meat and Fleabag would be my description – and we’re excited to hear the final result soon.
Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative
We’re ending with a new four-part series from Radiotopia that you can start listening to right now. Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is a documentary about creating documentaries – and more precisely, about the ethics of it all. Should we be turning people’s lives into a piece of media for consumption? Jess Shane is the writer, host and producer of the show and brings in her own questions as a documentary maker. Jess actually started exploring this topic for the Lights Out episode ‘Accounts and Accountability’, so we’re excited to hear her able to expand on it, with expanded sound design and music to boot. Falling Tree Radio (who produced Lights Out) said on Twitter, this is a “must-listen for doc-enthusiasts”. Listen here.
If you’d like people to be listening to your new show in 2024, get in touch! We’d love to see you in the studio some time.