Popular Podcast Listening Platforms | A Beginner’s Guide to Tuning In

Podcasts are a great way to learn new information and to engage with a community of like minds. This form of audio entertainment can be enjoyed at home, in the car, as well as many other places with the right listening tools. Continue reading to learn more about how and where to tune in to your favorite shows!

Listening resources at your fingertips

You may be wondering how to access a podcast and all the untapped joy it will bring to your life. For starters, you’ll need a device that can access the internet and various podcast platforms. Such devices include a smartphone, laptop, tablet, smart speaker, or computer. On these devices, simply open the internet browser or podcast application and search for the desired show. Once it appears, find the episode you wish to listen to and hit the play button when ready, making sure to adjust the audio as needed.

While there are many different platforms for podcasting, some of the most popular are Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music, with the most used being Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 

Some audio platforms require that you download an app to access podcasts through their service; others will simply be accessible through a browser. For iPhone users, Apple Podcasts should already be downloaded and ready to use on the device, however, that doesn’t have to be the only app users listen through. For android, many podcast apps are available via the Google Play Store.

Tips and tricks for the ultimate podcast experience

Now that you’ve got your device in hand and the podcast streaming service ready to go, here are some helpful tips to make your listening experience more enjoyable. 

Some apps allow you to download podcast episodes straight to the device. This is particularly useful when traveling or visiting places with limited internet connection. For example, imagine that you’ve just found the best episode of your favorite true crime podcast while waiting for your flight, but wait! Your plane is boarding. You can’t just end the episode right before they reveal who did it! Simply download the episode to your mobile device and pick up where you left off. The downloaded episode doesn’t require an internet connection and will stay on your device, ready to be played at a moment’s notice.

Another tip is to find podcast episodes that fit your listening time frame. Say you have an upcoming 15 minute break and are desperately in need of some brain food. Simply find a podcast that fits into that 15 minute zone to maximize the listening experience on a topic of interest. Perhaps that includes learning something new, practicing a language, or listening to a soothing voice talk about waves and moonlight. Either way, this listening method leaves you with a sense of satisfaction by finishing a whole episode, rather than listening and being left on a cliffhanger when the break is over. It’s all about picking the right time and place to tune in. 

Other tips for improving the listening experience are to take notes on important points, replay parts that you missed or didn’t quite understand, and to keep an open mind and explore new, unique topics frequently.

Now that we’ve talked about some tips to getting started for new podcast listeners, let’s explore some of the most popular listening platforms below.


Headquartered in Sweden, Spotify is a beloved audio streaming service used by hundreds of millions to hear their favorite music as well as podcasts. Since its founding in 2006, the platform has grown tremendously and boasts some of the biggest artists in the world. As far as podcasting goes, Spotify also has acquired some of the biggest podcasts in the industry to solely stream through their app. For example, the Joe Rogan Experience is a Spotify exclusive and consistently tops the listening charts globally. 

To listen to a podcast through Spotify, simply type in the podcast’s title in the search bar and either click on the desired episode or the podcast profile. 

Spotify has also more recently started playing videos of the podcast so you can watch as you listen. 

This is a great option for anyone looking to listen to more podcasts as it allows you to curate playlists that are completely podcasting centric.

Apple Podcasts

This streaming service comes preinstalled on all of Apple’s modern iOS products. Podcast hosts can offer a paid subscription model through this platform for their listeners, as well as a free listening option. 

Apple Podcasts has over two million shows and it’s easy to find a new favorite podcast by using the app’s ranking system. The platform ranks shows based on their popularity in different categories by region. The purpose of the Apple Podcasts charts is to help listeners find a new show in their desired category that they’ll love. For example, if you’re interested in a certain topic, simply open the app and tap the “Browse” button on the bottom. From there, scroll to the bottom of the page > “Top Charts” > “All Categories” > select the desired category and explore the shows within it.

Google Podcasts 

As an assumed response to Apple Podcasts, Google created Google Podcasts as a way for Android users to tune in to their favorite shows all on one app. This is a newbie to the industry, just starting in 2018. Recently, the app’s executives announced the platform will soon be joining YouTube Music.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music is similar to Spotify in that it has all the music you could dream of, but it also has an entire section dedicated to podcasts. Like the other streaming services mentioned on this list, finding a podcast is as easy as exploring their “Top” podcast sections like “Top News Podcasts,” “Top True Crime Podcasts,” and “Top Arts Podcasts.” Having these categories makes discovering new favorite shows easier than ever!


Out of all the streaming services on this list, YouTube is the only one that is completely different from the others. Starting out as a video watching platform in 2005, it has since adopted podcasts as one of its featured categories in the “Explore” tab, sitting next to categories like “Trending,” “Live,” and “Gaming.” 

Considering that podcasts are typically just for listening and YouTube’s content is mostly for viewing, podcasts have surprisingly been super popular on the video platform. Some shows are definitely made for listening only, but it makes sense why filming the podcast recording would be beneficial for some shows, as the topics might be more controversial and the host/guest reactions would be worth watching for the curious viewer. 

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