When people think about entertainment options, podcasts tend to be at the bottom of their list. While they may not seem as exciting as movies, TV shows or even the radio, podcasts are a new and exciting emerging entertainment platform that covers a variety of topics and niches.

While podcasting might seem similar to a live radio broadcast, but it is actually very different. One of the biggest differences is that podcasts can be recorded and produced by anyone, anywhere. In fact, creating a podcast only requires a piece of recording software and a microphone. Additionally, podcast episodes or segments can be recorded long before their release date.

Most podcast series come with details about the podcaster. These include a website with links and show notes, guest biographies, additional resources, transcripts, commentary, and a community forum dedicated to discussing the show.

There are many reasons why people are motivated to start a podcast. For example, you may want to express a personal passion, increase professional visibility, connect with a social network of influencers or thought leaders, nurture groups of like-minded individuals, or educate people. Interestingly enough, due to the affordability of running a podcast and the effectiveness of this entertainment format, podcasting has often been classified as a disruptive medium.

So, how would you as a podcaster actually make money through the medium? The simple answer is through affiliate marketing, sponsors and advertising, online courses, coaching and consulting, crowdfunding and donations, physical products, book sales, and public speaking. Affiliate or performance marketing is when you get a commission for referring people to other companies. You will typically earn money when someone makes a purchase. This generally works better when you promote products or services that you use or are familiar with.

Sponsorships and advertising are some of the most common ways to make money from podcasting. If your podcast has a smaller or more niche audience, the best way to earn revenue through sponsorships is by reaching out directly to companies that would be a great fit.

Many popular podcasters will also create their own online courses in addition to their podcast to teach the same topics they cover in their podcasts in more detail. Podcasts are a great way to teach something in a way that is easy to follow. Coaching and consulting are yet another way to earn income through podcasting. By showing that you are an expert on a specific topic, you can show your listeners that you know what you are talking about.

New podcasters also often wonder how much they can make through podcasting. This all depends on the number of people your podcast attracts and the amount of ad revenue you make in return.

There has been a recent transition in the podcast industry, with podcast hosts finding more niche-specific platforms where they can thrive. These platforms make it easier to connect with people who are likely to be interested in your brand.

The most successful podcasts have adopted viable production models, thus maintaining their positions on the list of highest-paid podcasters in 2021.

With the increased popularity of podcasting, the resources required to produce a podcast have also expanded. Some podcasts have entire production teams behind them, resulting in a high production value. This article will look at the Top 50 podcasts in 2021. We considered a variety of factors while compiling this list including: sponsorship value, affiliate marketing, and the sales of related products and services.

1) The Joe Rogan Experience 

 

The Joe Rogan Experience

Estimated Net Worth: $30 million 

Launched officially on December 24, 2009, The Joe Rogan Experience is a podcast hosted by American comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Rogan and comedian Brian Redban initially co-hosted it until Redban was replaced by Jamie Vernon in 2013. By 2015, the podcast was one of the world’s most popular podcasts, receiving millions of views per episode regularly and featuring a wide range of guests.

Some significant highlights of the podcast include “Sober October,” which started in 2017, encouraging listeners to curb their addictions by trying to do the challenge. Additionally, Elon Musk was a guest on the podcast in 2018. He was seen smoking cannabis which attracted press attention and caused a 9% fall in Tesla stock. According to The New York Times, the podcast became an “unlikely political influencer” in the 2020 presidential election when presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard saw a considerable rise in popularity and fundraising after making guest appearances on the podcast 2019. Similarly, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gained popularity after Rogan spoke favorably about him on the podcast.

One of the reasons why the podcast has been successful is, as mentioned previously, the different guest appearances along with a very uncensored conversation about many various topics and industries.

Listen to The Joe Rogan Experience 

2) The Daily 

The Daily

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

The Daily is a daily news podcast and radio show hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro. Created by the American newspaper The New York Times, every episode is based on interviews with Times journalists who summarize and comment on their stories. The Daily also features recordings or original reporting with the people involved in the story.

In January 2017, the podcast became a success for the Times with 3.8 million individual listeners by August 2017 and was regularly placed in the Top 10 most-listened podcasts by Autumn 2017. The New Yorker attributed this success to its “conversational and intimate” tone that makes the news more accessible. By 2018, the podcast began being syndicated to radio by American Public media. It also won the 2020 Webby Voice of the Year in the category Special Achievement.

Listen to The Daily 

3) Crime Junkie

 

Crime Junkie

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, Crime Junkie is a true-crime podcast in Indianapolis, Indiana. Before launching the podcast, Flowers joined the board of directors for Crime Stoppers, where she hosted a 20-minute show on RadioNOW 100.9. The show was supposed to promote Crime Stoppers to improve the organization’s standing with a younger audience – RadioNOW 100.9 lasted a year. After realizing that there were not enough podcasts, Flowers released the first podcast episode in December 2017 and has posted weekly episodes since then.

Prawat joined the team, and now both women research, wrote, edit, and prepare for every episode. The episodes are between 30 minutes to an hour long and feature stories of murder, missing persons, and serial killers. Both women take part in the episode, with Flowers telling the story and Prawat adding her perspective.

Listen to Crime Junkie 

4) This American Life 

 

This American Life

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

This American Life is an American weekly hour-long radio show produced in partnership with Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. The content is primarily focused on journalistic non-fiction that features essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and footage. Many of the episodes show adaptations for television, film, live tours, digital cinema, podcasts, mobile apps, and other media.

The podcast version of the show was launched in October 2006 and was free to the public. Under this arrangement, every show was made available to podcast feeds and aggregation programs, allowing radio stations to carry episodes exclusively.

Listen to This American Life 

5) Stuff You Should Know 

 

Stuff you Should Know

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

SYSK is a podcast and video series published by iHeartRadio and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. Bryant. Since its debut in 2008, the podcast has consistently been ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes and is one of the most popular in the world.

The podcast releases episodes several times a week. It educates listeners on a plethora of different topics in science, history, urban legends and uses popular culture as a reference giving it comedic value. It originally began as an attempt to try and repurpose written content on HowStuffWorks.com. Due to its growth in popularity, the podcast has made appearances at events, including South by Southwest and Comic-Con.

Listen to Stuff You Should Know

6) My Favorite Murder

My Favorite Murder

Estimated Net Worth: $15 million 

My Favorite Murder is a bi-weekly true crime comedy podcast hosted by American comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Since the first episode was released in 2016, the podcast debuted at #25 on the iTunes podcast charts, and subsequent episodes would regularly land on Top 10 Comedy Podcast charts.

Both hosts select murders, true crime stories, survivor stories, or historical events to summarize and discuss in every episode. The format consists mainly of dialogue between the hosts and their guests. Their guests have included Patton Oswalt, Bellamy Young, Conan O’Brien, Cameron Britton.

Listen to My Favorite Murder 

7) Pod Save America 

Pod Save America

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Pod Save America is an American liberal political podcast produced and distributed by Crooked Media. Debuted in January 2017, the podcast airs twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays, hosted by former president Barack Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovett, and Dan Pfeiffer. As of November 2017, the show had averaged more than 1.5 million listeners an episode. The episodes have collectively been downloaded more than 120 million times.

The podcast typically covers recent news relating to politics. This content has included the Trump administration, the US government, the Democratic Party, and progressive grassroots activism. Pod Save America has also featured interviews with politicians, activists, and journalists, including Obama’s last interview as president. Other guest appearances have included president Joe Biden, former secretary of state Hilary Clinton, and senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Chris Murphy.

Pod Save America has received a great reception from publications like The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, and Newsweek. It has been described as “one of the big breakout hits of the nascent resistance movement” and one of the nation’s most popular podcasts.

Listen to Pod Save America 

8) Office Ladies 

Office Ladies

Estimated Net Worth: $2 million 

Office Ladies is hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, stars of the American television sitcom The Office. This podcast deconstructs each episode of The Office and offers behind-the-scenes commentary from two people who were there. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey also respond to fan questions.

Released on October 16, 2019, the podcast has featured a variety of guests, including former co-stars, producers, and writers. There are currently 86 episodes and three seasons.

Listen to Office Ladies 

9) Serial 

Serial

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Serial is an investigative journalism podcast co-created and co-produced by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder and developed by This American Life. It’s been owned by The New York Times since July 2020. The podcast ranked number one on iTunes even before it debuted and remained in that rank for several weeks. In April 2015, Serial won a Peabody Award for its innovative way of long-form non-fiction storytelling. As of September 2018, the episodes from its first two seasons have been downloaded over 340 million times and established an ongoing podcast world record.

The podcast originated with an experiment Koenig created when her first idea for a podcast didn’t gain any traction and Ira Glass, host of the radio show program This American Life, asked her if she had any ideas for a podcast. She came up with the concept of a story that unfolded as a serialized narrative over time. The first episode was released on October 3, 2014 and Glass introduced it as a spinoff of his popular radio program.

Listen to Serial 

10) The Ben Shapiro Show 

The Ben Shapiro Show

Estimated Net Worth: $20 million 

The Daily Wire‘s The Ben Shapiro Show is a daily political podcast and live radio show hosted by Ben Shapiro. The podcast was launched in September of 2015. In March 2019, Podtrac recognized The Ben Shapiro Show as the second most popular podcast in the United States. In April 2018, Westwood One began broadcasting The Ben Shapiro Show podcast. In January 2019, Westwood One added a nationally syndicated two-hour live radio show to Shapiro’s one-hour podcast-to-radio program, for a total of three hours of Ben Shapiro programming daily.

Listen to The Ben Shapiro Show 

11) Call Her Daddy

Call Her Daddy

Estimated Net Worth: $12 -15 million 

In 2018, Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn launched Call Her Daddy, a comedy and advice podcast. With content that features sex/relationship advice, stories/anecdotes, embarrassing moments, and classic “girl talk,” the podcast increased in popularity, with downloads skyrocketing from 12,000 to 2 million in just two months. In 2020, Call Her Daddy was the first most popular podcast on Spotify.

Barstool Sports used to own and distribute the podcast until June 2021, when it was announced that Cooper had negotiated a $60 million exclusive agreement with Spotify. Cooper and Franklyn had a public feud with Barstool founder David Portnoy in late spring 2020, culminating in Franklyn’s departure. Cooper and Barstool came to a deal, and Cooper proceeded to host the show on her own. Barstool still handles the podcast’s marketing.

Listen to Call Her Daddy 

12) Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me 

12) Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Distributed through WBEZ and National Public Radio (NPR) and produced in Chicago, Illinois, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly news radio panel show. In this show, the hosts quiz panelists and contestants about the news of the week in a lighthearted manner. It is broadcast on weekends by member stations and is disseminated by NPR in the United States, NPR Worldwide worldwide, and on the internet through the different podcast platforms. On air and via podcast, the show has roughly 6 million weekly listeners.

Before the pandemic, it was usually recorded in front of a live audience and was hosted by playwright and actor Peter Sagal.

Listen to Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me 

13) Planet Money 

Planet Money

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Planet Money is a podcast and blog created by NPR in the United States. Planet Money claims to be “The Economy Explained” through “creative and entertaining” dialogue and narrative.

Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson started the podcast after the success of their This American Life episode, “The Giant Pool of Money.” More specifically, Planet Money was founded on September 6, 2008, in the aftermath of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s federal takeover to cover the financial crisis of 2007–08. Planet Money celebrated its 1000th episode in early 2020, bringing back many former hosts and contributors to commemorate the milestone.

The podcasts range in duration from 6 to 30 minutes. Planet Money tackles popular, complicated issues like American health care and insider trading with simplified narratives. The format attempts to make economic journalism more accessible to audiences that want to learn more about current economic challenges but don’t have a formal economics background. The episodes are usually self-contained. Popular guests include academic specialists, corporate executives and members of the general public in North America. The podcast hosts provide contextual framing and discussion while providing listeners with the primary source content.

Listen to Planet Money 

14) Up First 

Up First

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Up First is a daily news podcast produced by NPR, which airs a new edition every weekday at 6 a.m. ET and on Saturdays at 8 a.m. ET. Unlike some other popular news podcasts, Up First provides a brief synopsis of each news item rather than a thorough dive into each subject.

The podcast premiered on April 5, 2017, intending to present the day’s most important headlines in a digestible style and provide hosts with the opportunity to discuss current events with experts. Morning Edition hosts Rachel Martin, Noel King, A Martnez, and Steve Inskeep host the daily edition of the program.

Listen to Up First 

15) Radiolab

Radiolab

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Radiolab is a radio program produced by WNYC in New York City. It is broadcast nationally and is also accessible as a podcast. The show is primarily focused on topics with scientific, philosophical, and political issues. With a distinctive audio production technique, the show seeks to explore significant, complex issues such as “time” and “morality” in an accessible and lighthearted manner.

Radiolab has received a lot of praise from critics and listeners alike. The show has around 1.8 million listeners, with the majority of them accessing it via podcasts. It has been praised as one of the most inventive broadcasts on American radio, alongside This American Life.

Over 95 percent of listeners said the science-based material covered on Radiolab was accessible, according to a study conducted by Multimedia Research (supported by the National Science Foundation) in 2007–2008. Additionally, more than 80% of listeners said the program’s pace was thrilling, and more than 80% said the layering of interviews was interesting.

Listen to Radiolab 

16) Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC

Estimated Net Worth: $10.8 thousand 

Dateline NBC is a weekly American television news/magazine/reality legal show broadcasted on NBC. It used to be the network’s flagship general interest news magazine, but it now focuses primarily on true crime stories, with only sporadic episodes on other subjects.

Listen to Dateline NBC

17) Fresh Air 

 

Fresh Air

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Fresh Air is a show that features intimate conversations with the present-day’s biggest luminaries. From WHYY, the weekday magazine, this podcast features contemporary arts and issues and is one of public radio’s more popular programs.

Listen to Fresh Air 

18) Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard 

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Estimated Net Worth: $9 million 

Armchair Expert is a weekly podcast co-hosted by American actors Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. Every episode features both hosts interviewing celebrities, journalists, and academics about “the messiness of being human.” It premiered in 2018 and has appeared on Vulture’s list of 2018’s best comedy podcasts.

Listen to Armchair Expert 

19) Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend 

Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend

Estimated Net Worth: $12 million 

The podcast is hosted by American comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien. It premiered in 2018 when his talk show was on a hiatus. In this show, co-hosts Sona Movsesian and Matt Gourley join O’Brien and all three of them talk to comedians and actors in the industry.

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend has received positive reviews from critics and is one of the top podcasts on iTunes. Rather than the heavily choreographed talk show conversations, listeners of the podcast are treated to a much more vulnerable vibe from the hosts and their guests,

Listen to Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend 

20) The Dave Ramsey Show 

The Dave Ramsey Show

Estimated Net Worth: $10 million 

The Dave Ramsey Show is a three-hour, self-syndicated radio program, and podcast hosted by finance author and speaker Dave Ramsey. As of 2020, it was one of the top five most listened to radio shows.

Throughout the show, Ramsey focuses on the theme of finance along with money-related Christian philosophy. He also discusses life and money-related issues with callers. The program initially premiered in 1992 but became a podcast in 2020. You can find The Dave Ramsey Show on more than 600 stations and it is also available on podcast via iTunes.

Listen toThe Dave Ramsey Show 

21) The Dan Bongino Show 

 

The Dan Bongino Show

Estimated Net Worth: $8 million 

Daniel Bongino is an American right-wing political commentator, radio show host, and author who currently hosts The Dan Bongino Show on Fox Nation and Westwood One radio affiliates. He also hosts Unfiltered with Dan Bongino on Fox News.

His podcast lasts an hour and can be found on podcast streaming platforms everywhere.

Listen to The Dan Bongino Show 

22) H3 podcast 

H3 Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $14.5 million 

Hosted by YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein, H3 Podcast is a tri-weekly podcast that includes similar content from their YouTube channel where they satirize internet culture. The flagship podcast features conversational interviews with Ethan and includes H3 After Dark, an unscripted current affairs podcast hosted by the couple. They also host Content Court, a narrative podcast that examines controversial internet personalities. In September 2020, the podcast introduced the popular series Frenemies with Trisha Paytas. However, it ended in June 2021 after Paytas voiced disagreements with the podcast’s production and their co-host.

Since late 2020, the podcast channel has been one of the highest-ranking podcasts in the US. Additionally, Edison Research ranked it the 27th US Podcast from mid-2019 through mid-2020.

Listen to H3 Podcast

23) Criminal 

Criminal

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Criminal is an independently-produced podcast that focuses on true crime. Every episode tells a different story across a wide range of topics. It has been described as “the best new radio show in America” by The Huffington Post, as “the thinking person’s true-crime podcast” in The News & Observer, and as “the purist’s true-crime series” in Time.

The podcast has won the 2018 and 2019 Webby Award for Podcasts and Digital Audio and the 2020 Webby Award for Crime & Justice in the podcast category.

Listen to Criminal 

24) Morbid: A True Crime Podcast 

Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $4 million 

Hosted by Alaine Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelly, Morbid: A True Crime Podcast is an American true crime anthology podcast. It premiered in 2018 and has been highlighted on podcast lists by Erie Reader, Vogue, The Post, and Bleeding Cool. The hosts of this show also started a podcast network called Morbid Network. There are five podcasts under the network. They also run a podcast in partnership with Parcast called Crime Countdown.

Listen to Morbid: A True Crime Podcast 

25) WTF with Marc Maron Podcast 

WTF with Marc Maron

Estimated Net Worth: $4 million 

Hosted by stand-up comedian Marc Maron, the weekly podcast and radio show was launched in 2009. WTF has gotten tons of positive reviews, including accolades from The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly praising it. It receives over 220,000 downloads per episode on average, and the show is said to have reached 100 million downloads by December 9, 2013. WTF was ranked #1 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The 20 Best Comedy Podcasts Right Now in 2014. In April 2021, the Podcast Academy for Excellence in Audio (The Ambies) announced that Maron and his producer Brendan McDonald would receive the first-ever Governor’s Award for their work on WTF.

Listen to WTF with Marc Maron 

26) The Michelle Obama Podcast 

The Michelle Obama Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $75 million 

This show was founded by former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Higher Ground Productions signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to create scripted and unscripted film and television projects. In June 2019, Spotify announced its partnership with the company to produce Spotify-exclusive podcasts. The first of this was The Michelle Obama Podcast that launched in 2020.

Listen to The Michelle Obama Podcast 

27) TED Talks Daily 

TED Talks Daily

Estimated Net Worth: unreported 

Hosted by journalist Elise Hu, the podcast releases new episodes every weekday talking about thought-provoking ideas on everything from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology and everything in between. Every episode is provided by the world’s leading thinkers and creators.

Listen to TED Talks Daily 

28) Hidden Brain 

Hidden Brain

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Hosted by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, the podcast links to research from psychology and neurobiology with findings from economics, anthropology, and sociology, among other fields. It is designed to help curious people understand the world and themselves. Through science and storytelling, Hidden Brain examines the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and the biases that shape people’s choices and decisions.

Listen to Hidden Brain 

29) Impulsive with Logan Paul 

Impulsive

Estimated Net Worth: $19 million 

Impulsive is a podcast launched in 2018 by American YouTuber and social media personality Logan Paul. Even though he’s had to deal with quite a few controversies, the podcast has gained 3 million followers on YouTube. In Impulsive, he brings other social media personalities and has conversations related to the industry.

Listen to Impulsive 

30) Bill Simmons Podcast 

The Bill Simmons Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $7 million 

Bill Simmons is an American sports analyst, author, podcaster, and former sportswriter who is the founder of The Ringer’s sports and pop culture website. Before launching his website, he hosted his podcast on ESPN.com. After he launched his website and media group, he also launched several podcasts that focused on different aspects of sports, pop culture, and technology.

Listen toBill Simmons Podcast 

31) Freakonomics Radio 

Freakonomics Radio

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Freakonomics Radio is an American public radio program that discusses socio-economic issues for general audience. It is a spinoff of the book Freakonomics and is also distributed as a podcast. It is among the most popular podcasts on iTunes. The podcast can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and the Freakonomics website.

Listen toFreakonomics Radio 

32) The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal 

Joe Budden Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $6 million 

Formerly known as I’ll Name This Podcast Later, The Joe Budden Podcast is a talk and music podcast covering various topics ranging from music to sports. It primarily focuses on hip-hop/R&B and the events that pertain to the genre. It began in early 2015, and the podcast has been sponsored by Cash App since October 2020.

The show has featured musicians and music industry guests like Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, and Cardi B. It has received positive reviews, and The Source has called host Budden a “natural fit” in the world of podcasting.

Listen to The Joe Budden Podcast 

33) The Rachel Maddow Show 

The Rachel Maddow Show

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

The Rachel Maddow Show is an American liberal news and opinion television program hosted by Rachel Maddow. Maddow gained her public profile through her frequent appearances as a progressive individual on shows aired by MSNBC. The broadcast is now available on msnbc.com, audio podcast, video podcast, text transcript, YouTube, and weblog.

Listen toThe Rachel Maddow Show

34) SmartLess 

Smartless

Estimated Net Worth: $15 million 

Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes host the SmartLess podcast. The first episode debuted on July 20, 2020, and new episodes are released every Monday. Each episode begins with one of the hosts introducing a surprise guest to the other two hosts. When the mystery guest is revealed, the three hosts begin interviewing them.

The podcast was signed with Creative Artists Agency in May 2021. Amazon.com, Inc. paid around US$80 million for the podcast in June 2021. The podcast will be available on Amazon Music and Wondery+ one week before other podcast and streaming platforms as part of the deal. Discovery+ ordered two documentary-style specials in August 2021 to follow Arnett, Bateman, and Hayes on their podcast’s North American tour. The specials will include behind-the-scenes footage and celebrity interviews during the podcast’s six-city tour in February 2022. The docuseries is set to premiere in 2022 on Discovery+.

Listen to SmartLess 

35) The Moth 

The Moth

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

The Moth is a New York City-based non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The organization, founded in 1997, hosts a variety of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad, often featuring prominent literary and cultural figures. The Moth produces a weekly podcast and, in 2009, launched The Moth Radio Hour, a national public radio show that won a Peabody Award in 2010. The Moth has published three books: The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-Seller List ranked The Moth: 50 True Stories at #22; All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown (2017); and Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible (2017).

Listen toThe Moth 

36) Code Switch 

Code Switch

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Code Switch is NPR‘s race and culture outlet, as well as a weekly podcast. It started in 2013 with a blog and contributions to NPR radio shows. The Code Switch podcast debuted in 2016. It became one of NPR‘s most popular podcasts after the George Floyd protests.

Harvard’s Neiman Lab described the Code Switch project as a “forward-thinking effort given the rapidly changing demographics in the US. Code Switch has grown into a place where reporters try to consider issues around race with nuance, whether that’s the myth of the colorblind millennial, or going deep on the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.” The outlet has also attracted attention for its reporting and commentary on a variety of topics, including sports and reality television, as well as the Supreme Court.

Listen to Code Switch

37) The Breakfast Club 

The Breakfast Club

Estimated Net Worth: $4.04 million 

The Breakfast Club is a New York City-based American syndicated radio show hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God. You can find the show on over 90 radio stations across the country, and Revolt broadcasts it every morning. Common topics of discussion include celebrity gossip (especially in the hip hop industry), progressive politics, and sexual and dating issues.

Listen to The Breakfast Club

38) Reply All 

Reply All

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Reply All is a Gimlet Media podcast that tells stories about how people shape the Internet and the internet shapes, people. It was founded in 2014 by the show’s original hosts, P. J. Vogt and Alex Goldman, who had previously hosted the WNYC technology and culture podcast TLDR. In 2021, Vogt left the show, and Emmanuel Dzotsi took his place.

Listen to Reply All 

39) Rush Limbaugh – Timeless Wisdom 

The Rush Limbaugh Show

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Rush Hudson Limbaugh was a conservative political commentator, author, and television show host in the United States. He was best known as the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, which aired on AM and FM radio stations across the country.

During the 1990s, Limbaugh rose to prominence as one of America’s most prominent conservative voices, hosting a national television show from 1992 to 1996. He was one of the highest-paid figures in American radio history, with earnings of $84.5 million, as reported by Forbes in 2018. According to Talkers Magazine, Limbaugh’s show had a cumulative weekly audience of 15.5 million listeners in December 2019, making it the most-listened-to radio show in the country.

Listen to Rush Limbaugh – Timeless Wisdom 

40) VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash 

Views with David Dobrik and Jason Nash

Estimated Net Worth: $7 million 

VIEWS with David Dobrik & Jason Nash is a podcast hosted by David Dobrik, Slovak-American YouTuber, and Jason Nash, his co-host. The first episode was released on May 15, 2017, and it debuted in the podcast section of the iTunes chart at number two. As of June 2021, there were 199 episodes. Cadence13 is the publisher. Dobrik launched his third YouTube channel, Views Podcast, in September 2018, where he posts the video version of his podcast. The Verge credited Dobrik with successfully integrating the podcast genre onto YouTube, otherwise known for its video content.

Listen to VIEWS 

41) NPR News Now

NPR News Now

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Another sector of NPR, NPR NewsNow, is a podcast that talks about morning and evening news in just five minutes. It is updated hourly.

Listen to NPR News Now

42) The Mark Levin Show

The Mark Levin Show

Estimated Net Worth: $6 million

Mark Levin hosts The Mark Levin Show, a conservative talk radio show. According to Talkers Magazine, the program is broadcast nationwide on Westwood One and reaches seven million weekly listeners. Levin’s listenership is tied with The Glenn Beck Radio Program for the fourth-most-listened-to-talk radio show in the United States and the seventh-most-listened-to radio program in the United States where all radio formats are combined under Talkers.

Listen to The Mark Levin Show 

43) Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast 

Bill Burr Monday Morning Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: $9 million 

Bill Burr, an American comedian, actor, and celebrity podcaster hosts the Monday Morning Podcast twice weekly. It was self-produced from May 2007 to October 2012, when it joined the All Things Comedy podcast network, which Burr and Al Madrigal founded. Burr speaks freely and off-the-cuff about his past and recent experiences, current events, going on tour, sports and offers advice to listeners’ questions during each one-hour episode.

Listen to Monday Morning Podcast 

44) How I Built This with Guy Raz 

How I Built This

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Another podcast from NPR, How I Built This, is hosted by Guy Raz. He dives into stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. The narrative journey focuses on innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists and the movements they built.

Listen to How I Built This 

45) Lore

Lore

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Lore is a podcast dedicated to true horror stories. Each episode examines historical events that reveal the dark side of human nature (usually through folklore) and is presented in a style that has been compared to a campfire experience. Aaron Mahnke created the series as a marketing experiment in 2015, and it won the iTunes “Best of 2015” Award. In July 2016, the Academy of Podcasters honored the podcast with the “Best History Podcast” award. The Atlantic and Entertainment Weekly both included the podcast in their top lists at the end of 2016. The series has 5 million monthly listeners as of October 2017.

Listen to Lore 

46) Last Podcast On The Left 

The Last Podcast on The Left

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

The Last Podcast on the Left is a weekly podcast hosted by Ben Kissel, a comedian and podcast host; Marcus Parks, a podcast producer and researcher; and Henry Zebrowski, a comedian and actor. The episodes feature serial killers, conspiracy theories, UFO sightings, ghosts, and readings of fan-submitted creepypastas. The title references the horror film The Last House on the Left, which was released in 1972.

Listen to Last Podcast On The Left 

47) NPR Politics Podcast 

NPR Politics Podcast

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Yet another podcast hosted by NPR, the NPR Politics Podcast, is hosted every weekday where the platform’s best political reports explain significant news out of Washington and the campaign trail.

Listen to NPR Politics Podcast

48) Dr. Death 

Dr. Death

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Dr. Death – a podcast produced by Wondery that focuses on heinous medical malpractice cases – premiered in 2018. It is hosted and reported by Laura Beil. Every season is focused on a specific medical professional who caused harm to their patients. Currently, there are three seasons with 25 episodes that tell the story of Texas surgeon Christopher Dutch, who was convicted of malpractice after his patients were left badly injured after he operated on them; Farid Fata, a hematologist and oncologist sentenced for prescribing chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer or who had conditions that did not warrant it; and Paolo Macchiarini, a Swiss-born Italian thoracic surgeon who became known for research fraud and unethical experiments.

The podcast has received mostly positive reviews and was called “The Scariest Podcast of The Year” by GQ Magazine.

Listen to Dr. Death

49) The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe 

The Way I Heard it with Mike Rowe

Estimated Net Worth: $35 million 

Mike Rowe is an American television host and narrator. He is well known for his work on the Discovery Channel series ‘Dirty Jobs’ and ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It,’ developed initially for CNN. His podcast, The Way I Heard It gives listeners a different view on pop culture, politics, history, and Hollywood.

Every podcast episode is a true story about a real person, place, or thing filled with facts that listeners might not know about. The reason for its success is due to Mike’s signature blend of charm, wit, and ingenuity while telling stories that are full of surprising revelations, sharp observations, and intimate, behind-the-scenes stories drawn from his own life and career.

Listen to The Way I Heard It 

50) Pardon My Take 

Pardon My Take

Estimated Net Worth: $2 million 

PMT is a comedic sports podcast released three times a week by Barstool Sports. The podcast is hosted by Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFTcommenter. It made its debut on February 29, 2016, and was ranked number one on iTunes in the US by March 2, 2016.

The podcast’s average audience for every episode is between 750 thousand and 1.5 million people. Pardon My Take was recognized as one of Apple’s finest podcasts of 2016, while Katz and PFT Commenter were selected as the top sports media personalities under 40 by The Big Lead in 2017. In 2018, Pardon My Take was the 14th most downloaded podcast on iTunes.

Most of the episodes consist of three parts. It starts with the hosts opening the show with a recap of current sports news, followed by an interview with a sports personality, celebrity, journalist, or athlete. The show closes with a collection of original segments that vary from episode to episode.

Listen to Pardon My Take

51) The Adam Carolla Show

The Adam Carolla Show

Estimated Net Worth: $5 million 

The Adam Carolla Show (formerly The Adam Carolla Podcast) is a comedy podcast hosted by Adam Carolla, a comedian and radio talk show host. The first episode was released online on February 23, 2009. The show is under Carolla Digital‘s flagship program.

After receiving 59,574,843 unique downloads between March 2009 and March 16, 2011, the show was named the Guinness World Record holder for the most downloaded podcast in May 2011. Edison Research has also found that the podcast was the world’s 49th most listened-to podcast in 2020.

Listen to The Adam Carolla Show

52) Chapo Trap Network 

Chapo Trap Network

Estimated Net Worth: $2 million 

Chapo Trap House is an American political podcast founded in March 2016 and hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, and Felix Biederman, with Amber A’Lee Frost as a recurring co-host. Chris Wade currently produces it.

Typically, a Chapo Trap House episode lasts between 60 and 80 minutes. Episodes normally include an interview with a guest, and commentary on current events. The show’s weekly free episodes are available on SoundCloud, Spotify, and iTunes, among other platforms. Patreon subscribers who contribute at least $5 per month get access to weekly premium bonus episodes. By May 2017, the show had amassed a monthly subscription base of more than $60,000 and is the highest-earning Patreon user, earning nearly $160,000 per month as of February 2020. Geek.com cited the show’s premium content as an example of a viable revenue model for new podcasters.

Listen to Chapo Trap House 

53) The Tim Dillon Show 

The Tim Dillon Show

Estimated Net Worth: $1.3 million 

Tim Dillon will probably be one of the highest-paid podcasters in 2021. Before the 2008 financial crisis, he was known for selling subprime mortgages, but he rose from the ashes to become a stand-up comedian. He shot to the top of the podcast industry by consistently producing entertaining content that attempts to solve some of the world’s most ambitious and complicated mysteries. Practical conspiracies are Dillon’s specialty. He has investigated some of humanity’s darker themes, ranging from human trafficking, as inspired by the 2014 documentary Who Took Johnny, to the recent mystery surrounding financier Jeffrey Epstein’s demise.

Dillon was the show’s only host at first, but he’s now been joined by his confidante, Ray Kump.

Tim Dillon demonstrates the benefits and capabilities of subscriber-based sites like Patreon by releasing shows on YouTube on a weekly basis and making regular appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Listen to The Tim Dillon Show

54) True Crime Obsessed 

True Crime Obsessed

Estimated Net Worth: $1.2 million 

Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle, hosts of the True Crime Obsessed podcast, are among the highest-paid podcasters in 2021. It takes a unique personality and engaging stories to rank among the most successful crime podcasts, especially when so many true crime podcasts are available. Patrick Hinds is known for his shows Theater People and Broadway Backstory, a legacy podcaster. He teamed up with Gillian Pensavalle, the host of The Hamilcar, a fellow podcaster and actor.

With their combined efforts, the group of energetic hosts has created a viral podcast focusing on true crime, contemporary conspiracies, and celebrity mysteries available on multiple platforms. The group has become one of the most well-known and distinct true crime podcasts to date, with episodes dedicated to Ted Bundy and Jonestown.

Listen to True Crime Obsessed 

55) Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income

Estimated Net Worth: $1.2 million 

Pat Flynn is the host of Smart Passive Income, a weekly podcast that outlines strategies and offers advice for people who want to start their own online business. He was laid off from his job and forced to start his own online business due to the financial crisis that loomed in 2008.

His weekly viewers benefit from his first-hand experiences, including interviews with various business owners and start-ups who share their wealth of knowledge about the business world. The podcast can be found on YouTube and Apple Podcasts, among other places.

Listen to Smart Passive Income 

56) Flagrant 2

Flagrant 2

Estimated Net Worth: $1.2 million 

Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh are among the highest-paid podcasters in 2021 and the hosts of Flagrant 2, a Patreon-specific podcast that makes its content available to the three tiers of accessible content for its subscribers. Flagrant 2 provides a brief relief for fans and followers seeking to avoid the myriad of pandering podcasts within the context of cancel culture.

Listen to Flagrant 2 

57) Cum Town

Cum Town

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Cum Town is a comedy podcast based in New York City and hosted by Nick Mullen, Stavros Halkias, and Adam Friedland. It is the eighth most popular podcast on Patreon as of May 2021.

The length of each episode is usually between 60 and 90 minutes. Mullen is the show’s primary host and producer, with Halkias serving as a co-host. Friedland, who makes the fewest appearances of the three, first appeared in the second episode of the show and is frequently the target of Mullen and Halkias’ jokes and insults. The hosts’ aimless conversation gives way to improvised comedic characters and sketches, and the content is almost entirely unplanned.

The show’s weekly free episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Audible, among other platforms. Patreon subscribers who contribute at least $5 per month get access to weekly premium bonus episodes.

Listen to Cum Town

58) Tiny Meat Gang

Tiny Meat Gang

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Cody Ko and Noel Miller, the two members of the rap duo Tiny Meat Gang, created and hosted the Tiny Meat Gang podcast. As of June 29, 2021, there were 193 episodes, with new episodes typically airing on Thursday nights. They also release a bonus episode where each episode can only be viewed through their Patreon.

The podcast’s YouTube channel was launched on October 16, 2017.

Listen to Tiny Meat Gang

59) Ctrl Alt Delete

Ctrl Alt Delete

Estimated Net Worth: Unreported 

Ctrl Alt Delete is considered one of the best podcasts for modern career advice. In this podcast, London-based Emma Gannon speaks with a diverse group of actors, writers, and other creatives about how social media and the Internet have influenced their lives and careers. The Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, named after Emma’s first book How I Grew Up Online benefits from Emma’s high energy and enthusiasm as she invites guests to share their best stories and advice.

Listen to Ctrl Alt Delete

60) Louder than a Riot

Louder Than A Riot

Hosted by Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, Louder Than A Riot offers an interesting perspective on the connection between the mass adoption of hip hop culture and mass incarceration in America. The podcast has covered stories of well-known black rappers like Mac Phipps and the late Nipsey Hussle to shed light on how rap culture and the justice system feed off each other.

Listen to Louder Than A Riot

Conclusion: 

While podcasting may not be the first choice for people seeking entertainment, its popularity has been rising due to the sheer number of topics and niches that a podcast can cover. From true crime to politics, many companies and individuals have realized the true potential of communicating with their audiences in a more conversational and unfiltered way. Based on the concept that people are always on the go, podcasts are a great way to consume information without taking time out of a busy schedule. Ultimately, however, with so many out there at the moment, to be successful, podcasts need to be able to resonate with audiences and provide them with valuable information. The podcasts listed above have been able to earn the money that they do due to their ability to attract audiences.

If you’re launching a podcast, you’ll want to tell your target audience about it. Armed with PR specialists, expert writers and certified designers, Pressfarm can help you generate publicity for your podcast. With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and an eye-catching media kit, Pressfarm can help you capture media attention with the news about your podcast. This content is also designed to excite your target audience and drive them to your podcast.

By distributing your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online visibility. Once the Pressfarm team has helped you to rank in relevant search results across search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing!, it’ll be easier for your target audience to find your podcast through organic searches for topics that you cover.

Finally, with a custom media list built specifically for your niche, Pressfarm can help you to keep doing media outreach for your podcast long after your PR campaign is over. With an affordable PR package, you can put your podcast in front of the right audiences.